Monday, September 5, 2011

Macy's: Part 2

Subtitle: Cross-Dressing is Not Good Customer Service

I truly hope you got the impression from yesterday's post that I have an enduring love to Macy's as a brand and even as a store.  What follows, then, is no quarrel with Macy's, but rather a horrendous failure in what used to be a very great store.

As I mentioned, Macy's is my "go-to." When I told my husband I was going shoe shopping, he said, "Where, Macy's?"  It's just a given.  I need a pretty dress, I need stockings, I need a new purse, I need shoes.  Okay, I probably don't really need those things, but all's relative and I'm old-fashioned enough to believe that ladies wear stockings with their pumps.  In any case, I go to Macy's for all those needs.

Over the last two days, I bought a new dress and a shirt, a new purse, and a slammin' new pair of shoes.

I did not buy any of these things in Macy's, however, and they have no one to blame but themselves.

An unfortunate trend I've been observing (and trying to deny) for the last year and a half is the slow but certain deterioration of everything (except the organ) that I detailed in the last post.  In fact, when I was in the shoe department yesterday, the only male I saw was wearing a faded tee-shirt and jeans and I did not realize he was an employee until I saw him tidying up the catastrophic disaster of the sale racks.  On a side note, maybe I'm the only person whose mama taught her to put things back when she was finished with them, because I witnessed a few women trying on the shoes on the sale rack and then kicking them off and leaving them on the floor!

Anyway, back to Macy's.  Yesterday, I went there, full of hope that I would find a pair (or two!) of fabulous shoes, because that is usually how it happens.  I had already had a little wind knocked out of my shopping sails by a less than favorable adventure buying the dress and shirt, but I was determined to find a pair or two of shoes and a purse.  Truth be told, I found 4 pairs of adorable, classy, non-leather shoes and would have loved to try them on...except that in the 40 minutes I was in the shoe department of Macy's, not one single employee offered assistance.  When I realized I had spent about 10 minutes surveying the shoes and finding the ones I wanted to try on and 30 minutes spinning in circles looking for someone to help me, I left.  Before I left, though, I made a last ditch effort to find a purse.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to convince a person like me to drop over $100 on a purse when there is no one around to tell me why this purse is so awesome?

Now, the awesome part of the story is that by not shopping at Macy's I purchased my shoes, purse, dress, and shirt for less than $100 together.  So it worked out just fine for me, not so much for Macy's.  I thought they might like to know how much money their useless employees cost them yesterday, so after coming home and grabbing a tiny snack (Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus on a slice of multi-grain bread...mmmm...), I wrote them the following email:
I want to preface this by letting you know that I have been a faithful devotee of Macy's for a long time.  My wedding shoes?  Macy's. Special occasion dresses?  Macy's.  Jewelry, cookware, my yearly shoe shopping?  You guessed, Macy's.  Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to be able to do that anymore.

This is obviously a recent thing because to me, Macy's has been representative of the last bastion of old-fashioned customer service, but your employees are just awful these days.  I wish I could confine it to just one department, but I have had appalling experiences with employees in your shoe, lingerie, and women's clothing departments over the last year, and that they are only getting worse does not give me hope to continue shopping there.

I wanted desperately to buy shoes today.  I was in the shoe dept for 40 minutes and in that time fell in and out of love with four pairs of shoes.  I did not buy any of them, however, because in all of those 40 minutes, not a single employee offered assistance, even when I was standing in the center of the dept, obviously looking for help.  I did, however, hear multiple employees telling other people who asked for help that they had to deal with the same person that had helped them before.  I realize this is probably related to a commission pay structure, but it results in abhorrent service.  Another time I was trying to buy shoes, at least 2 employees were "indisposed" because they were busy laughing at a 3rd employee (nametag and all), prancing around in sparkling womens pumps - the employee was male.

This report I am making to you grieves me because over the years I have had astonishingly good customer service, even as recently as a year and a half ago.  I have not had that experience since that time.  Since that time, I have heard employees in the lingerie department talking to each other at the cash registers about how drunk they were going to get tonight/this weekend.  In the dressing rooms of the women's clothing department, I have overheard employees gossiping about baby daddies and who is sleeping with who.

These experiences are completely unacceptable for two reasons.  First, whenever the employees are gossiping or trying on shoes or telling customers they must wait for the person they had been working with, they are NOT HELPING CUSTOMERS.  If you expect a person to spend $100+ on shoes or a purse or a dress, you need to have employees who create an atmosphere in which that price sounds like a deal.  That leads to a second point - as a customer, not their friend or family or therapist, I do not want to hear about their sexual exploits or how much they're going to drink in 45 minutes when the store closes.  

I want to love Macy's as I have in the past. I want Macy's to continue to be the place I know I can go and come out with the dress, clothes, shoes, and purse I went in there to buy today.  I left with nothing but a bitter feeling about the direction in which your store is going and I hope you can rectify this.
We'll see what they have to say...

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