Disappointed with Chanel :(

rubyshoesday

Member
Jun 25, 2008
579
0
I've been lurking around this forum for the last few days as I usually hang out in the Christian Louboutin section, but I have to share my disappointment with someone. I live in Toronto and aside from the small Chanel boutique the only other place to find Chanel is at an even smaller location at Holt Renfrew. For about 6 months now I've been trying to purchase a classic flap caviar Jumbo with silver hardware. Around Christmas I wanted to get one in fuchsia or royal blue. But there were wait lists for them... So okay, that sucked but I put my name on the list. A month went by and I heard nothing. I made a trip out to the boutique and they received their last shipment, but they sold out as there were more people on the list than bags.

Okay, I was disappointed, but then I was mad. No one called me to tell me this. Not to mention the SA I dealt with was a complete snob, even though she's in the business of customer service. Flash forward a few months I wanted to get a light beige caviar Jumbo for spring. I spoke to a different SA this time, but it was the same story, sold out. I put my name on a waiting list with her and at Holt Renfrew. And still nothing. I understand that quantities are limited but I get the sense that they have their private cliental whom they offer everything to first and it's too bad for everything else.

All that's left are scraps. The bags no one else wanted. I know I look young, but I'm well dressed and put together and I'm there to spend a substantial about of money and I'm tired of this wall elitism, like I'm not one of their regular clients so I'm not worthy.

Anyhow sorry to vent but I was getting frustrated.... Maybe I'm the only one who finds the boutiques to be this way but at the end of the day they're business is customer service and I feel they're very lacking in that department.
 

pls5

O.G.
Nov 28, 2008
4,079
2
Hmmmm... The fuschia and bleu roi were hard to come by--that's a tough one. And the "etiquette" of waitlists is questionable... I guess you could have called to follow up... I am not sure if they ever call people who don't get the bag... Just as not everyone on list returns calls re not wanting bag when they do get called! I do get what you are feeling re getting the dregs as a walk-in/new client. I say branch out to different stores if you can. Reach out to SAs in the US via this site is another option. Try penney at Hirshleifers--I think she works with a lot of international clients and they do a special order thing that is reliable. Or just try to get to know an SA near you. They want to sell bags. It's not personal for sure. Also, no matter who you are you have to think/plan a little in advance. Like for the beige... are you sure they have gotten a new batch in?? It's frustrating but don't give up!
 

justpeachy4397

Melissa
O.G.
Mar 21, 2010
1,555
29
TX
That stinks. I would send a letter (or email.. does anyone send letters anymore, btw haha?) to the supervisor expressing your disappointment at the lack of professionalism and customer service. Part of enjoying a product you've purchased is enjoying the whole buying process.. and having a snooty or rude sales associate can ruin the whole thing! I would express your thoughts with the management team.. and if they don't do anything to fix their problem, move on to another store! They don't deserve your business :smile:
 

rubyshoesday

Member
Jun 25, 2008
579
0
Hmmmm... The fuschia and bleu roi were hard to come by--that's a tough one. And the "etiquette" of waitlists is questionable... I guess you could have called to follow up... I am not sure if they ever call people who don't get the bag... Just as not everyone on list returns calls re not wanting bag when they do get called! I do get what you are feeling re getting the dregs as a walk-in/new client. I say branch out to different stores if you can. Reach out to SAs in the US via this site is another option. Try penney at Hirshleifers--I think she works with a lot of international clients and they do a special order thing that is reliable. Or just try to get to know an SA near you. They want to sell bags. It's not personal for sure. Also, no matter who you are you have to think/plan a little in advance. Like for the beige... are you sure they have gotten a new batch in?? It's frustrating but don't give up!
I'm just whining because I'm disappointed. lol I guess what it comes down to is I find it a bit ridiculous to have to plan a purchase a year in advance. And the problem with buying from the US is that it makes no sense once I factor in the exchange rate, shipping and duty. Anyhow I guess I just have to come to terms with the fact that this is how it's done.
 

nymifashion

Member
Oct 31, 2009
1,153
4
New York City
I would double check the numbers on buying from the US. Chanel tends to retail for less in the US and with the exchange rate being so close it turns out to be cheaper. Plus if you buy and have it shipped you will not pay US taxes or the 15% tax in Toronto, just the duty and shipping charge. Even if it ends up being $100 it's worth it to get your hands on something.
 

NYCavalier

Chanel & Bal!
O.G.
Sep 13, 2009
4,776
17
Midtown Manhattan
I'm sorry you have had a frustrating time buying your first Chanel.. that is no fun! But I assure you it is nothing personal. Especially recently, stock has been very low because of the increase that just happened. Before Feb 1, everything was flying off the shelves and then after the increase, I believe the amount of shipments decreased and there are still a lot of people on wait list, so it is still hard. I was calling around for a Black caviar maxi before the recent increase (I no joke called every place in the US because everyone was "sold out" but I still had faith) I put myself on probably 20-30 wait lists and by the end of my 3 day search.. I randomly called Saks Boca... and they had one sitting in the back room! I was lucky I snatched one, but I have only been contacted about one available caviar maxi and I am on at least 20 waitlists (and it is not like they knew I found one, kwim?)

I hope you find a Chanel you love and you have better luck w/ SAs! I know the exchange rates are a bummer, but if your local stores are smaller... you will have a very difficult time no matter what... So maybe finding an SA in the US that is very nice, and has what you want is worth it? :flowers:
 

pellarin22

Take That
Dec 22, 2009
1,033
11
Rubyshoesday
I completely understand your disappointment. I have had my name on several lists for Chanel shoes, Prada purses and clothing but Holts seem to push this policy of "give me your name and we'll call you" which never happens. I don't know why they bother? How do they stay in business when they don't try to please the customer and satisfy the customer's demand for the product??

I've dealt with Emieko at the Chanel boutique in Toronto. She's really nice and she returns your calls, that's how I got my ballet flats on a Monday when two days before I was told by another SA that they wouldn't have them for three months.

If that doesn't work you may want to consider a weekend trip to Michigan or New York City to get what you want. It will save on the shipping and duty( only the tax 13%) which is much less when you claim it coming back. I totally understand your frustration!!
 

papertiger

MOD
Moderator
Authenticator
O.G.
May 23, 2009
42,628
64,210
G-orgeous H-eaven
rubyshoesday, I'm sure it's nothing personal.

Even in the major cities where there are more boutiques there are also more Chanel customers so believe me it's no easier. My Mother is a very good customer in one boutique and buys this and that all the time from the same SA so she and customers like her often get first refusal on things they are interested in (not always though).

I think the first thing to do is make it clear you are really serious when you put your name down to be called and then when you see other TPFers revealing bags from that season start to call them or even go in, of course be polite but call your SA by their first name so they know YOU EXPECT THEM to make good their promise.

Seriously, they just want to sell and they don't mind who to (after all Chanel's life blood is in recruiting new loyal customers as well as keeping the older guard happy) but when they have regular customers they tend to forget about the 'occasional' people -one SA sees sooo many people in their day.

Another tip is only enquire about a item you are really serious about otherwise they may assume you are a browser and not a buyer (and premier designer boutiques get so many who just want to handle merch on a day out- no harm in that of course). <It sounds like you have been doing that in any case.

There is no reason why you should not get your special bag(s), don't give up, if it's a Chanel bag you want - then it's a Chanel bag you should have :hugs:.
 

gators

O.G.
Jan 5, 2006
3,193
27
Northern Virginia
i have to agree with pls5 and try working with one of the US stores. Also, the blue was one of the harder bags to come by, sold out quickly and I don't think any actually hit the floor. I think it's a good idea to keep on checking with the store and/or SA and keep in contact with them. Just be persistent. At least they will know you are serious about purchasing. Good luck!
 

nymifashion

Member
Oct 31, 2009
1,153
4
New York City
Another idea might be go in, tell them what you want and offer your credit card saying when it comes in just charge my account and call me to pick it up. Whenever there is something I really want that's what I do. When the LV Sprouce collection came out last year I knew I wanted the wallet and that Saks was only getting one in orange. I told my SA who keeps my card on file and the day it came in she charged and shipped it to me. If there is a limited supply and you are offering up the money before they come in, they will know your serious.
 

habanerita

O.G.
May 1, 2006
5,449
24
OY, Trust me, its not just you............lately, even though I have been a good customer at several Dept Stores and Boutiques, I have been too late to get the Blue Roi Caviar, the dark beige and others...........I guess there are so many requests that it is becoming harder and harder to get the bags you want..........I know exactly how you feel..........
 

Cyndee

LVChanelVegasSunnies
O.G.
Jul 23, 2007
3,965
32
Canada
www.luxetouchbags.com
Unfortunately, there is far less supply than there is demand for Chanel products in Canada. There never seems to be enough to go around. It would help to make frequent visits to this forum to keep abreast of what is up and coming, then make those calls early and get on waitlists as soon as you can. It does not hurt to call every Chanel location in Canada and get on every store's list for the item you are after. It's not that hard as there are only 6. If you are serious about purchasing the item, then the odds are good that you will get a call from at least one boutique. If you change your mind, then you can always turn the item down and it will be offered to the next person on their list.
Also, don't hesitate to give your favorite SA a call from time to time just to check in or maybe make a small purchase or 3. :P It really helps to develop a rapport with an SA, as they will remember you and quite possibly think of you when they see a new item that they know you might be interested in.

As others have said, it's well worth too establishing a relationship with the SA's at NM and Saks at the Sommerset Collection Mall in Troy Michigan. It's about a 4 hour drive from Toronto and is do-able over a weekend. Get on their waitlists too and when you get that call, make a trip down. I wouldn't recommend not claiming the purchase at the border, but I know that others do it to save the duty and taxes. The bonus is that prices tend to be quite a bit cheaper in the States so even with the duty, chances are the price will work out to the same as the Canadian price or you will maybe even save a bit.
Good Luck!
 

rubyshoesday

Member
Jun 25, 2008
579
0
I would double check the numbers on buying from the US. Chanel tends to retail for less in the US and with the exchange rate being so close it turns out to be cheaper. Plus if you buy and have it shipped you will not pay US taxes or the 15% tax in Toronto, just the duty and shipping charge. Even if it ends up being $100 it's worth it to get your hands on something.
I've run the numbers and even with the exchange being so close from what I gather after reading the Canada Border Services website is that GST and PST taxes would still apply in addition to any duties they could add, which on average seems to be about 6-7%, not to mention the 2.5% fee credit cards charge for foreign transactions etc... Which isn't to say I'm not mistaken in my understanding, but it just seems like more of a headache. But if the Canadian dollar keeps climbing you never know.
 

rubyshoesday

Member
Jun 25, 2008
579
0
A big THANK YOU to everyone. I'm feeling a bit better about things and have an action plan. I'll just have to be more persistent and buddy up to a SA. However, I may give it a rest for a bit and wait for a wonderful coloured flap. I really have my heart set on a caviar jumbo in a jewel tone (emerald, blue, raspberry, violet, etc.) that does not yet exist. That said I'll talk to a SA and let her know what I want and will keep in touch. With any luck it will all work out.
 

Jayne1

Working Canvas
O.G.
Aug 2, 2006
28,603
7,735
Toronto
Holt Renfrew NEVER calls me! I leave my name for a particular shoe or bag and it comes and goes with no call from them. I complained to the manager on a few occasions (she's not there anymore but she was such a great person, I wanted her to know what her SAs were like) and she would talk to them. Every time they would lie and say they did call me, check that they had my correct phone number, etc... and insist they called.

I think that it's first come first serve there and they just sell to the person who happens to be there at the time. Business was good at Chanel, even during the recession.