WHBMThe other day, my aunt and I visited her local White House Black Market, drawn in by a fabulous 50% off sale sign (always a good thing at WH BM!)

We spent about a half of a second admiring the items in the front of the store before we were accosted by a pushy sales rep.  “Are you ladies looking for anything in particular?”  We responded that no, we were just looking around.  She persisted, bringing us to the “new items” that she could sell “for us” but aren’t really available yet.  I was trying to make my way to the sale section, but she kept looking at me, all the while talking about how fabulous this particular red ruffled shirt would look with jeans or with a skirt for a Christmas party.  I appreciated the effort but it was clear that I wasn’t interested.

I made my way back to the sale section, thinking that my aunt was right behind me.  No, the sales rep had targeted her and was bringing her back into the front to show her something or the other.  When I realized it (and after I’d found a cute polka dot tank top for $20), I returned to the front of the store to rescue her.  The sales rep would not let up though, talking about my aunt’s wedding ring (which had been  my grandmother’s) and asking to see it.  She compared it to her own ring, which she had coincidentally lost while washing her horses.  She was obviously fishing for us to ask questions about herself – but we did not bite.  After a tedious conversation about “Don’t ever take that ring off! Trust me!” and “I have horses, aren’t I special?”, we finally made our way to the checkout.

As soon as my aunt and I got out of the store, she turned to me and said, “I didn’t like her” – took the words right out of my mouth!  She was way too pushy and clingy.  Let the customers browse on their own. Let them ASK for help.  Be friendly but not overbearing.

I wasn’t going to share this experience, but I realized that the same thing happened to me at my own local WH BM.  I think it must be some sort of sales ploy for them.  I guess it must work with some people, because they are really hard selling and do not let up.  It makes me just want to avoid the stores altogether.

Have you had this experience at White House Black Market or is it  just me?

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7 Responses to Customer Service Story: White House Black Market

  1. Gail Tilton says:

    I’m a WHBM customer and have just entered your $1500 contest; when the end came up,
    found that I’d subscribed to Marie Claire? I don’t care for that magazine and do NOT wish
    to receive it! What a very tricky way to get new subscriptions…..please! Does this mean
    I can’t enter the contest???????????

    • Erin says:

      Hi Gail, looks like you’re in the wrong place – check out WHMB.com to see about the contest. I think Marie Claire is a sponsor of the contest, so it might just be a part of entering. Good luck getting this resolved!

  2. Mary says:

    I have also had a similar experience at WHBM. The sales people (3 – 4 of them) kept bringing me items (that I was not interested in) back to me in my dressing room to try on! They had me so overwhelmed I left without a purchase. But the worst thing to happen to me at WHBM was that I found a dress that I liked, but they did not have my size. The said they found it for me on-line, I paid for it, and waited for it to be delivered. When I checked the status of the delivery a week later, they told me that they were unable to fulfill my order and the order had been canceled. I had no idea it was a lottery system, where some orders get filled and others do not! Had I not checked the status of my order, I guess I would still be waiting for the delivery!

    • Erin says:

      Hi Mary! I’m glad it was not just us! It seems like there is a program where the associates are trained to be very pushy. It must pay off since it has continued for so long, but man is it annoying!

      That is so sad about your dress too! I can’t believe that they would charge you and cancel it with no notice. Very poor service if you ask me…

  3. Courtney says:

    Hi everyone, I am an associate at white house black market. I completely understand what all of you are saying. We are trained to bring more clothing back into the dressing room along with shoes. I understand where it can be overwhelming for you, I get it all the time. As for someone greeting you, it’s totally different, some sales associates aren’t pushy, but the lady that greeted you was probably a manager or a sales lead.

  4. Jessica says:

    I have had similar experiences…. God forbid you don’t buy anything that day or let them know you are just browsing- they immediately switch from treating you like shark bait to scum. I love the clothes but hate the customer service there

  5. Angie says:

    I have had the best experience in the store but the call center reps are so so unfriendly and rude. I am a platinum member and probably spend 2K per month on the clothes here. I like buying online since I don’t always have the time but I am really really disappointed about the call center reps and the customer service offered by White House Black Market.

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