Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Customer service frustration

Tonight I went to Old Navy to exchange a pair of tank tops that I originally purchased on Saturday. Normally I'm good at guessing my size, but this year, Old Navy has really dialed-down the quality of the tank tops, going from thick, sturdy cotton to some flimsy cotton/modal blend. I'm not a cotton/modal blend-hater, but Anne and I were both shocked at the decrease in quality. 

I know that you "get what you pay for," so for $7.50 each on sale, I'm not expecting cashmere, but seriously. I loved those tank tops and stocked up every year. Now I have to make sure my old ones last as long as possible because they're total crap now, same with the "perfect tee," which is now more of a "perfect piece of crap."

Moving on - when I went in tonight to do an even exchange from XL to L, I could tell right away that my cashier was not totally vested in helping me. So I explained that I wanted to do an even exchange, showing her the new tank tops and taking the receipt and the old tank tops out of the bag. After a long dramatic pause, the following conversation occurred:

Cashier: So you want to exchange the L tank tops for the XL?

Me: No, I bought the XL ones on Saturday and they don't fit, I would like to do an even exchange for the L ones, over here (motioning to the side of the cashier's booth)

Cashier: Okay, I'll ring up the XL ones for you.

Me: No, I already bought the XL ones, I want to exchange those for the L ones.

Cashier: Ma'am, ahhhhhh...hold on. (calls for manager)

It's about now that I let out a deep sigh and start counting to ten. For a moment, I had a bad flashback to an incident at Nordstroms in which Liz had to step in because the cashier and I started snapping at each other and I tried to come behind the counter to do the exchange myself.

Fortunately, the manager was competent and made the even exchange for me, but not before trying to charge me $2 for some reason, which I refused.

I love customer service, and do not miss my retail days. At all.


Liz said...

Yeah, I remember that I do every time I pass that counter. My money is on you every time. Don't mess with The Jess. :)

Erin said...


I completely agree about the quality of the tanks this year. I know they're cheap...but now they just seem crappy. No fun at all.

Stephanie said...

I hate returning things. Period.

I'm very disappointed in Old Navy, too. I haven't bought any thing from them in months. The quality sucks and the sizing is always off.

kilax said...

I'm like Stephanie - I hate returning things anymore. They automatically think you're trying to be shady. Or they are incompetent.

Jamie Lovely said...

I can't believe they tried to charge you for no reason. Ugh.

Arielle said...

Oh mannn I hate customer service. I don't know that I've ever had a positive experience with it. There's a reason some of these people don't have a better job!

Cass said...

Ah! I thought it was just me that their stuff didn't fit consistently anymore! what a relief!

RebeccaC said...

Well, thats a huge bummer. I love their tank tops...although I've noticed that even my "original" ones tend to lose their hems awfully fast.

As far as customer service....the best advice I can give is to try to be really nice and positive and smile at them. Keep in mind that this person is only making about $7 an hour, may have been yelled at by the last 12 customers and likely has another 3 hours of standing ahead of them. Don't get me wrong --- its no excuse for rude/unhelpful behavior, but 9 times out of ten I've found that if I smile and act polite instead of copping an attitude, they person "helping" me softens up and actually tries to help. More bees with honey or whatever...

Heather said...

Apparently they're not the brighest bulbs in the bunch at Old Navy... :)

Kiera said...

Wow...I haven't stepped inside an Old Navy in years.

I don't miss working in retail at all. I hated every moment of it and the fact that I severely underpaid.