Most frustrating shopping experience EVER!

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  1. Sorry....this is going to be a bit long....

    I had my most frustrating shopping experience EVER this evening at Banana Republic. I was so enraged that I felt compelled to speak to a manager (my first time), to write to the corporate office, and of course, to spill on the PF. You know how they say in retail, people are more likely to tell people about their negative experiences rather than their good ones, so here goes...

    I'm not sure how frequently some of you shop at Banana Republic, but I spend a couple thousand dollars a year there. The clothes fit me really well and are pretty versatile (for the office and casually). Since I shop there so often, I pretty much know my sizes and very rarely have to try things on in the store unless I am really uncertain.

    On Sunday, I purchased three of the same sweaters, but in different colors. When I got home, I tried them on and realized that the sweaters were actually too short! So this evening, I went to the Banana Republic in Tyson's Corner, VA to return them.

    I approached the register and told the associate that I had a return. She asked me why, and I told her that I didn't get the chance to try them on in the store, and when I got home, I found that they were too short. She immediately stepped away from the register, and I could hear her whispering into her earpiece. When she came back, she informed me that I could NOT return the sweaters because I wore them! WTF!?!?!?!? The tags were all clearly attached AND the sweaters were all neatly folded showing no signs of "wear".

    She proceeded to tell me that they have a new return policy and that people can only return unused, unworn, and unwashed clothing. I told her that my sweaters were exactly that - they were never "worn" outside or washed...only to try them on while I was at home. She kept insisting and accusing me of wearing those sweaters! I told her to examine them if she was so convinced that I went out in them, and it was at that point I lost it.

    I hate confrontation and rarely EVER raise my voice, but something inside just snapped. I started arguing with her, and said that by her logic, anyone who makes a purchase at Banana Republic can never make a return if they go home and try the items - in fact, if I tried it on in the store, I'd have to buy it since it was "worn". It was so ridiculous, and she tried to backpedal saying that she wasn't accusing me of wearing the sweaters - so why couldn't I return them then? After a few minutes, she gave in.

    I felt really embarassed and humiliated by the experience. I am a good customer and to be treated like dirt was really the last straw. I looked for a manager to complain about my treatment. He was really apologetic and explained that they instituted a new policy since people were returning items used - that some things has stains on them. While I can understand that they are trying to lower loss/revenue, they should train their employees to be more tactful. I used to work at Anthropologie and we had regular customers return things worn ALL the time, so I am sympathetic. He could tell that I was really upset by the experience, and as I was getting ready to leave, complimented me on my Marc Jacobs "Mouse" shoes. I was so rattled by the experience, I really wanted to say something snarky in return but just let it slide.

    So, I'm sharing this as a warning....just be prepared in case they grill you or give you a difficult time.

    Thanks for letting me rant.
  2. Aww ... sorry to hear about your bad experience, SuLi. They definitely need some PC training and perhaps some common sense. I wonder what happens if you buy online and then try the clothes at home when they arrive. Does that mean you can't return those items either?
  3. That sales person was just tactless, and she probably didn't think on her own. Thanks for the warning. Next time I will just say 'I changed my mind!' and if the item still has all it's tagsand looks brand new, what are they going to say?
  4. Wow, SuLi, sorry about that experience. I shop at BR quite often and they generally have pretty helpful/friendly SAs. I'm shocked by her actions!
  5. That's just nuts!

    How did they plan to define "worn"?

    I know there's a huge problem with people buying items with the intent to leave the tags on, wear them and return them. (hey...Jessica Simpson's mom brags about it!) So I understand trying to find a way to address that.

    But in what way exactly do they think they are changing the policy? It's generally policy anywhere not to accept worn items. So if they are defining "worn" as having tried them on once you got home, basically they are saying nothing is returnable because how would anyone prove they hadn't "worn" the item when they got it home. Sheesh.

    Suli, you did the right thing by asking for a manager and writing to corporate!
  6. Insanity!!!!

    Well done for not backing down - I just hope the SA realised how ridiculous she was being - thats so stupid!!!!

    Occasionally yo do get an insane SA and its a shame really cos when that happens it really puts you off the shop! These people really need to brush up on PR!!
  7. She was just an idiot. I am sorry you got upset -- I would have been furious too.
  8. To quote from a movie:
    "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

    Those people are off their birds. Take a deep breath, call the store manager and make an appointment to discuss this calmly with him or her. The sales person was inappropriate and you need to communicate that to the manager.

    I know how easy it is to lose your temper, but as you see, it was counter productive. Stay calm, stand your ground. If the manager won't budge, go to the regional level. You'll get your money back. Just be calm and persistent.

    Did I say be calm?
  9. Thank god I am not one of their regulars and after hearing your horrid experience, I don't think I ever want to buy from them again. That dumb SA is such a Bit**! I would fired her ass if I were the manager! I'm glad you fought to the end and won the battle!
  10. My experience with that store was equally bad.

    My BF and I were at Tysons shopping and I saw a cute dress in Banana Republic that I wanted to try on.

    We are both more than a little older than their target demographic and the SAs made that very clear by totally ingoring my requests for help in order to fawn over younger customers:cursing:
  11. :blush: Oops, am I embarrassed! :blush:

    I shouldn't read long posts until my quota of coffee kicks in. I see you already have talked to the manager and moved up the ladder.

    :blush: My bad. I'm embarrassed. I'm unworthy to post here! :blush:
  12. Idiots!!
  13. That's just insane. That SA must have not been trained on how to proceed with the new policy.
    I'm glad you got your return straighten out.
    It's very messed up that they give you a hard time. I thought BR is always good with customers service.
    So did you write a letter to corporate?
  14. Yikes! What a terrible story. I'd start spending somewhere else.
  15. Suli,

    I also shop at Banana Republic, but what you experienced was unacceptable. I would write the District Manager and complain.
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