Abercrombie & Fitch Complaint - Dissatisfying Experience at Abercrombie kids NC
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA -- To Whom it May Concern,
I do not usually complain of poor shopping experiences, but today's experience at your store in NC was out of the ordinary. My daughter and I were looking at a red Alice shirt, which was hanging solo amongst a group of Alice shirts in other colors. I assumed it was the last shirt in that color and took it down for my daughter to try on. Two sales associates were standing nearby, chatting, and though they saw me take the shirt down, said nothing.
We waited for a fitting room to open. There were only four and all were occupied. Eventually we decided to come back later. I stood in line at the cash register and when my turn came, asked the sales associate to hold the shirt until we could come back in an hour. She had no problem with this and took the shirt.
An hour or so later we returned. The store was emptier and we proceeded directly to the register. A different sales associate, who we will refer to as Z, was behind the register. I asked her about the shirt. She responded impatiently that "We don't hold items". I repeated that a sales associate had taken the shirt to hold. She looked below the register and immediately found the shirt. She then mumbled something about it being damaged and without further explanation disappeared through what I took to be the stockroom door.
I was surprised that the previous sales associate would have taken a damaged item to hold, especially if there was a policy against holds, and I was taken aback by Z's brusque manner and by her disappearing without any further communication.
Z then returned from the stockroom and announced that she couldn't sell me the shirt because it was a damaged display item. I asked why the store would have a shirt out that it couldn't sell. She said that the shirt was only for display. I told her that I had worked in retail for years and that it was ridiculous to have a shirt out without any stock to back it up. She responded "Why are you yelling at me? Don't take your anger out on me!" I did not feel I had been yelling at her. I was frustrated and had been trying to be heard over the loud music. I told her as much.
She said "I'll let you speak to a manager." I said okay. She said "You don't have to be like that. What is your problem?" I said "Just get your manager."
She continued to berate me about taking my anger out on her. In frustration I finally told her "Grow up and get your manager."
The manager who came out was calm, cool and collected as one would expect a manager to be. As I attempted to speak with him, Z stood next to us. I looked at her and said "I would like to have a private conversation," at which point the manager sent her away.
The manager explained to me that the store could not sell the shirt to me because it was for display purposes, and that chemicals had been sprayed on the garment that made it unsellable. This at least made some sense, but what doesn't make sense is that I should have to take 30 to 45 minutes out of my day, only to find out what the first sales associates should have been able to tell me immediately, and then be berated for expressing my frustration to someone who did not seem in the least concerned about my satisfaction as a customer.
Of all the places we shopped today, Abercrombie was far and away the least courteous and least helpful, not to mention simply rude. This sort of experience is not easily forgotten. I expect to be telling friends and family about it for quite some time. My daughter had lived and breathed Abercrombie and had had her heart set on that particular shirt. After witnessing what happened today, she no longer has any interest in Abercrombie products.
In future, you may want to mark your display items more clearly and advise your sales associates to watch out for people taking them down. Be sure everyone is clear as to whether your policy is or is not to allow items to be held. If it is not, clearly advertise that fact. Finally, you should advise your associates, particularly Z, in basic customer courtesy. Even if I had been angry towards her, there was no call for such a confrontational response. The store manager set a good example of how to interact with a customer. Unfortunately, his staff did not.