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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ann Taylor LOFT: Epic Fail

I had a troubling experience at Ann Taylor LOFT today. Normally we're singing LOFT's praises on our blog (just earlier today we featured one of their tops, and last week we featured their faux fur vest), but after today, I'm not sure I'll ever set foot in one of their stores again.

A zipper broke on a dress I'd payed full price for. I forget exactly how much it was, but it was in the $60-$70 range. I'd worn it maybe 3 times. The zipper broke on the second washing (and yes, I washed it on gentle per the care instructions). It didn't seem to make sense to pay $20+ to replace the zipper on this $60 dress. So I took it into LOFT hoping they could either fix it or give me some sort of credit. Nice as can be, I explained the situation to the sales girl (who also happened to be the manager).


"We can give you the current selling price since you don't have the receipt," the sales girl said.
 "Ok, and what's that?" I asked.
 "Well let's see...it's on sale for $4.85, and plus an additional 25% off...so that will be $3.88."

My jaw dropped. SERIOUSLY?? THREE DOLLARS AND EIGHTY EIGHT CENTS? I'd be fine with her saying $40. Or even $30. I understand that things go on sale, and I didn't have my receipt. But a lousy $3.88? It seemed like a big "screw you" to me.

Interestingly enough, the exact same thing happened to a friend of mine two weeks ago- she had a LOFT dress that turned her skin green from the dye every time she wore it. So she took it back and got the same lousy "current selling price" treatment- but at least she got $7 out of the deal rather than $3.88.

I think this policy is atrocious. I understand that things go on sale, but honestly, who ACTUALLY could have bought this dress for $3.88? It flew off the shelves at full price- I refuse to believe it actually sat around on the sales rack long enough to be reduced to a price that's cheaper than a sandwich. Maybe hypothetically that's the selling price, but practially speaking, give me a break.

So. I refused the $3.88 credit and instead called the company. Supposedly my complaint has been forwarded to corporate and they should contact me in 3-5 days. We'll see if that happens. Until then, shame on LOFT for this shoddy return policy. Until this changes, I'll be taking my money elsewhere.

*Just wanted to clarify based on comments- I did ask if they would replace the zipper or pay the replacement cost, and received the response "That's just not something we do." Either repair or credit would have been fine with me!*

15 comments:

laura @ so alaurable said...

That's crazy. And it's not like they still had one in stick in your size for $3.88, right? I hope corporate has a better response. I need to be better about saving my receipts!

Anonymous said...

I had a miserable experience with LOFT customer service as well. Returned a $90 dress unworn and unwashed within the 60 day return policy -- but the return took over 2 weeks to process so they credited me the sale price. Contacted customer service to complain (I NEVER do this) and was told... "I am sorry to hear that you are disappointed with our return practice".

Michele said...

I think I would be more upset about the quality of the product than the return policy and that would be the reason I stopped shopping there. The best solution would have been for them to pay for the repair of the zipper, but I am not outraged by the return policy. They need to protect themselves as well from people returning things that were intentionally damaged after they had worn them trying to get the full price back.

Debra said...

Loft always reduces their prices so low that it is almost infuriating to pay anything but those prices. The quality of the product is poor as well, I have not had good luck with most things I have purchased there.
I had the same experience at Banana Republic recently, because they until lately had a 30 day return policy which is ridiculous. I've had some better quality product from Old Navy compared to Banana.
Stick with the faulty product explanation and don't use the return without a receipt line. Try to get some information from your credit card company and be a broken record. There is always a way to get to a yes. Don't forget, you have a blog too with lots of readers that shop!!!

shoppingaholic said...

I can't believe that happened... the such expensive dress went on sale for $3 something. I want that sale happening here in India right now....

I am sure they are gonna do as you'd want. Just rmind them that you are the CONSUMER.

<3

Julie said...

That's funny you mention this story, because a few weeks ago, I had a really nasty experience at LOFT, too. I had the receipt, but I believe I returned it something like 1 or 2 days outside their return policy. Fine. They offered store credit. Fine. The dress I was returning was literally, like, $5. I was LIVID. I could NOT believe that I had paid full price for something, CLEARLY had the receipt proving it, and they wouldn't even credit me full price for the item. I can see why they wouldn't give me a full return on the item, but that is just BAD customer service. I was extremely upset, and the manager was a total bitch about it.

Matty said...

It seems that product reviews on blogs are becoming a pretty hard reality for merchandisers to ignore. Check out this success story here re: a Lululemon product:

http://lookoutmountainlookoutsea.blogspot.com/2010/09/thank-you-thank-you-thank-you.html

I certainly hope for your sake and Loft's sake as well that they respond to your justifiable "rant" (for lack of a better word) with the level of concern it deserves. Consumers have too many options these days to treat your customers with such flippant disregard.

TheStylishChick said...

I was given a pair of gorgeous blue chandelier earrings from loft for Christmaas this last year. The second time I wore them the metal snapped and one broke in half. I had to call my Mom and ask her to mail me the receipt, but because she had bought them in November and it was January, I was past the policy date. I basically stood in the store and screamed for my (moms) money back...the manager was more than happy to get me out of her store on a busy day!!

I agree that you should stick to the quality issue here. How dare they sell such crap then refuse your money back or a repair!! I've worked in retail for 25 years and I KNOW the managers can do more for you...they just don't want the hassle.

As a result, I no longer shop LOFT, which is a shame because they do occasionally have some really cute things!! Hang in there and good luck!!

bazaarofserendipity said...

DID YOU PAY ON A CREDIT CARD? you could take the statment in maybe? Thats crazyness, one of the reasons i love nordstroms, and actually anthropologie. Sorry this happened so frustrating!

Nutbird said...

You must have charged this dress, right? You should have a receipt from your charge statement. If you paid cash, you must have the receipt around the house, right? If not, keep an envelope in your purse and put all receipts in there. I used to keep all my receipts because the Gap used to reduce prices the day after I was there. They have a policy that if prices are reduced within ten days or so of your purchase, you can get a refund. Don't give up on this. It sounds like they are really nasty. I don't buy anything there because they don't carry size 14 and 16. I hate it when businesses treat their customers really badly. They should be glad that we buy things from them. Ann

Anonymous said...

I think you see more and more policies like the above mentioned at stores. In this economy they are coming up these sorts of policies to take more of our cash and give us less and less for our money, to include a quality product and something you do not see too much of these days, SERVICE.

Jeannine @ Small and Chic said...

I'm so frustrated that this company's service is so poor. Did you know that they don't offer alternations, even in the Ann Taylor store? I refuse to buy suits or dresses from the company any more. What bother when J. Crew and BR are happy to hem the items they sell?

Ann Taylor and Banana Rep are in serious trouble. Have you noticed the constant sales? These quick mark downs are a strategy.

I read an article about a year ago that said Banana Rep won't exist by 2012. Perhaps Ann Taylor is on the same track?

Anonymous said...

As a former retail employee, the easiest way to get what you want is to ask for the district mangers name and number as well as the name of the manager you are working with. That will open up doors in any policy.

Anonymous said...

This makes me really sad to hear that it's happening to all of you, as well...
I bought 2 pairs $69 pants for an internship, but never ended up wearing them. I held onto them the whole time though, just in case I did need to dress up one day. I didn't so I decided to return them, I came WITH the original receipt within 90 days.. turns out, it's within 60 that you must return them to get full price back. So, I was offered $15 for each pair of lousy $69 pants. Ughhh.... Anyone know where I can sell brand new, with tags, dress pants for something greater than $15?

Anonymous said...

This makes me really sad to hear that it's happening to all of you, as well...
I bought 2 pairs $69 pants for an internship, but never ended up wearing them. I held onto them the whole time though, just in case I did need to dress up one day. I didn't so I decided to return them, I came WITH the original receipt within 90 days.. turns out, it's within 60 that you must return them to get full price back. So, I was offered $15 for each pair of lousy $69 pants. Ughhh.... Anyone know where I can sell brand new, with tags, dress pants for something greater than $15?

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