Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Curious Incident of the Catalog Order; or Why I Didn't Get the Bathing Suit I Wanted!

All I wanted was a new bathing suit; bought with a minimum of trouble and time. A catalog came in the mail, and while I don't usually succumb to their charms, I decided that the 30% coupon on the front page made it very worthwhile to choose something. So, I picked out the 2 pieces I thought would look the best on my increasingly "dough boy" type body, filled out the order, enclosed the check and mailed it on June 4th or 5th.

After almost 6 weeks with no UPS delivery, I checked my online bank site and sure enough, the check had cleared. So armed with that information, I called the catalog customer service. You know what that entails, don't you? Number upon number to press, after listening to what seems like a recitation of the whole phone book (with the ever-present admonishment to "listen closely, as our options have changed"). Finally, I was connected to a live person (at least I think he was live; I could barely understand him, as he sounded like a robot. Perhaps this company outsources their customer service to a foreign country?

I explained my problem and gave him the requested info, only to have him report that "We have no record of your order". I replied "How can you have no record of it if you have cashed the check?" He had no answer for that, but he decided I had ordered the bathing suit from another catalog company, not the one he represented. I was speechless, but quickly regained my voice. "How can you say I ordered it from another catalog if the following things are true:

1. The front cover of the catalog says Lane Bryant.

2. The back cover of the catalog says Lane Bryant.

3. Every other darn page in the catalog mentions Lane Bryant.

4. My check was written to Lane Bryant.

5. It says "Brylane" on the reverse of the check.

At that point, HE was speechless, and decided he had to transfer me to his superior immediately. I had to repeat the entire problem, of course. At least the superior spoke with a somewhat more recognizable accent. She concluded that I had to look on-line at the reverse of my check again, and read her the routing numbers. The trouble was, there were four separate ink stamps on it, some of which were overlapping, and impossible to decipher. She was satisfied, however, when I finished reading what I could see, and asked me for the catalog numbers of the items I wanted, so she could re-issue the order.

This is when I discovered that I had forgotten to make a copy of the original order. Of course without that, I had no way to remember what I had ordered, how much the pieces cost, what percentage off the coupon had been for or what the shipping cost should be. I felt like a dunce (doesn't happen often). I don't suffer fools easily - especially when the fool is me! We settled on a refund, to be sent in 7 days. A further problem is that since it is well after July 4th, and all the bathing suits have gone on sale, I will have a very hard time finding a suit that fits and has all the other qualifications I require. So if you see a black, 2-piece swim suit with a small skirt, only a little decolletage, skinny straps, and a price tag under $60, will you buy it for me? I promise to pay you back!

26 comments:

Heather said...

The problem here is that you did not mention a size. If you are willing to post your size, you have my respect. That would make you a bigger woman than me---no pun intended.

poopie said...

humph..customer service ain't what it should be. You paid 60 bucks for a swimsuit? OMG.

Thumper said...

http://www.lane4swim.com/

I've bought a few swimsuits from them, and they ALWAYS come through. Not sure they have what you're looking for, but it's worth peeking at.

Inanna said...

I got my newest bathing suit from ... ahem... the second hand store. It was only 12 bucks and fit great!! Size 12... for my boobages (and those few extra lbs. I've put on)

-xtessa- said...

oh dear... that sucks! and you were so calm about it. i would've been screaming over the phone! LOL!

kristen said...

michele sent me.

I tried to get a bathing suit at J. Crew this past spring. It was such a futile exercise that I'm still using my eight-year-old ready to fall apart speedo bathing suit. Sigh. Oh and why does one have to post sizes? I admit I'm new here, but really, that seems extreme.

chatty said...

I've had many a horror story with customer service. That word may now be added to the long list of oxymorons. Sorry you had to go through that.

Thanks for visiting today.

Mildred Garfield said...

That was a funny story, maybe not to you but since I was on the sidelines it was fun to read.

I really do not think that was an unusual happening. That is the way things are today. That is why I shop in my closet first, it is the easiest way to find something to wear.

The stores have forgotten about the woman who wears a size 14 or 16. When I walk by the plus sizes, they look pretty good but I do not intend to gain weight so I can wear that size!.

I will continue to shop in my closet.

Millie

jules said...

Hi - Michele sent me! Damn customer service!

Jennie said...

I can relate kenju...I ordered a dvd online and it took 20 days to deliver (says 4-8 day delivery). When I called and asked why, they said they mailed it "yesterday". I said, oh? I called a week ago and they said they mailed it "yesterday" then! The reply - "Yeah?" Customer service!

FTS said...

I called Motorola recently to inquire about a product before buying it. I could tell from the CSR's accent he wasn't American, and when I asked my questions all he gave me was scripted answers. I then asked where he was.

"India."

This is where all of our service calls for so many businesses are being routed. Frustrating, to say the least.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Sure will, if they got it in Victoria's Secret. I'm in that store all the time.

Maria said...

I can also relate to the frustration of trying to understand someone for whom English is a second language, not to mention the frustration of listening to all those messages before getting to a real person.

Although, the price is much more, I suggest Lands End. It has some age appropriate great two piece suits. The suits last forever.

Pieces of Me said...

OMG I am so sorry that you had to deal with this! Gosh that sucks! I hope you find something soon! Have a great weekend TTYL oh here from Michele's

-xtessa- said...

hi there kenju! back from michele's this time...

so, have you found a swimsuit yet?;)

mg said...

Hello! Michele sent me :)

ordering online is kind of like going through the drive thru at a fast food restaraunt.

And we all know what happens at the drive thru!

kenju said...

I hope you all will excuse me if I don't answer comments today; I'm designing a wedding and too busy to do much. Thanks for coming by and please come back soon!

Last Girl On Earth said...

What a pain in the ass! I hope they finally at least sent you SOMETHING! There is something extra sucky about not getting something that you've IMAGINED owning. It's like you VIRTUALLY owned it for a little while. Sorry about that!

Wickwire said...

Don't get me staw-ted on phone trees sweetie. (attempting my New Jersey accent here). I see they were quick to take your check though. Same thing happen with Preschoolian Shoes, took me forever to get my son's shoes but they cashed the check the day they got it in the mail.

Jamie Dawn said...

What? No thong or double wire push-up with liquid gel padding? And what's the fun with black? Hot pink, baby!

Blond Girl said...

You described the suit I want!

Won't say much since you're busy. My mom used to be a florist, so I know the drill. Enjoy Sunday when you can breathe!

Tammy said...

Customer service sucks, doesn't it?

Oh wait...I work in retail....but I provide excellent customer service, really I do!

Good luck finding a bathing suit. I've gained so much weight since I quit smoking, and had to got thru finding a new one this year...it was not fun...but I finally found one at Target that works for me. :)

Tammy said...

OOPPSSSSSSSSSSSS..forgot the tagline....

Michele sent me!

Weary Hag said...

Catalog ordering can be a real nightmare. I think we should be made to order everything we want through DMV... this way, we go into the battle knowing full well what to expect. They want our entire life history in documentation anyway, practically including our bra size... and they already have the required attitude. It might get us out into the actual stores more often.

David Parsons WV said...

You are better off getting the bathing suit in Raleigh. A lot of catalog orders get goofed up. Usually their complaint or call centers are in India. When that happens you get someone who can barely speak English and frustration mounts.
Get yourself a sexy Jantzen and enjoy it!!!! We guys have it much easier. A pair of cheap baggy boxer trunks does the trick.

Raehan said...

I would have been crying on the phone out of frustration. Did you find one yet?