Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another Article on J.Crew's Website

I am sure you are finding these posts about J.Crew's website a bit repetitive. However, I actually find something new in each article and I think you may find interesting as well. The following is an article from StoreFrontBackTalk (article link here) that was published on July 8, 2008:

JCrew Site Slows To A Crawl As Extensive New Features Launch
By Eric Athas

When the $1.3 billion JCrew apparel chain launched its new Web site on June 29, it was the culmination of a 2-year deployment effort. Seems that customers may have to wait a bit longer to fully use those new capabilities, as the site quickly crashed and has suffered significant slowdowns ever since.

On Tuesday (July 8), the tenth day of the problematic performance and with a "our Web site and call center are running slowly as we fine-tune the improvements" apology replacing JCrew's homepage, JCrew spokesperson Margot Brunelle-Fooshee said the problems are still slowing things down and the associated disclaimer "will probably be up until Friday" (July 11).

The 260-store chain's site changes include real-time inventory shopping carts, an online catalog interface (clicking on a picture in the catalog will display an option to add it to a cart) plus a new zoom feature and enhanced search abilities.

JCrew CIO Steve Dee said the slowdowns had been expected, because of the extent of the changes.
"Something this complex and this far-reaching has a lot of different variables in it, so we did anticipate that there would be periodic performance questions, because there's just so many layers to what you're dealing with," Dee said. "We serve images out to a third party provider, so everything needs to be copied down to them. You might find an image or Flash here or there that might take some time or might have even been wrong and you have to reload that. And every time it does that, it has to be cached out to that service provider. So they come back and they hit our server and they pull. So those were some of the periodic pieces that we found."

The CIO said the problems were not extraordinary. "You're going to run into some bugs when every system goes live," Dee said. "So we had to put out bug fixes. Those fixes often require that we would have to take down a server here or a server there, causing us not to be at full capacity."

I highlighted the parts that I thought were interesting. First, for a 2-year project the system roll out could have been a lot smoother. (We have mentioned before how GAP has system upgrades that don't last for weeks with dysfunctional functionality.) Second, it's pass the July 11th mark- so what does this mean (is the website now functioning like it should be)? Third, the problems J.Crew has been experiencing seem like they are in fact "extraordinary". I mean, charging customers for items they never received, not returning credits back to customer's credit cards, not knowing if items have been shipped or not, all seems like a big deal for any retailer. (But maybe that's just me.)

What do you think of the article? Do you agree or disagree? Do you think there were just "some bugs" that J.Crew had to deal with?

59 comments:

  1. I think it's a way of addressing the problem without really providing and addressing the deeper issues that have been existing with their core customers.

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  2. This problem is HUGE. This article is just glossing things over...it doesn't explain the CORE and far reaching problems that customers are facing. I, for one, am SO FED UP I could SCREAM.....If in fact this was planned for 2years that makes me even more upset b/c these are not just little bugs that have cropped up.

    My husband worked in IT support for a HUGE international company for many years before switching over to marketing for the same company....I have told him about the problems...he is just amazed....

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  3. I think the comments made by J.Crew people WERE and ARE ridiculous, and they are in utter denial if they think it's just a "few minor bugs" that need to be fixed. I mean, COME ON! It's been what, 3 weeks now?,and it's STILL not functioning properly? Items aren't available and showing that they are, prices are wrong, things are categorized incorrectly, customers are being charged for items they didnt' receive...the list of problems goes on and on! Seems to me like SOMEONE there needs to take the bull by it's horns and make a punchlist of all the problems and FIX them once and for all! You'd have thought that they would have sent an apology email to all the customers who's waitlisted orders prior to 6/29 were lost. I feel like the problem now is just so big they dont even know where to start to fix it. With online a mess, the CS's reps computers keep crashing, the wharehouse can't communicate with the call center....it's too many things at once to try and fix. And to boot, no new items have been added, and the sale stuff is quite honestly OLD and tired!
    BGD

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  4. I am really not impressed with any of this... to top it off I never received a statement last month. Thankfully I checked and paid it online.

    I'd love to pull for them but they are especially burning their clientele that don't live anywhere near a brick and mortar store. I've always known prices are higher online than in the stores, but I am really not feeling appreciated.

    This is totally off topic, but I thought about it due to my credit card bill and considering to cancel it...

    is there any real incentive (besides the $25 gift cards?) - I thought before they had something called the 'cashmere club' if you spent X amount each year. I spend thousands there each year and have yet to see any real advantages.

    One major disappointment!

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  5. I think that they are getting better. I am the same Anon who posted under "the consumerist article on J.crew's website" saying not geting my 7/1 order but got my 7/10 order last night. When I login this morning to my Jcrew account, I saw one item of my 7/1 order has been shipped with a real UPS tracking number. And the good news is this tracking number does show me this package will be my home today(For my 7/10 order, Jcrew did not provide the tracking #.). Of course I have no ideas will the stuff inside is what I expected. But I will hope for the best. In the other hand, even I know that one package is on its way to me, I did not get shipping comfirmation for it(I just checked my email.). So those of you who are expecting coming package may want to check your order and see if there is a tracking number for your order. Good luck.

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  6. Under their new system, the "order numbers" dont match the "reference numbers" shown under our creditcard charges. Now, how are we to track which order the charge corresponds to???

    I spent a few hours pulling my hair out ....trying to make sense of charges because recent orders are not shipped in their entireity and I want to make sure I am not double charged or charged for things not yet sent.

    JCrew is downplaying their problems. It would be nice if they sent out a general email to cardholders to assure us that they will protect our interests while they upgrade. I worry about doublecharges and overcharges which seem to be more and more common nowadays.

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  8. jcrew is just putting their spin out there, trying to lessen negative buzz of their horrible website/systems upgrade.

    I still haven't gotten my 6/26 order, half of which was cancelled, even though it was in-stock when I ordered it. I've been a very loyal shopper for over 10 years and I'm incredibly annoyed. It's going to be hard, but I don't forsee myself buying much from jcrew in the future... I may bend the rules of my self-imposed ban and ask for a few things for my birthday or xmas, though :)

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  9. JCrew is downplaying the website, as any company would do. They won't admit it's a botched roll-out. As Alexis said, Gap rolled out a website making access to 4 stores possible.

    This a.m. the CS said if you want something by a specific date, order using the priority shipping (3 day, etc.). If you use free shipping (standard) or standard, you may not get it by the expected date (even when you pay for standard).

    If delayed shipping is a result of the website upgrade, how can they expedite 3 day delivery on time & not the rest of the paid for standard delivery date orders? Is the backlog of orders so great from two weeks ago?

    Totally unacceptable & they need to disclaimer their shipping issues on their site.

    What about those folks who don't have time to look at the blog & haven't a clue about the mess behind the scenes?

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  10. Anonymous at 8:25 & 8:29 AM: I think you are both right, they are trying to address the issue but by glossing over it. I understand they don't want to lose customers, but I appreciate it more if they were upfront about the situation.

    BGD: I can't believe its almost 3 weeks now!?!

    Emily: That is awful you didn't get a statement. Good thing you checked online or you would have had to pay interest for being late. :( I don't have their credit card, but many have mentioned that there is much benefit to being "cashmere" status. It sounds like its just a different card but same perks.

    Anonymous at 8:46 AM: I agree the website is better than 2 weeks ago. However, I really thought by now that most of the kinks would have been worked out.

    Mom-NYC: I completely understand your frustration. I am really happy I haven't placed another order online during this debacle. The order I placed the day before the upgrade also made me pull my hair out (I got the one item I purchased three times, and I was charged three times too!) Unfortunately, we do have to be worried about overcharges and doublecharges (if not triplecharges).

    Heather: Hopefully you will still get part of your 6/26 (pre upgrade) order!!! :)

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  11. Rach: You brought up a good point- why pay for expedited shipping if all of shipping is facing a back up?

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  12. Alexis: CS told me to PAY for 3 day so I WOULD receive my order by the expected date. That's incredible! I have seven business days I could wait & order using free shipping or pay for standard but it's risky.

    Why is 3 day not risky if shipping issues are due to the website upgrade?

    (I'm not uppercasing at you in anger, just quickly placing emphasis.) :)

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  13. Hi Rach! I agree with you- I don't understand why CS would tell you that paying for expedited shipping guarantees you delivery of items when it seems like all items (regardless of shipping status: overnight, 3-day, standard, etc.) are facing a shipping delay.

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  14. I agree that JCrew needs to be HONEST with it's customers. NOT GLOSS THINGS OVER. The average JCrew customer is a highly educated professional or on their way to being one if in school still.... We are not stupid people who purchase from them. HONESTY is the best policy. I feel slightly insulted by them.

    I am going to cancel my JCrew card. Been thinking about it and this whole business has made me decide I don't need or want it anymore.

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  15. I agree with Emily's comment, the unreliability and higher prices of the website are frustrating to loyal customers who rely on online ordering. I lucked out on the timing of this mess b/c I was on vacation when they "upgraded" the site, otherwise I'm sure I would be trying to track down multiple orders as well.
    MJ in VA

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  16. That article is simply outrageous. I can't believe they are actually trying to gloss over the MAJOR problems with the website. This is not just about it being slow; they are messing with people's finances and credit ratings. I am very disappointed that they are not admitting what's happened and trying to make it up to their customers.


    There is NO WAY this is going the way they planned. If it is, then I would sell my stock :P

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  17. I still am waiting on several items to arrive from orders that I placed after the fisaco began (when they dangled the FREESHIP carrot in front of my nose). I am starting to receive items that I ordered prior to 6/27, but have had multiples sent (Playa bermudas are darling, but I really do only need ONE pair!), I have had wrong sizes sent, and frankly I am fed up with then entire thing. To add insult to injury I see NOTHING new on the website and, as bgd said, everything is starting to look OLD and tired. Blah!

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  18. I placed an order a few days ago and just got it, so I can't complain about the shipping time. BUT I used a coupon and now all of the items I bought are marked final sale! (maybe b/c with the coupon they were marked as .99 prices?) They weren't final sale items, and I specifically ordered the full price stuff b/c I wasn't sure about sizes. I'm trying to call customer service but each time, the wait is 20 - 25 mins! So I'm sitting on hold. Ridiculous! Did anyone else have this problem? Did it get resolved?

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  19. I complete agree with anonymous at 9:18 am - J. Crew needs to be HONEST about what is going on, not gloss it over. I too used to work in the marketing division of a big company before going back to grad school, and something like this would have NEVER flown there. People would have been fired immediately, customers notified of the problems etc. Overall, J. Crew has handled this really irresponsibly, and this article, with its flippant tone, just makes me more angry at them.

    As much as I love their clothes, bags, shoes - well everything - I am sincerely rethinking the money I spend there. Now that I have this wonderful blog (thanks again alexis - you're a genius!) I've made the vow to atleast no longer buy anything not on sale because the aficionadas are so helpful in finding things, which will definitely cut my spending!

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  20. I did place two orders during the recent fiasco, and I've since received both orders - though all the prices on the receipts were incorrect, but after calling a very helpful CS rep that should (allegedly) be rectified.

    So - two years, really? Based on the über-crappy user interface design and the obvious very little thought that was put into it, the problems appear to have started from the very beginning (before any of the "new features" were even developed). Without proper planning in the beginning, they have no where to go in the end but failure. Sure, they might've anticipated a few bugs here and there, but I guarantee - a company that makes so much of it's profit from online sales - they did NOT anticipate the issues that actually occurred after the launch. Or perhaps more user testing prior to launch would've been a good idea? Blaming incorrect imagery on a third party is a cop-out. Their new website has failed, and failed miserably.

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  21. I called yesterday regarding a product that was "null" on the site.... the CSR was very nice and when I started asking about the website she asked if she could provide my feedback to the client service team..... They obviously are concerned... I told her that the site has a cheap appearance and the items are wrong-- thus the user experience is sub-par to what I expect from J.Crew.

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  22. Another major point made is that JCrew is double, triple charging people and sending out multiple orders of the same item. I live overseas and rely on the generosity of family and friends to receive and hold my JCrew packages. They don't want/need to receive multiple items and I won't even know that I received the wrong thing or multiple items until I have a chance a month or two or even three from now to get the goods. I can no longer order either b/c items are being sent USPS without my prior knowledge and most of my family and friends work late hours and can't go to the post office to pick up my package for me nor do I want them to spend their vaulable weekend time doing so. UPS was handy as the package was just dropped off. I feel lucky to have family and friends to help me with my JCrew obbession but I can't "put them out" even more b/c JCrew screwed up. My sister had asked me not to have any more packages sent to her and I understand completely. Now I can't order even if I wanted to thanks to JCrew's screw ups....Thanks for reading my rant:) Love all you guys...at least I can read about all the fun fall stuff even if I can't buy any of it!

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  23. Yeah, blaming their image vendor is pretty lame - especially when it seems like they've made little to no effort in getting the little (or big) problems fixed. The Joelle cami that I ordered (and probably got short-shipped on, but that's another story) showed up in my cart as the links-print cami. Ha! I also noticed that one of the Candace jacket colors was "sweet ornage". Come on now, that's just embarrassing. But as long as they can get an order to go through on the website that's all that matters, right? Who cares if they can't ship the right thing, or apply correct charges? ;)

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  24. After reading many entries from writers complaining about being charged multiple times for one order, orders being charged to accounts and never being received and customers being over-charged for items it occurs to me that maybe people should start contacting the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). I just quickly glanced at their website - and while they don't resolve individual disputes I do think that they would be interested in the huge pattern of valid consumer complaints against J. Crew.

    I really love J.Crew, but they really need to get this stuff fixed.

    MJ in VA

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  25. Just wanted to update everyone that I FINALLY got one of my 6/26 order items (the other was cancelled, unfortunately). I'm glad I got it, but I can't be excited about it because it's a sweater and 90 degrees! Makes me sweat thinking about it! :)

    What I got was the cashmere bateau neck sweater in fossil heather in xs. I got the black one during a fall or winter sale last season, and LOVE it. The fit is great and it looks cute with jeans, minis, and pencil skirts. What I did get excited about with the new one was when I unpacked and unfolded it, turned it on its back and saw that it had cute opaque cream buttons. The black one has clear brownish/amber buttons (which I also like). I figured the buttons on the lighter color would also correspond to the fabric, but wasn't sure what I would get (clear, grey, white, etc.). I paid $79 on sale, which is around my limit for jcrew cashmere.

    Still, I have to reiterate how disappointed I am in the website overhaul, and in the rising cost/diminished quality of jcrew over the past few years. I will probably still buy things, but far more infrequently.

    Several posts back someone brought up that this year is the company's 25th anniversary, and I too wonder if they will do something special this fall... especially to make up to the loyal customer base that feels slighted. :(

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  26. I think that J Crew is in corporate la-la land. I also shop online at Gap and BR and when they have site upgrades, I have never experienced such bad customer service and/or site delays. For a project that took two years to roll out, the site is a joke.

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  27. I was thinking of contacting the FTC after reading an earlier post under a different heading which mentioned doing just that.....I feel really bad about doing this however b/c I love JCrew to death but enough is enough and this is my money and my credit rating...

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  28. heather, interesting that you mentioned diminished quality - I purchased the Kayla blouse two weeks ago at my local b&m, took the tags off it the next morning, put it on and noticed that the side seam had unravelled, leaving about a 2 inch split up the side. It can be easily fixed, but geez! Also, I purchased the sunwashed cotton swing skirt (gorgeous and perfect for summer), washed it once on the delicate cycle, and the pocket now has a hole in it. Again, it can be sewn, but I've got pieces from GAP that I've worn for years and never had to mend. If we're going to have to do half the work of sewing our J.Crew pieces after wearing (or washing) them once, then they shouldn't be charging about $100 per piece. Just sayin'!

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  29. It seems like I am constantly sewing on loose buttons from my JCrew items....esp. sweaters. Sales associate also commented on this with his own men's purchases. (I am commenting on my women's sweaters....)

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  30. I just had to post in regards to the multiple charges, charges for items that never come issue. I agree and sympathize with everyone. I'm a customer in Canada, so if something like that happened to my Canadian credit card I would totally lose money with the 2.5% currency conversion fee (which is part of the total, it's not a separate charge in case people misunderstood) I'm charged both for purchases AND returns. So if JCrew had the nerve to charge me 3x for something, I'd pay that fee 3x, and if they refunded the amount, I'd pay the fee again 3x, and there's no way to recover that amount I'm out. Customers using non-US credit cards, please do remember this!

    Thankfully, I haven't ordered anything since this craziness started and I won't because of the risk. For those of you who've had to deal with this, I totally support the suggestions to report them to the FTC. There is absolutely no reason JCrew should be held to a different standard just because it makes nice clothes. Clothes are clothes, but messing with your hard earned cash and credit is another matter. Sorry for the long post, but it's ridiculous this 'upgrade' has come at the customer's expense.

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  31. I've only tried on my cashmere lily cardigan a few times and already the middle button is hanging by its thread! Since it's cashmere, is it ok to use regular thread to sew it back on? What a hassle, good thing I paid the marked down price.

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  32. Today I went to the store to return one of the duplicate orders I received. They are having trouble opening the online order info. in the store, so they told me my only option was to leave the item I was returning with them and they would process the return in a few hours, call me when it went through and mail me the receipt!!! I asked if they could just process it as if it were a return from an item I purchased in the store (so I could get my receipt then and there) and they said that wasn't possible.

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  33. I am always sewing on loose buttons from my j.crew cardigans too! Also, ever notice that the lightweight merino wool starts pilling after one wearing and looks totally worn out after 2 wearings?

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  34. eathas@storefrontbacktalk.comJuly 16, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    Interesting stuff here. We're doing a follow-up to this story and would like to hear your thoughts. Send me an e-mail if you're interested in talking.

    eathas@storefrontbacktalk.com

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  35. silver lining,

    I got a liberty fabric button down shirt (the green one) 2 weeks ago at a b+m, and several of the buttons seem very loose. :/

    I bought stretch bootcut cords in eggplant last fall, wore them 3 times and washed once over the course of a few months, and both seams underneath the side belt loops came apart... And they aren't even tight on me! They offered to send me another pair, but by then I had already fixed the seams myself so I just kept them. Very annoying considering I have jcrew cords from 5-6 years ago that have held up great as far as seams, ripping, etc goes (though some of the wales are worn out on the bum from so much wear!).

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  36. Anonymous at 11:05 AM: I am very sympathetic to your situation considering you rely on family/friends to hold your packages. It is a shame what is happening.

    Cass: I can't believe the store wouldn't process your return right then and there. That is outrageous to me- especially since you took time to drive all the way there. I would also not leave my item with the receipt for them to get to later.

    eathas@storefrontbacktalk.com: I am sure you can find many J.Crew Aficionadas here who would be willing to share their story with you. :)

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  37. I brought this up a few times. Check your sales tax! I had mine applied wrongly repeatedly because that's how the JCrew system automatically computes it using a much higher percentage. Each time I had to call and get an adjustment. This has gone on for weeks since the upgrade (which seems more like a downgrade in my opinion). If they know it's a system error, why can't they fix it? I'm sure that would interest the FTC greatly.

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  38. I am STILL waiting on my July 2 order of the Sea Glass Piper Tank. I just got off the phone with CS, and once again I was told that they have no way of verifying anything about my order. No one offers to accommodate me in any way, it's basically like well tough luck. Just sit there and wait to see if it comes. I asked if they would do a search for me, and the CSR, Monique, said that wouldn't work. Monique made a notation on my order that I could return it, and said that I could call around and see if any stores have it. I called Copley in Boston like Aly suggested, but they are all out of the sea glass tank.


    I am so angry!!! And no one in CS cares ... they are acting like I am just impatient. I'm sorry, but I was charged for this item on the day it shipped, and have no tracking info or anything to tell when it MIGHT get here, or even if it WILL get here!


    Blumre: I noticed that CSR's are very accommodating to you and give you gift cards, etc. Is there anything in particular that you say to them? I feel like no one cares about my problem :( And I know that I am not alone.

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  39. Michelle: Sorry to hear about your Sea glass piper tank. I think we all need to get some tips from Blumre our heroine! The most I ever got offered was free shipping (during that free shipping period!) until I wrote a scathing email asking them how did they manage to ship my order to Illinois, and short-ship another order in the span of 2 days and had the cheek to offer me free shipping which is available to the whole wide world as a gesture of apology? Well, they wrote back 5 days later, and offered me a $20 gift card. I have yet to make sure that 1) it will actually materialize; and 2) it's not charged to my CC, like some of us here experienced.

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  40. I've been lurking the past few weeks, but wanted to share my experience. This website is genius, BTW.
    On 7/10 ordered a (full price) Sophia short silk dress for myself and linen pants for my DH for a friend's wedding 8/02. Order still says "released" and "open" but no charge to my credit card.
    Called CS (20 min wait!) and she gave me the standard "wait the full 10 days" before calling but when I explained that it was for a wedding and I needed time to get to the tailor etc. she spoke to "special circumstances" who told me they were going to expedite the order.
    I'm skeptical, since she told me initially that she had no way of tracking my order. But if they CAN find my order and expedite it, why can't they straighten out everyone's shipping?
    I'm disgusted. I should have gotten a dress at Ann Taylor.

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  41. Today Jcrew won me back. I've been very disappointed with the website upgrade and the shipping delays. Was anyone seriously thinking it was an improvement? I called about my two orders which I have been waiting on for over two weeks.

    The CS rep named Victoria was great. Very helpful, very understanding. She's sending me a $25 gift card and the next time I order I can have express shipping for free.

    The only catch is having to call the order in and reference the previous two orders. But they are trying.

    If I don't have my orders by the middle of next week I am to call again and they will do something. So they are trying and while I wait I'll take the free stuff.

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  42. Michelle: I'm sorry that the Copley store didn't have your Sea Glass Piper tank. I wonder if they really looked because it was in the sale section on a rack with a bunch of other piper tanks, but it was the only sea glass one. Plus, I saw it Monday afternoon. I'm surprised it's already gone because I saw it a week before that. If I'm around the area today, I'll try to check it out again for you.

    Also, does anyone know how long it takes for J Crew to get back to a customer about an email? I had many complaints and was promised price adjustments at least a week ago that never showed up as credit on my statement. I would call, but every time I call I only get empty promises and representatives saying they will take care of my situation. Well, so much for that.

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  43. I had commented under a previous post, but a repost might be helpful:

    "...many credit card companies have policies against retailers charging before shipment. If your credit card issuer has such a policy and you have encountered problems, you should inform them that J.Crew does not comply with the issuer's policies.

    Also, info on the Fair Credit Billing Act and "Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule" can be found here.

    If all else fails, complaints may also be filed with the Federal Trade Commission here."

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  44. the site is a mess. everything i click on in the sale section seems to be "now $null". it shouldn't even be showing these items if they are not available.

    the sale items don't show up in the regular section anymore. if i click on "women" i want to see ALL the items, not just the full price items.

    and it's SLOW!!!

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  45. Aly: Thanks for looking out for me, I appreciate it. I just sent CS a pretty scathing email like Vivian did, and I mentioned that it's illegal to charge customers' credit cards for merchandise they have reason to believe the customer might never receive. If you happen to see the Sea Glass tank in a 4, please do hold it for me and let me know.


    I'm off to give the brats at Willow Grove a talking to about the student discount I want on the buttery twill pants I have on hold there ;)

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  46. Delia: Thanks for the nice comment about the blog. Also, I really hope you can get your dress and pants for your friend's wedding. It's nice that J.Crew will "look into" the order, but its a shame that they have to in the first place. Hopefully you will find out the status (either way) soon. :)

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  47. Jcrew could take a lesson from Bloomie's....they have their act together! From an email I received today:

    The Registry at Bloomingdale's is committed to providing you with outstanding service and registry tools to manage all aspects of your event.

    From time to time, we must improve our technology to provide all registrants with the best resources for their registry. We are currently in the process of upgrading our systems and as a result are experiencing a temporary outage with our Thank You Card Manager feature.

    During this outage, you will still have the ability to view a record of the gifts that have been purchased for you at Bloomingdale's. However, not all guest names will appear with the items they have purchased. We encourage you to save all gift cards and packing slips that arrive with your gifts so that you may refer to this information if needed.

    We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and will notify you as soon as the tool is functioning properly. Please feel free to contact one of our in-store consultants or The Registry at Bloomingdales.com for any assistance with the management of your registry. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

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  48. J.Crew Guy in Canada, I dealt with Victoria too and thought she was very helpful. Actually, I have yet to have a bad experience with a CSR and I do feel for them, given the difficult situation in which the company has placed them.

    After my visit to a B&M J.Crew last week, my beef with J.Crew right now is that the prices are so much better in the stores, which is unfair to those of us aficiondas (and aficionados!) who don't live near a store. I very nearly paid $180 for the super 120s dress online that was $49.99 plus 25% off in the store.

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  49. argh! OK, so I just called the store where I left my online return item (since they couldn't process it at the time I was there, and said they would take care of it in a few hours and call me). Now they told me it will take 48(!) hours for them to process it, and that it is a "company-wide problem."

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  50. I am amazed that it was a 2 year process for the website to look and function like Ann Taylor and Banana Republic (well, function like them once it is "up and running"). They are acting like the new website is something beyond what anyone else has done, or is doing, and that is why there are so many issues with it. Everything they mentioned that is new, such as the Zoom feature and adding the item to your cart without changing webpages, has been done for a LONG time at the other websites such as Gap, BR, Old Navy, and Piperlime. It's all a load of crock and completely ridiculous.

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  51. I too am a little stunned that the website and CS center updates are a result of two years worth of effort. What was the overriding goal of this effort - how much can we aggravate our customer base?

    A CS rep told me something rather disturbing about the upgrades. I had called in an attempt to replace a Joelle blouse damaged by my dry cleaner (RIP dear Joelle and yes, my cleaner is willing to reimburse me). Sadly, there was no blouse in my color/size at the distribution center so I requested an in-store search. I was told that the new upgrades prohibit CS from doing in-store searches for sale items. Has anyone else heard this?

    And why are sales items 25% off in stores but not on-line – shouldn’t the offers match whether you are a store or internet customer?

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  52. Yet another strange statement:

    So, because my discount on the super 120s dress hadn't gone through, I called customer service again tonight.

    The CSR (who was polite, under the circumstances) said: "Just so you know ma'am, it's now "policy" that we can't give web customers an adjustment to store prices unless you are CALLING FROM THE STORE. This is because it's "policy" that store customers are treated differently than web customers. Web customers get special discounts that store customers don't and vice versa."

    I explained that it's very unfair to web customers (who may not have a store nearby) to charge vastly different prices than those charged to store customers--in fact, it is arguably akin to the policy VS had of charging differnt prices to customers in different ZIP codes. GRRRR! Anyway, she was giving me the discount (that had already been promised!) as a special one-time courtesy to me.

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  53. Pure spin. The website as it stands now is impossible to use, still, after over three weeks of "bugs." Even if I had been able to find something to buy over the last couple of weeks, after reading the horror stories posted on this blog I would have been hesitant to place an order. And to say that the upgrade took two years!? If I were the CEO and this debacle were the culmination of a two year effort, heads would be rolling somewhere.

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  54. I have to say that I am really disappointed with J.Crew's customer service. I had heard all these great things about it, and at times it has been great, but for me those times do not outnumber the mediocre or downright awful treatment I have received. Their policies are as inconsistent as their service.

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  55. hey michelle - I agree. we have the same problem with the student/educator discount in the dc area - I just wrote an email about it yesterday, we'll see what they say.

    I'm also really frustrated that many people are reporting back that online/other stores aren't going to honor different prices UNLESS you're in the store. That really bothers me, and is completely unfair to people that DON'T HAVE STORES. I understand that things are priced differently per retail channel, and gap, banana, anthropologie all do it too, but if you have the knowledge that it is a different price elsewhere, they should make the call to check and HONOR THE PRICE.

    This whole experience over the last couple of weeks just make me think I'm going to be a much bigger store shopper/red phone user from now on.

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  56. I am officially done with J.Crew until they get their act together. Two years (and counting) to implement a poor copy of the Ann Taylor website? And the J.Crew representative comments in the article just add insult to injury, showing that either they just don't get it, or they underestimate the intelligence of their customers.

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  57. J.crew is really trying, I know to many that will sound unbelievable, but I received an email after talking to a cs rep on the phone. In the email they are sending me another gift card for $25 and free express shipping. I must call in the orders to get the free shipping and reference my two orders I am still waiting on. The orders were placed July 1.

    The email, like the phone call said that if the orders are not here by the 23 to call again. I'm not happy with waiting, but the gift cards and free shipping will be used with the new fall clothing.

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  58. What's the difference between J.Crew and the Titanic? The people in charge of the Titanic actually acknowledged the iceberg.

    J.Crew are finished. The ship is going down. The question now is how many will go down with it.

    It was nice while it lasted.

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  59. Guess what, almost 2 month after the mess and I am STILL having problems galore. Missing items, dropped items, not being able to buy sale items (unless at full price at checkout) and most aggravating, being overcharged or charged for items I did not get. Unacceptable. At least some of you got gift cards, I got lame excuses, anybody know where I can vent or possible have someone listen to me, I have probably contacted them 10 times in the past week and I feel my trouble, and ton of money I have spent this summer is worth more than "gee, sorry". At least a gift card would help me feel I got the money back they overcharged me for with the shipping, pricing mistakes. This company will go out of business if they don't smarten up soon.

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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! :)