Banana Republic

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They Just Don't Care
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BEAVERCREEK, OHIO -- Banana Republic (or BR) just don't care about their customers. They don't help if you have a problem and act like any small "concession" they make is something we should be grateful about.

I bought a skirt full-priced, and after I got it home I noticed a small discoloration on it, but didn’t want to go through the hassle of returning it since it was the only one in my size in the store; and since it was such small spot I dismissed it and wore it.

After washing it, the discoloration multiplied to a point where it could no longer be ignored. I tried to return it at the store but was given the “we can’t take back wash or worn items per our policy” shtick. I just wanted to exchange it for something I could actually use but they wouldn't allow this.

Most stores let you exchange for something else or give your store credit for items that you are dissatisfied with, but BR does not. They have these inflated prices but they quality is poor. I think they least they could do for making us pay so much is guarantee their clothing and replace it when it doesn't work.

They obviously are not trying to make customers happy but just the biggest profit.

The employees at the store (I suppose) “attempted” to make a concession by exchanging it for the exact same skirt except they didn’t have my size (which I knew considering I bought the only one in that size) but they didn’t go out of their way by any means. When they found the size wasn’t in the store, they simply told me to keep checking back (making no guarantees that they would honor this promise).

Like I said they didn’t go out of their way by any means. They didn’t offer to have any other stores send them one, didn’t offer to notify me of another shipment, or offer any other solutions. They acted as if they just wanted to get rid of me, which is one thing they succeeding in doing. I will not come back to that store. The only advice provided was to call customer service, whose number was at the bottom of my temporary BR card (which it wasn’t).

I called the customer service (or what I thought was customer service) but it turned out to be credit. I explained my situation and was told they could do nothing. When I persisted they finally revealed they were credit and could do nothing. It wasn’t until insisting on speaking to someone who could help that I was transferred to a customer relations representative but not without a backhanded comment from the credit representative saying they would tell me the same thing.

The credit representative was polite but not helpful. I was not assuaged in any way. She explained they policy says they cannot take back washed and worn items, and that the store was “making an exception” for me and I should work with them.

I don’t know if she was implying I should be grateful they were even trying to work with me, because I felt like I was being passed off from person to person, and given the runaround. I didn’t feel humbled or grateful for their help because they didn’t help me, they just told me excuses and didn’t even make other suggestions. They just tried to put up barriers and pass me off.

In addition to having unfair and not customer-friendly policies and practices, the employees keep teling me contradictory things about discounts and coupons. When I opened a BR card, I was told I could use the coupons I earned for buying on a Tuesday with a 10% card on my next purchase. When I went to do that they told me that you cannot combine coupons.

So I highly recommend you do not shop at BR. They are overpriced, their clothing is of poor quality, their service is poor, they mistreat their customers, and don't provide any guarantees for their clothing.
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User Replies:
Ytropious on 04/13/2010:
I know you don't want to hear it, but it was 100% your choice to wash the item and take the risk on the discolored item. You could have chosen to deal with the return at the time which would have probably been much simpler then this turned out to be. Also the majority stores won't take back washed items...
mizuqueen on 04/14/2010:
now are you suggesting I should have taken back the skirt to get one without a discoloration or to just get my money back?

because had I gone through the hassle of getting a skirt from another store (in some way because I don't think they ship from another store, at least not for free), I would have still worn and washed it to find it became discolored. and I cannot think why I would have just returned it for my money because I liked the skirt and wanted it (hence I excused the small discoloration).

you can argue that had I gotten another it might not have become discolored when I washed it, but you cannot know for sure same as you cannot know it wouldn't have discolored the same way.

my point is for a store that charges so much for their clothing, you would expect quality or at least a guarantee that if it doesn't live up to standards they will provide compensation: an exchange of other merchandise or merchandise credit.

that is my complaint. they're not taking responsibility for their clothing. they're excuse is, "oh well once it's out of our store and you wear it, it's not our responsibility." this is just an example of the further decay of good business practices into modern corporate greed.
Ytropious on 04/14/2010:
It sounded like it discolored BECAUSE of the original discoloration, and your washing just made it worse. I doubt every skirt would have done the same, and how do you know your washing habits didn't contribute to the discoloration? It's not corporate greed, it's simple business and economics. Clothing can not be resold once washed, you expect a company to just hemorrhage money by putting policies in place that take back any old worn/washed garment? Sorry, not going to happen. I still stand by the fact that it was your choice and your choice alone to wash it then seem to ignore the fact that no store would have taken it back once you did that.
Anonymous on 04/14/2010:
mizuqueen, Your complaint is legitimate. Banana Republic sold you defective merchandise and then hid behind some silly policy as not to rectify selling crap with a manufacturing defect. I don't know if it's still true but a couple of years back BR and it's sister companies were teetering on bankruptcy. After reading complaints such as this one I can certainly see why.
PepperElf on 04/14/2010:
however, once it's been washed it's hard to prove it was defective upon purchase.

they may believe that the OP bought the skirt, wore it, got a stain, and is trying to pass it off as a defect.

unfortunately for the OP there are people who operate like that
mdoll444 on 06/15/2010:
Working at Old Navy(which runs on almost the same policies as Gap and BR) I can tell you what could have been done to prevent this.

Tell the cashier about the spot, and usually they will give you either a damaged discount, which is most likely 50% off the item, but making it non-returnable, or you could pay full price and take a chance with the mark and hope it will wash out. If you choose the second option, it should be written on the receipt that it is returnable due to the spot.

Emily on 01/06/2014:
My husband always buys BR chino pants and there has been discoloration issues on many of them!! I look up his BR statement
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