Sunday, March 15, 2009

Good Help is So Hard to Find

In my quest to find good jeans, I was reminded how much I appreciate good customer service. I have an inherent need to return things. I inherited this trait from my mother. Nothing is worse than a store with a bad return policy or rude salespeople. Here are my best and worst stores when it comes to customer service:


Nordstrom--the gold standard. The employees are always professional, helpful and bend over backwards to make sure you're happy. I love that you don't need to have a receipt for your returns because they keep track of your purchase on their computer.

The Buckle--I have to give an honorable mention to The Buckle as well. I visited three different Buckle stores in the last week and I had excellent help at all three. Maybe a little too much help (gay guy in my dressing room telling me the lines under my bum would disappear when the jeans stretched out a bit!) I ended up loving my jeans from the Buckle and the returns were easy as well.

Costco--I should have listed this as #1. I can return anything and get cash! They don't require a receipt, they don't care if the product is half-eaten--they take it back.

Janie and Jack/Gymboree--Most of Sammie's clothes come from these two stores. There are cute, friendly ladies working, good deals, they are willing to call other stores for merchandise, easy returns.

McDonalds--The other day, I went through the drive-thru and ordered 5 hamburgers--one for me, one for Sammie and her 3 friends. I wolfed mine down in the car. When we got home there were only 3 more in the bag. So I called McD's and complained. I got an apology letter in the mail and two free coupons for extra value meals. Nice.


Target--I love Target as much as the next gal but I hate their return policy. I can only return three things a year without a receipt and I only have three months to return with a receipt. I know this sounds crazy but I think it is too stringent.

Walmart--I used to love Walmart for their return policy. Now they've gone Nazi on us. Their policy is as bad as Target's. Walmart is dead to me.

Gap/Old Navy--I love to shop at these stores for my sons but I hate the return policy. Now if you return something without a receipt (I lose receipts all the time--that's why this is such a big deal to me) you have to get store credit mailed to you. Ridiculous!

Taipan Imports and Down East--two of my favorite stores. The bad news--they only give you store credit with returns.

Now what are your best and worst stores for customer service?


Jessica said...

I totally hear ya on the return policies. I am married to an anal accountant, but I still hate having to bother with receipts! Most stores can look up your info if you use a credit card. So, when I shop at Target, I always put it on the card, then I don't need to worry about finding the receipt. Of course there is no way around the 3 month thing! So ridiculus.

Sam said...

I could talk return policies all day. I have to give a shout out to the co-op, REI. If you are a member, you have discovered the magic of returning something with no questions asked.

Nordies really is the king. I personally witnessed a father/son team return a pair of slacks after the son's mission--"because the pants did not hold up well." Nordies provided a new pair. Unbelievable (by Nordstrom) and unethical (by the father/son) at the same time.

Pandy said...

We recently put Guess at the top of our list. Kelly bought some clothes for Lindsay there as a Christmas present. First, the sizes were WAY off. Then, when we had to return them - even though they were purchased with cash - they wanted to send the refund in the mail. Needless to say, we're done with that store.

I can't wait to hear Lindsay's response to this post. She lives on the other side of returns. There are days when she walks into Nordstroms at -$3,000 because of the returns. Jewelry is especially hard. People buy it, wear it, then return it. To Lindsay that means she never knows what her paycheck will look like.

Don't get me wrong. I do plenty of returns, but I usually do it behind Lindsay's back so I don't have to listen to her screams!

Nordstroms is the very best for returns, but the poor salespeople suffer because of it.

Liz said...

I love Nordstroms and Costco for their customer service...McDonalds, not so much. They ALWAYS get my order wrong. ZCMI/Meier Frank was the worst at customer service, in my opinion.

Mandee said...

One time I returned something to Costco and the lady gave me total attitude about it. I wanted to say "go have your bad day somewhere else lame Costco girl!"

She bugged me.

I am not happy at all about The Gap's new return policy.

Mandee said...

And I love that Sam comments on your blog. Now that is a good husband. I have this great idea that he should run against Jim Matheson in the next election. And don't even think that I am kidding. Can you talk him into it?


Linde said...

I agree on the return policy. I think when you have kids you need something easy and fast!

What Jacob has is something like the hand and mouth virus, but he doesn't have any of the lesions on his hands and is like a cousin virus.

The Mostess said...

I hate returning stuff. I almost never do it, and end up with crap I don't want or need.

It's not a good habit.

Sam said...


In response to your request, Brooke talked me into running for Congress last night. I just filed the necessary paperwork with the Lieut. Governor's Office.

I want to add my name to the list of those who could not take down Jim "Big Eyes" Matheson--Derek Smith, John Swallow, and Bill Dew. Brooke has promised to use her blog as a platform for change--change that we can believe in!

Harkness 2010.

katie said...

The ABSOLUTE worst place is Motherhood Maternity. If you want to return something, it has to be within 10 days, with tags, and you must have your receipt. Seriously, 10 days! I've been there with my sister over her pregnancy. You really have to make sure you want something before you buy!
Since I'm on the subject of maternity clothes, you need to do a post on where to get cute maternity clothes. I've started to see what's out there, and it makes me cringe.

brooke said...

Katie--I agree that the world of maternity clothes is a scary place. I found random things I loved at Babystyle, the Gap occasionally, and Ashley found me some cute stuff in California. I did find some darling maternity Citizens on Ebay that saved me (I have an addiction to fine denim.) The scary thing is--maternity has come a long way--you should have seen the selection when I was pregnant with Luke or worse, when our moms were pregnant.

sheryl said...

Sam, serious? I will love to be your southern utah advocate! PUT ME TO WORK!

Dillards is the only one with good return policy! (and three months is plenty if we want our stores to stay in business...infact I think that is generous) But... Dillards puts a little yellow sticker on the tags. If you have your sticker, you get what you paid for it on your card or cash. perfect!