It all started when I was nine years old. Shopping was all I ever wanted to do. Later on in life some might say I became a shopaholic! My love for shopping is why I absolutely love my job as a Fashion Stylist.
I will never forget my first trip to Forever 21. It was in Chicago and it was very overwhelming as I loved almost everything in the store. I even remember my first purchase, a blue maxi dress. So needless to say I have been shopping at Forever 21 for years.
Fast forward to July 2018. Sometimes shopaholics go on shopping sprees and I was doing just that in the Rideau Centre in Ottawa. By the time I made my way to Forever 21 it was 8:40 pm. I knew the staff were all in a hurry to leave because they had already turned off the music and I could see them frantically cleaning the store. Knowing the store closes at 9 pm I made my way to the change room at 8:50 pm with my three items.
When I got there she said, “we are closing.” I said, “yes you are closing at 9 pm and it’s only 8:50 pm.” Her response was, “yes but the change rooms are now closed.” So I set down my sale item as I knew from shopping there for 15 years that sale items are final sale. I then stood in line to pay for my two regular priced items, knowing if I needed to exchange them I could.
As I was leaving the mall I noticed all the stores were still open. It wasn’t even 9 pm yet. I decided to email Customer Service and explain what happened and ask them if it is their policy to close their change rooms before the store actually closes. After explaining my unfortunate experience I ended my email by asking them this….
“So this brings me to my initial question, what time do you close your change rooms at the end of the day? Is it 30 min before close? 15 min before close? Just so I know next time to make sure I allow myself enough time to try on my items.”
Let’s not forget my email signature clearly states I am a Fashion Stylist and a Fashion Blogger, along with a link to my blog. I figured that alone would get me a timely response. Which it did, they answered later that evening. Apologizing for my negative experience, they told me the Manager of the store would be contacting me within three business days. By the fourth day I still hadn’t heard anything so I emailed Customer Service to tell them I never heard from the Manager and could they simply answer my question as to what time the store closes their change rooms. THEY never replied. Nothing makes me angrier than being ignored, especially when I am upset. I took matters into my own hands and called Forever 21 in a different location to ask them. I was told that they leave them open as long as there are people in the store! THAT is all I needed to know. All I wanted was someone to answer my question and apologize for my inconvenience. Instead they flat out ignored me and left me feeling like I do not matter. Nor do they need my money. It left a very bad taste in my mouth and since I am so stubborn, I have decided I am done with Forever 21. Not just in the Rideau Centre but in fact all locations.
Since moving to Ottawa I have been shopping at Simons frequently. The staff is great, everything is well made, the clothes are incredibly stylish, they have incredible sales AND they are Canadian. So hello Simons and good bye Forever 21. I have always said nothing lasts forever. When one door closes another shopping door always opens as we Shopaholics like to say.
So how important is customer service to you? Do you think I over reacted? Do you appreciate friendly service and what do you do if you are dissatisfied?
Melissa Gauvreau – Styled by M