My Letter to Dress Barn: Customer Service FAIL

On February 1, 2014 I visited a local Dress Barn store. The experience I had there was bizarre and very disappointing. I had been a Dress Barn customer for years in Virginia and Washington, D.C. and was so enthusiastic about what I thought was a great store that I brought my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to introduce them to “my store.”

Well, their first impression was less than stellar. These were two, NEW, potential customers who walked out thinking two things: What in the world just happened? and I will NEVER return to Dress Barn again!

I wrote a letter to the Dress Barn corporate office, but of course they never responded. I also completed the customer survey but again, no response. Obviously, Dress Barn does not care about its loyal customers so I wanted to post my experience with the Dress Barn in North Charleston, SC to give you a heads up about what could very likely happen to you. Also, it is pretty entertaining. I have NEVER had anything like this happen to me in a store – NEVER!

Here is my letter dated February 1, 2014:

Dear Dress Barn:

I had the most bizarre experience at one of your stores today. And it has impacted me so badly that I do not think I want to return to any of your stores again.

I have been a Dress Barn customer for years, shopping in the Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA stores. I always enjoyed it and I always had good experiences – until today.

I took my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to store number 1002 today. I had been raving about Dress Barn and they had never shopped there. This was NOT the first impression I expected. I don’t think they will be back either.

My mother-in-law and I shopped in the women’s section. I selected a cardigan and a top. She selected a necklace. She was going to pay for them with her credit card.

We approached the register and the clerk was polite. She started to ring us up but the total was considerably more than what we expected. The shirt was off of the 50 percent rack and the sweater was off of the 70 per cent rack.

When we asked the clerk she told us the prices and the cardigan, originally $42 was only marked down to roughly $29 – a 30 percent discount. We told her that there were several identical sweaters in the 70 percent off section. She said that the cardigan was not 70 percent off. The manager came over and we explained it to her. She said,

‘Someone must have put the sweater in the wrong place.”

We replied, “They put ALL of the sweaters in the wrong place?”

She said yes and told us that the sweater was 30 percent off and she would not honor the 70 percent discount on which all the sweaters were located.

I felt like I was not valued as a customer. ALL of the sweaters were on that rack and in many stores when this happens the store honors that price. I had once believed that Dress Barn was of this caliber. I was obviously wrong.

This happened at the store in DC once and they honored the price without a problem. I don’t know why this store manager would not do that.

But that is not even the worst part.

I told my mother-in-law that I did not want the sweater because they did not honor their sale or mistake or whatever it was. I felt mislead and deceived. I felt like you company does not care about its customers. I was sick to my stomach and just wanted to get out of there. I am not accustomed to being treated like this when I shop.

When the issue of the price came up the clerk was visibly angry. She would not speak and she was hitting the keys on the register really hard.

We just thanked her and left the store. As we were approaching the door, the clerk came RUNNING after us, calling to us saying that the price was correct, that $29 was indeed 70 percent of $42. We all looked at each other for a moment because that is obviously incorrect. Then we tried to explain. She began raising her voice at us, telling us to ‘figure it out.’ She kept insisting that she was right. We did not raise our voices at all, but each time one of us tried to explain to her that $21 was half of $42 so $29 could not be 70 percent she just raised her voice more.

This all happened right in front of the manager and she got in on it too although she did not really raise her voice too much. It was crazy. I was chased down by your clerk, confronted harshly with very bad math and was not allowed to say anything because she kept interrupting me.

Then the clerk abruptly spun around and stomped away. I turned around, completely flustered and told my mother-in-law to get me out of there.

Never in my life have I been chased down by a clerk in a store and yelled at! Never have I been in a store that had its merchandise obviously mislabeled (as the sweaters were) and not had the establishment honor it. I cannot believe that this has happened to me. I am still reeling.

I did receive a customer feedback survey invitation, but I don’t think there will be room for me to include all of this. Needless to say, the feedback will be less than stellar.

I do hope that you rectify this issue. I hate to walk away from a store I have enjoyed for so many years, but I will not give my hard earned money to a store that treats its customers so badly. And I certainly will not be telling any more of my friends and family to shop there.

Stephanie A. Mayberry

Store# 1002
Cashier# 034
Trans# 4418
Reg# 02
Date: 02/01/2014
Time: 2:55:28 PM

What do you think? Have you ever had a customer service FAIL that was so absurd or bizarre?