Studies show that a satisfied consumer will tell 2 to 3 people about their experience, while a dissatisfied consumer will share their bad experience with 8 to 10 people.
I’m one who will rave about great customer service; even filling out a survey, if one is available, so whoever provided that service receives recognition for it.
I’m pretty tolerant of poor service and hardly complain. It takes a lot to push me over the edge. When that happens, however, look the fuck out!
The same is true with For Shiggles reader Elaine, who has this story to tell about her daughter’s horrible prom dress shopping experience at a place called Deja Vu Boutique (http://www.shopthevu.com/) located in Mount Airy, Maryland.
Take it away, Elaine…
Normally, I keep my posts light hearted and funny and don’t like using social media to complain, or rant and rave about something, but I couldn’t keep this to myself.
Today, Jordan (who is 21, married and a week away from becoming a Mother), Nikki and Becky (who are both 18) decided to use their morning to go prom dress shopping. I was so excited for them!
Jordan and Nikki don’t get that much of an opportunity to hang out and do sister stuff because of their busy schedules.
Around lunch time I get a text from Jordan saying that she has never felt so insulted in her whole life. I didn’t understand what she was talking about so I asked her what happened and she called and told me the story.
They decided to drive from where we live in Hanover, Pennsylvania to Mount Airy, Maryland to this fantastic dress shop that they had heard of. They drove an hour, 40 miles, to a dress shop called Deja Vu Boutique.
As soon as they walked in, a salesperson approached them and asked if they had parents with them. Jordan said, “Um, no… why?” They were told it is their policy that a parent be present if they want to try on dresses. Jordan explained to her that she is 21 and Nikki is her 18 year old sister. The woman then told her that normally they wouldn’t let them try on dresses, but if they intended to buy something today she would go ahead and let them try on 2 dresses each, but that was it.
WHAT?????? Jordan said she was getting a little bit upset and the woman told her that they didn’t want groups of girls just coming in and playing dress up with their expensive dresses.
ALRIGHT! I gotta step in here. I have a little bit of experience with women and I know most of ’em have to try on every. Freaking. Thing. It’s not “playing dress up” It’s being a woman. If I owned a women’s clothing store I’d just be like, “Have fun and let me know what ya want when you’re done.” Elaine continues…
The girls weren’t quite sure what to do, they wanted to leave, but they had gone all that way. They looked at a few dresses and then started to another area of the store and were told that those dresses weren’t for them, that they were mother of the bride dresses, and to not go over there.
Wait. WHAT? Anything in that store should be fair game and available for purchase to anyone! Anyway…
The girls were frustrated and just left.
I was not frustrated when they told me this, I was livid!!!!
Those of you who know me know I have a really hard time standing up for myself, but if you upset my girls I have no problem speaking my mind. The kids call this my “Mama Bear” side.
I calmed myself down and called the store. I want you all to know that at no time did I raise my voice, cuss, name call or anything. This was hard for me since, as many of you know, I am no stranger to letting a profanity or two fly from my mouth!!
I asked for the manager and was told, “This is”. I don’t know why I didn’t write her name down, but I didn’t and I can’t remember it. I explained the situation and told her that I was very upset that my daughters were treated poorly and that they felt discriminated against and that the sales people in the store looked down on them because of their age, and didn’t really want to waste their time waiting on them because they might not be able to afford one of the dresses in the store.
The manager apologized and said that wasn’t her intent. She started to explain her store policy to me, but then asked if I could hold because she was ringing up a customer. She put me on hold. The call got disconnected. In her defense, she did call me back and said, “I don’t want you to think that I hung up on you.” She then explained the store policy. They don’t allow groups of girls to try on dresses without a parent present and don’t want girls to come in and play dress up all afternoon with expensive dresses. They want to make sure the dresses are kept nice for the people who are actually going to buy them. She said she didn’t actually deal with my girls but she does know that they were told they could try on two dresses each if they intended to buy one. I said, “Okay, stop, that is ridiculous. I go into the store all the time, sometimes I leave with a purchase, sometimes I don’t. But does that mean I shouldn’t even go to the store?” I also said, “My girls weren’t a GROUP of girls, there were 3 of them, ALL ADULTS, who have the right to go into any store they want to as long as it is allowed by law!”
I told her that there really wasn’t anything she could do or say to satisfy me, just called to make a manager aware that 3 young ladies left her store feeling humiliated and like they had done something wrong. She said that she feels that my kids took it the wrong way and it was all about perspective. I said, “Well you have your perspective, and I have mine.” Unfortunately, her skewed perspective cost her customers! I told her that my girls were so excited to visit the store that they had heard so much about, so I was going to make sure I would get the word out there about the treatment potential customers could expect to receive from her staff. She told me how dare I bash her store and try to bring her problems, and that I would have to live with it and answer to my own conscience. I said to her, “My conscience is just fine, you and your staff should be ashamed of yourselves, making snap judgments about people and then treating them poorly.”
Now, some of you may think I am over reacting that a store is allowed to have a policy like this. If I believed for one second that the policy was to protect their merchandise from excessive trying on, (is that really a thing?) I would agree with you that I am over reacting.
This is what I believe. The clerks made a judgment that none of my girls could possibly afford one of their dresses, so they didn’t want to waste their time waiting on them. I wonder if they work on commission (I just had a Pretty Woman flashback).
They didn’t want a parent to be there to protect their precious inventory, it was to make sure that a checkbook, or credit card was available. Little do they know that Nikki, who has been busting her tail, working and saving her money, could have very easily afforded one of their dresses.
I wonder if they know this??
On a side note, the girls did go to another store immediately after called Love it at Stella’s in Westminster, Maryland. They were treated with respect and courtesy. Nikki found a dress that she loved and purchased TODAY. Ironically, it was a little more expensive than the dresses at Deja Vu!!!
My last thought on this subject…. Out of curiosity, I checked out Deja Vu’s website. I wondered if this “Policy” was public knowledge, especially if people travel from long distances to visit them. The only thing I could find was this statement:
We have a large staff to make your experience a memorable one. We have Formals for every age including children and Mothers. We always have 1000’s of dresses in stock ready for purchase!!
Well, It was certainly memorable, but not in a good way.
Let this be a lesson to the folks at Deja Vu Boutique: Take care of your customers and you will make more money! It’s actually a pretty simple concept.