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Dear PBS Community,
This is a half-rant, half "hope you learn from me." I predict it's going to be long, so buckle up for the ride.
Late January/early February 2008, I was shopping for a suit or two. I found a place online that I liked, and I bought 2 on sale! Yeah me! Per their recommendations, I took my measurements and bought the size that corresponded. I almost needed a defibrolator when I saw what size I was, but I figured well-fitting was better than buyin something I couldn't fit over my butt.
When the package arrives(a few days after ordering), it's ridiculously big. Yeah! I didn't gain as much holiday weight as I thought! But, it needed to be returned. One thing lead to another and I didn't get to a UPS place to return it w/their prepaid return label. Then I forgot about it.
This fall, I moved out of my apt. & into my dad's house. During the packing/unpacking, I found the suits, still in their original packaging. I didn't think I could return it, and I was depressed, so I figured that if I gave it a little more time, I'd fit into them. Then, I forgot about them, again.
This February, (if you're counting, it's now one year since I ordered the suits) I realized I need a suit for a potential job interview. Find the year-old but never worn suits, and Yeah! They're still too big!
But, since I liked them, I went to the website I bought them from. While surfing the site, I see their ad for their return policy, "Satisfaction is our guarentee. If at any point you are not satisfied, _______ will happly accept a return for a refund or exchange."
I thought it sounded too good to be true, so I emailed customer service. Within a hour or so, I get a response that they stand by their products & are happy to accept my return, but since it was over 90 days, my refund would be in the form of a merchandise credit.
I mail the package back, wait the 3 weeks they said it would take, but since there was no credit to my account, I finally called.
1st customer service person was rude & kept repeating "it's been archived. takes 6 weeks." He was a broken record.
I spend over 5 minutes insisting that I speak with a manager, finally, when one gets on, the supervisor tells me that it can take 6 weeks, but since it's been so long since I ordered, they will only credit me a few dollars for the suits. (I spent $100)
I explained that I had a email from one of the company's customer service reps, who I was upfront with about the date of my purchase, and the email assured me that I would get a full refund, less the shipping costs.
The supervisor says, "yeah, she was wrong. You'll get a few dollars back. It's been a year, what did you expect?"
Now this is getting really long, so here's the highlites-
Me: I'ld like to speak with your supervisor. Him: Not available.
Me: Fine, then I'll speak w/your supervisor's supervisor. Him: there are no supervisors here.
Me: You are the highest ranking person in your building right now? Him: Um, yeah.
Me: Okay then. Can you explain why your reps are sending communications guarenteing one thing, and you are refusing to honor that guarentee? Him: Um, it's up to another department.
Me: Let me speak to them! Him: I'm the only one you can speak to.
Me: So, you're the God of _______? There is no one else above you? Him: As far as you're concerned, yeah. Right now I am.
Me: Please transfer me to your legal department. Him: We don't have one.
Me: Your company has over half a dozen different women's apparrel companies, but you don't have one lawyer? Your company sent me personally a writen guarentee of a full refund. Who do I speak to about fraud? Him: Ah, it's not fraud. She's wrong, I'm right. You'll get a couple dollars back.
Me: This is the last time I'm suggesting that you put me on hold, look around your office and make sure you don't have a boss who is going to wonder how this simple transaction became a big corporate fraud customer relations nightmare. Put me on hold and make sure there isn't someone else who can help me. Him: Um.. um fine. Hold.
Smart lady: I AM SOOOO SORRY! WE'LL TAKE CARE OF YOU!! Me: Great! I'm happy to send you the email proving everything I've said to the other agent. Can I expect a full refund, or not?
Smart lady: Oooh Yes! Thanks for shopping at _________ ! We'll rush the credit, but it could take another week or so to process!
I could've packed it in when the 1st customer service guy said "tough luck"
But, I spent close to 45min on the phone, and will be getting a full refund.
More and more companies are sacrificing customer service & acting like bullies, betting that you (the customer) will get fed up & give up.
Don't let them win!
Last Edited on: 4/28/09 9:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Right, but did you GET your refund? Anyone from the lowest level employee on up can pretend on the phone to be a supervisor and "Yes, ma'am" you right off the phone. Post back when you actually see the refund hit your bank account and I'll feel happier for you. Also, why not share the name of the company?
You are right, I do need to actually *get* the refund, but I now I have 2 emails from the company (Jessica London, but their customer service dept is also for Chadwick's and a bunch of other companies.)
I will follow up when I get the refund.
It will be nice to see those type of companies go under or improve their customer service as money gets tighter. I guess they have just assumed that as long as everyone was spending big it didn' t matter if a few people were upset.
Good for you.
Sorry, but I agree with the first guy you spoke to. You waited over a year! No one's fault but your own. Next time, to save yourself the hassle of spending 45 minutes on the phone, return the merchandise that doesn't fit as soon as you find that it doesn't fit. Not a year later.
If I was the person you spoke to, I would've told you the same thing.
Colleen in her post she says their advertisement is you can return it at any time and apparently someone put it in email that it would be honored. now I wouldn't even be able to find the receipt the next day let alone a year later!
Colleen: I understand what you said, but their website states that they will take back merchandise at any time if you are not satisfied. They do disclose that if the return is 90 days after the original purchase, they will only refund a store credit, not a refund to the credit card you used.
As Susanna pointed out, I emailed their customer service, explained that the original purchase was 1 yr old, and would they really accept the return for the full purchase price. I even asked "Are they any hidden gimmicks to this policy? I find it hard to believe that you'll really accept my 1 yr old return."
I received a reply that "Yes! We will absolutely honor your return, for a full credit, your satisfaction is our guarentee."
Without their okay, I wouldn't have returned the clothes. I would have donated them somewhere.
Since I posted this, I haven't heard from Jessica London. When I call customer service, they have to transfer me to someone else, and every time they transfer me, I'm hung up on instead.
So, I called their corporate office in NYC.
I explained my problem and was told to contact their Consumer Advocate. She's the person who makes sure that their customer service dept. is taking care of customer complaints.
1) Great that they have a Consumer Advocate!
2) I'm kinda worried that they need a Consumer Advocate.
Stay tuned! Who knows how this will turn out... but with both their website & a written guarentee from them that my return would be honored, I'm not giving up on this.
Last Edited on: 4/16/09 4:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Glad this saga amused you! It was like a circus!
I just got off the phone with the RedCats USA Consumer Advocate, and she has decided not to give me the merchandise credit, as I requested and was promised.
Instead, she's sending me a REFUND check for the full purchase price! Yeah!
Colleen oh-so-politely pointed out that this was a waste of time. That's kinda what companies want you think, and not expect them to live up to their promises.
This "waste of time" cost me about 60 minutes, but netted me $85.
$85 for an hour of work is a pretty good rate, so I am tickled pink!
Yeah! I got my refund check in the mail end of last week, and finally cashed it!
Like Char said, that $85 can go a long way! Especially since I'm only working part-time, it's more than half my weekly salary!