Since it's "Final Sale" season and the time when we all seem to post our most negative (and understandable!) feelings about J. Crew's Final Sale policies, I thought you all might find it encouraging to hear about my positive J. Crew customer service experience this past week.
About a month ago I bought the Featherweight Cashmere Short-Sleeve Cardigan in Spicy Olive (shown in the picture to the left). As so often happens these days, I had fallen head over heels for this item after seeing it featured (along with several things I happened to already own) by our beautiful and creative pal A Bigger Closet in one of her Polyvore sets. ABC, you are suuuuuuuch a terrible influence. :-)
So the sweater arrived, and was just as adorable as I'd hoped. Cute little ruffle along the neck and placket, gorgeous color, delicate weight and dense weave to the cashmere. I de-bagged it, de-tagged it and carefully put it away -- since in the dog days of Atlanta's August even a short-sleeve cashmere sweater is ridiculously out of the question. But here's what I did NOT do, though, folks. I did not try the sweater on. It wasn't the only cardi in that day's arriving box; I was unpacking the box after a workout and was sweaty (so I didn't try ANYTHING on, actually); I'd ordered it in my usual cardigan Medium and they sent me a Medium; it looked Medium-ish; and it was flawless on inspection -- I saw no holes, nothing amiss, etc. Lesson learned. I'll never make that mistake again.
Monday of this week we had a rainy, ever-so-slightly cooler day and I immediately thought "YAY, Spicy Olive cardi!!" (Side note: Kinda pitiful, I think, to be sooooooooo thrilled by a sweater. Wink & grin.) After my little morning cardio session I showered, dressed and did hair and makeup, and just as I was leaving the house I slipped gracefully into my new cardi.
This Medium felt like an XXS, seriously. It lacked four inches even buttoning. I fiddled with it for several minutes, thinking that I was just doing something wrong -- I'd forgotten to unbutton something or I'd left some thread un-clipped. Nope. It was just plain mis-sized.
Right away (while wearing a different cardi and feeling miffed about that, LOL) I e-mailed JC's Customer Service with my sad story. I admitted openly to them that I'd not tried the sweater on and that it was de-tagged. I asked if I could return the sweater or exchange it even though it was a FS item.
By late Monday afternoon I had a reply from "Joan" in Customer Service:
Dear [JCAUNCMom]: We are truly sorry to learn of the size discrepancy of item 15534. As a customer of J.Crew, you are probably aware that this sort of issue is not typical for our product. Though we would prefer that item 15534 be returned to us via mail, with a merchandise return label, we would be happy to accept the return at your local J. Crew retail store. Your order has been noted that you are able to return the short-sleeve cardigan.She went on to say that, regrettably, Spicy Olive was sold out but that I was welcome to re-order a different color after I returned the defective sweater. At this I admit I thought "Duh, ya THINK?"
Yesterday I took the itty bitty cardi and a copy of my order summary plus a copy of Joan's e-mail to my B&M, and they were lovely and quite apologetic -- they even gave me a $10 GC for my trouble. The icing on the cake: today I discovered quite by accident -- when I was writing this post, actually, and went to the Crew site to copy the link for y'all -- that Spicy Olive in my size is back in stock!! WOW! So I've reordered it (and let's all cross our fingers that it really IS a Medium!)
It did seem to me, to be honest, that there just wasn't any other reasonable way for J. Crew to respond to my e-mail than to allow this return -- any other response would fly in the face of their "defective merchandise" policy. Then again, since I'd de-tagged the sweater, for all they knew I might have worn it to a party, taken it on a trip abroad, loaned it to a friend, steamed it and then complained about the sizing. But they stood by their product, trusted their customer, and re-earned my trust in them.
Don't ya just love happy endings? :-)