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I agree that you received terrible customer service. In the Ralph Lauren experience we can all learn to double check the sales clerk before we pay for the purchase. It would have made life simpler for everyone!

Jane Thompson

I couldn't agree with you more, Steve. Everyone makes mistakes, but it's how you handle the mistakes that makes all the difference. A vendor of mine just made a mistake on a banner that went to a client, and the vendor is trying to tell me that the redone one MAY not match entirely with the others. I said to them that the client should expect that they do match, since it wasn't their fault that production made the mistake. They should be willing to redo that banner as many times as it takes to make it right!

Janelle Fields

These situations could have been avoided, or at least drastically improved so they didn't motivate a brand-damaging blog post, if store personnel were empowered to make decisions rather than go thru a chain of command. Customer service is at its best at the original point of origin - where the customer needs, asks for, or buys something from the vendor.

Mark Bailey

Why are you buying XL shirts Steve! Why two Orange? Couldn't you have gone with a Green or Yellow? Horrible customer service on both occassions. A waste of tme, not to mention a lot of aggravation.

Ruth Cialone

I agree and I have had this same type of situation happen to me on many occasions. Sometimes you have to just think logically instead of sticking to a posted set of rules which will create bad feelings on the part of the customer and end up costing you money in the long run (both by loss of good referral business and in this case, shipping costs!) Look how many people will read about your experience with these companies and perhaps choose a different store.
Just a note about the shirts you bought---if anyone knows what you teach, they know you would be buying ORANGE!!!
Thanks for all the great info you share in your articles. I am constantly learning from the advice you give.

Steve Miller

Mark - first, I'm a sneaky big boy and I like my shirts a bit roomy. :)

Second, I'm SHOCKED you would wonder why I bought ORANGE.

Thank you Ruth for setting Mark straight on that!

Bob Miller

I feel your pain. Sometimes it seems that these companies have a VP of Sales Prevention that intentionally designs these cumbersome policies and procedures for the faint-of-heart. What they want you to do is so complicated that most just give up and accept it. You end up giving the shirts to your uncle Arnie. I know how that makes me feel about doing business with that company again. I like your term "Situational Customer Service". It describes a situation we should all be watching out for.

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