Friday, January 28, 2011

J.Crew's Shopping Tip {really?}

"Thanks!" to many of you, including LauraK (in this post), as well as IRL, GigiOfCa, & Christy (in this post), who pointed out a new shopping tip from J.Crew.

On the Final Sale page (click here to shop online), J.Crew shares the following advice:
Shopping Tip: Items placed in your cart are not guaranteed until checkout is complete.
So the following is a mini-rant... I know J.Crew meant well by trying to clarify the terribleness of losing out on an item. (No doubt from an onslaught of calls & emails from customers who thought they put an item in their bag only to find it disappeared.) But I find the comment to be an interesting one, because even when you checkout, you are not guaranteed the item. (How many of us got that dreaded email with the news our orders were canceled because there just wasn't enough?) And even when it's shipped, you are not guaranteed the item is the right one in the plastic bag. So although J.Crew is trying to do the right thing through some transparency, I found the comment bitter-sweet.

What are your thoughts on J.Crew's "shopping tip"? Did you notice? Do you think it was a good move on their part to clarify?

93 comments:

  1. When will they fix their inventory system? No other retailer that I shop with has inventory tracking/control problems. I don't hold my breath when I order from Zappos or Nordstrom- only J. Crew. I think the shopping tip is sad...they are aware of the problems, but don't seem too concerned about getting their inventory issues corrected. Sad.

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  2. Seems like they're putting a bandage on something that needs an 'operation' to fix it.

    If this is their way of cutting back on CS contact about disappearing items, it's not going to help. Now they're just giving customers ammo to demand some sort of consolation prize when they receive the dreaded email or wrong item in their shipment. "Well, the sale site says it's guaranteed after checkout..."

    Maybe they're working on a fix. Several times during the promo, after I ordered something, I'd go back and see if it was still available in the sale section. Most times it was gone and that made me feel confident I had really captured the item.

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  3. As I was typing the last comment I was thinking, I prefer their system remain the same if it enables us to locate popbacks, really old popbacks, and "pre-search" items. wink wink

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  4. I agree wtih IRL, I think that "guarantee" is a poor choice of words.

    The thing with popbacks, I think, is that 9 times out of 10 they're probably used or defective. Think about it - if the last time the item was available was on final sale (which goes on most of the year), then theoretically it never should've come back to JC in the first place. The popbacks that I've received most often do not have the interior hang tag. Yeah, we've all gotten a (seemingly) brand new popback but I've heard a lot more FS failures than successes around here.

    On the subject of JC "addressing" complaints, has anybody noticed that in some of the item descriptions it now says "Regular fit"? Ha! I wonder if that's there way of saying "TTS". ;)

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  5. I am not sure how JCrew thinks this is going to fix their cs problems. Bad all know darn well as Alexis said there is no guarantee of ever getting what was in ones confirmed order. Or is there? If JCrew is now guaranteeing I'm going to receive the items in my confirmed order they must have made major changes to their inventory tracking and warehouse packaging systems / people. Those would be welcome changes!!

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  6. I have been getting the wrong item in the correct plastic bag for years or a used item in the correct plastic bag. 2006 was the first time I experienced this and it just seemed to get worse b/c I ordered more and more sale/final sale items over the years. Last year I finally "had it."

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  7. PS--meaning I no longer order final sale/end of season rejects. Last order I placed was mid Dec. and I don't even look for popbacks or the sale section anymore...too disappointing. Shopping is meant to be fun-- not frustrating-- at least on this level.

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  8. Oh, J Crew, tsk tsk. I'm marking this a big "FAIL"... We all know that just because an item in our cart actually makes it through checkout STILL doesn't guarantee that we'll receive it. And, even if we do, the item has a good chance of being defective, worn, put in the wrong bag, etc. (You're doing it wrong!)

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  9. I'm guessing they must have received a flood of calls and emails from people fussing about things dropping out of their carts...?

    My response to their 'tip' is this:

    **DONKEYPUNCH**

    Also, DERRRRRRRRR.

    Apropos of nothing, my verification word is fartio.

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  10. J.Crew needs to do a MAJOR website overhaul...meaning real-time inventory, a wishlist, better zoom features, and item reviews. Let's hope that if they do someday choose to update their website, they do so smoooothly, without the issues we saw in the last web update! It's time for J.Crew to keep up with the rest of the retailers!

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  12. They should have said,

    "Items ordered are not guaranteed to be:
    delivered;
    the size, color or item you ordered;
    new and unworn."

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  13. I'm a day late to the party.

    What odds they will offer the multi-buckle high heel Marissa designs in the video?

    I dream of high heels, but have yet to take the plunge. For these, I'd jump from the platform! To say nothing of the sexy simplicity of her shirt, jeans and red lipstick.

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  14. I second a wishlist! I hate how my cart sometimes disappears.

    To be fair to J Crew, I do think their inventory updates quickly. I have had items canceled after checkout from Nordstrom and Gap as well.

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  15. So after you have ordered something, if you go look in the order status and it says "released", what does that mean? Does it go (virtually) from the orders desk to someone that printed it out (or virtually, again), over to fulfillment, who looks for the item on shelves somewhere? It seems like I have been in "released" limbo more than ever this month. Right now, for 24 hours. The last order (that they only shipped half of) was in "released" limbo 3 days before they broke the news that one item was out of stock. Most normal orders on new merch ship to me within the day.

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  16. Carol: I asked CS what it means if my order says "Released" but each individual item says "Open". She said that means that the order has been released to the warehouse for packaging and is expected to ship within the next 24 hours. She also said that means that the items are available and are in the process o being packaged.

    Another CS rep told me that "Released" means it has been given to UPS but they don't have a tracking number yet. So, this probably doesn't help at all since it's all conflicting!

    Anybody know for sure?

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  17. One more thing they need to add to their website: better item descriptions!!!

    For example, I'm very interested in the Maritime dress. After reading the description, I still have no idea what the fabric content is (sounds like it's cotton, but is it 100%?) I also have no clue what the measurements are. I had to ask my online ps. Funny--it says "falls to the knee" but based on the measurements I got, it'll be far from my knee! Then, when I zoom in, it looks like there's a zip slit on the bottom side, but there's absolutely no mention of it in the description.

    Doesn't seem like it would be THAT hard to include a little more detail online.

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  18. I think they need better inspections of returns and a harsher return policy. There are too many people who think it's OK to wear an item and then return it, which I find disgusting. I think J Crew should use a plastic tie-wrap kind of thing that circles around the interior and exterior of the garment, so that there's no way you can wear the garment without cutting the tie-wrap but it doesn't inhibit you trying the garment on. I'd also like a tighter return window, force buyers to decide quickly to keep or send back. 60 days for online purchases is way too generous, cut it down to 30 or even 14.

    As for buying, I don't have much of a complaint if I put an item in my cart only to find that it's gone when I check out. Yes, I'm bummed, but if two people want the same item I think the winner should be the first person who pays, not the first person who put the item in their cart. I often remove things from my cart before the actual checkout, it wouldn't be fair for those things to be unavailable to someone else. JMO.

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  19. Thanks, Tippy. That's a relief to know that. I guess the delays are a bottleneck in packaging.
    And I am with you Tamara: whoever pays first should get it. But I DO like the Bluefly policy where if you put an item in your cart, its yours for an hour, unless you pay.

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  20. I'll be the voice of dissent and say that I've had a lot of luck with FS. I think I've only had one item sent incorrectly and JC rectified it. Part of it may be statistics -- while I do order from final sale, I don't place a huge order, nor place a lot of small orders during the FS promo. And I'm sure a lot of it is sheer luck. Since I can't change JC's site, I just change my mind-set about it and think of it as playing slots in Vegas; sometimes you get lucky! :)

    If we consumers can't have a wish list, I would at least like the JC website to work out something similar to gilt.com -- a countdown clock that keeps your items in your cart for 5-10 minutes. At least you know you have that long to shop (particularly during FS) before your item disappears.

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  21. Haha :) Yes, how about "Shopping tip - Items are not guaranteed until you click on the item, don't receive the lovely red writing, the green screen, it gets into your cart, you check out, it is released, open, prereleased, and one of all sorts of other words we can think of. It then journies around North America perhaps with a few detours. We appreciate your loyalty and want you to get the most out of shopping with us.

    However because the word "service" gets thrown around quite a bit these days, receipt of your order may be preceded by several individual emails in which we will let you know one at a time that it was all a figment of your imagination and the items were in fact for your online viewing pleasure only. You may finally then receive a box, containing one or many items, some of which may be a surprise.

    And, as always we want you to know that giving you the best - in everything you we do - is our top priority. Please note, Final Sale Items May Not Be Returned."

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  22. tamara, LOl - a 14-day return policy! It takes that long for my J.Crew orders to arrive. Ditto sending them back via parcel post and I am not going to pony up the extra cost to send returns by courier. I basically have a 30-day return policy enforced already.

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  23. I am shocked by how many people try to return things that are obviously worn :(

    Hopefully they will fix their system- I have had a fair amount of luck with fs though so I can't complain! I do wonder where they items are actually coming from though! (old returns?!) especially items from last summer....

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  24. The return window of 30 days in-store is tight enough. As is 60 days for online. A shorter window or different tagging isn't going to guard against people who wear and return. It only takes a day to do that. I also don't get people who do that. It's gross and, dare I say, immoral. I recently returned a dress to H&M and told the guy I thought it had been worn. He put it on a hanger along w/the rest of the clothes to be put back. I didn't repeat myself as I couldn't force him to mark it out of stock.

    No from me on a countdown clock. I sometimes feel stressed enough wondering if a popback is real. I don't want a clock ticking on my screen on top of it. The one on Asos doesn't bother me too much, but it would stress me out on JC. I think adding something like that would create more games for people who figure out how to lock up items while they decide. JC creates a different fever, imo, than other sites.

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  25. AppGal:

    Net-a-Porter has some of the items that we all love and adore (like the maritime dress) but unlike darling jcrew.com, net-a-porter has actual measurements, fabric content, etc. :)

    If I can find an item I want from J. Crew and net-a-porter carries it, too, I ALWAYS go to net-a-porter to learn more about it! I also clip my items to polyvore from net-a-porter as the photography is sharp, clean, and minimal. I also LOVE the styling at net-a-porter and find that I would much rather wear the item the way they style it over the way jcrew.com styles it!

    P.S. There is absolutely a zipper slit on either side of that dress. ;)

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  26. dinagideon: Thanks! Great idea...I always forget that jcrew is on Net-a-porter. Although I'm not seeing the Maritime dress on there...am I missing it somehow?

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  27. Like appgal mentioned, I've been finding less and less item details online and am getting a bit frustrated at how little information is available. Our local Jcrew is not that big and *many* items never hit the store here, so online descriptions are very helpful to me. So, as Dina pointed out, I've been hitting up NAP's site to find out more info on fit, fabric content, etc. Very helpful!

    That said, I've generally had very good luck with popbacks. Knock on wood, but over the years I've only had two wrong items sent to me and one defect. I think rather than a stricter return policy, Jcrew needs to investigate their returns more thoroughly before throwing them back up on the site, whether it's to suss out items that have been worn and returned or items that were returned due to being defective.

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  28. I've also had items canceled after checkout *multiple times* from both Brooks Brothers and Talbots.

    Tippy, "released" means the order has been given to the warehouse for packaging. It does NOT mean the order has been given to UPS.

    I agree with everything Tamara said. Stores shouldn't accept returns of clothes that have been worn unless they're going to put them in the trash. While it's annoying to lose items during checkout, I also think it's ridiculous that people expect a popular item to be "saved" for them for an extended period of time just because it's in their cart.

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  29. I also have had mostly good luck with FS items. It's pretty rare that I get a bomb item (obvious return or wront item/wrong size). I do get mad when something gets canceled but I know it's the nature of the beast. ...

    But I agree, the way their site works is so outdated compared to so many other retailers. As with their customer service model (SNORT!), JC clearly doesn't worry too much about people not buying due to insufficient info.

    Have y'all seen how some of the gap items actually have a wee film clip that launches when you view the item, and the model wearing the item turns around 360? Now THAT is cool. Not to mention all the other good stuff Gap/BR/ON have integrated into their sites.

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  30. Agh, sorry, AppGal! :) It is on the UK site of Net-a-Porter. You have to physically "change" your country to get to this link (I think), but here it is:

    http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/112655

    Sometimes I head over to the UK side to see what goodies they have up for offer (they will carry things the US side doesn't).

    :) Enjoy!

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  31. Thanks, Dinagideon! You're right...the pics and descriptions are so much better! I will have to remember to check this site more often.

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  32. Jeanne: I was just relaying what CS had told me, obviously there is conflicting information from the two reps that I asked.

    Dinagideon~thanks for the tip, I'm going to check out Net-a-porter right now :)

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  33. What kind of way to do business is this? This is the reason why my only J.Crew purchases last year were small things--a headband, nail polish, a belt...

    Most of my clothing purchases are now made at Nordstrom. Not only are the clothes great quality, but the customer service doesn't leave me fuming!

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  34. I had another bizrate survey pop-up and that was exactly my comment to them. I wish they'd get a real-time inventory system.

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  35. Oh, I did not see those side zippers when I ordered the maritime dress. I had a similar dress when I was younger and just fell in love with the idea of a replacement without looking it over carefully enough. Will definitely be checking with my tailor if the zippers can be removed and the dress just stitched toghether. I am not a fan of the zipper trend at all.

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  36. I'm now officailly on their "naughty list" after $75 reward worth of winter spending.

    Fellow JCAs beware when you talk to the CS. Even if they sound nice, they put not-so-nice note on your account.

    I called this morning at 6 AM to order a popback. I'd ordered the same item in a size bigger before the MUSTSHOP promo and wanted to order another. I asked "can you please get me a small one?" The CS put me on hold for 5 min and said I can't because "a SA (a she) put a not on my profile said I was trying to return many final sale items". I told her I didn't ask to return the old one, I wanted to place an order. Then it really bothered me that they had put a note on my "profile". I started asking questions. What exactly did the note say, what profile, linked to what- my email, billing address, and was it a store SA (wasn't), etc.
    She put me on another long hold and came back with some excuses denying previous comment (must've been talking to the supervisor)
    The only female CS I talked to regarding my final sale sounded very nice, accomodating and said I can return one defective necklace (I ended up keeping it because it's sold out) and cords that didn't fit like my regular JC cords.
    I wasn't rude. I never return anything if I'd worn it even if it's defective. And when I receive wrong final sale items, how come it's my fault to TRY to return them (and put a red flag on my said profile?)

    I wasn't mad but it was like a virtual slap in the face, a wake up call.
    What kind of mall brand do they think they are? Profiling and labeling customers? I PAID for my merchandise. I pay off my account every month. They should pay more attention to those who steal or wear-return.

    So I didn't order anything and decided to close that TAINTED account.

    SO remember that those CS note on your order allowing returns, it's going to lower your customer profile score/level ( are they what? a credit agency?)

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  37. To be clear, when the CS said "I coudn't" meant I couldn't return the previous one. Not that I couldn't place an order.

    When I said I didn't ask for return permission, I wanted to order, she was like "oh!"

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  38. I'm all over the place on their naughty list. So what? They still need me to buy from them. Cash is King, baby, and without us, they won't have a job. Shape up, J.Crew, shape up. If you sell me garbage, I'm returning the garbage, FS or not and I'm bringing my laminated receipt.

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  39. Ji: Ooh, yuck.

    J. Crew: Bad on you. It doesn't matter if the CS person slipped up in mentioning the note, that kind of junk on a person's account is ridiculous. Man. I don't care if you spend thousands at J. Crew a month or if you spend $20, you should NEVER let garbage like that exist in an account. If I ever find out that ANYTHING at all like that exists on my file, I am done. D. O. N. E. That is seriously messed up.

    Yes, final sale should mean final, BUT if the garment fits differently than another item of the same kind that had been bought before, stand behind your stuff and let it be returned. Also stand behind your garments if they go to the customers in the wrong bag, are stained or worn, don't look the same as they do on-line (remember how the aubrey jacket had a third button, but was not on the actual item?), etc.

    Customers sometimes need to make returns. Period. And not just because they changed their mind or are flaky, but because of a screw-up on the company's end. And the customers should NOT have "marks" on their account because of it. Geez.

    From what I understand, Net-a-Porter is great with returns. :)

    Sorry, rant over. I am just spitting mad over this...

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  40. @ Ji, that's a terrible story, I am sorry for your experience. Ugh, makes me rethink about shopping J Crew. I've returned quite a few coats this season because the stores never seem to have my size, but when I finally get the coats from online, something about the fit is always of, so I return -- the coats are usually on sale, but not final sale -- I wonder if the SAs put a note on my profile anyway even though they are not final sale items. I don't think shoppers should be penalized for returning items they can't find in store and don't fit! Ugh, I hate that shopping at J Crew can feel like trying to get past a velvet rope. It's our money, we are making MD rich while our wallets empty! They should treat us nicer!

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  41. What bs. Also, I got my rewards card today, conveniently the day after 40% off sale ended. Really could have used it yesterday so I could've gotten the patent elsbeth oxfords!!! I couldn't justify them for $80 but for $30, sure.

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  42. Note- I don't know of anyway as a sa to make a note on an account in store? Perhaps only online they can see what is tied to your account? I could be wrong though...

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  43. Ji, thanks for sharing. This is going to open quite a Pandora's box, I bet. I know that I've contacted them with my share of price discrepancies in the past, and return unworn items that pill/shed just hanging in the closet. Sorry, but if the quality's crap, they need to be aware. However, it sounds like they know and just don't care.

    Hi xoxo! I'm bummed about the zippers on the maritime dress too, and took it out of my cart. The exposed zippers are just too trendy for me.

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  44. @ jcrewlove, when the SA ask for your email address at the cash register, they can then put a note on your 'account' and access it -- although in my case, since I usually pay with a J Crew card, they already have access to my account anyway without me giving my email address.

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  45. Dinster- I'll have to check in to the account section next time I work to see where you put notes:) i've pulled up past orders for returns but never have made notes about excessive returning or anything ! Thanks!

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  46. I'm frustrated with sales that end at "midnight", yet, on the west coast they end at 9pm. I would have made a purchase last night had the sale still applied to me. It looks like, from other comments, J Crew has a lot to work on with their site. You'd think for the price of their clothes this sort of thing wouldn't be an issue.

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  47. Ji: so sorry you had to go through that, that's horrible!! :(

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  48. Puhahah! I seriously LOL when I read that fine print on "shopping tip." I mean, are they serious?
    Instead of paying Dear Leader so much $$ why not revamp their website. Ditto on what Appgal said. JC is so outdated and I want better product descriptions rather than what "write from space" thinks what's so cool about that product.

    Ji: It's upsetting to hear about your story. I have my share as well. Last year during FS I made a mistake of ordering the Bell flower silk cami (anyone remember that from FA2009?) in ivory color. What I received was SO different from the catalog/online picture I called CS to allow me to return since it was FS. CS refused and I had to talk to her supervisor and in the end I was allowed to return (so frustrating!). Okay and months pass and I tried to have a price adjustment on an order where I had placed an order at around 2am and the promo code was emailed out around 5am same day. Even by principle I should have had my price adjustment for the additional % off since it is considered same day. Anyways, CS traced back my previous "one time courtesy" and said I was allowed too many exceptions. Wow, they were saying that FS return which was obviously JC's fault was in essence my fault!
    That's how twisted JC is. I like what you said, seriously, does JC think they are some credit agency?! I guess this post should have been on the "vent" post.

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  49. Em,

    An online PS has can look up your rewards info. and could have placed the order for you yesterday and you could have gotten the shoes on sale. Sorry this is of no help now but for future reference; I do believe even a regular CS person can help you use your rewards even if you don't have the card in hand.

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  50. Thanks for the tip Summer!! I did not know about that. Honestly, their rewards system is so confusing I wasn't even sure I was getting a rewards card this time! Next time....

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  51. Ji: That is disgusting. I fully agree with Dina's comments, it doesn't matter how much you spend, you are a customer and deserve good customer service. I think that comment deserves an email to MD.
    Same time last year, I received many orders with wrong items (actually not too different from this year only I have less motivation to complain), I called in and told CS how disappointed I was. She told me straight up, well you buy a lot but you also return a lot as if them sending me wrong items was justified. I quickly explained that the stores near me were small and didn't carry much beyond T shirts and shorts and sometimes the fit or color was not a good representation online. At the end of that conversation, I did suspect that there was a flag on my account.

    Tricia: I'm on the West Coast as well, if you remember the code they do sometimes work even after they remove the banner from the site. I did not try last night but I did try it during the last 40% off sale and it worked at about midnight PST.

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  52. I wouldn't be surprised if this type of customer profiling has been an on-going thing. I would think some call centers track previous conversations and interactions with customers in order to "better" serve customers (so not as much time is needed to give background for the issue. Time is money and they would rather be taking orders). That being said, the other reason for documenting is so the SA doesn't get questioned by a supervisor about "discrepancies".

    I have no doubt that there are some in-house guidelines about number of FS returns that can be done, exceptions for returns, etc. The problem is that most SAs over the phone are only giving a cursory glance at some of these records. I'm guessing they are reading while they are speaking with a customer so if there is a lot of documentation, I would think they are going to assume the worst and make a generalization that the customer is a "serial returner".

    No doubt they need to better train these SAs who deal with phone customers to actually read some of these notes. I don't have a problem with an SA documenting that I'm doing a return. I know I have a valid reason. The fail on JC's part is not seeing why these returns are happening and rectifying *those* issues (inconsistent sizing, pricing all over the map, etc.). Maybe they need to figure out how to better use their notation system to enhance business!

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  53. Recording interaction info on customer accounts has been around for ages. It started in credit management, for example when a customer is in arrears and calls in to say they will pay $X on this day and $Y on that day, etc. It's recorded so the next conversation picks up where the last one left off and account management can determine whether the arrangement was kept, whether their staff are compliant with policy, etc.

    Most credit conversations are now voice recorded for accuracy and a lot of mundane CS conversations are as well. I'm sure that started because customers disagreed with the notes on their accounts, which is totally understandable when CS has free reign to type in whatever they like and communication between people is so often misunderstood.

    J.Crew should train their staff on how to record accurate details with the outcome to provide quality customer service, and not hinder the shopping experience. Whenever I have had an issue I take it up with my PS and once, with Millard Drexler. My PS often reminds me that she is "here to help" and it seems genuine because it always ends in my satisfaction. She will sometimes put a note on my account to ensure something goes my way when it is to be processed while she is on her days off, which I really appreciate since she only works part time. I would never rely solely on CS to help me with an issue. They are the least invested in making things right for the customer and turnover is high so training and experience usually lacking.

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  54. I'm not surprised about what happened, Ji. I do my fair share of buying and returning. I just feel that if I get something, haven't worn it and it goes down in price, I'd be stupid not to return the item if it's w/in their return guidelines and buy it at the lower price. Also, fwiw, I did do the survey after my last JC order and in the comments section, I recommended wishlist and customer review features. I figured if enough ppl mention it, maybe they'll eventually do it.

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  55. I noticed on the Max Studio web site that the they actually state in writing that they will refuse to sell to you if they think you "show excessive abuse" of their return policy! I think this returning worn items problem is massive.

    I had to return a final sale item a couple of weeks ago, I had ordered a size L merino cielo and what arrived had the right size tag but it was miniscule, 32" chest. They didn't hassle me about it and later on I ended up ordering another one and it was fine, but I've probably got a black mark on my record now. :/

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  56. Good lord, everything about JCrew is going from bad to worse. I'm amazed they are still in business

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  57. Why can't JC make a not-quite-perfect section (like LE) for defective merchandise, instead of restocking them as popbacks in final sales?

    LE does even put non-perfect merchandise in final sale. That's why they are the golden standard of guarantees...

    (please pardon me for the mention of other-retailers in this post)

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  58. Oh and I have two words for JC about their little note: no sh-t

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  59. @Ji - Wow! I'm pretty sure I have similar nasty notes on my account because I have no issues returning FS items when they arrive at my house with holes in them, rhinestones missing out of jewelry, etc.

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  60. Interesting about the customer profile notes. Is that why LE and Talbots are *so nice* to me when I call? Because they can see I'm a sucker... I mean good customer? :P

    Tippy, I'm so sorry if I came across as snippy. I was annoyed that the cs rep gave you incorrect info, but I certainly didn't mean to direct my annoyance at you!

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  61. Golly gee, the Rideau Cashmere Coat is reduced from $1500 to $999.99. FS, I guess. Quelle surprise.

    Thinking this through, though, I would hate to spend $1K and then find out it was defective and have a dispute about returning it. Of course, looking at this coat, it would be pretty hard for someone like me to distinguish between a defect and a design feature….

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  62. $1K for a final sale item? Ouch, indeed!

    I'm sorry, but I call shenanigans on the shoe video. I don't doubt that they're designed and the prototype is made in Italy, but I don't think that's where they are mass produced. They been described as "Import" on the website for years and now they're "Made in Italy". Maybe some loophole opened up and that's why the description changed.

    Similarly, in the fall the cashmere was "Import", then it changed to "Made in Italy" for a bit, then back to "Import" again. Hmmmmm... sounds like the magic JC site wizards were working their magic on it. I wish I could find more information on the clothing of origin rules.

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  63. Elaine, LOL. Do you know what a donkeypunch is? Too funny.

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  65. If a final sale item doesn't work for me because of sizing inconsistencies, misleading item descriptions, poor fit, etc, I simply take it to my local B & M, and they do not question it, ever.

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  66. Just read that a few people were turned off by the side zippers of the Maritime dress. Landsend Canvas has a similiar style in ivory with narrow navy stripes (without the zippers). Looks cute, but then again, I like pretty much anything with navy stripes.

    BTW, I think I know which list I am on. I am a very "naughty" rebuyer and returner. But it kills me when something goes on sale for significantly less just 8+ days after I've bought it, and I haven't even worn it yet!

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  67. I find this tidbit from J.Crew so irksome. As if checking out and paying for it is a guarantee?! I had my last order sitting in released status for a week until finally getting a cancellation email today. Ha! What a joke! This is like the fifth time now. And it's so frustrating because it keeps happening (obviously I'm not the only one) and they don't do anything about it!

    It's funny that the only time J.crew ever approached me to make amends and do a month-long search on a canceled purchase was on a full price, branded item that cost hundreds of dollars...

    Ji: Sorry to hear about your story, that's pretty messed up.

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  68. Wow, Dear Leader has his own secret police? with dossiers? That started as a little joke, but this is scary.

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  69. Got an email this morning with a behind-the-design video. The email says, "As one of our best customers, we wanted you to be the first to check out our never-before-seen, behind-the-scenes video."

    Well, the video may be new but we've all seen the spring looks many times already and the video didn't really add anything to me. At the beginning there is a voiceover and I thought it was Jenna Lyons but then it is revealed to be Marissa. She certainly has the script down pat!

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  70. OT free shipping on $100+ orders code TNC8X2 exp. Feb. 18.

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  71. Rose, thank you so much for sharing the code! I was hoping for a new one since all the other codes and promos have expired. I may pay FP for some items but I really hate to pay shipping. :^)

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  72. This "tip" makes me feel especially bad for the more casual JC shopper--someone who doesn't know about the inventory management issues and will make the mistake of taking "guarantee" literally. (Though I shouldn't complain--I haven't done much FS shopping lately but my FS luck has been pretty good.)

    Yikes, Ji, what a bad experience. I figured that they already had some notes in our files but how unpleasant for the CSA to discuss them. JC needs to take a closer look at its own practices that lead to FS returns--deliberately deceptive photography, inconsistent sizing, and gack, the used tissue story, come to mind.

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  75. Please. There are many stages to getting FS items and it does not end with checking out.

    I waited all day yesterday for notification where my two orders would ship. Now I have to see what's actually in the box.

    Maybe it's because I order more JC than anything else, but I get a higher percentage of incorrect shipments than any retailer...ever.

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  76. J.Crew's "shopping tip" really registered with JCAs (including myself).

    I just got an item the other day that I had been stalking for months. Not only is it broken, but it is completely used (has hairs that don't belong to me, pen marks, and other unidentifiable stains). I thought, jeez, even when you are sent the right item you are not guaranteed the item will be okay. :(

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  77. Alexis, that is AWFUL!!! How disgusting. I know we've all said it a million times but J.Crew really needs to stop sending used/defective items to customers!

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  78. Alexis, I think that what happened to you deserves a post of its own! (With photos of the evidence, unless you think that would compromise your anonymity).

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  79. You know, the more I think about this "tip" being posted yesterday, the more odd the timing seems. Weren't we having this exact convo on another thread, like, the day before JC posted this? Weird timing, if you ask me... although, there probably were many complaints from shoppers about this during the sale, so who knows? *shrugs*

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  80. Alexis, that is just awful when there are "remnants" from the former owner. Disgusting.

    It would cost more but J.Crew should consider putting the braided cord tags used on designer clothing, in conspicuous places on their items and not allow a return if the cord is cut unless there is a defect. Most of these tags are impossible to hide due to the placement so you cannot wear the garment or use the item without the tag showing and you have to cut it off.

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  81. JCrewPhD & XOXO: It honestly disgusted me when I found the "extras". The unidentifiable (but grease/oil based) stains is what really bothered me the most. I was like, "I'm done touching this!" and washed my hands immediately.

    Hexicon: I already contacted J.Crew about it, so I am worried they might trace the post back to me. But believe me, I am tempted to post pictures of what someone at J.Crew thought was okay to sell back to me. ;)

    I can guess what happened. The former owner intended to keep the item, used the item for awhile and then the item broke (due to poor construction). It is a collection piece so she probably sent it back stating it didn't hold up to quality for the price. Somewhere along the return-chain at J.Crew, probably didn't even notice the issues or forget to set the item aside for non-resale. I don't blame the former owner, I blame J.Crew's review team for putting it back for sale. :(

    I should also add, that I truly love this item and am slightly heartbroken I can't keep it. Ah well!

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  82. Alexis, you make a great point and I think you're absolutely right. I also think this kind of thing is happening frequently.

    I ordered the softwashed wool blazer in camel a while back, and when it came it was slightly pilled (which I feared), but also had a 3" long blue ink mark on the sleeve. Somebody probably wore it for a day, noticed the pilling, and returned it because of that.

    I think we've all gotten something and wore it and couldn't believe its condition after one wear. Sometimes we write it off - but if we return it, the assumption is that JC's not going to sell it to someone else.

    I used to order mostly online because I didn't want shopworn items, but even now that's not a "guarantee".

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  83. The few times I have rec'd items with holes or a defect, I draw an arrow on a piece of blue painters tape (the tape you use to protect molding, etc. while painting) and stick it on the garment pointing to the defect. I also notate the defect on the invoice. Hopefully this prevents 'oversight' on JC's part.

    Again, I read all this and wonder what JC's return process is at the warehouse. I'm one of those people who try it on, and if I'm not keeping it, immediately fold it and return it to the plastic bag. I'm sure there must be some customer's who just toss the items in the box and ship them back. Regardless of the packaging, what happens at the warehouse? Are they required to inspect and repackage every item whether or not it appears to have been taken out of the plastic bag? (Ahh, such important things to ponder on a Saturday evening...)

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  84. When I return a defective item, I literally BEG the SAs to please, please, please not re-sell it. There have been some doozies in the past and if I found out that some poor woman received the item no one should have to wear, I would be livid.

    It has gotten so bad (based on what I read here) that I make the SAs SHOW ME that they are putting it into the "defective closet/shelf/etc." but who knows if it stays there? Ugh.

    Alexis, good luck finding another one in great shape. If not J. Crew, ebay?

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  85. Receiving worn items is the worst!!! I once opened a J.Crew order, tried on the coat, posed with my hands in the pockets.... and found a wrapped up chewed up piece of gum!!! I returned it to my local B&M and the SA screamed and showed all the other SAs in the store and apologized so profusely that I ended up laughing. She even called whoever they call to complain about it.

    As for that dreaded "News about your order... We wish we had enough BUT..." email, it is frustrating that they couldn't catch the mistake before the order confirmation, but this has happened to me with other stores as well, including Nordstrom, Anthro, Ann Taylor, Gap/Banana, and Talbots, and not knowing the technicalities of inventory databases, I just assume that if there is low stock, I may not get the item. I end up getting most of what I order, much of which is at a fabulous price, and in general, I love J.Crew, I love their sales associates, and I even don't mind the quality of their clothing... So, I've learned to not get upset about it -- it's just not worth my time...

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  86. IRL,

    I do the same. I mark the defect with blue painters tape and a black arrow pointing to the spot if needed.

    Dinagideon,

    I am impressed with Talbots. When I have returned defective scarves to the store three times in the past year the clerks were VERY concerned and marked the items themselves with tape and the items were not put back on the floor. Very impresed. So many times at JCrew as well as other stores I would see my defective return put back on the floor for sale.

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  87. I was looking at the factory sale this morning. I saw a cute bracelet that I wanted. When I clicked on it, it said : shipping 4/11/11 WHAT?!?!?!? Why would you put a backordered item in the Factory sale??? And back ordered for over 2 months, what kind of crazy is that???

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