Over the Christmas holiday, I donated to St. Jude's hospital while shopping at LOFT. After I checked out, I was given a 20% off coupon valid January 12-29. For the entire month of January, everything in LOFT stores was between 10% and 30% off. The entire store was on sale for all of the days the coupon was valid. This is important.
I went to LOFT the day before the coupon expired and found a sweater I wanted to purchase. When it was my turn to check out, I presented my 20% off coupon. The sales associate made a phone call, and then informed me I could not use the coupon and told me I should have used the coupon earlier. I explained that everything was on sale the entire time the coupon was valid, and it hadn't expired yet. I asked if I could receive another coupon to use when the sale ended. We went back and forth for a bit mainly because the associate was stuck on me using the coupon earlier and "not waiting until the last minute." She began raising her voice and told me yet again that I should have used the coupon earlier. I asked to speak to a manager, and again stated I had no obligation to use the coupon earlier if it was good through the following day.
ETA: The employee was well past being polite and into yelling at me before she brought up the store being on sale. Her argument was that I should have shopped on January 12 when the coupon first became valid. (Everything was on sale then, too.) At this point, I wanted to talk to a manager to formally complain about the service and that they gave me a coupon that was worthless because according to the associate, the coupon was never valid.
She picked up the phone to call the manager, and while I was in mid-sentence raised her hand, put it IN MY FACE and yelled, "SAVE IT!" I was so shocked, I was speechless. I was about to leave, but my friend encouraged me to talk to a manager. The associate hung up the phone and left the register without another word while I waited for the manager to come out.
The manager, though less abrasive, was insistent it was my fault I did not use the coupon earlier, and there was nothing she could do. When I remarked that the customer service was horrible and told her what happened previously, the manager said "I don't think it happened that way," and rolled her eyes. She stared at me blankly. I asked if there was any full-price merchandise in the store that I could look at or if I could get a coupon used at a later date. She repeated that I should have used the coupon earlier. I couldn't believe it. Finally, the manager put her hand out and said, "Give me your receipt." I hadn't paid for the sweater yet. She rang me up and applied the coupon. A handful of people were standing around watching this interaction. My friend and I left the store immediately, still shocked.
Later that evening, my friend posted our interaction on LOFT's facebook wall, and I commented as well that yes, the service was horrifying. LOFT asked me get in touch with them. I sent them a straightforward, calm and collected e-mail detailing my experience.
After two weeks, they had not responded. I contacted them again via facebook, and they asked again that I e-mail. I sent it again. They responded this time... with a form letter that never acknowledged their associate's actions. To add insult to injury, the form letter also stated I shouldn't have been able to use the coupon. They completely missed the point.
I feel sick over this. A friend told me to contact the Better Business Bureau, which I plan to do, but I'm not sure how effective that will be. I am definitely never shopping at LOFT again.
TL;DR: a LOFT associate argued with me over a coupon, then told me to shut up by putting her hand in my face and yelling "Save it!" LOFT sent me a form letter response telling me I shouldn't have been able to use the coupon and failed to acknowledge their associate's outrageous behavior.
i replied to the form letter with the following:
Thank you for this form letter regarding promotional guidelines.
However, I believe LOFT has completely missed the point. Unethical as it may be to lure customers into LOFT stores with coupons that are never valid, applying or denying the coupon is not the issue here.
Please send me the form letter for situations when LOFT associates are physically abrasive.
LOFT associate, Audrey, from the Gainesville, FL, Oaks Mall location attempted to quiet me by raising her hand palm out and putting it in my face while yelling, "Save it!" This was after Audrey began raising her voice and while I was in mid-sentence requesting to speak with a manager.
There were other customers watching this interaction, as well as my friend who accompanied me into the store.
LOFT manager, Melissa, questioned my and my witness' account of events while using negative body language, including rolling her eyes and noticeably sighing whenever I began speaking. Melissa was rude and terse, demanding me to give her my receipt in a raised voice with her hand out palm up. When Melissa demanded the receipt, she didn't realize I hadn't paid for the item yet, further proof she was not aware of my situation and actively ignoring me when I tried to explain my experience.
This response is unacceptable and insulting.
i tried to be direct and unemotional, but i will admit i am getting very frustrated with their idea of customer service. i hope it doesn't come through too much.
i am going to write my experience up for consumerist, post a yelp review and contact BBB. i would also like to write st. jude's about LOFT corporate's disregard for my experience, but i may wait until i get another response.
thanks everyone for your support! i feel confident moving forward with this.