My worst LV nightmare! Help!

  1. Hi there,

    Although I've been reading for roughly the last month or so, I'm new to posting and registered because I recently experienced something that I need your help on. This is long, so please do not feel as if you have to read or answer if you dislike long posts. By the same token, if you are of the school of thought that Louis Vuitton never goofs on anything they make, I don't want to burst any bubbles so please don't feel obligated to read if you don't want to hear a sad story.

    Okay, so now that the disclaimers are out of the way here's how my sad story goes:

    Recently, my fiancé bought me a speedy 25 at a LV boutique that is about 60 miles round trip from his home.

    The first bag the SA just boxed up and sold him. He didn't look it over. He had heard so much about the quality, that I suppose he assumed he didn't have to. That evening he surprised me with the most expensive purchase he's ever made for me other than my engagement ring. Neither of us are related to Donald Trump or Bill Gates. In other words, this isn't a gift my fiancé bought with his spare change, but rather with a lot of love and hard work to make my LV-owning dream come true.

    As it turns out, I didn't have the heart to tell him until the next day that there was a problem with the speedy 25 he surprised me with. The moment I went to reach for the handles to lift my flattened speedy out of the box, I realized that the leather loops on one side where the handle attaches to the leather were really tight and on one handle in particular it was so tightly wound that the handles on that side would barely move. Well, that would be no big deal because it would loosen up as the bag breaks in — *except* that when I flipped the handle over so that it was laying across the zipper I saw that on the lower loop that circles the handle ring that the red leather edges were actually frayed, and not just a little bit either. It looked like a wad of red lint or fuzz, but it wouldn't rub off because it was as if somebody took sandpaper to the leather and roughed it up really bad due to the friction. I realized that if it looked this way brand new out of the box, it would only be a repair waiting to happen. I might be lucky to get the bag to last me one year before the leather that attached to the handle ring split right off.

    Fast forward two days. My my fiancé is in the area of the boutique for work (he travels for his work). On his way home he stops at the LV store and the SA who had helped him two days before sees the problem and apologizes for the issue. He picks up a replacement bag with no hassle, and this time he looks it over briefly. He brings it home and by some nightmarish bad luck the replacement bag has a black-brown mark that is about 1/4-inch long, which I again notice within the first five minutes. Sadly, it won't brush off. And it's clearly nothing "natural".

    Strike number one. :tdown:

    When I pick up the bag to look more closely at the stain on the leather piping, I flip it upside down so I'm looking at the bottom corner on a diagonal. That's when I also see that on that same corner the canvas is not tucked under the leather piping like it is supposed to, but instead the leather just to the right of the stain is disappearing into a fold of canvas. I put my hand inside the bag to try to pop the corner out, and to my dismay I realize that the piping is actually sewn into the seam! I look at the other corners, and I see that the piping is nice and evenly exposed all the way around until it gets to that one corner where the leather just disappears into the canvas seam. I realize that instead of having the protection of the leather piping on the affected corner, that the canvas is going to scrape every time I set the bag down during normal use (and since it is not a shoulder bag, it will receive a lot of "setting down" in shopping carts and the like). At this time I also recall a family member with an ancient Sac Plat, and I realize that eventually I'll start to see the threads in the canvas rub bare where the canvas corner is exposed. The whole reason I wanted the speedy style to begin with is because they seem to have the best protection around the edges, and therefore seem to last the longest (judging from how many vintage speedy bags are still being sold on eBay and the like).

    Strike number two. :cursing:

    So as you can see, we have had really bad luck, and that bad luck, which is no fault of our own, is creating a poor "first impression". You might think that the store staff would be extra eager to make the situation right under the circumstances, right? Well, although I haven't been doing any posting I HAVE done enough LV reading on the 'net over the past few months to have my doubts that the LV boutique staff would show compassion. Like you probably have, I've run across the stories on how the LV store employees can be unwilling, shall we say, to honor their return and exchange period if they up and decide they don't feel like it (or don't like your hair color, whatever is their reasoning). The LV customer service nightmares are not unique to the US, either. I've found them in the UK, and scattered across the world. And if there is one thing that is a pet peeve of mine, it is argumentative sales people. So I'm NOT looking forward to trying my luck at the same boutique knowing that resolving the situation would require a second exchange, which I suspect the staff will not be happy to accomodate.

    By now it is the weekend (yesterday), and I really should accompany my fiancé to the LV boutique but I'm angry and I know my fiancé will be much more patient. So I take the path of least resistance, and I imagine that by NOT going with him I am doing the store a favor since I might not be able to contain my frustration if I encounter an SA who wants to argue over whether or not the problems are worthy of an exchange. So I send my fiancé off believing that the third time would be the charm, all with my fiancé's assurance that he now knew what to look for so that this exchange would be our last.

    Result? My fiancé is told by a snooty sales associate and later by the "leather goods manager" that the bags are "handmade" and that they are unlikely to be in the "condition" we expect. As a result, they won't help him select an exchange, and they practically confiscate the bag even as they insist on returning my fiancé's purchase.

    Minutes later, my fiancé calls me on his cell phone while in the store and tells me of the rude SA who tried to tell him that the stain on the leather was a "natural characteristic". Her unprofessional tone is so outrageous that his jaw drops and he is basically speechless. When he regains his composure, he asks for a manager. The manager, in turn, speaks to me by phone and says that I need to be present to pick my bag from among the "hundreds" in stock. Excuse me, but I have to go through dozens of bags before I find one that is in good condition? The leather goods manager has zero confidence that anyone in the store will be able to help my fiancé select a non-defective replacement? Is that how little faith they have in their products — or their employees?

    Upon hearing how he is treated, I ask to speak to the manager. I tell the manager that I know the difference between what are natural leather characteristics and what are just stains, and that I know a proper stitch when I see one. I may be new to their product, but I am nevertheless aware that the purpose of the leather piping on a speedy is not merely decorative — it is to protect the canas corners from wearing thin. I also remind the manager that nobody, himself included, disputed the problems we had reported so far (other than the laughable employee fib about the stain being natural). I restated that it was my fiancé's gift to me, and that it was not our fault we were the victims of "bad luck". I said that requiring my fiancé to return home from a 60-mile trip empty handed was not appropriate given that we were still within our 14-day exchange period. But the leather goods manager didn't care to accomodate us. As a result, my fiancé left the store with the store manger's name and the number for the district manager (and a return receipt).

    QUESTION

    Has anything like this ever happened to anyone else while shopping at LV?

    If the tables were turned, would you accept a problem with your brand-new handbag on the basis that it is "handmade"?

    I know what some of you are going to say — that I should have been there the third time my fiancé returned to the store (yesterday). You are right. In one respect, I believe the leather goods manger made a good point about it being IDEAL if I were there to pick out the replacement in person. Just the same, is it a LV store employee's perrogative to dictate HOW a customer will be permitted to shop or to receive an exchange? Are employees hired and paid to basically throw up hoops for their customers to jump through rather than graciously honoring store return and exchange policy with no hassles?

    What's done is done, and now the question is on how to resolve it (or should we try at all)? Honestly, I do not know if making a trip down to the store will make things right, or will result in a mutually embarrassing scene with me crying, confronting sales staff who were involved in the problem, or some combination of both.

    What to do? :sad:

    Thanks for listening.
     
  2. Wow.....sorry to hear of your problem. I've never heard of anyone being treated so badly at LV!! Can I ask which boutique you were at? I really think you should wait a day or so to clear your head, then accompany your BF to the boutique and select a bag, after inspecting it to your satisfaction. Either that, or get a full refund and go to another LV boutique to make another purchase. I think if you stick to the same store, you will always have the bad memory of your first negative experience with LV, and that's not really good !!!!! Don't be jaded on such a great brand by this first experience......please give it another chance...either at another store or Elux..... Keep us posted !!!! and welcome to the LV forum !!!!!
     
  3. oh no, so sorry to hear of your bad experience! I don't think being "handmade" is a reason for anyone to accept a bag that has obvious quality flaws. but yeah, it would definitely be a good idea for you to go along with him next time to LV. That way, you can look at the speedies they have until you see one that looks perfect to you!
     

  4. Thanks for the sympathy and for the good advice. Yes, it would be a good idea to give it some time to let the air clear.

    I had heard the price hikes were going to take effect soon and that's one reason we wanted an exchange, which they woudn't provide without requiring me to be there. So they just reinvented the exchange policy right on the fly. Failing to honor store policy would get you fired in any other retail store, even a low-end store like Wal-Mart.

    The first time my fiancé coudn't help the fact that I could not be there during the exchange because it was the work week and he just happened to be in the area after work. But the second time (Saturday) I probably should have gone with him.

    Actually, the first SA was very helpful but she wasn't there when he came back the other day. So I'll wait it out and see. LV is the only designer that I've always wanted to own for as long as I can remember, so that's why I've taken this all so hard. When I was in high school and college I worked in retail and I worked hard to provide good customer service and even won an award for my commitment to customers at one of the companies I worked for. So seeing people earn good money to treat customers like dirt makes me sick because they obviously have the whole idea of what it means to provide "service" backwards. You should NOT be getting better customer service at a discount "boutique" such as Stein Mart than you do at a full-fledged luxury boutique — that's just backwards. Part of what you are paying for is the experience, and this just isn't it. Maybe I should try another store…

    Nice to "meet" you, BTW!
     
  5. I'm so sorry to hear this happened to you. But I hope one stupid SA won't ruin this for you!!!!!
    That said...I personally would contact the district manager and air your complaint...that is absolutely intolerable treatment!
     
  6. Wow, so sorry to hear of your bad experience. Try to look for the first SA that sold it to your fiance. She might be more helpful. Once in the store, take your time picking out the best bag. I had to return to Neiman's a total of three times because I was not paying attention to the minute details in store. I am very picky about state of vachetta, alignment of the logos and so forth. They do tend to vary, it being handmade but yours seem to be manufacturing flaws. Fortunately, the SA's at Neiman's are really nice. Lastly, there are lots of snooty SA's that I have encountered in the several LV boutiques I've been to. Just remember that you are there to buy something that you've always wanted and that you will enjoy for years to come. Goodluck and keep us posted.
     
  7. Oh dear! Unfortunately I think they have probably labeled you and your fiance as difficult customers. I fear they think that they can not please you and that is why they are treating you in this manner. I am NOT saying this is acceptable, but I bet it is true nonetheless. I think SAs can get this idea when customers return things repeatedly. I got an attitude from a SA after I returned a pair of chanel sunglasses once.

    Anyway - about the leather piping on the speedy.. do you mean that the piping doesn't stick out like it is supposed to? The canvas sticks out instead? If so - my speedy 25 does this and I think this happens pretty often. I have no wear on my speedy canvas however. I am a perfectionist. I do expect things to be perfect when I pay so much. LV, for the most part has excellent workmanship. But that said, they are not always 100% perfect. This does not mean they are defective, they are just not always as perfect as we expect them to be. Now no.. I would not want stains on my leather - that to me is unacceptable.

    I understand it is your dream to own an LV and I think you absolutely should. Don't let this incident turn you away from the brand. I have had many less than pleasant experiences. BUT when you love something this much, you have to overlook a lot of BS. I would advise you to order a speedy from eluxury if you can. They are VERY accepting of returns. Most people here have gotten great bags from them. Their customer service (for the most part) is great.

    I am sorry you had this experience. But I hope you find a way to get the bag you so desire.
     
  8. I'm really sorry to hear about that. It's awful that your first impression of LV had to be so awful. I've heard that there are often problems with the Speedy because it's LV's most popular bag so sometimes they are carelessly made. I was worried about this when I was in the market for an Azur Speedy, but fortunately that was not the case. I did notice a smudge on one of the handles and the SA let me pick another one, so that SA's remark about the stain on the handle was ridiculous. I really really hope it works out for you! As others mentioned, I would try another boutique if possible or is Eluxury an option?
     
  9. I'm sorry to hear you and your fiance experienced such crap. If there's another boutique somewhat close by, perhaps you and he could arrange to make a trip there. eLuxury is also a very good alternative since they do not charge sales tax. Something to consider.

    Good luck!!
     
  10. Sorry to hear your about your horrible treatment at the boutique. Good luck on hand selecting your very first LV by your own personal inspection!
     
  11. Still want to know which boutique gave you such bad treatment! I'm under the impression that some of what is said on this board does get to the boutiques.
    Last trip to the Atlanta LV boutique was fabulous, after the 2 previous visits sucked. I do believe that the news does get around.
    1-800 has exceptional quality customer service too!
    Please let us know where your boutique is & if I were you, I'd sure write a letter to Vuitton, others on the board can tell you where.
     
  12. Interesting gacats. My last visit to Atlanta LV sucked too!
     
  13. By the same token, if you are of the school of thought that Louis Vuitton never goofs on anything they make
    LV is never perfect. I've learned from experience. I think you are a bit over-expecting things to be perfect to start with and thus all your dissappointments now...

    The first bag the SA just boxed up and sold him. He didn't look it over. Always check. Do you not test-run a brand new car before purchasing? Just because something is expensive doesn't mean it'll be perfect.

    the leather loops on one side where the handle attaches to the leather were really tight and on one handle in particular it was so tightly wound that the handles on that side would barely move.
    This is normal

    the red leather edges were actually frayed, and not just a little bit either.
    Also normal or at least quite often seen by me.


    That's when I also see that on that same corner the canvas is not tucked under the leather piping like it is supposed to, but instead the leather just to the right of the stain is disappearing into a fold of canvas. I put my hand inside the bag to try to pop the corner out, and to my dismay I realize that the piping is actually sewn into the seam! I look at the other corners, and I see that the piping is nice and evenly exposed all the way around until it gets to that one corner where the leather just disappears into the canvas seam. I realize that instead of having the protection of the leather piping on the affected corner, that the canvas is going to scrape every time I set the bag down during normal use (and since it is not a shoulder bag, it will receive a lot of "setting down" in shopping carts and the like). At this time I also recall a family member with an ancient Sac Plat, and I realize that eventually I'll start to see the threads in the canvas rub bare where the canvas corner is exposed.
    I don't exactly understand... you mean the piping part is concaved (going into the bag) and the canvas is out?.... This is absolutely normal. Several of my bags are like this. Also, I wanna point out that the piping is NOT supposed to "protect" the canvas, like it's not supposed to be the part where the bag sits on. It's is purely for decorational, and not functional purposes.

    By now it is the weekend (yesterday), and I really should accompany my fiancé to the LV boutique but I'm angry and I know my fiancé will be much more patient [...] So I send my fiancé off believing that the third time
    I think you should be accompanying your fiance. He is trying to please you because he loves you but everyone has different standards on what is "good acceptable quality" versus what is not. When he checked the 2nd time, he most likely felt that things were okay with this bag, but obviously not to your standard. So the third time, you should go.
    If you say that you're going to become angry at the SA in the boutique, then you should not. Blasting off at people will get you nowhere in luxury boutiques. Not to be mean, but there are far more customers who are very much willing to settle for any LV bag than to be picky. LV is very hot now in the market and that's why they don't value once-in-a-while customers. I know LV is "supposed to" be known for their service and quality, but realistically I think we live in a very materialistic and capitalist world where money is the only thing that speaks.

    The manager, in turn, speaks to me by phone and says that I need to be present to pick my bag from among the "hundreds" in stock. Excuse me, but I have to go through dozens of bags before I find one that is in good condition?
    "good condition" or bad is all relative and subjective.

    I am nevertheless aware that the purpose of the leather piping on a speedy is not merely decorative — it is to protect the canas corners from wearing thin.
    Umm actually no. The piping is pure decorative. You're not supposed to let the piping be exposed to rubbing at all and in fact, the CANVAS IS STRONGER than the piping. Eg. Take a sharp knife and run it across the canvas, now run it across the leather piping. You'll see a sharp mark in the piping but nothing on the canvas. LV is known for their canvas especially since they were originally used for travel.

    QUESTION

    Has anything like this ever happened to anyone else while shopping at LV?
    No, because (1) I ALWAYS check everything (and I mean EVERY single detail). It's doesn't take long, 2 mins max. (2) Also no, because perhaps what I think is normal may not be normal to you or somebody else. (3) LV has good quality, but I never expect perfection and LV's products are indeed never perfect.

    If the tables were turned, would you accept a problem with your brand-new handbag on the basis that it is "handmade"?
    Yes, especially since you bought a speedy. This has been discussed before that speedys are the most profitable bag made by LV and they're also produced in mass quantities, so obviously they don't take that much care into producing these bags.

    In one respect, I believe the leather goods manger made a good point about it being IDEAL if I were there to pick out the replacement in person. Just the same, is it a LV store employee's perrogative to dictate HOW a customer will be permitted to shop or to receive an exchange?
    I don't think they're "dictating" you. It's just BEST that you go choose your own bag especially if you're going there the 3rd time.

    Honestly, I do not know if making a trip down to the store will make things right, or will result in a mutually embarrassing scene with me crying, confronting sales staff who were involved in the problem, or some combination of both.
    Yes, defnitely go back to the store again becuase it was afterall a gift from your loving fiance. Why do you need to cry? be angry? make a scene? Just explain things calmly and don't start by saying "I expected LV to have high quality...etc" cuz this is an instant complaint/negative alarm to SAs.
    When I want something, I always start by apologizing even if it's not my fault. And I think by apologizing, the SAs will definitely be easier and glad to work with you and show you more bags that they have in stock in order for you to choose whichever one pleases you the most. Otherwise, some SAs will just say "this is the last we have in stock" which is basically like take-it-or-leave-it.
    Others may think that what I'm saying now is sucking up to SAs or kissing butt, but I'm an opportunist. YOU want something from LV and not vice versa. (Now some will argue with me about this last sentence too, but that's just my opinion and I'm just looking out for you, the OP, to help you get the best and most for what you want). Good luck and remember to have FUN at LV! :yes:
     
  14. i am so sorry to hear this :crybaby: i have to agree to what CEC.LV4eva said above.... the price of LV doesnt necessarily mean that every item is perfect... and i have seen some not-so-nice SA in LV boutiques before...

    may be you should call the first SA who sold the bag to your finance before you go in .... explain to her since she is the one who understands the most about the porblem... and i think it is the best you go in the boutique with your finance on the 3rd time..

    please keep us posted ~~!
     
  15. Hi, can I ask which store you purchased the bag at ?...I take it that you are in the UK ??. Well you can order a speedy from Vuitton.com.

    I totally agree with you, for the price of your bag, it should of been perfect or you could have bought a second hand one in the exact same condition.
    This is why I like to buy used LV because LV bags from the store have sometimes been handled/have flaws when you buy them, so you are paying really for something that you can get on eBay for less. I expect no flaws with bags from the store and I think SA's should be more than accommodating in your situation. :flowers: