Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What happened to customer service?

I had one of the worst experiences at a clothing store today.  I can't stand when stores have poor customer service or are outright rude.  Don't they care about my business?  Well, if they treat customers the way I was treated today, I guess not.  I used to work in retail in high school and college so it's not like the retail world is unfamiliar to me.  I guess I'll start at the beginning....

I had to buy clothes for my four year old who starts school this fall.  He needed white polos and blue pants for his school uniform so after shopping around online to find the absolute best price, I decided to buy the clothes from JC Penny.  I was a little weary to purchase from them at first since they have been in the news so much because of their recent struggles to revamp the company and also for inflating prices just to make items seem like they are "on sale".  JC Penny allowed me the option to ship to the store saving me money on shipping so I decided to make my purchase. 

I received a call about two weeks ago (well, 17 days ago, as I was told today!) that I let go to voicemail.  It was from a clerk at JC Penny saying that I had a package that I could pick up at any time at the registers.  I had just had my oldest daughter's pictures done there so I thought the message was about picking up her pictures and sent my husband that night to get them.  I didn't think about the message again until I received another call a couple of days later.

Again, a clerk from the store left me a message saying the exact same thing, I had a package at the register that I could pick up any time.  "Oh!", I said to myself, "The clothes are in!"  I was so excited to get them but there were a few things that came up in the meantime and I didn't have time to drive out to the store.  I wasn't worried about it though since the message said I could get the items "at any time".  JC Penny called me the next day and this time I was able to pick up and talk to the clerk.  I told her thank you very much for calling and again she said that at any time I could pick up my items.  I told her that I would be getting out to the store in the next week or so and thanked her again before hanging up. 

So today I headed out there to get my son's clothes and was told, "We sent your items back.  It had been longer than ten days and we didn't think you were going to come."  She also said, "We contacted you to let you know they were here and you never came."  Now, let me just say, I don't care that the items were sent back, according to the clerk they are only able to hold onto the items for 10 days (which she later told me very rudely that they had actually held mine for 17.).  It bothers me that, 1.  they never told me I needed to pick the items up in a certain amount of time and 2.  made me feel like it was my fault they had to send them back.  Then then clerk very rudely told me, "Well I can order these again for you if you want."  Well snarkiness never makes me want to spend money anywhere so I asked her for my order receipt and told her I would buy the items elsewhere.

When she handed me my receipt I responded with some snarkiness of my own (I know, real mature, but I couldn't help it!) and told her, "Thanks!  Lesson learned.  Next time I'll go somewhere else!"  She very quickly told me, "Well, you did get three contacts from us!"  To which I responded, "Excuse you, in not one of your contacts did you once say I needed to be here in a specific amount of time and had I known I would have been here."  And her response was, "Well maybe."  I was walking out the door but immediately turned around and said, "No, not maybe.  Had I had the courtesy of being made aware, I would have been here." and proceeded to walk about before she could open her rude little mouth again.  Ok, maybe that was a little harsh, but I HATE confrontation and felt a definitive need to defend myself.

So what happened to customer service?  Would it have been so hard for her to just explain the policy and apologize for the store not making the policy known to the consumer?  Why wasn't I given the opportunity to know that there was some kind of deadline on picking up my items?  Again, I don't care about the items being sent back and I would have reordered them from JC Penny, had the clerk just been courteous and understanding.  You cannot blame me, the consumer, for being unaware of YOUR store policy if you tell me it's ok for me to pick them up anytime! 

I guess I am done ranting about my frustrating shopping trip that was supposed to be a five minute pick up.  Thanks for listening to me vent!  I really just can't stand the attitude that customers aren't valuable.

Thanks for reading!

Busy Mommy Blogger