I thought I'd share my new usage for RTM: tracking warranty and return policy information.
After I get home from shopping, I grab the receipts of every major purchase I've made that I might return or need to service. I create TWO tasks for each item, each with the policy expiration date as a due date: one for the return-to-store, one for the return-to-manufacturer. Each is tagged as either "return" or "warranty". Each gets a note as to where I purchased it; relevant credit card information; all accessories that may have come with item; and the general return policy (do I need the receipt present, or is a credit card okay? is there a restocking fee?). This way, if I do need to make a return, I won't be surprised when I get to the store to find that the clerk can't look up my information, that I'm missing parts, etc. For the return tasks in particular, I also add a tag with the store name. For warranty tasks, I add to the note the manufacturer's policy and where to send stuff; the manufacturer's website; or who to call to set up an RMA.
I then use the search "tag:return AND NOT dueBefore:today" (or tag:warranty AND NOT dueBefore:today) to see what items are still within the return policy. This might be overkill if I have only one item to return, but definitely useful if I have lots of things to return at various stores. I sort by due date; this combined with the store tags let me plan a trip to return all the stuff I want to return in a single shot, within enough time so that the return is allowed.
I don't get rid of overdue tasks; sometimes stores or manufacturers will allow an out-of-policy return/exchange. Keeping the task overdue and on its own Overdue Policy list lets me know that I might have to fight to get my return approved. I never mark the task complete until I have attempted to use the return policy, either successfully or not (i.e., they won't allow me to do an out-of-policy return).
Posted at 10:02pm on September 23, 2010