For a country so technology advanced and smart, some of their processes just really do not make sense. There has been a few occasions in Japan where I have had to return something I have bought. And each time, I walk away shaking my head.
I never really know how making a return will go. I walk up to the counter with my receipt and item in hand and say "Henpin Onegaishimasu" (I would like to return please) They babble something to me and I just respond "Hai" (yes). No clue what they are saying. Other than one return to The Gap (and that was my fault as I brought the wrong receipt with me), returns have gone pretty smoothly. What blows me away is the system that is set up to make a return.
No matter the store, every time I have made a return the salesclerk will return everything on the receipt and then ring all the items back up, minus what I am returning. Then I have a receipt to sign for the return of all the items, then a receipt to sign for all the items "repurchased", plus the original receipt to sign. One would think that it would be easy enough in their high-tech registers to just return the one item and be done with it. I mean, all the stores have the capability to be ringing up more than one person at a time on a register, so why not be able to do a simple return.
Want to know the funniest part in all this? No matter what the system, returning or buying, we still more through the shopping lines here quicker than in the states.