Made to feel bad if you don't buy?

  1. Remember the whole beef between Oprah and Hermes?

    I believe she stated that the diss was racially motivated.

    I don't know what happened...I wasn't there, but I have been in Hermes and felt as though I should move right along just because I wasn't buying.

    In fact, I often fee this way about several high-end boutiques after leaving without a purchase.

    Like most people, I often do a great deal of window shopping before buying my bags.

    I realize that an SA's time spent on my browsing could've easily been spent on someone who was buying, but I should have the freedom to look at things.

    Anyone ever feel as though they were scuffed at for not buying something?

    I am not referring to race or anything in that regard. Rather, I get the sense that I should only be going to these stores if I intend on buying.

    But I often feel bad when I leave.
  2. I do get that sense in many stores. It is rather disgusting. I mean, you are right. You should be able to just browse. BUt I usually indicate to them that I am just browsing. And then if they INSIST on showing me things, then I don't feel like I am wasting their time and if they get miffed...oh well.
  3. I've never felt that at Hermes. The SAs have always made me feel welcome just to browse and they do not get bent out of shape when I leave with nothing. Even when I was not a regular customer who had bought something.

    On my first visit to one store, I was showed a black box Kelly to try on because the SA wanted to "prove" that it was NOT for me at this point in my life.
  4. I think that it depends on the Hermes boutique that you visit; I've been in very friendly ones and others that were a nightmare even if I was buying.
  5. Ditto for me. I've never received that kind of attitude at Hermes.

    Nor in any other boutiques for that matter. But then again, I'm always too busy inspecting the merchandise, so perhaps I just don't notice.
  6. I've had very positive experiences at Hermes. Just walk in like you belong...

    Don't know what the Oprah deal was...
  7. I think a lot of people don't realized that Oprah walked in within 10 minutes of closing time. should never do that unless you are there to pick something up that has been already purchased so then you don't have to hassle the SA's. I don't feel sorry for Oprah...
  8. I do feel this way in certain stores. In college, I worked in a high-end store with a manager who was CONSTANTLY harping on us to make the week's sales *and* we worked on commission so sometimes when I felt like a customer was just window shopping, I was forced to move on to another customer (I *hopefully* never did it rudely, but with that manager...ack...we couldn't miss our sales quota more than once or she'd get rid of us.)

    This was also a manager who told us that only a certain race of people steal. I did not find that to be the case (I caught three people stealing [we received a percentage of amount recovered] and none fit her profile.)

    I know there are people running stores who still do the same things as this woman, so no wonder people feel intimidated / unwanted in certain stores.

    Ugh. I feel like I just ranted / rambled. Hopefully, I made some sense.
  9. I don't feel sorry for Oprah either; I think her behavior was incredibly rude. Don't assume that the lives of others will revolve around you based on your financial and social status. And I applaud Hermes for not bowing down to her the way that many other stores would have, though they wouldn't do it for your everyday buyer.

    The only store I've ever had a problem in is the Mont Blanc at South Park. Hands down the snobbiest people in that mall; 4 people, in a tiny store, and not a one spoke to me, just stared and talked to each other. For 6 minutes, as I walked around, clearly looking for something. And when someone finally did help me, he was rude and snobbish. My only other beef is with the United Colors of Benetton salespeople, because they will stalk you and put whatever you touch in a dressing room. It got so annoying that I just stopped going there.

    But the Hermes SAs (the Charlotte ones) are always so sweet and attentive!! Best I've ever seen at a high-end boutique, actually!
  10. My very first Hermes store visit was not pleasant, to say the least. That must have been in 2000/2001. (I've posted this before) I was in my gym gear, and was given no service and the SAs immediately judged that I was a browser and couldn't possibly afford a thing. I walked out and never returned.

    Fast forward to 2006, the experience at another store was completely different. Even before I bought anything, the store manager was patiently going through the leather swatch, with pen and paper jotting down my choice colours for my JPG shoulder birkin.

    No surprises which store I am loyal to now.
  11. I just realized that I wanted to put this thread in a general discussion section. Anyone know how to do this, or should I just cut-n-paste it.

  12. Ditto.

    I always find the SAs lovely and helpful.
  13. IMO, the problem with Oprah is that no one clued her in on French customs and also the way that service-related businesses operate in France. In the USA, we are trained to believe that the "customer is king" and that we are to be 'served' by people in sales. In France, salespeople are regarded as experts in their field (even if they sell toasters) and in some cases, regard themselves as your SUPERIOR in this regard. They definitely serve you- don't get me wrong- but regard the customer as someone who needs their expert guidance vs. them being subject to the customer's whim. A good example of this is when buying bras in France (or Paris) the lingerie saleswomen will often GROPE your breast to gauge the size because they are experts and do not trust the customer to even know their correct bra size! (And they are probably right) They think nothing of pointing that out to you, because they, in the end, WANT you to have the correct bra, or toaster or makeup, etc.

    That much said, I believe that Oprah felt that if the store was open and she entered, she'd get waited on, just like she would in the States. Shame on her handlers for not telling her that it is an INSULT to a french serviceperson to show up right before closing- as that person would not be able to impart any of their expertise on a customer in that amount of time....and to RUSH a customer in France is akin to a cardinal sin!
  14. I believe also that Oprah was out of line...she should have been considerate of the store policies, time, etc. I worked at an exclusive boutique during my college years and it's tough when a customer comes into the store at the last minute, expecting you to stay when you've been there for many hours already. Sometimes we had plans too so needed to leave at the end of our day. None of us should use our 'star status' to take advantage of others.
  15. i think it's how often or familiar you are in the store and with the SAs. if you're a loyal customer, have purchased things before at the store and are on friendly terms with the SAs, they will allow you to browse and not let you leave feeling guilty for not buying anything.

    when i travel overseas and go to h stores for the first time there or not a familiar face at the boutique, i do get this feeling of guilty or scuffed at for leaving the store empty-handed. as everyone says, everyone is allowed to browse. it's our hard-earned money after all.