FREEHOLD, NEW JERSEY -- After reading a post here about a negative experience another former Victoria's Secret employee had in Minneapolis, I was inspired to share my own: I was formerly employed by Victoria's Secret at the Freehold Raceway Mall location in Freehold, NJ. After being cut in the corporate downsize at my former company, I was offered a position that the company was newly introducing for the 2008 holiday season as a stock supervisor.
It sounded amazing on paper, and while the supervisor position was temporary, I was told that I would be hired on as a permanent employee and that once the holiday season was over, my responsibilities would be those of a regular sales associate. During my interview, the store manager promised me that I should be able to work close to full time hours, if not full time, and that I would be set up for success during my training. When I formally accepted the position and started work, however, I was informed that my training was to consist of a one week long crash course with one of their co-managers before I would be running shifts on my own for the holiday season.
While stressful and challenging, that wouldn't have been an insurmountable issue had the training time been effectively managed. However, during that week, the co-manager showed me how to process inventory with the rest of the stock team but handled all the stock supervisor leadership duties (for which I was expected to assume sole responsibility at the end of the week) himself. I repeatedly asked him when we would have the opportunity to go over what my leadership responsibilities would be, and he repeatedly brushed me off with a noncommittal, "I'll show you if we have time later."
When I approached the manager with my concerns about feeling improperly prepared, the co-manager who was training me became very defensive and from that point on seemed to go out of his way to create a hostile work environment for me. I went to the manager again, and she merely wrote this behavior off as her co-manager's tendencies for poor social skills and being a high stress individual in general and promised she would talk to him.
I do not know whether or not that conversation ever took place, but the co-manager's hostility continued for the entire length of my employment with the company, and my manager was unwilling to discuss the subject with me again, apparently considering the subject closed regardless of the lack of results garnered from my initial conversation with her.
Unfortunately, this kind of avoidant and unprofessional behavior seems to be par for the course with the managers in this particular store location, as evidenced by what transpired next. One day, after a particularly stressful shift, this same co-manager overheard me venting to another employee, saying that I was seriously considering giving my two weeks notice. He then apparently took it upon himself to call the manager (who was away at a conference that week) and inform her in a blatant lie that I had given him my two weeks notice.
A week later, I woke up to a confrontational voicemail message from the store manager in which she said, "I know today was your last day, but I don't appreciate you not showing up, and I need you to return your store key so I don't have to get corporate involved." I was confused by this, until I double checked the schedule I had consulted and realized I had mistakenly looked at the previous week's schedule on which I had not been scheduled to work on Saturday.
I was unable to reach the manager personally, so I left her a message in response, explaining and apologizing for this one-time mix up and letting her know that while I certainly had no problem obliging her in returning the key, I was confused by her belief that this was my last day since she had never approached me to discuss as much. I never heard back from her, and she was not at the store when I went there in person.
It was not until weeks later when I called to inquire about a puzzling letter from the NJ Division of Unemployment Insurance stating that I may be ineligible for benefits because I may have been fired for misconduct that the manager finally spoke with me personally. In that phone conversation, she claimed that I had not been fired at all, rather that she was under the impression that I had quit because her co-manager called her at the conference claiming as much.
When I told her that this claim was completely false, and that the only thing I could imagine it would even be based on would be if he had been eavesdropping on my conversation with my co-worker, she merely demanded to know why I hadn't approached her myself if I was concerned that he might have interpreted it that way. I replied that there had been no concern as my original conversation had not been with the co-manager in the first place.
The manager's only response to that before she all but hung up on me was, "Well, then we're just talking in circles now, and I need to go run my sales floor." Based on this conversation, I was still given no reason to believe either that I had been fired for misconduct, or that I still had a job with the company.
I believe I was treated unfairly and unprofessionally. Both during my employment in this store location and later when I filed for benefits for a job that they both erroneously insisted I had quit and from which they alleged I had been fired for misconduct.
Not only without notifying me that I had been discharged for this reason, but also without presenting me with a written write up as per company policy which mandates that "known or suspected violations of company policy" be promptly reported. And also that, "For managers and supervisors, failing to use reasonable care to prevent or detect a violation or otherwise failing to demonstrate the leadership and diligence necessary to ensure compliance with Company policies."
Not only that, when a representative from unemployment called to discuss my claim, conveniently, no one from the company was available to give him a statement. When he called the store, they instructed him to call Human Resources. Human Resources then informed him he would have to speak to the manager directly. I remained on hold while he made all these calls, giving him my manager's name and finally learning that the best anyone had been able to tell him was that she was not at the store that day and he would have to call her back the following day.
Unfortunately, at this point, it is simply my word against theirs, but the behavior of the management team this store definitely gives an otherwise reputable company a bad name, and as a result of their unprofessionalism and blatant lies, I am now faced with defamation of character regarding my previously sterling professional reputation in addition to being denied any compensation during a time of economic crisis when I need it most.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA -- I have seen several reviews here, regarding service in Victoria's Secret stores, so I thought I would share my personal experiences with WORKING in a Victoria's Secret store. Keep in mind, I am in no way condoning the behavior of store associates. 8 months ago, I was recruited to be a Co-Manager in a VS store, by a former manager at another company. I was going to receive $7 an hour raise, the District staffed stressed the company's belief in a good work/life balance, and you get FREE bras and other products. I talked it over with my husband and we decided that I would go for it.
Cut to one month later. I have gone through weeks of training, even traveling out of state to train in one of the companies top stores, and know it's time to start in the store. This is when I really started to see the big picture. My manager and I were hounded daily by district staff in regards to sales data and shrink (theft). I will say that the performance WAS poor. We were doing our best to control them. This store is located in one of the worst neighborhoods. It has one of the highest crime rates, and all the other stores in the mall charge the same dismal numbers. It seemed as if no one who came into the store wanted to buy anything that wasn't on sale.
You were forced to sell credit, but in this area, we heard a lot of people say "I have really bad credit, I know I won't get it", so it was hard. Being that this is a low volume store, there is generally only 2 people working at a time. This made it extremely difficult to 1) Take care of customers quickly. 2) To allow employees to take breaks. (the rules say that there must be at least 2 people on the sales floor at all times) 3) It meant that the manager and I were working 6 days a week.
Both she and I were working about 75 hours a week. We were unable to give the other employees hours, because one of the people working had to be a manager, and it was just the two of us. We had to split 85 hours worth of shifts between 15 associates.
I lost 15 lbs in the three months I was there, thanks to be over worked and being unable to eat while I was there (I would always let the other associate take a break, but I didn't dare take one myself for fear of a district staff member coming in while I was gone.)
Eventually, my store manager was so tired, she got a new job. I don't blame her, because I was looking too, we had talked about it SEVERAL times. Since I had only been with the company for 2 months at that time, I called up my district manager and I told her that I was going to need some help, until they found a new store manager. I told her that I didn't feel comfortable taking on the role of store manager, and still trying to do MY job. She said she would get me some help, but she never did. However, she did have time to call me daily and ask me why the store was not performing well.
In the meantime, I am trying to prepare the store for the Semi Annual Sale, which you may know is a BIG event. The previous manager had not taken very good care of the store, and the merchandise in the backroom was so disorganized you couldn't find a thing. So I talked one of my girls (who is also a good friend outside of work ) into helping me do a clean up, after hours. We worked hard and we got it done. I felt that we were ready for the sale! Then they hire a new store manager.
After 2 weeks of training, she came to visit. She tore my store apart. She wanted to change the way things looked, where they were and how we did things. I told her no. My 2 months had taught me that you do things by the book or you get your butt chewed out! We got into a huge argument, which ended up with me in tears of rage.
Several weeks later, I actually got a day off! I was so excited! I had worked 22 days in a row. My marriage was being strained to the max. I didn't WANT to work all the hours, but I am a loyal person and I felt I owed it to the girls on my staff to make our store as good as it could be. They worked hard for me, and I didn't want to let them down. So, anyway, I have a day off, so I don't take my daughter to daycare. We go to the park and we go shopping and I am having a lot of fun! Then, I get the phone call. Someone called in and there is no one to cover. I called EVERY single person on our schedule and PLEADED with them to work, but no one would. So, I'm stuck.
As the acting store manager, it's my job to be there, if no one else can. BUT, I have my daughter with me. Since I had already told the daycare she wasn't coming, I couldn't just drop her off! So I had a choice. Don't go in, and leave the store with only one associate, or go in and take my daughter with me. I chose the latter. Next thing you know, the new store manager shows up. She asks me what's going on and I tell her. She says "OK, well, I'm here now, so you can leave." I say thank you and collect my stuff and get ready to go. Now, at VS, you have to get your coat and bag checked before you leave.
WELL, the new store manager thought it was OK for her to try to check my daughter's clothes! UMMMM, no way!! I was so offended, I just picked her up and walked away. A couple of hours later I get a phone call from the manager, asking me if I can stop by tomorrow. The district manager wants to touch base with us, before she goes out of town. I say OK, but I don't have daycare for tomorrow. She says that's fine. So I show up, with my daughter, to find out that I am being FIRED for bringing my daughter to work with me. They give me a write up and they ask me to sign it, saying I can write down any comments.
I said "I have nothing to say to you horrible people." I didn't sign the write up. As I am leaving, the manager, again, wants to check my daughter's belongings, because she has been in the back room. Folks, my daughter was 13 months old at the time, so, obviously, she hadn't been out of my sight, nor had I been out of the sight of the manager. I told her that if she touched my daughter, I would break her face. Not very professional, I know! Anyway, that's more story. This was the worst job I have ever had. Even my 5 years at TACO BELL looked like the best job ever after this!
COLUMBUS, OHIO -- 12/09/08 visited Victoria's Secret and was asked if I wanted an Angel's Card. I said no. The sales associate then asked again, saying I would get benefits, a catalog and it's free. I said no. She asked again and I finally said OK. She got my information from my Driver's License which she already had and then asked for my SSN. I said "what is that for? I don't want a Credit Card, nor my credit run." She said "no, no. It's for our head office only." I got home and in my bag was The Angel Card application, which I never saw, never was informed, never signed and it indeed was for a CC.
I called the store in SB on December 10th and ** answered the phone. I asked to have this application canceled and she told me that I would have to come in to cancel it. I went in the same day and was told that ** told them I would be coming in. They called the CC office and the gentleman on the phone asked my name and asked to speak to the Sales Associate. She was new and didn't know what to do, but he told her I couldn't cancel it that I would have to wait for my card or a letter.
December 11th, I spoke with ** at the VS store in Santa Barbara and told her the situation. She gave me the associates name and said that she was new and shouldn't have presented the Angel's Card in such a way and she would be spoken to about it. I was then directed to Customer Relations (614 577 7111). I spoke with ** at 2:04 PM and she didn't seem surprised and said I would need to speak to the bank. I was transferred to ** at the bank (1-800-695-1526).
She said she had no access to cancel and I would have to find out about the status of the application and transferred me to the Application Center (614 729 7572) and I spoke to ** who told me the application had been denied.
I called corporate again (614 577 7000) and spoke to ** who wasn't surprised at all and asked if ** had already contacted the bank to have letters sent to the credit reporting agencies to have the inquiry removed from my credit report. I said no. She said would take care of it and copies of the letters would also come to me. She said she was going to call the bank and then call me right back.
She called back and said that the supervisor would have to handle the letters and that I would be hearing from ** and gave me a case #. I did not hear from VS., so called December 23, 2008 at 10:07 and spoke with ** she transferred me to the supervisor and ** said that ** was at lunch and that she would call me back.
December 23, 2008. ** called back 10:42 A.M. and said she had indeed put through the request to have the item removed from my credit report. She had called again today, but felt she would not get anyone so close to Xmas. She said she would call me back when she heard from them.
After four attempt to reach ** (now March 26th, 2009), she finally returns my call (2:43 pm) and advises me that she has contacted them, BUT did I give the sales clerk my SSN # or did she run it off of my Driver's License? I said she asked for it for head office purposes only. Additionally, I told her that it is again the Fair Credit Reporting Act (specifically Act 616)** to run credit or issue a credit card without approval. That I was never informed, never explained, never saw or signed anything pertaining to a credit card. The credit card forms were in my bag when I arrived home.
As you can see by the consumer affairs reporting online, this is not an unusual case and from what I understand the sales associates are pressured to open up new credit accounts by their superiors and some even threatened of being fired if they don't.
**Civil liability for knowing noncompliance. "Any person who obtains a consumer report from a consumer reporting agency under false pretenses or knowingly without a permissible purpose shall be liable to the consumer reporting agency for actual damages sustained by the consumer reporting agency or $1,000, whichever is greater."
WASHINGTON -- I started working at Victoria's Secret in the summer and I was so excited that I was able to work again especially at one of my number one favorite stores. In my first week I worked about 16 hours. Then after a month I they had me only work for on Sundays when my availability was open. I was only getting 4 hours a week. Then I noticed that they were hiring like 10 new people. I thought it was odd because why was I getting only 4 hours a week, and they were hiring 10 more associates. I figured they needed them for when the holidays arrived.
Things started to look bad when they didn't even give me any hours for a whole week. This started to bother me because I really needed money. Finally when on my next shift I talked to another associated and she told me she was quitting because she wasn't getting enough hours either. I don't understand why they hire so many people but they don't give them enough hours. By my 4th months working there with still little hours I was getting really fed up. I only had worked 4 times in one month. The pay wasn't worth it. I was only getting 8.55 an hour which is next to nothing with the little bit of hours I was getting.
I always felt behind from bras we were launching because I felt like I was never there. I needed to be caught up and I had to figure it all out on my own. But then I really felt the lack of respect when I couldn't make it to work because of a snow storm. Where I lived we got about 5 inches and I couldn't drive at all. My mother had called me from her work telling that I shouldn't go to work because the roads were very dangerous and no one was driving. My shift was at 4 and I called them at 10 am asking them if they could give me a number of someone who could cover my shift.
My manager didn't give me a anyone's number. She said that I should just plan ahead. I knew someone could cover my shift, after all we had so many associates. Then I called again at 2 pm and the store manager picked up as I started to explain that I couldn't leave my house and she completely cut me off and scornfully said I was an adult and I should get a friend to drive me and it was going to be a busy week. She than said it was unacceptable that my mother called in (which I had no idea). Anyway she didn't let me explain. So I asked a friend if could drive me.
My mother was right the roads were slick. My friend hit the brake because a car came out of nowhere and we ended up crashing into a telephone pole. He got a concussion and I bruised my ribs. Luckily that's all that happened. But from that day I quit Victoria's Secret because obviously they didn't care about our safety, and it wasn't worth risking it for 8.55 an hour on a day that would obviously be slow do to the weather. I find that to be very unprofessional. Hopefully not all managers are like that.
BRIGHTON, MICHIGAN -- My daughter purchased a bra from Victoria Secret. They arrived later in the evening more toward store closing hours. After trying the bra on and asking if it could be returned, she were told yes, with receipt within 90 days. Re-thinking the color for practical purposes, she decided to exchange the bra for a more natural color. The returned to the store less than 24 hours after the original purchase with the intent to exchange.
The counter person took the bra to a back area, came back out and refused the exchange, stating that the bra had wear marks and body stains on it. The bra was never taken out of the VS bag. The tags and all were on it. The tissue had the original folding on it.
My daughter pointed these facts out to the saleswoman and the woman told her she probably wore it around the house all day. My daughter told her she couldn't be aware of any such marks as the item was never removed from the bag. This same woman (who by the way opened the dressing room for her the night before) told my daughter that she should have been careful and looked at the merchandise before she purchased it because they wold have given her a discount for damaged goods, if it was brought to the sales staff.
My daughter responded by loudly asking, so the entire store would hear, how many woman of different shapes tried the bra on, decided not to purchase it and then the Victoria Secret staff placed back into the drawer. She said the woman just walked away from her, as she continued to say that she came in to exchange the bra not return it. She will be contacting the Victoria Secret corporate office with her complaint and never shopping there again.
My husband declares he has never been in a Victoria's Secret store, but he has on occasion purchased lingerie elsewhere for me so someone along the way must have sold his information. He is now getting mailings from Victoria's Secret (you know, the stuff that resembles soft porn - and which may be you don't appreciate in your mailbox when your grandkids pick up the mail?)
There is no address on the mailing and literally you have to put on the reading glasses PLUS use a magnifying glass to read the message: "As a valued customer, you're eligible to receive direct mail messages from Victoria's Secret and a carefully screened group of companies. To decline this option, please call 1.800.376.0579." He called and was on hold for a total hour (while working on his computer) - with constant messages thanking him for his patience. Nobody ever answered the phone. Clearly they're not too serious about allowing you to "opt out."
And a P.S. to the person who couldn't wait to lecture me about "sheltering my kids/grandkids"... truly, we pick up our own mail - I was just describing it - and you really should mind your own business unless it's about my complaint, which is: Neither my husband nor I want this mail, he certainly might have chosen to stop in at one of their stores (he's not a prude) but since he hasn't, he shouldn't be considered a "customer" ("valued" or otherwise), and that - as we all know - once you get on ANY mailing list the stuff doesn't go away, it just proliferates (hence the "carefully screened group of companies," which I imagine will be next).
This phone number, he decided, was a pretense that there's a way to get off their list when there is not. Well, I am not really familiar with this site and how it works but now I'm unable to comment on my own comments - so I'll do it here. It appears that I missed some nasty remarks that have now disappeared?? Jeez, never got this kind of reaction when I posted a complaint about our Sears water softener (which may prove my point...) I complained because I was the one who already had a my3cents account set up. And because, well, I'm really tired of the increasingly intrusive marketing practices and information-gathering about us hapless consumers.
To the person who said I don't know how easy it is to find people/addresses- yes, I do, I have often done it myself (but thank you for your advice). However, Victoria's Secret doesn't send mailings to every man on the planet - my husband was targeted, I'm certain, because he recently bought me something elsewhere which got his name on a list. Blasting away at Sears on this site (out of desperation) resulted in our issue being quickly resolved, and so I thought I'd try here again. Never intended to start a discussion about "soft porn" and such, but hey, it's been interesting...
COLUMBUS, OHIO -- In November (2009), I purchased two nightgowns at your store in Eugene, Oregon for $40 with my Victoria's Secret credit card. The clerk had to call to get my account number so that I could charge the items because I didn't have my credit card with me. When I hadn't received the bill the next month, I called customer service to find out why. The customer service representative wasn't much help. She stated that my bill came via email. Since I hadn't received it via email or any other way, I asked her for my account number so that I could pay it on the Victoria's Secret website.
She stated that she couldn't give me the number over the phone but I could make a payment on the phone for an additional fee of $10. I didn't want to pay the additional fee, especially because the balance of the account was only $40. Unhappy with the outcome of this conversation, I asked her to have her supervisor contact me. All I needed was an account number or a bill with the account number on it so that I could make my payment. The supervisor never called me.
My life is fairly busy. I'm a full-time student, I work part-time, and I'm a mother of three teens. I forgot about my bill. Last Saturday (January 30), their collections department contacted me by phone to let me know my account was past due. I tried to explain to her what had happened and that I needed my account number to rectify the situation. The only assistance she had to offer me was to charge me additional fees so that I could pay the payment online. I asked to speak with her supervisor in an effort to get this problem resolved but that didn't do me any good.
I tried to explain the situation to the supervisor and she told me she wasn't going to debate who I spoke with or anything else with me. I asked to speak with her manager and she told me she could not guarantee he would return my call. My response to that was not good. I was livid at this point. You can't guarantee your manager will return a customer's call? Are you kidding? She hung up on me.
Because I never received a bill and my account number wasn't available to me over the phone, I think Victoria's Secret could have made some kind of effort to help me with this situation without charging me more money (maybe they could have sent me another bill when I called the first time to tell them I hadn't received one). Instead, I paid their company $82 for a $40 purchase.
My credit history proves that I am a responsible debtor. Before this incident my FICO score was 761. This is because I take my credit score very seriously. Until this, I hadn't had a late payment in over 10 years. When I wrote to request they remove the 30 day late mark from my credit report, they DECLINED stating it wasn't their fault.
EATONTOWN, NEW JERSEY -- My daughter and I are frequent and loyal customers of Victoria Secrets. However we recently had an experience which has forced us to never visit another VS store again. We recent purchased several PJ sets in a box. That had glitter on the top which we thought was pressed in to the fabric. After getting it home and taking it out of the box we found glitter everywhere...it just fell off. We put the PJ's back in the box and took it back to the original store with the original receipt to exchange it for a different one. Much to our surprise we were told because we did not have the banding around one of the boxes that had the SKU # on the back...we could not exchange it.
They said it needed to be resalable. We explained that we did not want our money back, just a different one without glitter we were told "Too bad, no deal." I asked them where was this policy printed and was told on my receipt which of course I always read every word of every receipt LOL and besides who would know that the SKU # makes something resalable or not. The bad merchandise was put in a bag and we were asked to leave. Mind you we were also going to purchase other new merchandise, which we did not when we were told to leave. When I called corporate headquarter I was told I could mail it to them, shipping costs on me, and they would send a check out.
So let me recapture...VS was willing to lose a good customer that spends a lot of money there.. evident through our VS credit card... paid in full every month.. because I didn't have the band with the SKU number for an item I simply wanted to exchange. Oh well.. their loss not mine.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS -- Wore some beautiful VS shoes for prom and they got wet. The color on one shoe completely faded off. I returned them and I explained that I didn't understand why the color came off. The woman looked at me and said "well it's because they got wet!" In the rudest tone. I replied that I have other canvas heels that have gotten wet and not ruined. She told me that personally she herself would not take the shoes and told me if the return asked for my credit card (which I didn't have on hand) she would NOT give me cash or return my shoes. Okay? I didn't ask for cash ma'am! I also didn't ask your opinion on the shoes.
I get that people are garbage and mess merchandise up for money but I legitimately was unhappy with the quality of the shoe, I do not care what you think I care what VS thinks. I did get my money back to my card, obviously because returns do not need the card at this store and she should have known that because she works there. I adore VS and will be using my returned money to purchase more items at VS so I did not like that I was treated as if I messed them up for cash.
FT MYERS, FLORIDA -- I am a secret shopper and I go to many places and "rate" stores on everything from the way I'm greeted to the conversations I hear in a store to just about anything. I went into this store to actually purchase something for my friend's birthday when I overheard, what I assume to be a manager, belittling an associate! Not only was she reprimanding her for not doing something fast enough, but she was doing it in front of customers. I was mortified! I felt so sorry for the associate. You could clearly tell she wanted to just crawl in a hole. Even other people were just kind of staring in amazement of this stupid woman.
As the evil manager walked away I walked up to the associate and told her that everything is OK, not to worry about it. She said, "I wish it was going to be OK, she's always like that though". I felt awful. I don't understand why jerks are always the ones in charge and no one does anything about it. Is this really how VS runs their huge corporation? VS tries to make the "outside" world think they are this fabulous place when really they are nothing more than another sweatshop of hell for employees. If VS isn't careful they are going to have some serious lawsuits against them!
I think the higher ups and the models should have cameras installed in the stores and they should have to watch how these lower people on the totem poles are treated - maybe then you wouldn't strut your stuff so much thinking VS is the best! In this day and age a couple of complaints and a few phone calls could really bring you down to the level you truly belong!