Thursday, May 29, 2008

Calling all J.Crew Credit Card Customers

Right now, the "rewards" for being a J.Crew credit card member seem somewhat limited to me. The following is what they list:
  1. 10% off your first purchase (Too bad it's only a one time offer. The real reward would be if it was for every purchase!)
  2. $25 rewards card for every $500 you spend (Not bad. I can see my bill adding up quickly to $500.)
  3. Seasonal lookbook featuring designers' favorite looks (Which I already get and I am not a card holding member!)
  4. Complimentary standard alterations at any J.Crew store (Yet, in really small letters they state J.Crew Factory Stores as an exception.)
  5. Invitations by email to cardmember only private sales (Is this really true? For cardmembers: how often do you get those?)
  6. Early access to new arrivals in the J.Crew Collection (Define "early," because if it is only by one day then it is not much of a perk. Also, I buy "on sale" anyways- new arrivals rarely go on sale immediately.)
  7. Front of the line priority on phone orders (How often do you really wait on line to purchase an order that this becomes a real "reward"?)
  8. Personal shopping appointments any time you choose (Don't they offer that to anyone, regardless if you have a card or not?)
  9. Fast, easy account managemetn and bill pay (Not really much of a reward, considering most if not all card companies offer this.)
Jagjag2 made a great suggestion in one of the posts (Off on a tangent: Gap offers Free Shipping) after talking to a J.Crew representative: to call the credit card company associated with J.Crew and tell them that the perks should include free shipping on all orders (using their card of course). I would also include with the free shipping request: regardless of both price (e.g. no minimum amounts) and status of items (e.g. doesn't matter if it is regular or sale priced).

I went ahead and found the credit card company's (World Financial Network National Bank) customer number: 1-888-428-8810 (TDD/TTY: 1-888-819-1918) | Monday - Saturday 8am-9pm ET; Closed Sunday.

I hope that those of you who are card members, call to voice your opinions/concerns in order to receive the rewards you deserve. Good luck! :)

52 comments:

  1. Boy oh boy! I am a big hater of the J Crew credit card! I see no value to the customer, only the company, and the perks are sooo not perks at all compared to other retail stores. (Saks gives me free shipping with my card all the time.) I recently canceled my J Crew credit card, because when I questioned the benefits to the "higher-ups" they just patronized me with their lame and generic answers. They don't care! If you carry a balance on your J Crew credit card it is 20.9% I believe, that alone would cancel out any $25 so called rewards card, which has an expiration date too.

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    Replies
    1. There is an expiration date but if you call or bring it in to the store, they renew it for you:)

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  2. The only way the rewards pay off is if you pay your bill in full each month which I do....Don't carry a balance...scary those percentage rates!! I agree...kirbydog.

    For some reason my last two rewards cards have been lost in the mail. JCrew made it right but the last time was the last time they said....I have no idea were they are ending up but not in my mail box! I am going to see what happens this next rewards period time but if it happens again I am going to have to cancel my card....Also, waiting to see if/when they will possible offer the free or reduced shipping option. The person I spoke with was not patronizing...so that was good.

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  3. Hi Kirbydog: I did not realized how high the interest rate (20.9%) was for that credit card! They should really offer more tangible benefits that are exclusive for card members.

    Seriously, the Saks card sounds really good to have! Nice benefits.

    Jagjag2: Again great suggestion. I hope it works and you all get free shipping.

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  4. Alexis,
    Thanks for this post. Appreciate it:)

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  5. I took advantage of the sale and placed an online order yesterday. Once I was done with my order, I was directed to complete a J Crew survery. Don't know if any of you have done this particular survery or not, but it asks about my satisfaction with the products, service, ease of use (website), shipping, etc. Then it went to ask about CrewCuts and if I had purchased any and not, why not? Finally, it asked for my comments - which I took the opportunity to tell them that they should offer Free Shipping to all Card Holders regardless of the amount purchased. I also gave them my phone number just in case they wanted to chat further about this issue. I doubt that anyone would call me but I wanted to make sure that we were all heard, loud and clear. I agree, the perks are hardly perks. I am a sale shopper and I will only buy if there is Free Shipping. If something is on sale and there's no free shipping, I will refuse to buy. Imagine the amount of business J Crew is missing out on!

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  6. Unfortunately J Crew doesn't really make it's $$$$ from us, the sale shopper. They have enough of a following with the full priced shopper. That is probably why they only offer free shipping with a purchase of over $150-175 with their codes. At least they are getting a "volume" for the sale shopper. They are doing quite well, even in these financially sagging times, compared to other retailers. They have the "it" factor and they see their customer is willing to pay for it. It is still less expensive than Tory Burch, Burberry, Lilly Pulitzer, Lacoste, etc. Make-a-me-mad!

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  7. Has anyone ever had alterations done with JCrew? I don't even know how that works. You bring the item into the store (if you ordered it online) and show them how much you want something shortened/lengthened? I can't say I'd trust those high schoolers working in the store to be able to handle that...

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    Replies
    1. They all hire a tailor that comes in twice every week and pick up the items. Trust me their system works :)

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  8. sue.bee I have had my husband's jackets and some pants hemmed w/ J Crew. You let them know how much you want taken up and then they out source it to a seamstress locally, be aware of who they take it to, they go for the lowest bid on who they use and it's not always the best quality workmanship. Also may take a few weeks!

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  9. Alterations do take forever. I've had pants hemmed. They told me they didn't do suit jackets for free... only to shorten a sleeve or something. The quality of the alterations I've gotten is very good. I guess it's hit or miss.

    I agree with kirbydog. They are making not quite as much of a profit margin off of the sale items so they don't care as much about pleasing sale shoppers. But still, they're making some profit. J.Crew has one of the highest profit margins in the retail industry, and I know this because my fiance owns their stock and does a lot of research on the companies he owns. They need to realize that they are relying on sale shoppers as well to move old merchandise and bring in the new season's line.

    As loyal as I am to J.Crew, lately I've had a bad taste in my mouth about how unwilling they are to please people. It seems like they're getting too cocky and not listening to their core customers, and I think this WILL hurt them in the long run. Also in the past couple months when I've called them, I haven't been "wow"-ed by the customer service like I was back when I first started shopping with them.

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  10. Thanks, kirbydog and Lynn. I think I'll just find a local seamstress/seamster myself since my closest JCrew store is over an hour drive away.

    I've received the "private sale" postcards in the mail maybe twice a year. It entitles you to an extra 20-25% off your total purchase in the store. If I remember correctly you can't use it online, and it can only be redeemed once. And there's only a window of 3 or 4 days that you can use it. Of course, I could be totally wrong about all the details. It's been so long since I received one in the mail. I've never been able to use them because of the time limit...cut us some slack, JCrew!

    And can they please train their store employees better? Or maybe hire nicer people. I've had no problems with the adults, but the high schoolers who work there drive me nuts! They are so unhelpful and so judgmental (they rush to help out the tall blondes the second they set foot in the store and just give me, the short dark-haired one, a once-over and only "help" me if I ask).

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  11. If you have an American Express card, you can shop at J.Crew through Amex's Bonus Points Mall (www.bonuspointsmall.com) and earn 4x your J Crew purchase in Membership Rewards points. Not free shipping, but better than nothing. :-)

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  12. Invitations by email to cardmember only private sales (Is this really true? For cardmembers: how often do you get those?)

    I want to know that as well.

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  13. On a related topic...since there are so many great suggestions gathered here, do you think you (Alexis) would be able to somehow forward your blog to the right eyes at j.crew? The work that I do is in Customer Insights for a large packaged goods company. I know we would kill to have the free research that comes from all these observations made on your blog!! Thanks, Monique

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  14. I've always had mixed feelings about J. Crew, and the discussion about the credit card sums up most of the reasons why. I've never had the J. Crew card -- I avoid store cards in general *** -- but I could see the benefit of having, if nothing else, free shipping. The shipping issue is particularly annoying for me because I am both petite and not proportioned like the typical J. Crew customer, so I have to try on EVERYTHING. Which is hard when J. Crew won't even stock petite sizes in their stores. Depending on the item, I am anywhere between a size 2 (beach dresses) and 8 (trousers). Seriously.

    Stores that let me order several sizes and return what I don't like without any cost to me tend to get repeat business from me. Stores that charge almost $20 for initial shipping and then take a cut on the returns tend to see my money very rarely. I also don't have a J. Crew convenient to me right now, so ordering in person to avoid the shipping charges isn't feasible.

    That said, I continue to shop at J. Crew because although it is hit and miss, when something works, it really works. Love this blog and would love to see more opinions on the shoes and styles that flatter the short and pear-shaped.

    *** The above response about American Express is the main reason why I never bother with store cards. Often the rewards points or miles are a better deal than anything the store can offer me. Plus, my credit rating dropped when I had a brief affair with several store cards in my early post-college years (didn't run them up, but apparently simply having an open account isn't that great for scoring).

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  15. chini, I totally agree with you about being petite and not being able to try things on in-store! the high shippings costs is totally the reason why I don't buy too often from JCrew because I don't know if the size I'm getting is the right one.

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  16. Alexis, how much is the employee's discount at J Crew?

    And can you combine the employee's discount with student/educator discount?

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  17. SUE.BEE YOU ARE SO RIGHT ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE AT THE j cREW STORES. ALTHOUGH I AM A "TALL BLONDE" AND DO GET GOOD SERVICE, MY DAUGHTER IS NOT AND SHE ALWAYS COMPLAINS SHE GETS THE "ONCE-OVER" FROM THE YOUNG SALES ASSOCIATES. THEY DON'T DO IT IF WE SHOP TOGETHER, BUT IT REALLY IS INSULTING AND RUDE.

    I AM SURE THAT JCREW IS AWARE OF THIS BLOG, ALEXIS WILL PROBABLY HEAR FROM THEM IF ENOUGH PEOPLE READ IT.

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  18. Kirbydog is right. Jcrew is doing just fine, maybe better without the 'sale shopper'. If you are a fan of "The young and the restless" and watch it often, you will see that Sharon, one of the main characters, wears Jcrew sometimes. And she had them before they were on sale. Here are a few items she had in the show -- "Pembroke tweed lady coat(89123)"(few month ago),"Cashmere shrunken polka-dot cardigan(89895),grey"(few month ago), Brushstroke-print Sydney dress(93605),navy"(few weeks ago). If there are enough people like "Sharon", I do not see why Jcrew bother to offer unlimited free shipping to us. Do not get me wrong. I am a "sale shopper" as well.
    Alexis, sorry for posting above comment here. I know it really should go to "Do you see Jcrew every where too?" I enjoy your site very much. Thanks for doing this.

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  19. I'm thinking that once I get my first reward after running up a tab on their suits, I will close my J.Crew card account. I had no idea the interest rate was so high, and even though I plan to pay my balance in full each month, that's still scary! Free shipping would be a huge draw to the J.Crew card because I'm assuming most people who use that will be doing a fair amount of shopping online anyway.

    I've never had a problem with employees when I shopped at a retail store, and believe me, as an Asian-American, I'm far from being a tall blonde. Even the younger employees have been wonderful to me everytime I've been in the stores, although I've -never- bought anything at full price and always make a bee-line for the sales section.

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  20. I'm Asian-American too, which is probably why I get ignored most of the time...I live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and the JCrew store is in Dallas at Northpark. The most pretentious city ever. If you're not blonde, but still tall and model-thin, those high schoolers will gladly clambor over each other to help you out! When I lived in Baltimore, the employees there were always nice and courteous, even the younger ones.

    I have no beef with the adult employees. I try to go to them since they always treat me respectfully and help me however they can, but there are always so few of them.

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  21. Sue.Bee, I know what you mean! I'm originally from Houston and experienced my share of being ignored when I shopped at the "ritzy" mall there (the Galleria). I think it's a Texas thing, where the "tall and beautiful" are given priority and everyone else has to take a back seat. Shopping here in the Northeast, I've experienced less of that kind of attitude. Not to say that the tall and beautiful don't deserve to be helped, but just that we others need some attention too. ;)

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  22. Hi Everyone!

    Looks like a great discussion has been taking place among all the participants!

    Hi Anonymous at 2:49PM! I thought about letting J.Crew know about this blog, but I am hesitant. I am worried they would ask me to take down coupon codes and forbid me to post any. :(

    But like Kirbydog mentioned, I am sure someone there is aware of this site. I actually think it is a J.Crew employee(s) who voted the three times the "No way! They have every right to" in the "Are you upset about Coupon Codes being removed" Vote. :)

    Hi Anonymous at 3:47PM! I think it is great that you see J.Crew everywhere too! :)

    And hello David! I don't know the exact discount employees get. But I know it is pretty substantial. I also heard that they get an intro allowance (to help them acquire J.Crew items to wear while working, although they are just required to look like they are wearing J.Crew, not necessarily have to be 100% wearing it). They also get free shipping with their orders. If someone else knows their exact discount, please share!

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  23. Oh and for those who commented about certain J.Crew sales associates: I couldn't agree more. I find when I "dress the part" (e.g. look like I am wearing J.Crew and look like I can afford their items) I get the best treatment. When I am not, I don't even get noticed except for the stares of "don't bother".

    One time, I was looking at a bracelet. It was clear the associate didn't think I was worth the time or effort. I ended up wanting to buy the bracelet and she suggested to hold the bracelet behind the cash register (even though I was done shopping and ready to purchase the bracelet right then.) I was a little upset by that because a friend of mine who works retail (not at J.Crew though) told me that they are told to hold items at the cash register for customers (who are in the store) when they are afraid the customer is going to steal it.

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  24. Since card members have a "special" line to call they are placed ahead in the ordering process when transfered from Credit to JCrew Phone Sales (No Biggie). We also do get the lookbook.. but sometimes.. like with the issue we received a $25.00 coupon to use for the NEW spring line.. but I used mine for sale items. It was like $49.99 up purchase.
    Also, we get the SAME emails even non-card holders get. lame... no real good out of it other than the occasional coupon.

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  25. I have had alterations.. JCrew typically has a alternation store it works with in conjunction to its location.. ex. down the street, in my case a Belk department store seamstress. They just call and make an appointment for you and they are billed.

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  26. I think anonymous is referring to the rewards card ($25 for every $500 you spend), because I am a cardholder and never have gotten a $25 coupon.

    There are not really cardholder-only sales. Like Sue.Bee mentioned, it's just a 20% off coupon that is valid for a couple days on in-store purchases $175 and up or something. If I remember correctly, it was only valid for full-priced items.

    The "early" notification about new arrivals is ridiculous. Since I check their website almost daily, I notice new arrivals 3-4 days before I receive the special cardholder email.

    I agree with everyone else that the cardholder rewards are just not substantial enough.

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  27. Hi, I just want to comment on the suggestion that employees make about keeping something at the counter for you while you are shopping. I work in retail (not j.crew) and we do that all the time. The idea is to keep a customer's hands free so that they are free to do *more* shopping as they continue to look around the store. It is not meant to be discourteous in any way, just a convenience so their hands are free.

    Just wanted you to know that!

    Jenny

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  28. I have a J. Crew card because of the $25 cards. It's not much, but honestly, I'll take it because it helps me build credit. I would never carry a balance, ever, on any credit card, so the credit card works for me. Plus, if J. Crew ever gives legitimate perks, I'll already have the card

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  29. Jenny, I am a self employed business owner in a very "toney" upscale town on Cape Cod. Your manager may tell you it's to keep the customer's hands free and continue shopping, however, in my 15 years of retail business ownership, I assure you the real reason is to prevent "shrinkage". If that was really the reason, why am I always greeted at J Crew with a complementary bottle of water to hold in my hand????

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  30. Kirbydog! Excellent point about the water bottle.

    I have heard from a few different sources that the "holding of items" for customers at stores is about shrinkage too.

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  31. I never thought about them holding your items for you at the counter to prevent shrinkage. It all makes sense now. Guess they're trying to be more subtle, although there are still those that will follow me around the store and ask me every 10 minutes if I need something. This is usually at other stores...I think a few times at JCrew I've only caught them staring at me and watching my every move.

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  32. I stand by my earlier comment that we do encourage people to keep their items at the counter, so that they will not have second thoughts about them, put them back, and walk out without buying anything. I work at an upscale, national clothing store in a very upscale area of the country. I too have had many years of experience in the retail industry.

    Let's please agree that there's more than one reason people ask you to put your items behind the counter.

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  33. Jenny: we can definitely agree that there are many reasons why the practice of holding items behind the register for customers is done. :)

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  34. Re: Employee Discount

    I used to take classes with a girl who worked for J.Crew, but for the life of me, I cannot remember what she said her discount was. I do remember her going on about their dress code, such as a blazer with jeans.

    I imagine the discount is comparable to what I had at Williams-Sonoma, which was 40% off regular items, 20% off sale.

    When our local store was open, I never usually had problems with the staff ignoring me. The only employees that were an issue were the seasonal help, which is usual.

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  35. One of my employees used to work for J Crew a few yrs back. She said they HAD to wear J Crew jeans or some that had no embellishments or were not recognizable ie: Seven's Citizen's, William Rast, etc. They were given a small set up amt to buy a couple of basic things. If you were full time you would get 30% off full price nothing off sale and every so often there was a special 50% sale. They were told to blend w/ the J Crew style, but not really stand out over customers or look too glamed up. I believe also a Full time manager starts at $45,000 and then raises according to how well the store does $$$$ She also said the store encourages the customer to use their red phone rather than online, free shipping that way, plus the store gets higher ratings which turn into better $$$ salaries

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  36. Kirbydog, Haus_frau, & others: Thanks for sharing and giving us additional info on the J.Crew employee discount situation. Very insightful!

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  37. Something about the J Crew Card is that there are no free alertations on sale items. I have also never gotten a cardmembers only or early sale antyhing! I get the same stuff now as before i got the card. Bummer... I am out of the states now but will totally call when I get back! Free shipping would be fantastic!

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  38. The J.Crew employee discount is only just 20%...one of the reps on the phone told me when I was exchanging an item from one of their "extra 30% off sale" several months ago...she commented that my discount was better than her's, which she stated was only 20% off.

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  39. Thanks FabulousFloridaMommy! I was under the impression that their discount was more than 20%. But it is good to know! :)

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  40. That discount amount of 20%is way less than it was a year ago....I wonder if store employees get more than phone employees....I remember on gal I know saying she got an extra 30% off sale items when she worked at JCrew and I THINK the discount for regular priced items was MUCH higher. I also remember her saying that a special list of items came out for them each week or month and they got 70% off that list.

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  41. I've asked J Crew about the rewards card. Why only $25 for every $500? Why does it expire so quickly? Here is the response I received:

    Thank you for contacting us about the J.Crew Rewards card. If you look at the amount you receive it is actually 5% off the amount you spend. Most credit card rewards programs when you purchase $500 give you $5 to you which is 1% gain. When receiving airline miles $500 net purchase will reward you between $5-$10 dollars towards a domestic restricted flight. This equals only 1% to 2% gain. That is why we consider our rewards program better than most offered with other credit cards. We do also have a grace period of 15 days that we will still accept the card. After the 15th of the following month the card will be useless.

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  42. Rhetoric, that's all. It's like coupons at the grocery store actually used them or if all customers returned everything that did not fit or work for them, these suppliers/retailers would be in big trouble. Sounds like J Crew is getting cheap on employee discounts too.

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  43. Oooh, good to know about the grace period, st. Thanks! The expiration date always freaks me out and I feel pressured to buy something even if I happen to not like anything they have. And who wants to waste a coupon?

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  44. Does anyone know about the Preferred Customer card? I just got an offer letter from Jcrew. It doesn't seem like there's any difference with the regular Jcrew card.

    I emailed them that should offer some special benefit with the card like free shipping.

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  45. I promise you, there is none. I emailed J Crew about this and all they did was reiterate what is said about the regular J Crew card. I get so frustrated when I email J crew. They always give me a generic "company line" when I ask them a question or question their policies. But the thing that frustrates me the most is they NEVER answer the specific questions I ask DIRECTLY. They are evasive and hide behind company rhetoric. When I email them again to be specific they give me very LOOOOOOOONNNNGGG winded emails, avoid the question again and I give up...ain't worth it. I believe this is what they want, to be done with me. It reminds me so much of a politician the way they actually never answer my question, but turn it around so they sound wonderful and my question is petty, thus never really answered. Geeeshhhh! I am sure by now I am on their nuisance cutomer list.

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  46. Kirbydog- you have every right to be frustrated! Just keep on asking questions, they will eventually answer them! :)

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  47. Thanks Alexis, I will. The last time I emailed them it took several days before they replied. I started wondering if they thought I was some kind of wack-a-doodle, and put me on their "naughty" list. The thing is, I am serious. I am respectful in my inquieres and try to keep it concise and to the point. Their answers take on the form of "the best defense is a strong offense". They start telling me about the high quality of the clothes, fabrics from Italian mills, etc. (Although there are so many items constructed in China.... tangent, sorry.) I never mentioned a thing about lack of quality, I spend quite a bit of $$$ there, so yes I like their quality.... a few minor exceptions. But anyway I wish they would really listen and answer diretly.

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  48. re: employee discount.

    the employee discount is 30%, 50% , or 60% off. depends what the item is. positive.

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  49. Right now J.Crew is having 20% off the first purchase if you open a credit card... Do you happen to know how often they do discounts like that? I want to buy bridesmaids dresses here, but I don't want to buy them yet!

    Thanks!

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  50. Thanks for provide us this information, but I am searching for City Union Bank Customer Care Number. So can you please provide me CUB Customer Care Number.

    ReplyDelete

Dear J.Crew Aficionadas & Aficionados: Please feel free (and encouraged) to share your thoughts and opinions. :) However, please note that this is still a personal blog. So comments that are considered inappropriate (e.g. obscene, racist, homophobic, personal attacks, rude, and just plain mean) will be removed.

And now back to J.Crew! :)