Linens and Things Complaint - Classic "Bait and Switch" Routine
VENTURA, CALIFORNIA -- Continued.. This is an ongoing complaint with the Linens and Things store in Ventura, CA. Here is the letter I e-mailed to the customer service dept. I think it pretty much covers any visit to this particular LNT store.
Ongoing complaint- Every visit:
Hi, I have a complaint about the retail store located in Ventura, California. The store has a very large, very disorganized, clearance section. The prices marked on the items in the clearance section are always different at the register. I have spoken with several different store managers and they have no resolution, only that either I can pay the price that the item rings up, or not. So, considering that I have spent countless hours, yes hours, of my time shopping in this store, not just the clearance section, I would think that not honoring the marked price on clearance merchandise, repeatedly, and on several occasions, would violate my consumer rights by advertising and attracting my attention to the clearance section, only to find that the items that I selected from that section had the incorrect price stickers. I believe in certain terms that would be considered "bait and switch". The last incident at this store and the ignorant, uncaring attitude I encountered when I spoke with the store manager has turned me away from shopping in any Linen's N Things store again until something is done about this problem. Specifically, after spending an hour and a half in your store, I went to the register to pay for my items, one of which was a iJoy ottoman that was marked by a yellow sticker on the plastic over the logo and said "As Is" , "Display Model", and the price of "$12.99". The matching iJoy Chair "Display Model" was also marked as clearance with a yellow sticker on the wired control that also said "As Is", "Store Display Model", and the price of "$29.99. Now, because I had encountered problems in the past, I only took the ottoman to the register to purchase, along with my other regular items, and planned to ask the cashier about having the chair brought up as well, after the prices had been checked and approved as I'm sure they would be questioned, considering the original prices for the two items in original retail condition. As I had suspected, after some time waiting for the store manager, who said they had to consult the infamous price inventory "computer" before selling the items at the marked price, I was informed that the chair and ottoman had the incorrect clearance price stickers, and that the correct prices were $249.99 for the ottoman and $599.99 for the chair, regardless of their used condition and absence of retail packaging and materials. The only explanation I was given was "Some kid must have switched the stickers." The store manager nor any of the employees volunteered an apology, much less concern for my time and business shopping at their store. On the previous occasions when this problem arose, I was given the same treatment and ignorant attitude, regardless of the incorrectness of marked prices of items, or fault of the store in any manner. So, I feel that either I am being descriminated against by this store for shopping in the clearance section, or, that the clearance section is only a "ploy" to draw customers into the store. Also, I may add, that there are tables throughout the store in the main isles which are promoted with "Clearance" items related to the specific type of items location in the store. For example, on the main isle passing the draperies, there are several "clearance" tables with items that would normally be located in that area, but have been clearance priced due to seasonal or discontinued status. To the advantage of the store, and dismay of the observant consumer, the item is not any lower than the original shelf price when scanned at the register. Unfortunately, for the not so observant consumer, the mistake goes unnoticed, and the trusting customer pays for the items, happy to have gotten such a bargain! By the time the customer realizes the error, if they do at all, it is too much of a hassle to return the item or make a complaint. We all have busy lives, families, and events. What's a few dollars wasted for a store error every once in a while?? Personally, after a few shopping visits at this Linens N Things store, I feel like a fool, not a valued customer. I urge you to investigate this issue in depth with regard to all your customers, as I am sure that I am not alone in my opinions. As for my own loyalty, I'll be taking my business elsewhere, where the prices marked are not "Too good to be true", they're just true, and I am treated with the respect and dignity I deserve as a consumer at any retail establishement.
Also, I would like to explain that usually the clearance items are not big items, but little misc. leftovers. Still, 2 out of 3 times, the price that rings up at the register is higher than marked, if not regular price. I have also purchased items only to get home and find a lesser price regularly marked than the sale price. I inquired into this a time or two and, you guessed it,...."Someone stuck the wrong sticker on it","Clearance items are sold "as is" and are non-returnable." I can't say I was surprised!