Old Navy Informative - Important Information
After reviewing the complaints over the past two years, I have several things to note--not only about Old Navy--but retail, in general.
While, in certain instances, there can be terrible customer service (rude employees, false advertising, etc.) but it is important to note the difference between an actual flaw in a business and basic retail strategy.
First of all, an important aspect to retail (in any form) is run by psychology. Yes, the more expensive items will be in the front of the store-- it's good marketing. If customers were first presented with clearance items then those will, undoubtedly, sell more. It reduces profit margin which, as we all learned from the recent economic developments, affects everyone. Not only will clothing experience a larger mark-up, but less items will end up going on clearance. It's common to find, in any store, that the items that cost the less are in the back of the store. If you are committed to a certain budget, you will have to go to the back of the store (Old Navy stores aren't very large-- it will take a matter of seconds).
The Old Navy return policy is more strict than most. This can be difficult to honest customers who did, in fact, purchase the merchandise but did not hold on to their receipt. However, those that lost their receipt can still be compensated-- Old Navy can research previous purchases by looking up the credit/debit card, check, or even a gift card. For those who paid with cash, however, cannot offer valid proof of purchase without a recipe. If one is an experienced shopper, it is common knowledge one must hang onto their receipt. Otherwise, Old Navy has no proof what you had actually paid for the item (sales fluctuate about every week) as well as proof that the item had been previously purchased. In order to reduce shoplifting (which does affect the common customer because the more items are stolen, the more Old Navy has to makeup for their loss through the use of "marking up" their clothing), they must require some type of proof of purchase.
The 90 day limit for return policies also aids profit margin. The store is losing money if they decide to return items past that date because their sale price has been significantly reduced. I firmly believe that the 90 day return policy is valid because three months is plenty of time to decide if an item is worth keeping. If you are buying items for Christmas or birthdays in advance, one might even consider waiting to purchase that item-- the longer an item is in the store, the better chance that it will become further marked down. If you are buying clothing in advance (as a "savvy shopper would) then that said "savvy shopper" should make note of the 90 day limit--which is clearly stated on the receipt.
As far as the false advertising, it does, again, have to go back to the psychology aspect of retail. If read, the signs indicate exactly which items are on sale. While I believe that some signs can be interpreted as misleading, the goal is not to do so. When signs are located in a certain area, customers are naturally drawn to that area--introducing them to more than just the sale items. This allows for a better customer experience because the customer is then able to see all of the items on display--allowing outfits to be put together, or even introducing the customer to the new season's clothing. At any retail store, the signs must always be read properly. It is an agreement between the consumer and the business-- almost a contract. If the sign indicates an item is on sale, the business must guarantee that it will be followed. A business does not, however, have to oblige the customer for simply reading the sign wrong-- it's a misinterpretation of the contract.
Old Navy dedicates many training hours to its employees in an effort to guarantee that they will be properly represented. However, human error does occur, and one rude employee does not represent the entire business. It is always a good idea to speak to a manager about any concerns because a rude employee is bad for business--and the customers are ultimately the most important aspect of the company.
Respect is, however, a two-way street. If one does not display kindness or understanding, then one should not expect it from anyone else. Treat others the way you want to be treated is not only an essential aspect to humanity, but it is also what we want our children to learn. "The customer is always right" motto can only go so far, it does not cover disrespect. Being a rude customer is almost as bad as being a rude employee--it's just clothing, so we might as well act like adults.