Customer Experience 101

There is a big box electronics retailer in Canada called Future Shop. They have a policy, stated on their receipts at Christmas time, that returns are only accepted with receipt until January 5. They further state that returns cannot be processed on December 26 or 27. That leaves exactly 9 days to exchange something. Other than the accounting department, who could be satisfied by such a policy?

I happened to be browsing through one of their stores a couple of days ago. The store was extremely busy as a result of their after Christmas sale. I noticed that the exchange/return line extended almost out of the store the whole time I was there, with approximately 40 customers at any time being served by 2 people, while a seemingly infinite number of salespeople roamed the crowded store.

I think it stands to reason that every person in that line was having a painful customer experience. Furthermore, every potential customer had to make their way past that line. Perhaps there is a better way?