Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Favorite Store No More

I generally consider myself to be a reasonable and forgiving person.  I'm all about giving second chances.

But blow your second chance and... ho buddy, watch out.

Kohl's used to be my favorite store.  They frequently have good deals and they do a lot to get you back into their store, again and again (I'm looking at you, Kohl's Cash).

Due to two recent incidents, however, I am disinclined to shop there any more.

Incident Number 1:

We received a set of onesies for Jack that happened to come from Kohl's.  I really liked the onesies, but they were newborn size and he outgrew newborn clothes in about a week, so we decided to exchange them for a bigger size.  So Lewis, Jack, and I all head to Kohl's to make the exchange.  We go and find a set of onesies in the size we want and Lewis takes them to customer service to make an exchange while I shop.

The representative at customer service tells Lewis that he has to pay more money because the onesies we were exchanging were from last season.  Normally this would be understandable, except for the part where this season's onesies and last season's onesies were identical.

But the computer said that there was a price difference so Lewis had to pay the difference.  Naturally Lewis asked to speak to a manager.

The manager came out and immediately started treating Lewis like a hostile customer.  If you've met Lewis, you know that he doesn't know how to be hostile.  This was ridiculous.  Neither the customer service representative nor the manager could find any difference between the two sets of onesies (except for the size), but Lewis still had to pay the difference because that's what the computer said and there was nothing they could do about it. (Yeah, right.  There's always something you can do.)

Frustrated, Lewis paid the difference (we couldn't just take the wrong sized onesies home - they would have no use!) and went to find me.  He recounted the story and I immediately put back the $60 boots I was about to buy and we walked out.  We were planning on spending real money that day, but because of a $7 difference in two sets of identical onesies, we left with nothing.  Except the onesies.

When we got home Lewis sent off a message to the corporate customer service office.  They responded apologetically and assured us that we would hear back from that location within the week.

It's been over a month and we've heard zilch.

Incident Number 2:

A few weeks after the first incident occurred, I was willing to forgive the larger company that is Kohl's (see, I said I was forgiving) and just avoid the American Fork location, since they never responded like they were supposed to.  Plus Lewis and I both got gift cards to Kohl's for our birthdays (they were given before Incident Number 1) that needed spending.  Over Fall Break we were going to be in the greater Provo/Orem area anyway, so we decided to go and spend our cards at the Orem location.

Unsuccessfully.  The boots I was going to buy before didn't end up looking that good on me (chicken legs) and I was unimpressed with their clothing selection (this is bad news - post-baby me needs new clothes).  Lewis was going to get new jeans, but the ones he wanted were not on sale and they're kind of pricey.  I had been wanting a bread machine for a long time and Lewis has finally caught on to the idea of frequent fresh bread, so we decided to pool our gift cards and get that.  They didn't have any in-store, though so we went online.

We read through the reviews of each of their bread machines and selected one that had good reviews and a decent price.  Bam.  Ordered.  This was October 21st.

On October 23rd, I received an email that said our bread machine was ready to be shipped.  Included in the email was the requisite information for tracking my package.  It also said that the bread machine would arrive between October 27th and November 2nd.

Knowing that often packages will arrive before their designated window, I casually checked the tracking the next day.  The UPS website said that a shipping label had been created but the package had not yet arrived at their facility.  No big deal, it was still early.

So I checked again the next day.  No change.  Same thing the next day and the next and the next all the way to yesterday (November 8th).  By this point I was really annoyed that I didn't have my bread maker at my house and fresh bread in my belly.

Also in the email there was a link to follow the shipping from Kohl's website as well.  I had glanced at that a few times to be informed that the package had shipped.  That's all it said.  Nothing more specific.

So Kohl's Customer Service received another email from the Youngs.  I heard back from them not too much later.  They informed me that UPS made a mistake (not them, but UPS - way to own up to stuff, Kohl's.  Even if it was UPS, you're at fault too cause I bought the product from you.) and because of that they were unable to reship my bread machine.  They would return my money/gift cards, and if I still wanted the bread machine, I would have to reorder it.

I was livid.  First of all, why can't Kohl's reorder my item, why do I have to?  I ordered it, so obviously I want it.  Fix the mistake and then reprocess the order!  Second of all, if there was a problem with my order, why was I the one to contact Kohl's and not the other way around?  If they figured out the problem so quickly, it's obviously been there a while and they should have contacted me as soon as there was a problem.

And of course, since we used gift cards, we can't just go buy a bread machine somewhere else.  Or I suppose we could, but the money that was spent on the gift cards was already given to Kohl's so I'm not going to let those gift cards go unused.  I'm so freaking irritated.  And of course, we have to wait to get our money back (4-8 days to get a new gift card and 14-30 to get the excess returned) so I can't even just reorder the bread machine immediately because we don't just have enough money for it lying around.

In a world of Web 2.0 and social networking, Kohl's should know better than to let stuff  like this happen.  When anyone can get online and tell a story, companies need to make sure that they are telling good stories about them.

Kohl's wants us to "Expect great things."  Well I did.  And I didn't get them.

Sorry, Kohl's.  I'm out.

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