Monday, February 11, 2008

J.Crew's Got Some Nerve

Ok, as you can tell by the title, this will be a venting post. If you are a loyal J.Crew customer, this might be an offensive venting post, but vent I must and vent I will. I've never actually bought anything from J.Crew. The clothes are decent, but not so out of the ordinary that I would go ahead and pay outrageously expensive J. Crew prices. If I would spend $145 on a sweater it would most likely be an Anthropologie sweater. However, this winter I became obsessed with pencil skirts. They go with virtually any top in my closet and are so retro-feminine. They also happen to bring out my bum nicely, which gets rather lost in puffy skirts. I've been looking for a brown wool pencil skirt for the longest time and have finally found just the right one on J.Crew website. The skirt is on sale for $79.99. It doesn't seem like too good of a sale price, but since I couldn't find a similar skirt anywhere else, I was willing to buy it by telling myself that hopefully I'll get a lot of wear out of it. And here is where the venting begins. J. Crew has this ridiculous policy of not allowing exchanges or returns on sale items. All sales are final! Can you believe the nerve? Who do they think they are? I'm buying something over the Internet, not knowing whether it will fit me and I don't have the option of exchanging the item? I could understand a policy like this for something that costs $5, but and $80 skirt?

I feel just a little bit guilty about my above venting and have something to say about J.Crew's good customer service. After putting up this post I called J.Crew and asked them if I understood the final sale policy correctly. Really? Truly? No exchanges? They told me "Yes", final sale means just that, but they also offered to provide me with the skirt's measurements so that I can buy it with confidence. The measurements did help in choosing a size, but I still was not convinced and so the friendly customer service rep agreed to waive the final sale policy for this one purchase. She also gave me a one time free shipping promotion. I know they're just trying to get me hooked on their brand, which is fine with me as long as I'm getting what I want. It seems I'm a retail whore.


Sarah said...

I have refused to buy j. crew items on sale online because of their policy. I'm glad you got them to tweak it for you.

But my question for you is about anthropologie. I hear they have a great return policy but I'm wondering if they accept items that do not have the tag attatched (I have the tag, its just not connected to the item anymore.)?

Happy Shopping

Sophie said...

Hi Sarah,

If you have your original receipt and the item has not been worn I don't think it should be a problem. I would bring the tag along just in case.

oldflowers4me said...

wow - im out of breath-everything here on your blog is fantastic- i wish we had anthropologie here in melbourne australia- thankyou for letting me look at all your photo's love jo anderson.

DoodleFactory said...

This is terrible to admit, but I once purchased a pair of pants marked down to $19 from When they arrived, the fit was just AWFUL, and even though it was marked final sale, I took it to the store (tag still on) and asked they would give store credit in exchange. I didn't mention that I'd purchased it online and the woman didn't ask for a receipt and credited me $34 easy as pie.

pet monkey said...

Anthropologie may have a good return policy in theory, but I've sent them 10 emails over the last month to try to get a return address and return info for one item I ordered from them and - no info. They replied Feb 20th to my third email- they requested info that I'd already given them in that email. I sent 7 replies to their mail & answer. It's too bad- I love their stuff, but how do you keep ordering from them when returns can be so impossible? Too bad they don't have a number to call or something.
I think I'm going to have to contact my credit card company to get money back for this as anthropologie isn't responding.

Sophie said...

Your order receipt should have come with a return label. All you need to do is attach that label to a box. If you have an Anthropologie store in your area, you can also do returns at the store. If you want to return an item by mail, you can find the return address on if you click on HELP at the bottom of the page.

pet monkey said...

Tragically, I'm in Canada- clicking help only gives me their email address & no return label came with the order. It sounds like things are much simpler in the US.
I did google a phone number though, so I'll try it tomorrow.
Thanks for your suggestions!!!!

Emplyeex said...

As a retail employee and a customer of many different retailers, I would like to vent my frustrations with this post.

Why would anyone purchase something online that is clearly stated as a "Final Sale" item, with the intentions of trying to return it? When you preview the item, a box appears saying "Final Sale", NO RETURNS OR EXCHANGES. After you add said item(s) in your cart, the words "FINAL SALE" appear for a second time and a few times after that.

Retailers have return policies for many many reasons. One of which is NOT to make anyone mad, or to make you "Refuse" to buy ever again. I make purchases at various retailers on a daily basis, and I understand that not ALL stores have the same policy and if I disagree with the policy I cannot "MAKE UP MY OWN POLICY". I respect the policy and I move on.

Good or outstanding customer service would not be a difficult thing for ALL retailers if customers would do the following.

1. Make smart purchasing decisions.
2. Do not remove tags or sewn in security sensors, and keep the receipt.
3. Abide by the return policy.
4. Respect and understand retailers do not have the SAME return policy, b/c it varies from store to store.
5. Do not HOLD ONTO an item more than 7 to 10 days. (This one really make retailers upset). When a customer buys something in October for $89.00 and returns it in May after "Spring Cleaning". Now the item sells for $9.99 and the retailer has lost almost $80.00
6. Retailers are in business to make money not give it away!

Sorry, the customer is NOT always right. The person who came up with that saying ruined good customer service forever. The customer is most of the time right and the time they are not, they put a guilt trip on the retailer and make them return it for "Good Customer Service".

To conclude, it may seam as if I do not like customers and should not be in retail, but I work retail for other reasons. I wish I could come to your workplace and make your job more difficult by making stupid decisions that made your day less enjoyable. There are many customers who do not do the things I speak about above, they are called "People who have worked in retail", and fully understand how to respect other people. And a side note, DO NOT slap your credit card on the counter when you make a purchase. Hand it to the salesperson, aka "Saleshuman". Would you like it if I slapped it back on the counter after I completed your purchase?

Respect retailers and you will truly see what Outstanding customer service really fells like!

Happy Shopping!

Sophie said...

In reply to Emplyeex,

There is a very big difference in buying something on-line and in the store. When you don't have an option of trying on the clothes you buy, and when "Sale" items are still quite pricey, it is absolutely wrong not to offer your customers at least the option of store credit. Stores do have their policies, but policies also tend to change and update from time to time. If the store is aware of it's customers needs, it may update their policies baste on those needs.

I also worked in retail some time, so you don't have to educate me on how it feels to be on the other side of the counter. I used to tell myself it's nothing personal, it's just my job and I'm here to do it. It's nice to be treated with respect, but ultimately I'm here to meet the customers needs, not the other way around.

As to not holding an item for more than 7 days, you're presuming that all customers pass by your store on every day basis.
For me to return something to Anthropologie or JCrew, I have to hire a babysitter and take an hour long drive each way. I'm also paying for gas and toll, not mentioning the babysitter. After all this, to return an item can cost more than the actual item.

Finally, I never take the tags off clothes I'm not sure if I'm keeping, I don't "slap" the credit card on the counter, and I don't know what kind of trash shoplift.

We live in a capitalist country. Yes retailers are out to make money, but the customers have every right to attempt to spend as little as possible for as good quality as possible. Ever heard of an expression "Get more for your money"?

Happy Retailing!

Emplyeex said...


Thank you for your response, but you did not answer my question. Why would anyone knowingly purchase something online when it clearly states "Final Sale" and reminds you many many times during the process that the item(s) cannot be returned or exchanged?

Yes, there is a big difference in buying in a store and online. That is why you should proceed with caution. The intentions of a retailer when declaring something final sale are too liquidate the product in order to make room for new goods.

You asked me if I ever heared the saying "Get more for your money"? Yes, I have, but have you ever heared of "Buyer Beware"? Or "Time is Money"? Well in retail, "Space is Money". So when customers continue to recycle outdated sale items to a store, it occupies valuable space. The wharehouse is considered a business and has a bottom line. All I'm trying to say is retailers want to offer the best product and service at the best value, but at what price?

As for your point of holding items for 7 days and you need to go through a process in order to return the item I understand, but when customers continually purchase items at full price and hold these items for 6 months or longer, cost the retailer money due to the items value decreasing and losing possible sales since the item was not returned at a earlier date.

I do not work for Anthro or J Crew, but I do shop at these stores and many many more for myself, my wife and daughter. I will NOT purchase anything stating final sale unless I know I will keep the item(s).

I just wish customers would understand they have limitations and changes in retail policy over the years to accomidate customers have improved. But there comes a time when retailers need to protect themself from customers running the business instead of the other way around. If retailers left the decision making up to customers, we would not have anywhere to shop b/c they would ulitmately fail.

Thank you again and I do see your point of view, but there are two sides to every story and we need to work together to make it the best of both worlds.

Happy Posting!

Leigh said...

I have never shopped the final sale at J.Crew for this very reason. Online, I can not try the item. How can they expect people to purchase their items? Because of this, the sale section is quite packed at Customers are not willing to fork up the money for the risk of not being able to use the item.

Jaime said...

Final sale turns me off, no matter the situation. Why? Why so final? It's like they're trying to get rid of something. I like a company that can stand behind their product with confidence.

Jaime said...

Final sale turns me off, no matter the situation. Why? Why so final? It's like they're trying to get rid of something. I like a company that can stand behind their product with confidence.

Tay said...

Just know what J Crew size you are. Try stuff on in the store and then shop online when you realize their sizes are really consistent.
And then if something happens to not fit right or doesn't look like it did online... go in the store and they will absolutely help you out.
But try to make good choices. Don't buy a small because its on sale when you always wear a medium.
Anyway, i've returned a few "final sale" J Crew items. They just make you call customer service from the store. Takes 5 minutes. ans I LOVE J CREW. You can also find great sale stuff IN the store. Try that.

Unknown said...

I work at a J Crew, and I can, with confidence, say that no matter what the website may tell the customer, every time we have had the smallest complaint by a customer we have changed the policy to adapt to what they want, (ie if you really wanted to exchange or return the skirt we would to it with out much fuss)


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