News article that inspired this "rambling over coffee": link
I would say it's 'coffee break' time but the reality is I've got a glass of ice covered with a diet cola so... no coffee.
I can chit chat over soda just as well as coffee so right now, it's about Dillards.
Dillards (for those who don't live in an area that has them) is a department store. They popped into mind when I was reading a 'the customers is NOT always right' story online. Something triggered a memory of many years ago, when we lived in Nashville, Tennessee.
It was Christmas time and my husband had bought me a coat. A long, black, leather coat. But he didn't know what the "P" on the size tag meant and bought me a petite. I'm about 5'6" so although it worked ok, a regular medium instead of a petite medium would have been better. Still, I don't like to return things and I really don't want to hurt peoples feelings so I planned to keep it. However, about a week after Christmas I decided since I was heading to the mall anyway, I would bring the coat and stop into Dillards to exchange it for a regular medium instead of the petite. Even though I had cut the tags off, I had the receipt with me so I thought it would be an easy exchange.
For whatever reason, I had a complete B*tch saleswoman who wasn't polite or kind even from the get-go. Now, I'm a really friendly, approachable and generally happy person. I'm one of those customers (or when I'm the administrative assistant at my job) that always has a smile for you; I'm polite, patient and kind. There is almost NO ONE that is so grumpy or rude that I can't win them over. Maybe a handful in 20+ years that I couldn't break through their ice.
This saleswoman at Dillards was quite frankly... a b*tch.
She immediately refused to return the coat. She said it had been used. I pointed out I had owned it all of a week! I don't need to return anything; just exchange it for the same thing in the correct size!
She proceeded to go over every single centimeter of that coat just LOOKING for something she could use to refuse me. We went back and forth for probably close to 5-6 minutes as I waited for to stop her complaining, sighing, and being nit-picky!
She finally found the edge point of the lapel, where the sewing seams met at the point. The itty bitty point of the leather at that tip - about 3 millimeters wide - was rubbed as leather does. She pointed this out to me and told me it was damage I caused and therefore she refused to return the coat.
I don't know what the heck her problem was, but she was determined NOT to accept my exchange on a brand new, perfectly beautiful black leather coat.
I just gave up at that point. I left.
But I hold grudges against retailers.
And I did.
I went from shopping Dillards for 80% of my children's clothes, and about 40% of my husbands and mine; as well as things like Christmas gifts for family friends, household items, decor, etc. to... NOTHING.
From that day on I rarely even stepped foot in their store and even if I found something I liked, I would make a point to find it elsewhere so I couldn't give them my money.
We moved away about 2 years later; to areas that didn't have Dillard stores so they became a distant memory and honestly, I forgot they even existed.
Today when I remembered them and remembered the awful customer service I received from them, I did a quick google search to see if they were even still in business and smirked when I saw the news article from an analyst saying "Dillards long term future... not rosy!"
Yes, I smirked. As much as I hate to see long term businesses die out... when you've treated me badly, I kind of get a sense of satisfaction. If you treat your customers like crap; you deserve to go out of business.