Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Oh Where, Oh Where, Has Customer Service Gone?
So very reminiscent of my experience at Barnes & Noble a few weeks back, I had yet another head boggling return conundrum at TJ Maxx today. Add that to the customer service debacle with Noodles & Company and our mechanic, which I'll explain further in just a minute, and one has to wonder, "Oh where, oh where, has Customer Service gone."
Perhaps my fuming frustration with Barnes & Noble and TJ Maxx, specifically, has surfaced due to the fact that I run a Mary Kay small business backed by a 100% full satisfaction guarantee issued by Corporate, and thus agree take back any product for which the customer isn't pleased, whether used or not. The item ends up getting pitched, as I certainly can not resell it. However, Mary Kay supports this return policy by sending me a replacement of the product. Free of charge. My response to a customer who is not pleased with her product, is to get her the product that she desires or return her money. No questions asked. It's "How can I help you" all the way. Nine times out of ten, the customer is so pleased not to be questioned and glared at, as I've experience from behind a counter, that they decide to do an exchange, rather than a return.
Imagine my surprise when I couldn't return my book at Barnes & Noble . . . which, thankfully, led me to the wonderful world of Borders . . . thus ending that chapter in my retail literary world with "happily ever after". Not so when I brazenly attempted to return a nightgown at TJ Maxx. With a receipt. And tags. Unattached. Unattached tags. The source of conflict.
"I'm not taking this back. You removed the tags."
"But, I have the tags right here."
"Sorry. It's the law. We can't take back lingerie with the tags removed. Health Code issue. We can't resell the item."
"Oh. I didn't know that was a law."
"Well, I know there's a law."
Ok, call me old fashioned, or whatever, but the garment was completely clean, obviously unworn, and was literally just missing an attached tag.
"I'm sorry, I didn't know there was a law. Is this posted in your lingerie section or on your return policy?"
Staring contest. I won!
"I'll return it for you this time, but I'm just going to have to throw it away." Flings item behind her on the shelf.
"You may know this law because you work in retail, but it would help if a sign were posted, or if those purchasing lingerie were told this at the time of purchase."
"I really appreciate this."
Clearly, she was done with me.
Well, you know me. I called TJ Maxx Corporate. There is no LAW. Ok, yes, I can meet them on the health concerns of refusing to take back undergarments with tags removed as clearly they can not be resold. I'm not disputing the policy. I'm not ignorant. I realize that there are those out there in our great nation who purchase items, wear them once or twice with tags hidden, and then return them. I'm even guilty of purchasing items for auditions, keeping the tag's on them, and then returning them after the audition . . . although I've never done this with, say, a thong. Let's just be clear here. I do understand.
But why not post the policy in the store? Or on the receipt?
Just like in Barnes & Noble, this woman was a snoot. Her tone was harsh, accusatory, and downright condescending. She couldn't be bothered with me, so she just stopped talking to me. So, while I understand that TJ Maxx has a policy about lingerie returns, albeit, a loose, non-posted policy, her approach with me did not reflect any desire to service the customer. She was just pissed at me.
By the way, I looked up the return policy for the store, and here is what I found. No mention of untagged items. Anywhere.
Noodles & Company
Our family loves Noodles & Company, but we will never again visit their location at Old Orchard Mall. Food all over non-carpet swept floors. Tables gone un-bussed for at least 30 minutes (including tables outside). Blank stares from the staff when I asked for the manager as we were surrounded by filthy tables . . . and we were one of only two families in the joint at the time. It was gross. The outer appearance made me wonder what was going on in the kitchen. We stayed, as Harper's teacher was already on her way to meet us, but we'll forgo this location in the future. The manager wouldn't even come out to speak to us.
Corporate is sending me coupons. They heard me.
The saga of our automobile repairs continues. Wrap your brain around this. When a mechanic offers to replace your engine, and orders the engine, only to realize that he ordered the WRONG engine, and then says he can get you the right engine, although with 20,000 more miles on it than the first engine, for, and get this, $500 more, although he'll meet you half way since the wrong engine was ordered in the first place, do you really think we should have to pay more? For an older engine? For the fact that the mechanic ordered the WRONG one? Where is the sense in this?
And don't even get me started on Humana.