I got "the speech" at an outlet

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  1. Just wanted to share a story. I was at one of my Michigan outlets doing an exchange and one of the managers that rang me up started the following annoying conversation with me:

    Her - "Is there something different we could do to help you with your purchases?"
    Me - "I don't think so. Why do you ask?"
    Her - "Well you seem to change your mind a lot, and I was just wondering if there was anything we could do to help you."
    Me - "No, you guys are very helpful and nice, I just see things I like better, and I can't have everything I want, so I have to chose sometimes."
    Her -"Oh ok. It's just that we are trying to understand the chronic returners, it's really a low percentage of our customers, but they are a target for this year, something we really need to work on as a company."
    Me - "Oh, ok."

    I was the picture of sweetness and nice, but I wasn't happy. If it's such a low percentage of customers then why worry about it?! And if I'm within the return policy then why should they care if I exchange? It's not like I'm asking for a refund, I'm getting a different bag - I realize it isn't a sale for them if its an exchange - I work in retail and I get that - but I would never ask a customer about their returns if the tags are attached and they have the receipt and they are are within the return policy!! Obviously they changed their mind! UGH has anyone else gotten this recently?!

  2. I haven't, but I empathize with you. That line of questioning sounds really embarrassing and I'd probably be mortified. Geeez. :sad:

  3. That was very inappropriate of a manager or any sales associate to call anyone out like that, he could have done a better job with his wording. Their store is probably in trouble for too many returns and he took it out on you...so sorry.
  4. I would have been dreadfully embarrassed had someone said that to me....whether you return/exchange ANYTHING ANYWHERE isn't the store policy to make sure their customers are happy? And, I love you comment to him about not being able to have everything you want......

    Can this conversation be forwarded to anyone "higher up"? I just feel it totally inappropriate.
  5. They should probably email a questionnaire or hand one to their "chronic returners" but I understand quality improvement initiatives warrant that they address the whole return process.
  6. So sorry that happened to you. I am sure you felt very uncomfortable. One of the other posters mentioned some sort of survey. I think that is a good idea. Coach could certainly send an email survey about returns to those customers - no reason to embarrass someone when they are within the return policy guidelines.
  7. Why was this embarrassing? Salespeople always ask why you return stuff. I've seen on the forum that people get annoyed when the salespeople DON'T ask for the real reason for the return. Not to mention, you asked her WHY she was asking you. At least she didn't wimp out and she gave you the real reason for her question. Are you annoyed because she labled you a "chronic" returner?
  8. I see your point, but again, I think the wording from the SA was really rude and accusatory -- words like "chronic returners" being a "target" for their company wouldn't make anyone feel that great. It's downright embarrassing. I think the SA could have said, "I see you've returned a few things here...may I just ask what you weren't crazy about re: those bags? It'd be interesting to see which lines fare better than others." There are tons of other, more polite ways to have handled the situation. And I agree with the others' suggestions above, a written survey sent home would be the way to go for the company.
  9. This may be an unpopular opinion, and I honestly don't mean disrespect to your concern--as it does suck when you get treated like that at retail stores.

    But being someone that truly wants a "new and unused" item when I spend a large amount of money on a handbag, I don't want a bag that was bought by someone, taken to their home, and used in some way even if it was just to see how things fit. I realize many people buy the bags, keep them in their dustbags, don't touch them, and then return them--but to me it feels the same as it is a returned bag I am receiving.

    I just have never understood the concept of buying so many bags and then exchanging/returning so many of them. I understand returning a few when they simply don't work out, but I have never really fully understood the concept of buying a bag so quickly just in case you might want it.
  10. #10 Jan 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
    I wouldn't be surprised if some people may now (or already do) resort to selling on Ebay vs returning, simply to avoid being labelled (and possibly chastised and not treated as well as "non-returners") a "chronic returner," as if they were doing something wrong, despite being fully within the guidelines of Coach's return policy. Isn't Ebay another of Coach's pet peeves they frown down upon? I just ordered a few items directly from my FP store, who had to order them; when I received them, I saw immediately that one was an obvious return (detached tag taped back together - unsatisfactory for a gift), while the other had a defective zipper. Both are going back, though if they'd arrived the way I'd hoped/expected, I'd have kept them. I know if I bought these direct from an Outlet (and paid considerably less for them), I would have expected such issues, but am disappointed that this can and does happen with FP items. If they are going to track returns so carefully this year, I sure hope they're keeping track of the actual reasons for the returns and taking that into account. (On a side note, I recently ordered a few Phoebes from Zappos at SUPER great prices, and those all arrived in pristine, never touched, completely wrapped condition, and their return policy is awesome....so I know it's possible to get what I want without having to pay full price.)
  11. Sorry you were embarrassed OP, but I believe that Coach has a very generous return policy compared to similar brands (MK, Kate Spade, Tory Burch) and as a consumer when returning I don't think I would mind answering those questions if it helps keeps the same return policy in place. If returns are such a problem like the Manager said, Coach might have a new return policy in the works
  12. I totally agree. I simply do not have the income to drop on 5 boroughs or multiples of any bag. Before I buy a bag, I take my time and put a lot of thought into the decision. I also don't want a bag that has been sitting in someone's home for who knows how long. I think their return policy is way to liberal and they should change it.

    With that said, I think Coach should just change the policy instead of lecturing or making customers feel bad. I am sorry that happened to you.
  13. The total % of customers who are chronic returners may be low, but they can be costly to a company. WIth Coach's dipping profits last quarter I am sure they are trying to shore up expenses wherever they can and this is an area they can task their frontline sales people with working on. Since it's something they can measure, it may even end up on the Managers review or may be a compensation component.

    I've never returned enough to get the speech, but whenever I notice that I am returning too much I step back and consider each purchase longer. I quit Coach for a long time because I would buy things and change my mind when new things came out. It was wayyy too much thinking about a handbag purchase! LOL;)
  14. I hate returning because I'm always afraid they are going to give me a hard time! Now I really try to make sure the bag is a keeper before I buy, especially since my outlet isn't close.

    I've heard that it's at the discretion of each store, but some LV stores will only let you exchange once even if you are still within their stated exchange period. Maybe that's where Coach is headed?
  15. I am exactly the same way, which is why I never know what I'm going to get when I order online or over the phone. My local FP store has such little stock, it's not possible for me to go in and find what I'm looking for and see the exact bag I would be buying, as I wish I could. Whenever I've bought in person from a dept. store, I ask first if they have any "fresh" ones in the back that haven't been been unwrapped or put out yet. We have a lot of allergies in our family, so I don't like the idea of buying a bag (it's not like I'm going to go home and throw it in the washing machine like other items I don't care as much about if they're returns) that may have been around pets or even possibly food (you never know where the bag might've been or how "new and unused" it really is....just take a look ebay at all the NWT bags that are photographed outside on the ground or on a couch/bed/kitchen floor...that is an automatic turnoff to me.)

    That being said, I think this is more Coach's fault because of their very generous return policy, rather than that of its customers. Not that I want them to change it, but it certainly makes it harder to know when/if you're getting a "brand new" bag when you buy from them if they are just turning around and reselling the returns in the same condition they received it (maybe with detached tags, etc.), as opposed to perhaps just sending it straight to an Outlet instead, where people are more likely to overlook something like that for a reduced price. I just ordered 2 bags directly from my FP store (again, had to order them because they are older/not in store stock), even though I know I could find them at an Outlet or on clearance at a dept. store if I really wanted to (assuming at this point because they are older bags that they were returns), but I'm hoping because I am paying FP, I'm not going to be getting a return, anyway....if so, those are going back, and I'll just take my chances trying to find one in better/unused condition somewhere else (likely for a lot less $.)