Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Light at the End of J.Crew's Ordering Tunnel :)

"Thank you!" to Gillian who shared with us some interesting (and great!) news from a J.Crew customer service representative (CSR): "When speaking with j.crew customer service they explained that they are still having problems reconciling what is in the warehouse vs. what shows up as available online. SO – this weekend they are going through the entire warehouse and will be counting every item. Hopefully by next week this ongoing problem will be fixed and we will all be able to receive our entire orders moving forward."

Again, "thanks!" to Gillian who let us know about this. :)

As some of us have experienced first hand, many orders have been short-shipped or canceled due to lack of inventory (despite showing as "in stock" online). I really do hope that J.Crew can sort out the inventory issues this weekend to show in-stock items only on their website.

For those of you who have refrained from purchasing (either not purchasing as much or not purchasing at all) since the website upgrade: will you purchase online again if the inventory issues are resolved? If the inventory issues are resolved, do you think J.Crew will not only update their sale section, but have an awesome sale section (with lots more items being offered) next week? ;)

77 comments:

  1. Yes, I would purchase again. The 30% & free overnight they've given me for the amount of trouble I've encountered sure helps with my decision. Honestly, anyone who've purchase from J.Crew for the first time would probably be turned off by their service & I wouldn't blame them. Lucky for them, there's a bit of brand loyalty in me.

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  2. I doubt the problem was caused by human counting errors. Most likely it was caused by the discrepency between systems. I do not expect they can solve it soon.

    It has been a fact Jcrew doesn't fulfill its orders according to when they are placed. It is frustrating that earlier order is canceled, but later ones are fulfilled.

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  3. I made the mistake of ordering online yesterday, tempted by the private sale. Today, two items waitlisted and one cancelled. So in theory, there will be one item shipped sometime next week. The really annoying part is that when I look at my order online, I can't tell whether the discount was applied. I also can't tell if and/or how much of my giftcard was applied etc. So I check my credit card and there are TWO charges from JCREW in amounts that baffle me.

    I'm pissed. I love JCREW clothing but I HATE the new system and I REALLY HATE that I can't buy in the stores (SZ 16 clothes, 12 shoes). Now when you throw in the fact that JCREW doesn't even bother to make the really cute clothes in my size (I WANT A SERGE SKIRT), I'm uber-pissed at JCREW.

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  4. OT: I know that there was a post reviewing the Tuesday trench but I'm not sure anyone is looking at that post anymore since it was a few days ago. Has anyone seen the deep persimmon color? Is it bright flaming orange or is more of a red-orange. I'm thinking of buying it in deep persimmon because I already have a navy coat.

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  5. A physical count sounds fantastic. Sorry to be a big ol' cumulonimbus, but I thought the ordering system & website were the problems. Hopefully the new software platform or whatever got overhauled has been straightened out enough to support whatever inventory gets recorded.

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  6. I still won't be ordering...not worth the possible hassle...and like someone commented...how much of it is the new computer system and how much is human/warehouse counting error...until I read of MANY successful orders over a period of time...say a full month...I won't personally be ordering...and I used to spend about $1,000 per month...I have only bought two new fall items and don't plan to buy any sale ones...

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  7. The inventory count is great however it is not going to fix the computer glitch of every 4th or 5th order getting stalled in the system, a CS told me this.

    JC also has to bring the new CS hires up to speed about the company policies and what their service level is, i.e Yes, they do give tracking #s to Canada over the phone.

    Like others on this site I have encountered some very bad CS this week trying to chase an order, I had to go through 6 CS to get an experienced one. When I did get that experienced CS I received the usual gold standard service level that we used to get before the upgrade. It should not be that difficult to get basic information about why an order is not going through the system as it normally should.

    I really hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel, but inventory is not the only problem here. I want JC back to the way it was before the upgrade!

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  8. Glad they are doing the inventory count but this is not going to solve what appears to be the multitude of problems going on with online/catalog ordering from JCrew...a good start maybe but I believe there is a long way to go still...

    Also, found out something interesting about the status of back ordered on an item from an experienced CS...it does not necessarily mean they are getting more stock in....they also give the dates waiting for someone to return the item!!! That is why some backordered items never get filled and cancelled! Wow! That is why I only get about 50% of the items that I have ever had on backorder!

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  9. This might help for a couple of days, until computer glitches mess up inventory again. I hope they don't start doing manual counts on a regular basis - that's really inefficient, and we'll be the ones who pay for it.

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  10. I'll believe it when I see it...they have GOT to do something about their *new system* because it sucks...things just CANNOT continue to go on like this, and they should be COMPLETELY embarrassed and apologetic at this point...the whole ordeal is beyond absurd!

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  12. I don't think that an inventory count will be the answer to their/our problems. Their computer system is cancelling orders even when it shows that there are plenty in stock. I ordered a velvet ecole jacket on Fri and today it showed cancelled. I called CS (who was very nice) and she had no idea why it was cancelled as their were plenty in stock. She reordered for me...we shall see!
    svid

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  13. ffm: I agree with you that something must be done. It seems like this has gone on too long. It's time to hire someone (company/people) that can fix these problems once and for all!

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  14. there not their - sorry
    svid

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  16. A customer service rep told me the same thing about two weeks ago, that the CSR system and the warehouse cannot "talk" to each other yet.

    I waited until late August to place my first order after the upgrade, and have placed several since, with minimal problems (I'd say 90% have been fine). Those problems I had were dealt with quickly (although I didn't get any free offers or coupons or anything, but I was embarrassed to ask). I love J.Crew--every day this week I wore something from JC, and every day this week I got a compliment on how nice I looked. So no, I won't give it up. Like Jefft said, my brand loyalty and success level with J.Crew far outweighs the problems I've had, and I'm sure they'll work it out. I'm far more concerned about the higher prices!

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  17. O/T: JC policy on price adjustments is 7 days, when does the 7 days start - day of creating the order? or - day it actually ships out from the warehouse?

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  18. casual-crew: I asked that same question to my sa last time I was in, and he told me it started from the charge date. However, I argued this point earlier this summer and won (I ordered through the find it for you, and the store didn't even mail it until 1 week after they'd charged my card! It took almost a month, but cs finally credited my cc). Good luck!

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  19. Were it not for brand loyalty I would have jumped ship right after the changeover. Ugh.

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  20. One cool story - I had ordered a pair of blue suede Kingston mocs back in May, before the website upgrade. They were waitlisted for mid-June. August rolls around, and still nothing. I emailed them to ask about it, expecting to be told they didn't have any in stock, which they promptly responded with. And then, two days later, I got an email saying it was being shipped! How crazy (awesome) is that? I guess someone had just returned a pair in my size?

    Also, that's crazy about waitlisted items not necessarily being replenished in supply! Sometimes, I also think waitlisted items are ones they are in the process of producing and that it's just up there to be up there, for placeholder olders. I think that because sometimes an item with multiple waitlisted colors will have the same waitlist date.

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  21. Seems like a physical count will only help JC determine which final sale items are completely out of stock so the images can be taken off the website. I cannot see how a physical count can solve a problem in a system that relies on dynamic information about the website. Because all catalog returns to B&M stores go back to catalog, they information needs to be constantly updated. Thus, the real problem--integration between their inventory control system and ordering system--needs to be fixed.

    OT: I asked a CS rep if I could be put on a waitlist on an item I had planning to buy got wiped out during the Private Sale. Seems likely that someone who purchased an Isabel Slate Gray in my size will return one for size or fit issue. She said it cannot be done once the computer shows that an item is out of stock. What a pain, now I have to stalk the website.

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  22. Sigh...It would be lovely if this was indeed the "light at the end of the tunnel." But how could human counting at the warehouse help? they'd have to freeze all ordering, because while they were counting, orders would still be taking place, thus messing with their numbers.

    I just placed an order yesterday (couldn't resist the 20% private sale) and it is one of my biggest orders in a while. I'm a little nervous that I'll get the short end of the stick with a bigger order; all of my orders over the summer were smaller and I had no problems with any of them. I did order a pair of bootcut jeans that were extremely low in stock (I think there were 2 left when I ordered online!) on a whim...hearing everyone else's stories, I can't imagine actually getting them, but perhaps I'll be lucky!

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  23. I don't feel good about the idea that J.Crew thinks that a piece-by-piece manual, human counting of every item is going to fix this. Even if it does, doesn't this problem indicate a bigger system problem with their tracking program? I'd like to know that they've diagnosed and fixed the underlying problem before resorting to a count like this. I worked retail at the Gap in high school and had to do hand counts several times a year - they are not easy, and they burn huge resources! I hope J.Crew knows what they're doing here. ;-)

    FSW

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  24. OT: Has anyone bought the mercerized cotton vneck? I got one yesterday in honey glaze (LOVE that color!) It appeared somewhat shiny online, but it had a cool look to it. Just curious if anyone had any thoughts on it...

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  25. Like so many of you have said, it seems that a physical count will only determine the items on sale and not correct the difficulty in ordering.

    Luckily the whole 'downgrade' was the reason I was hooked up with my PS. She has proven how important the human aspect to shopping is, even though the majority of the time I email her. She's made shopping with J.Crew a pleasure once more.

    I doubt I will ever order the old way of clicking items into the online shopping bad, typing in my credit card and hoping for the best. I plan to stick with what works and it's definitely my PS.

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  26. We'll see... I like others am not sure what a hand count would do when the problems are technology related.
    I am still going to wait for a few weeks of successful ordering before I take the plunge.

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  27. jcrew guy: I have an online PS. She gives me wonderful ideas, but I was under the assumption that I was to order on my own. Am I incorrect? TIA for clearing this up for me! :)

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  28. I've only ordered over the phone since the upgrade and that has helped me avoid most problems. I am happy to hear that they might finally be reconciling most of their problems. Frankly having a personal shopping, someone who I can call when something goes wrong, someone who knows my case has also really helped. I dont need to repeat all the stupid information over and over again. That is very comforting.

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  29. Jcrewjunkie: Shopping with my PS is pretty straight forward. I either call or email her what I want, colour, size, and so on. I haven't asked her for suggestions yet as I'm pretty clear on what I want.

    Is this similar to your situation?

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  30. FFM: It is so funny that you mentioned that we have become accustomed to not knowing if we will get the item ordered- because it is so true for me! I don't expect to receive the item I order online or over the phone anymore. (I really hope I will get the item, but I know there is a possibility I won't. I didn't feel this way with the old system.) ;)

    svid: Although the random canceling of your order is awful, I am happy to hear you were on top of it and was able to re-order your ecole jacket. :)

    Melanie: Congrats on getting the Kingston mocs!!! :)

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  31. Does anyone know how many warehouses J.Crew has, or whether there is a regional component to any of the difficulties?

    I note that all my stuff ships out of Logan, Utah (according to the UPS tracking info) yet it seems like the East Coasters tend to get their orders more quickly than I do (assuming no screwups), so I wonder if there is another warehouse/shipping center. Even before the upgrade it took a minimum of eight days (If I ordered on Monday I'd get it the Tuesday of the following week). Now, of course, it seems to take a longer time to ship even for orders that aren't screwed up.

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  32. hexicon, with the exception of my last order, everything I've ever received from .com has been shipped from Secaucus, NJ. It used to always take 2 days to receive my orders once they shipped so I knew if I wanted something on Friday, I'd have to order by Wednesday morning at the absolute latest. The Felicia coat that I just got was actually shipped from Roanoke, VA, and it took 5 days to receive.

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  33. casual crew: My opinion is that the 7 day price adjustment period should start when you RECEIVE the item. It's ridiculous to think it starts once your card is charged!

    One of my biggest frustrations with JC right now is that your order status says "shipped", but then the box sits in their warehouse for up the 3 DAYS before UPS actually picks it up. What is up with that??? I have to keep checking UPS for days before it actually shows that it's in transit. Don't get too excited when you get a shipping confirmation email...it means nothing.....

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  34. hex - All of my UPS tracking info originates in Utah as well. I don't know the answer to your question but I was told by a CS that there is one clothing warehouse and it's in Virginia. The CS reps, in contrast, are across the nation.

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  35. Silver Lining, wow, two days! That's amazing. It's not like I live in Alaska or anything.

    Hmm, so do the East Coasters think they've had it worse than us Left Coasters with the screw-ups?

    I've placed about a dozen orders since the update and have had problems with two: a new, in-stock fall T-shirt took almost four weeks to ship--eventually they overnighted one to me (I didn't ask them to overnight it, just to SHIP it) and then a week later a second arrived. I also had a Martine that was cancelled due to no inventory (they never actually told me it was cancelled) and then it showed up a month later on my door. So, I've certainly experienced some difficulties, but they don't seem as pervasive and extreme as those that others dealt with.

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  36. They had a system that worked in the past. And with their previous system, if an item was "waitlisted" they used to send postcards with updates on "waitlisted" items. And they offered free shipping for a future order. (They used to include a postcard with wording to that effect).

    The old system was just more efficient in keeping track of orders AND getting orders shipped out. Most items would be shipped out within 2-3 days. Not any more.

    Keeping track of what is available in inventory is only part of their problem. They also need to review their system of how to keep clients informed of changes or updates on orders.

    Now it seems we have to followup to find out what is going on with our orders.

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  37. All of my orders ship out of the VA warehouse, which I believe is in Lynchburg (where their headquarters is, I think?) Anyway, once my order status changes to "shipped" i get my orders within 1-2 days since I'm in NC. The issue, however, is always HOW LONG that status takes to actually change to "shipped"!

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  38. jcrew guy: So all that I have to do is email her with what I want and she will do the rest? Whew...since I don't live near a B&M having someone handle things for me would be great! I'll try emailing her (J Crew Rachael) with an order and see what happens. Thank you so much for the info....MUCH MUCH appreciated! Have a great weekend. :)

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  39. By the way...Ann Taylor Loft is having a sale this weekend. 20% off and free shipping with orders of $125. Code is STYLE20.

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  40. All of my items ship out of Lynchburg as well. If (which has been the case recently) or when I get them it never takes more than 2-3 days. I did notice that orders that I place via my J Crew card arrive much more quickly than order that I place with my Mastercard. Go figure.

    Also, I finally opened my "we play favorites" card last night and found that my gift card was for $75and not the $25 that some of the others received (my sister for one). Not sure why but maybe it is based on how much I order. Most certainly it was to entice the recipient into signing up for a J Crew card.

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  41. My mother just recently ordered a 3 tee shirts, a sweater, and a pair of flats - and unfortunately, everything but one t-shirt was canceled.

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  42. I was told by a CS that when an item is low inventory, it delays the order because they wait and see if the item is actually there, or if there has been a return, before they will cancel the order.

    math teacher & leslie: CS tried to tell me it was from the day I placed the order, I argued that it was the date shipped, and I won, then she told me if it has not appeared on my cc in a month to call back,,hmmmm we will see on that one.

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  43. Hi! I've been a secret reader of this blog since May and I've finally decided to come out. This blog is like my morning coffee...I can't start the day without reading it. Most days I actually come to this blog first before checking J.Crew. Kinda funny. But, today I thought "what the heck", and I decided to post. Anyways, a little about me...I wear J.Crew about 99% of the time (with the exception of a few pairs of jeans and some pumas), and I really don't consider even shopping anywhere else. It drives my DH (i love the abbreviation!!!) crazy. He says it's my addiction, but he thinks it's more funny than anything. I'm an accountant who refuses to wear heels (even though i'm only 5'6" and it's pretty much custom for women accountants to wear heels). I tend to wear mainly jeans, t-shirts, jackets and flats. Kinda my staples.

    Anyways, I just wanted to say hi...so "hi". I love the blog Alexis and hopefully I'll have time to start posting.

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  44. Jcrewjunkie: My PS works out of head office, but I bet emailing ours would work well too. My orders also ship from Lynchburg.

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  45. jayhawk: I hear you about this blog!! I, too, just discovered it about two weeks ago and it is totally "my morning cup of coffee"!! (especially, because I check it out while having my morning coffee, before the kiddos wake up). You know it's sad when your children are hounding you to get going to school in the morning while you are reading about the latest JC offerings and reviews. I'm so pathetic!! I need to get a job just to maintain my JC habit. If there were a Crew near me, I would be working there. Although, I'd probably have to give THEM a check every week!!!

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  46. kay f, I feel your pain! I want a Serge skirt too but the 14 just does not fit over my size 16 hips! It's really annoying that only the most basic styles and the bridesmaids dresses (which I have no need for) come in 16. My PS told me she is noticing that more and more styles are only going up to size 12. I may write a letter to Mickey after the whole website fiasco is fixed.

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  47. Ordering online or over the phone: I've mainly ordered over the phone since the "upgrade" and have had 2 of those orders cancelled. It doesn't matter which way you place the order...still can have problems.

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  48. What does DH stand for? I've been reading this blog for months now and can't figure it out :)

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  49. Anon @ 4;43

    DH= Dear Husband/Darling Husband

    :-)
    FSW

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  50. Anoy@4:43 I am not sure but I think it means...dear hubby (husband)

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  51. We shall see - I tried to order the Jardin Dress yesterday via phone to see if they can search stores for my size - they only had a 0 on the website, after not even showing the dress on the site for a few weeks. I would've got free shipping and 20% off. A few hours later, I got an email saying the dress was not found and the order request was being cancelled. Oh well, I thought. This morning, I saw online that they 'had' the dress in my size, so I ordered it with the free shipping immediately. After thinking, I called & explained I ordered the dress yesterday and asked for the 20%, which they credited me (with a little chiding for the free ship, but the CS honored it, too). I am not holding my breath on this order, but hope I get it as I've been lusting after that dress since I saw it! Wish me luck!

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  52. jcrew guy: Let me make sure that I understand you correctly. Do you call your PS? All of my dealings (thus far) have been via email. I am not sure where my Rachael hails from (front office, home office, or what!!) LOL. How did you find out where your PS was based? I am so very, very sorry if I sound stupid.

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  53. jcrewjunkie: I have called my PS, but usually find it easier to email her. She's based in the head office and not in a store. I actually asked her what her title is once and where she was.

    And how else can you find out the answer if you don't ask. This blog has taught me so much; that's why I keep coming back to it.

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  54. Alexis: Here's an idea for a post...I ADORE this blog and check it several times daily. But I sometimes think that we get bogged down on things that are going wrong with our orders, rude CS reps, etc. In an effort to stay more positive, how about a post dedicated to all the GOOD experiences we've had recently with the Crew? This is not to say that the negative experiences are not worth commenting about, and I am not calling out anyone who does it (I've commented my fair share of bad experiences!) but it'd be a refreshing twist to compliment what is going right with this store that we love (and sometimes love to hate, right? ;) even when j.crew is having a difficult time. Just a thought... :)

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  55. I find alot of people on this blog post positive things when they happen..but right now unfortunately there are alot of negative stuff that is going on with JC that is tipping the scales to a more negative tone.

    Heck, I even posted about my accurate order this week, but I also ranted about my messed up one too.

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  56. why bother creating a post that'd get maybe 2-3 comments at the moment, lol

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  57. Hey J Crew Guy in Canada, when you email "your" CS, do you have a specific email address? or do you use the main email address and ask them to route it? Also, same question when you call? How does that work? Thanks! I think I need to get one of those instead of calling and crossing my fingers for a good one... :)

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  58. Christyn: cool idea. I think we'd be able to find a lot of good within the bad if we just look for it :) And yes, there are definitely a lot of positive comments on this blog, but it'd be cool to have one space completely devoted to them.

    Re: personal shoppers...I have a PS that I communicate with through email. However, it usually takes SEVERAL days (4-5) for her to get back with me, which sometimes makes ordering through her kind of pointless. I like the idea of the PS, but wish it were a little more convenient. Does anyone else on here communicates via email, and have you had the same experience? Maybe I just need to pick up the phone(?)

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  59. There are a lot of well deserved rants since the upgrade. Where else can you vent knowing others completely understand your frustration. However, there is still great service to be had from the Jcrew employees. An SA in store yesterday was kind enough to take the last Rose print tee off the manni for me :)

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  60. JCrewJunkie: Congrats on getting one of the favorites cards! Apparently J.Crew has been sending a whole bunch out in different amounts of $25, $50, $75 and even as much as $100. I have no idea how they are classifying their customers to receive one, but I am happy I got one (for $25). :)

    Jayhawk: Welcome to posting- We love to hear from all J.Crew Aficionadas!!! :)

    Jen: I hope you get your order of the Jardin Dress! :)

    Christyn: I will definitely create a post with your suggestion! :)

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  61. appgal: My PS usually responds within two hours; provided I email during business hours. I have missed out on a couple of sale items that were down to the last few, but I will not go back to the website and order, the PS is far better.

    All I use the website for is finding what I want to email her for.

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  63. I definitely would purchase again. I was victimized by the phantom stuff on the Web site (I lost the opaline glass beaded necklace shown on the top of the blog's title page), but I've had luck with recent orders: a navy perfect-fit T-shirt, the black jeweled Capri sandals and the double-strand Sanibel Island bracelet.

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  64. Hello... its called CYCLE COUNTS. Every retail store does this. They should have went back and re-scanned every item a month ago to update the warehouse vs. computer inventory system. Thats not a good excuse really... sorry.

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  65. shanee, glad you had a good CS experience but I don't consider taking an item off a "dummy" great service...that should be a given...part of the basic job!

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  66. Morning everyone-
    Update on the Jardin - I received a 'Thanks for your Order' email about 16 hours after the order was placed. I'd love to think they were religiously scouring their inventory to make sure they had the dress in that time. Baby steps, baby steps.

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  67. is it just me or is anything that is pink on sale from the fall collection? I see pink belles and serges in the sale section only--must not be selling well....

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  68. Anon3:14-I suppose that's true. I doesn't take jumping through hoops to placate me lol

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  69. I won't order again. My size, 0P, is impossible to get. Every order I've placed in the last three months has been cancelled, or I've received only one item out of many. I've had a couple of great CS, but even w/ the two GC I've received, I'll stick to the B&M. That means my shopping is very limited since I live 50 miles from the closest store.

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  70. I've noticed some new stuff in stores - hope this isn't a repeat. 1) instead of signing a paper receipt at the Michigan ave store, I signed an electronic pad, like at Target and 2) the tags on the items in the North Ave Collection store are... different. They look cheaper? Don't know how to describe it. Like they were printed with an ink jet printer, instead of a higher quality printer.

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  71. Molly: I think that has to do with individual stores. Most of the stores here have been using electronic pads for years, but there's still one that's still asking you to sign receipts.

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  72. Oh, thanks Jeff! I thought maybe the tags and the pads were part and parcel of the downgrade.

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  73. molly-
    How interesting! I just won a new Fall item new with tags on Ebay--it is in stores/catalogs now but hadn't seen it in person as i have not been to my B&M for a while. Anyway--the tag looked FAKE--i was kinda worried thinking that the seller made a copy of sorts!! I am SO glad I read this as now I am thinking it may be real. I think I now need to go to my store and check this out first hand!! It looks just like you described--kinda scanner/fake--not the same at all!!

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  74. Anon, I posted a scan of the new tag on my blog for you. The scan alone doesn't capture how much cheaper the overall feel of the tag is.

    40 is the new black

    I've also posted a new review of the Tuesday trench in canvas and in double serge :-)

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  75. I made an online purchase last week with the Private Sale coupon only to find out yesterday the whole order had been cancelled (yes, it was all sale items). I called CS and all but two items were still in stock so they are expediting the shipping at no charge. Hopefully they will be here tomorrow.

    I think things are getting a little better. After reading this blog on a daily basis, I think I am one of the lucky ones. I have placed several orders during the website fiasco and, besides this order, only had one item not ship - which was a full price item.

    Glad things are getting back to normal!

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  76. So far I have received my orders placed last week, which were a mix of Final Sale and non-sale women's clothing. One more box should be arriving tomorrow.

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  77. ANYONE GETTING EMAILS THAT THEIR ORDER HAS SHIPPED ON ORDERS THEY HAVE ALREADY RECV"D--in some cases a WHILE AGO?? THIS IS A FIRST FOR ME! It has happened twice today. Also they are shipping me a shirt I have now recv'd 3 times and didn't know anything about the order number listed. Called but they cannot stop it now...too late. I freakin DESERVE some rewards card. I guess I gotta email and complain about the craziness--squeaky wheel.
    This place has ROYALLY screwed up my orders and I have been on the phone everyday--honestly. If I didn't LOVE a great deal on sale items and love the look and style I would be SO FAR gone!

    Also they better watch their idea of raising prices on full price items or they will lose a lot of customers--you listening J CREW??

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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! :)