Goodbye Macy*s

Have you ever had such a bad retail experience you swore off an entire chain?. I'm thisclose. I grew up loving Macy*s. It was a staple in Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa; you went to Macy*s and Emporium. But the Macy*s of my childhood has slowly degenerated into a cluttered and poorly serviced department store.

People's Exhibit #1: I ordered 13 jewelry gifts for Christmas from 10 arrived, with zero explanation for what happened to the missing 3 items. When I called and waited and spent 20 minutes on the phone with customer service, I was told two of the items were sold out, and that one would be re-shipped. But they wouldn't put a rush on the shipping, so the missing item would arrive 2-3 days before Christmas. The item never came at all. I had to call, AFTER Christmas, to get it shipped again. No explanation for why the re-order wasn't processed. Really awesome. 

What's more, Macy*s also charged my account for the missing 2 items that were sold out and never shipped. Seriously? I had to spend more time going online to send an email letting them know that they charged me for items they never shipped. What if I never noticed those items were missing? What if I never contacted Macy*s? They would have simply kept nearly $400 of my money. I wonder how many people this has happened to. It's borderline criminal. I have never had a company charge me for something until it was confirmed and shipped. NEVER. And I am a veteran ninja online shopper. Only AFTER two emails to the company did I finally receive a response that said my credit would be issued and it would take 5-7 days to show up. I am simply flabbergasted by the slow and impersonal response. Especially because it was a mistake on Macy*s part 100% and they are completely unapologetic about this enormous error.

People's Exhibit #2: One of the items in the delivery came in a glittered gift box. It was completely smushed and broken. And half the items that arrived were attached to super jankity packaging that was not reflective of the brand of the item. Here's your Betsey Johnson earrings. Nevermind that they're on a random earring backing that says "Be Dazzled" or something cheap and generic looking. #tacky

People's Exhibit #3: An associate at the Valley Fair Macy*s I will call "J."

I spent 45 minutes processing a return that should have taken 2 minutes. I will never get those 43 minutes of my life back. First, J insisted I need a UPS label to return some of my jankity mail order items. I directed her to the CRL label on the receipt that I brought, complete with step by step instructions for how the associate can process the return using that receipt. She then proceeded to process the return. What a miracle!

But she then insisted she couldn't put the refund back on my original credit card. She said I had to have my card with me to process the refund, otherwise she had to give me a store credit. Again, wrong. But by this time, I'm so annoyed and so tired of waiting for her to figure out how to do things that I just shake my head and surrender.  

But wait, there's more! Turns out, she only refunded me the correct amount on ONE of the SIX items. The other 5 items were refunded at anywhere from 10-20% less than what I paid. 

Cue ensuing nightmare wherein I have to request a manager, only to find out there is no one on duty. Then thankfully, another associate takes me to the Dumbledore of Macy*s associates who has been there since the beginning of time. She is able to not only process my return for the correct amount, but she also put it back on my credit card instead of a store credit! Imagine that! And she took all of 3 minutes to do it.

It would have been easier to handle if J was just an incompetent bumbler. I get it, not everyone was born to work in retail. Or follow simple instructions on a return label. But she was so incredibly rude every step of the way that it simply could not be overlooked. 

That combination of experiences this holiday shopping season, in contrast to my experiences with so many other retailers, really made me take a step back and reconsider where I want to spend my hard earned cash. And it won't be Macy*s.

What are your favorite/least favorite stores?