Old Navy Informative - Employees Perspective..
CALIFORNIA -- I work for Old Navy; I have for the last two years. I've read a lot of complaints about ON, and I've gotta say, a lot of consumers sound like they never worked a day in their life.
Don't get me wrong, sometimes ON's policy is booty, but don't shoot the messenger. If you're nice and respectful I don't mind bending over backwards to help you. Attitude goes a long way, seriously. If you come up and start making demands my first reaction is going to be "who the heck do you think you are talking to me that way?" Common courtesy seems to be lacking these days. I'm only twenty and I have better manners than some of the older people that come in.
1. Imagine working all day trying to make everyone happy. I have to keep things folded, talk to everyone, help them out, and be able to ring. Customers come in and unfold an entire stack of shirts. I promise you, when I ask you if you need help, I honestly mean it. I'd rather spend 30 minutes looking for your size (and trust me, I don't care if you're XXL or XS) than have you spend 5 minutes and destroy my whole table. It takes the average employee 30 minutes to fix what you mess up. Don't be rude; let me help you. Heck, don't you want someone to do the work FOR YOU anyways?
2. I'm not trying to rip you off. Look, I totally get that someone gave you a present without a gift receipt. But trust me, with every transaction I asked my customer "would you like a gift receipt just in case?" and almost every single time do you know what they say? "No, they don't need one. If they don't like it, too bad." So instead of getting livid with me, get mad at the person who bought it for you. THEY didn't care enough about your interest to spend 2 seconds and let me print out a gift receipt. Standard policy is placed on the counter at my store. It even says it on every receipt we give you. "Refund in the form of original payment." If you don't have a receipt, you can exchange it for the EXACT same item in a different size or colour, or you can get a mailed check. Most stores only carry in-store merchandise certificates around Christmas time. My store carries them all the time but you have to be a cash-handler to over-ride the system. If you're not given manager over-ride access, you have to call a manager or Cash handler and explain to them why you're bending the rules for a customer. What does this result in? It results in the employee getting in trouble. Me, I can over-ride it anytime. But if you come off with a crappy attitude, why should I give you anything easier than a mailed check? I can also over-ride it and give you a gift card, but why risk being audited by my manager for you if your attitude sucks? Policy says I'm NOT SUPPOSED to do either of those, but I will if you're nice. Honey gets you further than vinegar. Manners go a long way.
3. Don't complain about me being rude if you're on the phone. I have enough respect for you not to answer the phone when I'm ringing you up; why can't you spare 2 minutes and give me the respect I'm giving you?
4. Customers complain about cleanliness. Here's the thing, it takes 3-4 times longer to fix something to mess up. 2 seconds is all it takes to DESTROY a nicely folded and sized pile of shirts. What will it take me? 10 minutes. 10 whole minutes. Why? Because if I don't do it right, customers complain. I honestly can't win. And who do you think makes the store dirty? Do you think employees run around messing up the store? Leaving clothes everywhere and leaving their empty soda containers around the store? No. CUSTOMERS make the store dirty. So instead of getting p/o'd at us, get mad at the guy you see unfolding an entire table of shirts looking for his size only to find once he finds his size, he doesn't want it anymore. I would LOVE to be able to keep my store clean. But I can't. Not when I have 20 people in the store at a time and I'm trying to help you.
5. I have to push the store credit card (ONCs as we call em). This is what I get to hear every 5 minutes "Have you gotten any ONCs?" "Why haven't you gotten any? You've been here for 2 hours." "I expect 2 enrollments before you leave." "you can't leave unless you get an ONC by the end of your shift." And when I FINALLY get one on the off chance someone wants 10% off, my manager on duty will come back and say "So, anymore ONCs?" Me: "I just got one an hour ago!" Manager: "Well, it's been an hour since you got your ONC. You should have another one by now." Oh and my favourite thing to hear is "You're asking the wrong way. Don't give the customer a chance to say no. Don't ask them if they want to apply; SELL the credit card!" How do you SELL a credit card? Me, personally, I don't care if you don't want a credit card. Its your right. But I HAVE TO ASK you. I have to. My manager is on my butt if I don't. Trust me, just let me ask you and you can say no. Two seconds is all it takes. "Want to apply for an Old navy card? No? Okay." Easy as pie.
6. What one employee knows, another one might not know. I know a lot of things other associates don't know. That's not their fault. The things I do on a regular basis like give you in store credit instead of a mailed check are actually BREAKING policy. But I do it because I want to help you out. I WANT TO HELP YOU. I'm risking getting in trouble for YOU. I don't even ask that you thank me; just be nice and polite.
7. Don't just every ON by the actions of one. This is really common sense. Not every employee is awful and rude. I have developed personal rapport with some of my regular customers. Some I know by name and we talk about their kids and family! I've searched every stack of denim in the store (up high on the shelves, some without tags or sizes on them, and the entire store room of over 200 pairs) for ONE customer. I've called 10 stores-- 10!-- to find a customer's item at another store and ended up clocking out 30 minutes late and missing MY BUS because of it because I wanted to help her. Some employees are crap; and some GMs aren't any better. I know a bunch of crappy rude employees and I don't agree with a lot of ON policies But don't diss the entire ON and GAP staff because you've dealt with the rotten apples.
8. I have an ON card. I hate it. One, you can't make more than 2 online payments in a billing cycle. Two, if you pay by phone, they charge you 15 dollars to make the payment. Three, the interest rate is bogus. Four, you can't make a payment in store. Trust me, I would like to go into work and pay my balance. This isn't our fault; it's the company's. Don't get mad at me because we don't take payments in store. It says on the paper when you apply that we don't take in-store payments.