I heard a very disturbing retail nightmare from our good friend, Florence the Shoe Goddess the other day. She ordered the Cupcake clutch (of SATC infamy) on a whim from Navin at the Judith Leiber flagship boutique on Madison. She was told it would not be delivered until late Feb and was asked to give her credit card number to hold the bag. She got her credit card bill this week and saw that she was charged for the full amount of the clutch of $4,689.84. She came to her senses and realized that a small cupcake should not cost four figures and called Navin to cancel the order and asked for a refund. He curtly and rudely informed her that all sales are final and she could not receive a refund. Uh, Navin? We looked it up in our dictionary and the definition of a “sale” is– Sale: (noun) transfer of property for money or credit. (jump for more nightmare!)
Since Florence never received the property, this was technically not a sale. It was a pre-order. Navin did not inform her at the time of order that she would be charged for the full amount nor that she could not cancel her order. So technically, this was a scam. We just want to warn you all about the shady tactics of Judith Leiber boutiques. He also gave her some shenanigan of this being a special and custom order– uh, we checked around and Neiman Marcus has dozens of them for sale so this is neither special nor custom. So our advice is: Stay away from Judith Leiber boutiques! Stay far far away!
In today’s retail climate, sales associates should learn sales etiquette. And since Navin has none, we thought we’d teach him a few.
1. The customer is always right, never be rude or curt when a customer is not satisfied. Cuss her out after you hang up the phone if need be but while speaking to a customer, be friendly and nice– you’ll have a client for life.
2. FULL DISCLOSURE. If you are going to charge a customer for the full amount of an item at time of order, please inform her of the fact and that it is non-refundable.
3. You are not better than your customers, you are standing behind the counter and she is in front of it for a reason. She is the one who is helping pay your damn paycheck so start smiling!
**(Customers should also treat SAs with respect and give them the dignity they deserve– how would you like to stand on your feet all day and wait on rude people?)
As for Florence, we suggested she fight for her refund and run straight to Hermes and get herself a fabulous Hermes Medor clutch at the same price. And by the way, if you were to “order” a crocodile birkin at Hermes, they do not charge you until it arrives and you are allowed to change your mind and refuse at time of delivery! You may end up on the black list but at least they won’t screw you. Another reason to shop at Hermes!
But if you love the JL kitschy bags, buy at Neiman Marcus, at least they won’t charge you until you’ve received it and if you change your mind– they will refund it, with a smile. $4,295 at Neiman Marcus.