Showing posts with label Shoes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shoes. Show all posts

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Customer service does still exist!

I wrote about an unpleasant experience at a Richmond-based shoe store about 2 weeks ago. It was in this blog post : I did write a letter to the store manager. I tried to stay positive about my experience, and accepted some of the blame for not using the store credit. I mailed the letter last Wednesday. I didn't hear anything over the weekend. I honestly didn't expect to hear anything from them. I just felt better by writing the letter to the store manager.

Tuesday afternoon I got a call from the store. The manager called saying that he had received my letter and that he was sorry to hear about my experience. He also let me know that he was passing it on to an employee who would know where to look and try to figure it out. He asked that I give him a few days for them to do some detective work. The lady (Ronnie) who got assigned my issue was also very nice, she called to get a little bit more info and to try to figure out a few things that she saw on her end. She was very nice and apologized for the cashiers not getting my contact information to pass on to her to help me when I was originally in the store.

In the words of Adrian Monk, "here's what happened". I did have a credit for ~$50. That is what I had originally thought. She was able to look in the system and find the exact transaction that matched up with what I had told her. She then discovered that there is another customer who also lives on the West End of Richmond with the exact same first and last name as me. It appears that that lady also had a credit, except hers was for ~$15. When Ronnie called me she asked me if I had made a purchase on 2 certain dates. I knew for certain I hadn't on one of those dates because it was less than a week before Megan was born. I know I didn't buy any shoes then. The other date was about year ago, late September 2008. She said that the balance of the purchase was paid for with a credit card. I told her that I would have used an American Express, she said this account was to a Visa. I checked my Visa and the last four digits didn't match the number for the transaction. It appears that when "the other Ann" was in the store they couldn't pull her up by her phone number. (They told me that isn't uncommon because people use multiple phone numbers.) They went to pull her up by her name and saw my name with the credit and somehow she got my credit and her credit. Ronnie was very nice and very helpful. She told me I could come back to the store and that she would give me a $50 credit.

I was so excited to find a local company that was willing to go the extra-mile to figure out my problem and to make it right. (Besides Ukrop's :)) I went back there today. I decided not to keep the shoes I bought Megan. When I realized her true size I found some shoes that Natalie hardly wore that fit her. I did exchange Natalie's shoes for a more neutral pair of shoes and I found her a pair of sneakers. We had looked for those last time but they didn't have much in stock. I was able to return the previous shoes, use the $20 off of $100 coupon I forgot last time, and get my $50 credit. I ended up with a good pair of sneakers and a pair of casual shoes that Natalie can play in. I walked out of there completely different than how I felt almost 2 weeks ago and I saved $70!

I plan to write the store manager another letter. This time letting him know about the extremely positive experience I had in his store and about how helpful Ronnie was and how she went above and beyond to figure out something that happened over 3 years ago. I think it is only fair to let them know about positive and negative experiences.

What have I continued to learn from this experience? It never hurts to write a letter and let a company know about a positive or a negative experience. In this case my missing credit resolved, or you may get a coupon for a free product or sample.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What was I thinking?!?!?!?

I seem to have had a lapse in judgement today. I realized that the girls needed brown shoes that they could wear to church and other places. I remembered that I had a store credit for a local Richmond-based shoe store. I had bought a pair of shoes there ~3 years ago and because they were from "the back room" they wouldn't refund my sale but gave me a store credit. I don't shop in that store very often because I don't normally have pleasant experiences there and I feel that they are expensive. I had forgotten about the credit for several reasons. 1) I don't shop there very often, 2) I had gone in there a few times and didn't see anything that I wanted to purchase, 3) in that time period we had bought a new house, sold a house, and had a second child, and 4) they didn't give me anything (a receipt or gift card) for the credit. They said it would be tied to my account which was accessible by my phone number. I don't recall being told about any expiration, but I could have forgotten.

Steve found a coupon in a neighborhood mailing for $20 off of a $100 purchase at this store so I suggested we go there and look for shoes. I needed a new pair of shoes for work. I have had the same pair for several years and now my feet ache at the end of a shift. Steve needed a new pair of casual brown shoes also. He had worn his out so that the stitching was starting to come loose.

We get ourselves together and head to the shoe store. We get there and you have to sign in with the children's department for someone to help you. We sign in and we wait. It must have been close to nap time for several kids because there were several fussy children. It was finally our turn and unlike an adult shoe store where you show them the shoe you like and see if they have it in your size, the saleslady measured Natalie's foot then asked us what type of shoes we were looking for. She then proceeded to go into the back and returned with four different pairs of brown shoes. She was very nice and helpful and Natalie tried on all of the shoes and told us which ones she liked best. We decided on one pair and then went to try on some shoes for Megan. The same scenario, she just went in the back and returned with two pairs of brown shoes that were available in Megan's size. We decided on a pair and proceeded to the register to go pay.

I realized while we were sitting there that we didn't pick-up the $20 off coupon - yes I was buying two pairs of children shoes for $100!?!?!!? I figured I would get the credit and then come back later and use the coupon for me. The lady couldn't find the credit for me. She was very patient and looked in the computer twice and couldn't find it. I was frustrated and mad at myself. They also only had one register working and the fussy kids from earlier got in line behind us and the parent's were getting frustrated with waiting in line. I told the lady to just ring up the shoes and I would check with them when they weren't as busy. I bought the shoes and then we headed up to the adult section.

I found a replacement pair of brown shoes for me and when I tried them on they felt so comfortable that I must have lost my mind. Steve had taken the girls outside because they were going stir crazy after an hour in a shoe store and I forgot that I was suppose to wait and come back because of the coupon. (I splurge and buy quality shoes for work - it is worth every penny when you stand for long periods of time.) The saleslady who was helping me with my shoes took them over to the register and when the cashier went to ring me up I again asked about the store credit. She couldn't find anything either. I bought my shoes. The more I thought about the missing store credit the more upset I got.

I was so upset that when I got home I went on-line and found the exact shoes I bought for myself for $25 less. I am taking my shoes back next week. I then started thinking about how not having my store credit available any more was in a sense stealing my money. I decided to look more into the shoes I bought the girls. The saleslady had been very nice and helpful, but now I knew the size to get. I asked Steve if after nap time could we go to Target and look for shoes for the girls. We did - and do you know what? I found 2 pairs of brown shoes and 12 pairs of socks for less than one pair of the shoes had cost at the other store. I agree that they may not have the same quality, but they are kids shoes. They will outgrow them in a few months. I may still keep Natalie's expensive shoes. They had a good sole that she can run and play in and not slip. The Target shoes are dressier and will probably get scuffed the first time she wears them. I am also hoping (if I keep them) that the expensive shoes will fit Megan in a few years.

I am now planning on looking to see if I can find the bank statement from when I remember buying the shoes I returned. I really just want to have a dollar amount for the credit. I am going to write a letter to the store manager explaining the situation. I do accept part of the responsibility, but I feel that not giving a customer some sort of receipt or paperwork to show a credit is not a good policy.

At the end of the day what did I learn from this experience? First - try to avoid impulse shopping. I need to do my research first so that I know what is a reasonable price for what I am looking to buy. Second - make sure that if I am going to use a coupon or sales flyer that I have it with me before I leave the house. Third - if I don't have something in writing (such as the store credit) check it out before I invest an hour or more in the store. I probably wouldn't have purchased all of the shoes if I realized the credit was gone. Fourth - Make sure I know the store's return policy before I purchase anything. If I had realized the policy 3 years ago I probably wouldn't have bought the shoes I returned and I wasn't able to get a refund.

Thankfully, I can return the shoes from today's fiasco next week and I will be able to get the amount refunded to my credit card. I have only lost the time invested and have hopefully learned a valuable lesson.