Wednesday, December 28, 2016

"Looking to VENT" with J.Crew

This is the weekly "Looking to VENT with J.Crew" post, a place to share our not-so-stellar experiences with J.Crew.

If you have recently experienced a frustrating situation with J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Please feel free to share your story on almost any topic— including poor experiences with purchases & orders, promotions/ offers, in-store visits, transactions with store associates, etc.

87 comments:

  1. Well. The past two days have been disappointing with the website issues. Everything I wanted either sold out or just disappeared from my cart. I am sure I'm n alone, t is what it is.

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    1. Yes, this is frustrating. I'm very understanding about the website being down, as this happens, but what annoys me is that items constantly disappear from my wishlist and the website, and the prices keep changing, sometimes even on the same day. Half of my wishlist disappeared between 7am and 10 am.

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    2. I don't often do this but I sent an email to the General VERY personal stylist address with some of the items I had in my cart when it was 50% off. She actually left me a message and managed to locate one of the items and arranged for overnight shipping so I should have it on Friday. That is definitely above and beyond. I only hope the shoes work for me--the Sophia sequin pumps. I have the glitter Elsie's from last holiday but they're tall and pointy. These are a little more edgy with the sequins that shift from gold to silver and the chunky heel. I can totally see them with mini skirts and distressed jeans. I hope the size works.

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  2. I got the Italian Cashmere Boyfriend Sweater in Camel as a popback. Some of the colors are final sale with 50% off, mine was 40% off only. I do see there are 2 different item numbers for this sweater, maybe certain colors are seasonal releases? I will keep an eye on it anyway.

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  3. I am now on a self imposed "no J Crew shopping" until spring. Its like a cleanse. I am going to shop my closet. no other stores will see my credit card either....I do this every year. sometimes I make ..sometimes I don't.

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    1. I am planning on doing this as well. Placed an order yesterday evening after the glitches were all worked out and a ordered a dress I wanted that popped back in my size this morning. I actually spent significantly less this year than the previous and hope to continue the trend. I did really good the first half of the year as far as purchasing but fell off track a bit at the end. We'll see how it goes.

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    2. @Unknown and Jess F, I'm right there with you both! The last thing I bought before Black Friday sales, etc, were a useful pair of snow boots. Hadn't been anticipating on buying much else as I didn't need or want anything. But those promo-a-thons from then thru now had me buying gifts and checking for popbacks (& more) so that I really, really, REALLY went off the wagon and now have to play it cool till like, summer!! 😊 I have to stop checking the website, it's a habit.

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    3. Ladies, I really need to cool it too. I have been so weak and bought far over budget because of the great promos. Everytime I convince myself I don't need anything I find something else so I've got to get some willpower for 2017.

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    4. @Unknown, good luck! Do you try to hold out until actual spring, "feels like spring" spring, or "retail stores are trying to sell us stuff for spring" spring?

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  4. I have been stalking the Jcrew Thomas Mason Cocktail shirt but it seems to have disappeared completely from the site. Am I just late to the game? In the past I've been able to look up items even if they're no longer available. Just curious if anyone is having a similar experience.

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    1. Things disappearing def happens where you can't even look them up. However, they can still pop back so keep checking if you really want it. I've had items disappear from my wishlist lately and I can't look them up on the site. I've seen them popback though.

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    2. Thanks, Jan! I'll stay on the lookout.

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  5. This is not really a vent but I called a store to see if they had the oxford check double breasted coat in my size,they had one size smaller. I asked the SA to see if another store had the larger size...I got the lecture about how the inventory was not correct, no one probably had it, blah blah blah. She reluctantly gave me the name of the store so I could call as she was showing only one store. They not only had the coat but also had a pair of shoes that were showing sold out online. They told me that sale was 40% off unless you bought at least 2 items and then is was 50% off that is the reason I bought the shoes. I was initially going to pass on the shoes. I think the coat will be super cute and we are just now getting cold weather. I also had two $25.00 gift cards that I was given in a store that I could use so I am pretty happy and a 15% off bounce back card.

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    1. I have never heard of the having to purchase more than one item for an increase of 10%. that one is the one that would have irked me the most....

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    2. Nothing terribly exciting but I got the black suede lace up flats f7986. I thought the shoes would be so cute with the coat because of the gold buttons on the coat and the gold laces on the shoes.

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    3. J Crew should just keep the additional 50% off sale until the new year. This back and forth pricing/discount game is tiresome. I imagine the SAs at the stores are tired of it, too.

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    4. @DD, can you use gift cards over the phone to make a purchase that will be shipped to you? Thx!

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    5. Jan, I have used a gift card over the phone a couple of times. You just read off the number on front like a cc and then they will ask for the pin # on the back.

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    6. Yay DD! That coat is on my wish list. I have a pop back of the matching skirt in tall headed my way. It may not fit since it is a size up from my usually mini size, but if it does I am stalking the coat!

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    7. looks like promo for the 50% does run until Jan 1 2017...

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    8. So this morning when I bought the coat over the phone at a store, they allowed me to use either the $20.00 off $100.00 or the 15% bounce back but not both. The 15% off was better for $32.00 off the purchase. The gift cards that I was given in store were actually to be used as a form of payment, not an additional discount if that makes sense, so all of these were allowed. You can just give them the card number as someone above posted. For the promotional cards, you read them the numbers below the bar code. I do think it does depend on the store as to how many promotional codes they will let you use. I have used as many as three and sometimes none depending on the in store promo. Hope that helps.

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    9. It is definitely a game to shop at J.Crew...to figure out which stores are the best to call and that will do almost anything (in the way of discounts) to help you out with your purchase, which stores are the best to call and find things or look things up for you...It has taken me a long time to get this all down. I have had SAs look up to find stores that have an item and you would be amazed at the difference you can pay depending on who answers the phone and what promos they are willing to honor. It is not uniform across the board I can tell you that.

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    10. @DD, I wish you could be my vps! :) thank you for the tips, I haven't had luck with some stores accepting coupons over the phone but maybe I should try different ones.

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  6. I have asked in several stores in my city but none have allowed the use of the 15% bounce back card on top of the other discounts (i.e. extra 50% off sale). Are other stores allowing it?

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    1. In Vancouver Canada....the bounce back cards were $20 off $100 and ...yes I used these twice on either 40% off sale and 50% off saleitems. I had to ask for the cards they were not handing them out...

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    2. I did use a $20 off $100 card also (which included some extra % off sale items). However, I haven't been able to use the 15% off card I had with the extra 50% off (my 15% off card was given a while ago when I did an online return in store).

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    3. I do plenty of returns...never been given the 15% off card..

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    4. Yeah the 15% off card was given out a few months back but expires 12/31. It doesn't specifically say it can't be used with other offers but I have never been able to do so, so it has gone unused.

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    5. bounce back cards in Canada good until Jan 9TH. but you can't use them online..instore only. no wonder we and CS are confused.




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  7. The bow Jackie twinset I ordered after the site crashed, has not shipped yet. Kind of worried because the cardi and shell are sold out. And I hope I don't get the 'cancelled order' email.

    I was able to get the shipping for free. I emailed CS complaining about not being able to get in their site the entire day/night, and that they should've offered FS! Ha!

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    1. Just received a shipping confirmation! Wheew..

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    2. i received a pa for everything i ordered...but no free shipping offered....

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    3. considering alot of my tiems are now soLd out...i am happy with the PA

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  8. Another sad vent. I got my Double-breasted topcoat in wool-cashmere in electric red. On my screen the color looks like the perfect rich red. In person I think it's the same orangey red/coral that the Regent blazer is in. The wool feels similar too. I don't mind the material but the color doesn't work for me. I'm more disappointed because there were other coats I liked but that are now sold out, and this is going back.

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    1. I posted pics on IG @wearthislikethis. It's hard to accurately show the color but it's nothing at all like it appears online.

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  9. My husband purchased the Collection moto leather jacket on popback and sale for Christmas and the size 8 is too small in the arms where I bend my elbows (which is a size way above mine and why this is in the vent section). I think I need the 10 or at least try it but it's sold out - any advice on how to proceed? I'd hate to return it but want the bigger size. Is the net a porter jacket the same one? Do you think it will pop back at all? This is my first leather jacket so not sure how it should feel and if the constricting around arms would give or loosen.

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    1. That jacket seems to pop back fairly often in limited sizes, I think. When something is uncomfortable, I don't reach for it, so it would be a shame to keep an investment piece you may not wear much.

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    2. I believe I saw his jacket at the Georgetown store yesterday but didn't chk sizes. They had at least three. Call to chk. Good luck!!!

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    3. Gah just called but was size 0 haha def don't need that. I'll keep searching because I agree I want to be comfy

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    4. I'm willing to bet it will keep popping back in other sizes or you may be able to find a size 10 on ebay. I think there are several on ebay. Def return the one that is uncomfortable!

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    5. there's a NWT size 10 in the Ash color for $295 on Ebay...not my listing.

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    6. Hi Pretty Squared - what I would do is hold on to the 8 and keep checking the site for popbacks (as people are making returns I bet it will show up). Order the 10 as soon as you can get it in your cart and then contact CS with your new order number and they'll honor the price your husband paid since you're essentially exchanging it. If you try to have CS place an order for a popback and adjust pricing it's possible that it could disappear from your cart while they're working on it. Good luck! Don't settle for the 8 if it's not comfortable.

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    7. Thank you for all the advice I'm learning from the best haha I have my credit card saved on my account so now I'll just wait

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  10. Another J Crew-bashing article over at Business Insider this afternoon, similar to the last one w images and links to the more questionable items and steepest markdowns. Sorry can't link.

    They quote a JP Morgan Chase analyst as saying that J Crew doesn't know how to fix the brand's decline because "They were just living on the past strength of their brand." She's half right. It was the strength of the brand AND the strength of their quality offerings. Any long-time JCA already knew that.

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    1. jjust google 'Business Insider" Wow....bashing is right. some may not like the article as some of the items they critize they may have purchased. Good read though. another article said 'Kate Spade ' is looking to sell.
      * can anyone comment on if J Crew is indeed not availble at Nordstroms....Canada ( said not?)

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    2. Found the link, hope it works:

      http://www.businessinsider.com/j-crews-website-shows-everything-thats-wrong-with-the-brand-2016-12/#many-retailers-are-advertising-deep-discounts-in-the-wake-of-the-christmas-holiday-1

      Some good (obvious, I guess) points in there:

      - The massive discounts are a sign that the retailer is having trouble clearing inventory — meaning it ordered too much of one style, and people aren't buying it. (gulp!)

      - In another bizarre twist on a classic item, we found this blazer featuring a bright, floral, summery pattern in the dead of winter — and at an original cost of nearly $600. (in reference to the Collection Ratti floral blazer. I have to agree with this point -- a few styles and prints have been off throughout the year, released seemingly too late for its respective season.)

      - Like down coats and blazers, collared shirts are a cornerstone of J. Crew's preppy-wardrobe roots. But this jewel-embellished version appears to be too bizarre for most customers, judging by the price dropping from $248 to $74.50. (Collection embroidered polo shirt.)

      Some good points in there. (I have to wonder why these business articles seem to focus on JC so much, at least in comparison to the Gap/Banana family -- they can't be doing good either, Banana especially. I received some GC from relatives so I went to BR yesterday and was so turned off by what I saw in there. I managed to pick out an incredibly thin wool-blend skirt, pretty color but the fabric is a joke compared to even the thinnest wool from JC.)

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    3. I agree with the article that they missed the mark on the NB collab...when I work out I want to feel badass...not wear navy, orange and and polka dots. All my workout clothes these days are pretty much alo yoga which have awesome trend-right designs but are also practical and durable.
      Otherwise I really wish all these j.crew-bashing articles would stop telling j.crew they need to compete better with fast-fashion like Zara and H&M. I don't want more Zara and H&M crap--I want quality well designed pieces. Bring back the quality and people will pay higher prices again. Get rid of poor design decisions like garrish gold buttons on most of the coats and half the cardigan sweaters. Stop making so many of each item a particular print so they clog up the sale racks forever. Make appropriate size runs (enough XXXS and 000 leftovers everywhere).

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    4. I also have to wonder how much shipping costs are really cutting into their business - I placed one order with 4 items. Shipping was free as it was over the Min. amount, etc, but each of the 4 items is being shipped separately, including two items that I ordered in the same style/different sizes. No doubt they have contracts with shipping companies that includes discounts of some sort, but still, I just wonder if that is also part of the problem (for them). Maybe it's the least of their worries though.

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    5. I mean they could offset the bad by showing some of the great items. Every retailer has items that are duds. But then it would not be a bashing article.

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    6. In regards to shipping. we Canadians pay $12.00 . it takes about 9days (business) to get here. so we apy alot already. when we get free shipping...is when many def. place orders.....so i considered lower or free shipping an icentive to try items. I can return in store....but before we had stores here I would be paying aound $28 -40 to return...but it did it,,

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    7. I placed two orders between Monday night and Tuesday morning. Three items have shipped so far, all from different sources. Will NOT be surprised if each and every item ships separately. However, I cannot see how this is even remotely cost effective as I did not pay for shipping. It's really embarrassing to receive 10 separate packages for two orders. Hope the passport holder doesn't ship in a huge cardboard box! ;)

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    8. Well, I bought the two tone cropped pant they show and I love them. So take that...(sticking out my tongue at the article)

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    9. Thank you for linking, TM93!

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    10. @DD, I thought those pants were a foolish example on the writer's part, as they were clearly based on her personal taste, rather than the evidence presented in their own screenshot: some sizes seemed to have sold out AND the item seemed to rate almost 5 stars from the 6 reviews. (All of us JCAs have seen items hanging around on sale for much longer, and in full size runs, but these pants are clearly not the problem!)

      @Cass, agree that these articles often mention the fast-fashion thing & it drives me nuts. I don't want that stuff either, no matter how low the price point.

      @Ruffles, happy to help! I'm home from work today (leftover vacation days to use) so I've been doing odds & ends around the house, plus plenty of 'net browsing time. :-)

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    11. @Unknown, thanks for the reminder about the shipping factor for Canadians, completely understand why it's such an incentive!! I'm glad returning to a store is an option for you guys now as well!!

      The shipping speculation is mostly due to wishing JC had a way of better consolidating all their items, but I guess it's simply just not possible. Like shopalot mentions, it's not uncommon for them to send out multiple items in separate packages, seems wasteful for them and a bit embarrassing for us! I remember a JCA commenting over the summer that she received 12 separate packages from her lone order at one point. I get my packages sent to work and the people in my mailroom think i'm nuts, haha! Oh well.

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    12. I must be a complete addict... I have several of the items the article put on blast! J. Crew.. I just can't quit you.... I'm a lifer.

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    13. The points made in the article may be accurate, but I thought it was a lame opinion article, requiring no research other than some screen shots. Any of us could have written a more thoughtful, considered article about the state of the brand. And they chose some of the stranger items from the web site to illustrate their points. J. Crew is selling the items so they're fair game, but I don't think any of those items are representative of the brand's main offerings. I didn't even know they sold tall snakeskin boots or glitter ankle boots. Most of those items are not in my J. Crew store (maybe the grommet dress was, or the yellow summer printed blazer which by the way was not a good illustration of the problem because the author's screen shot shows it is sold out in all but size 000 so it sold well).

      That said, the points are valid. I wondered why the summery prints in the fall. I didn't care for the New Balance collection and its timing wasn't good. And the pink muppet fur pieces, while I know some people like them, were very off-brand for J. Crew.

      I think J. Crew has some very solid offerings. I love my classic black chelsea boots. I love my tan fleece teddy bear vest. I love my cocoon coats. I love my Cafe Capri pants and my Janey patent shoes. I love my flannel shirts and Excursion vests. Etc. With so many great things in their inventory, why are they having so much trouble?

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    14. Hi cate - I think they've been slowly killing their brand with constant quality decline of their most popular items. I think that they could afford to dabble in trendy designs if they were a place you could always count on to get a decent cardigan or work-appropriate pair of pants. Unfortunately, they've tried to do too many things and Jackie, Tippi, Minnie, etc have suffered for it. The site reviews really highlight this problem - usually the most helpful reviews for their "classics" say that they're not as good as they used to be. It's silly because their color selection continues to be fantastic - I do think that there are customers that would buy an item in every color if the quality was there.

      I wish that JC could get it together in 2017 but I don't know if their quality decline has passed the point of no return. If they wanted to produce a 2006-07 quality Jackie, how much would it cost (both them and the customer)? They also need to take a hard look at their best sellers and biggest flops, and I don't know why they seem to always ignore this. Maybe they don't think it has much relevance to their bottom line. We'll see what next year brings.

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    15. silver_lining, I'm not having as much trouble with quality as other people have had. My worst problems were pilling on the Cambridge turtleneck sweaters and a bit on the cashmere. I didn't shop the brand in the '06-'07 timeframe, so everything I have now is from probably 2011 onward. Everything I have (minus Cambridge turtleneck sweaters, which I got rid of) is fine quality-wise for me. But I can't compare to the quality before 2011 because I don't have anything from then. Maybe I've just gotten lucky. I really love my J. Crew things, all the way down to the belts and the pajamas and knit hats and socks. I think they have great things and that they're muddying the brand with too many trends that flop and end up in the sale section. Sometimes I think they're over-producing their winners, like the avalanche of striped shirts right now. They're going to end up in sale for sure, especially the trendiest ones. I can look at an item at this point and tell whether it's going to sell well or not, so why can't they see it? And they must know by now that they don't see it, so why not consult with someone who can? I'll never understand why they don't survey their customer base. They even have all the data in their customer reviews, if they'd just look at it.

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    16. Yes, they definitely nit-picked some questionable items (some of which actually sold well) and ignored the popular items.
      Cate, as for me there has to be a good balance with classic and new. Staples like jackie cardigans, capris, suiting pants etc should always be available but I hate that they keep repeating all the same outerwear styles with the vests and coats year after year. They lost my outerwear business this year because if I had wanted any of that stuff I would have gotten it by now.

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    17. Cass, I agree. I am not buying much lately because I have what I need of the basics. I will buy something a bit new, but when they try to do a twist, lately it's really off for me or it's impractical.

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    18. Hi cate and Cass - you make great points, and I agree with them being a bit off-balance for the last couple of seasons. There are still some great pieces, but they also seem to be screwing up things that they should be nailing. Funny that you mentioned outerwear Cass, I actually added 2 JC coats to my close this year - but they were 7-8 years old via eBay. Looks like they made some changes to the Lady Day coat this year that customers didn't like.

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  11. Still hvnt rcvd shipping confirmation for the order placed early yesterday. Per the order history screen it's been "released" but no shipping info 😕

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    1. I placed orders on the 22nd, 23rd, etc and only received shipping confirmations yesterday so hopefully this is because they're so busy, rather than being sold out of your items. Fingers crossed for you!!

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    2. I placed 2 orders through my VPS on thursday, 12/22 and received shipped email late last night, tuesday 12/27...took FIVE days to find the items since they are from different stores from opposite ends of the US. Not the most efficient way of doing things but I'm not running the company.

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    3. this gives me a bit of hope. thanks TM93 & Wendy! I guess I'm just used to rcv'ing shipping in 24hrs or so. Fingers crossed that my items will ship soon

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  14. I now have 3 items located somewhere between Swedesboro NJ and Hell.

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    1. Oh, WFF, why is your JC shipping so accursed! I hope this doesn't become a Valentine's Day delivery for you 😠

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    2. WFF, you have the worst shipping luck. May the odds be ever in your favor this time.

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  15. So I emailed in regards to a price adjustment for two orders from the 40% to 50% off sale items which they accommodated and I am thankful. However they took the 10% off the order total and not the 50% vs 40% for each additional item. It is quite the difference. Not sure if I have it in me to try to get it corrected after all the commotion this week. I don't even have the items yet and not sure I will be keeping all of it.

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    1. Same thing happened to me so I called back and they corrected it.

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    2. are you sure....usually for online orders...they do it correctly.

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    3. JessF, is calling late at night at all an option for you? CS always seems so polite and pleasant, but I feel like maybe they're less rushed/busy in the later hours. I would try giving them a call in any case. I placed a few orders last week, all of which qualified for the 50% off sale and the CS rep patiently went thru each item on my 3 orders to check the prices and emailed receipts afterwards (b/c the orders hadn't shipped at that point.) He even waived shipping on two of the orders since I had placed them so closely together (I hadn't even asked for that, was just calling for the PAs.) Note that I called on Monday night, after the whole mess with the website had gone on and they were perfectly helpful and pleasant. Good luck!

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    4. Thanks ladies! I will try calling tonight.

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  16. Not a vent, just a whine: I want the black tweed cropped lady jacket to go on sale.

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    1. Hexicon...ha ha ha ha ha ha...can't resist, eh?

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    2. Nope, but not at full price, dammit!

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  17. Did anyone make an instore return (on a J.Crew card) on 12/26 and see the return show up yet? I got a handwritten receipt but didn't know when to start calling.

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    1. I made the return on the 26th. Systems were down, so I left my items there, I trusted them they would do the returns when the systems came back up. Later that evening I received an email w/the copy of the receipt; however, the credit has still not posted to my jcrew account. I will wait a couple more days to see if it appears.

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    2. Hmm I did not get an email!

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    3. Yup, the good news is I got an email that same day (maybe 8 hours after I dropped off my stuff - had 3 items to return, received 3 separate emails), the bad news is I checked my account this morning but the credit to the Jcrew account has not been made & it's been 4 days now (one of the returns was purchased on my Visa, that return was credit the following day). Not sure what to make of all that. Seems J.Crew's still having problems w/its internal systems.

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  18. I don't get the nitpicking with the Business Insider article. I still like J Crew's items more than any other store. I think most of their issues are inventory on popular items. If an item is sold out quickly not sure why they can't make more. I went to a store recently and was told they just don't carry much in my off size (I'm a 14) anyway and wonder why when I see so many smaller sizes unpurchased and the sizes 12 and up almost universally sell out so quickly. The corduroy jackets sold off quickly in all colors so why not make more? The off and on sales are confusing too. For the most part I'm happy I'd just tell them to respond faster to interest in products that sell out fast and not cling to non existent size 0000 customers.

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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! :)