Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Forever 21 stands true to its name: Juvenile

Dear Forever 21,
I love your style but your online service gets me riled.
A saddened customer


Established in 1984 you’d expect Forever 21 to function like a legitimate company. While it’s in-store service is satisfactory, the online experience is a nightmare.

The company’s online section functions akin to a juvenile with the feel of a hoax.
Here’s the story:

Placed an order for 32 items for a total of $250. Received an order confirmation email. Notified that the items would be delivered in 5-10 business days. Tracked the order on day #4 when a friend stated that she received her $60 order. Status of order was ‘New’. Nothing changed on day #5. On day #7 I decided to check the status only to see that it was cancelled. Called customer service. Was tld that the order couldn’t not be verified even though they themselves couldn't see a problem and noted that the order had been confirmed. Stated that they tried to send a need-to-verify email but saw an error. Admitted that they did not try to resend the email nor find a different way to contact us. They cancelled the order. They offered free expedited shipping on the next order, apologized that the desired merchandise nor the promotion did not existed any longer. Supervisor, Joseph M. stated that he would, “make a note of the problem and forward it to the IT department”. I won’t be holding my breath.
Tip: Don’t wait patiently. Call them on day #2 whether or not you’ve heard from them.
After the call, things still didn’t feel right with me because customer service really didn’t fix anything. No compensation. No order retrieval. No credit note. Nothing.  Who cares for free expedited shipping when you’re already getting free standard shipping and willing to wait another five days for what you can only imagine will feel like Christmas in a box.

On researching if others had similar experiences with the company, I found that most people complaining had placed an order for merchandise totalling above $200. Check it out here and here.

Let me be clear that this store is actually one of my favourites so it’s not hard to order items and go past $100. (Being one of my favourite stores is what made this experience all the more irritating – because I really liked the merchandise that I was foolishly waiting for. They should really have a loyalty section). Furthermore customers on forums reported being asked to take pictures of their credit cards, fax copies of cards, etc. (see above links) Given my fair bit of experience in online shopping, asking someone to send over copies of cards to verify accounts does sound suspicious. There are other more legitimate and grown up ways to verify an account – call a person, secret banking questions, pins, actually sending an email and making sure that it goes through, etc. My current experience didn’t get to the ‘take a picture of your card and email it to us’ level but I agree that it sounds “sketchy” and would not be the way that a legitimate company should handle the verification process.
So lessons of the evening:

#1. If you like Forever 21 merchandise, make your purchases in-store

#2. If shopping online, keep your orders under $70 (and cross fingers for a smooth transaction)

#3. Find a Forever 21 replacement store, at least in the online realm (hardest lesson of the night :’( )

Going back to online shopping at Forever 21 is going to feel like returning to a boyfriend that has wronged me. A little extreme? Forgive me, I get attached to my clothing and shopping is my therapy.

Forever 21 is family run business?
Forever 21 has a citation of a bible verse on the bottom of its bags?

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