Let me start off by saying that I’m a huge fan of companies who are proactive in making amends for customer service flubs, no matter  how minor.

Recently, my friend Crissi posted a note to Facebook about her experience with the customer service reps at Coach. I asked if she wouldn’t mind sharing here and – lucky us! – she agreed.

Here’s the story:

My friend and I were on our way to Chicago for a nice luxurious weekend seeing NKOTBSB VIP style. Very exciting. We stopped at the Edinburgh outlet mall in Indiana to indulge in a little shopping on the way up. I had a $57 dollar credit [at Coach] … so after much deliberation, I decided on a sling shoulder bag for lightweight shopping trips. I hate being weighted down with my huge “briefcase” as I call it when I know I’m going to be shopping for hours, so I figured a smaller purse I could put over my shoulder and not even really have to carry would be great. I also picked out a new makeup bag since mine is pretty old.

After the credit, my total came to around $62 dollars. Now I have to first admit that I’m pretty frugal when it comes to my money, some might even say I’m OCD about spending. I was on a pretty strict budget for the Chicago trip, with a certain amount of cash in my wallet to spend, plus some designated money in my checking account in case I ran out of cash.

So I asked the lady if I could put part of the amount on my debit card and the rest on my credit card. That way, some of it would be immediately paid, and depending on how much I spent on the trip, I could pay the rest off when I got home with leftover money. She said it was no problem, but immediately after swiping my debit card, I hear the dreaded, “Ooops….” My heart sank. I asked, “Did you just run my debit card for the entire amount?” She said, “Yes… but I can credit it back and do it again.” I was furious. Having an extra $40 or $50 dollars charged to your debit card might not be that big a deal to some people, but I only had about a total of $80 dollars in my checking that was designated for this trip, and not much left after that… which was beside the point anyways.

I told her in a pretty heated tone that if she didn’t know how to run a partial payment then she should have went and got someone. She coyly replied, “I DO know how to do it…” to which I replied, “Well obviously you DONT know how, or you wouldn’t have just screwed up my entire budget for this weekend.” She acted like it was no big deal and went to get a manager. The manager told me she could go ahead and credit the whole transaction and charge it all to my credit card. I agreed, but still irritated knowing that the credit wouldn’t show up until long after I was already home from Chicago. She apologized for the girl’s mistake but I once again pointed out that this was pretty pathetic for a company like Coach to have made such a careless mistake with someone’s money. That is a very big deal to me.

That happened on a Thursday. I was busy Friday on my vacation, so I waited until Monday to call Coach’s corporate office. I explained the situation to the representative, who seemed less than sympathetic to the mistake made by the girl in the store. Again, I stated that I wasn’t shopping at Wal-Mart, or Target where I could see something like this happening. I was shopping at a million dollar designer company with esteemed credibility, and I found it unacceptable for this kind of mistake to happen. She asked if I wanted to file a formal complaint, to which I replied that I was pretty sure that’s what I was doing. She said she would have to file actual paperwork if I wanted to file a complaint, so I said yes.

It was not until WEDNESDAY, almost a week following the incident that the charge and the credit to show up in my bank account. The lady assured me it would only take a couple of days, which I knew better than to believe.

On Friday of the week I called to complain, I received a Fex Ex letter in the mail, containing a $50 dollar gift card to any Coach store. I was pleased, although it still doesn’t excuse the mistake, but I think I’ll take the $50 bucks and get over it 🙂 A little complaining can go a long way, and I encourage everyone out there to take the effort in a situation like this, because there is no excuse for poor service. Happy Shopping!!

Thank goodness the people at Coach were proactive and made amends! I am a little surprised that the telephone rep was not sympathetic.

Sounds to me that the whole situation could have been avoided if the store rep had paid attention and slowed down a bit.

Do you have a customer service story to share?  Feel free to email me, post a comment on our Facebook wall, or share here in the comments!

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