Online shopping : buyer beware

I love online shopping because I’m fortunate to know my measurements and size well enough that I don’t really need to try things on. But after today’s experience, my worst nightmare became a reality and I’ve learned that there far more important things to worry about than if something fits me or not. Specifically, if my clothes get delivered to me in one piece and not destroyed and looking like they were run over by a truck multiple times. Case in point: My online purchase from American Eagle Outfitters. 

AE Fit & Flare Sweater Dress - destroyed with holes and dirt AE Fit & Flare Sweater Dress - destroyed with holes and dirt AE Fit & Flare Sweater Dress - destroyed with holes and dirt AE Fit & Flare Sweater Dress - destroyed with holes and dirt

Honestly, I could just let the photos speak for themselves, right? But I won’t. I’m an angry customer and I want to let me voice be heard through my small yet (I like to think) impactful blog. I usually do not write negatively about anyone or anything but this has negatively affected me to the point where my story needs to be told.

On February 13, I had purchased some items from American Eagle for myself and Mom, because I had an awesome 40% off coupon from my monthly AE rewards and I knew the discount could be applied on top of all items, even those on sale. Sweet, right? To prove just how sweet of a deal it was, here’s a breakdown of what I paid for each item:

AE-order

I anxiously waited for my items to be delivered. And to my surprise, I received them today, a couple days earlier than expected. Upon first glance, the items were in a clear Canada Post bag (which online clothing orders never are), and looked a bit messy and just not right. And there was a “sorry” message on the bag. Long story short, four of my items were delivered COMPLETELY damaged. It looked they fell out of a truck onto a dirt road, got run over back and forth, and then someone tried pulling the item out from under the wheel, causing them to rip. The AE bag they were originally in was shredded and was also thrown in the big clear bag with the clothes. In total, four dresses were destroyed, as well as my floral print boxers. I will say that the chiffon dress, PJ pants and lace skirt were in good condition and were still in their original packaging. My beaded braided headwrap was no where to be found. It wasn’t even delivered.

Not knowing what else to do because this has never happened ever before, I went to the closest American Eagle (Brentwood mall in Burnaby) and showed the store manager the damaged dresses, which frankly looked worse than clothes you’d throw out in the garbage. She was nice to call the online store in the States (it had to go through them because I ordered online), and spoke with the customer service rep on the phone, explaining my situation to him. She went back and forth talking to him and then explaining things to me, and in the process I learned that American Eagle not only wanted me to ship the dirty ass dresses back to them, they wanted me to PAY for the re-order of the new items, and then I would get reimbursed when the dirty dresses arrived back in their hands….what??!? And one of the dresses that was damaged wasn’t even in stock anymore, but I still had to ship it back to them. I do understand that they want to prevent theft, and want all their clothing accounted for, etc, but COME ON you’re talking to your own AE sales associate who is calling you from in-store and telling you that a customer’s clothing she ordered online was destroyed upon  arrival and in VERY bad condition. She was even appalled and showed all the other associates because no one had seen anything like it before.

I don’t care who’s fault it was, whether it was Canada Post, American Eagle, the driver of the truck, or anyone else, that is NOT the point (It probably wasn’t even AE’s fault, because once it leaves their warehouse they have no control over the shipping process). The point is that as a customer, I was extremely unhappy and disappointed with the order I received, and wanted something to be done about it so that my hassle and bad experience were not going unnoticed by AE. I thought that was fair and reasonable of me. And AE could’ve easily fixed the problem and turned this situation around.

However, the guy I spoke to on the phone from the AE online store (while still in the AE store in Brentwood), said he couldn’t do ANYTHING about this. I was flustered and told him this was a terrible experience for me as a customer, and asked if there was anything he could do for customer accommodation (something the AE manager at Brentwood actually prompted me to ask while I was on the phone). No, he said. He couldn’t, and that his manager would tell me the same thing. Expedited shipping? No. Additional discount off the items for this hassle I had to endure? No. Did I want credit for 25% off my next AE purchase online? I told him no. I would never shop at American Eagle online ever again. On the phone, he honestly did not seem to care too much, which of course would enrage any normal person. He also gave me a lot of attitude and was not accommodating at all. I do like American Eagle clothes, but they really have to do something about their customer relations area, which I was so unimpressed with. The fact that I have to pay for the reorder of the damaged clothes (who cares that I would get reimbursed when they get back to them; why am I paying to begin with when the original items were damaged), and will probably be charged some duty and taxes in the process is not right and is so unfair. I have to add that although I am ranting about the online AE store, the manager at American Eagle in Brentwood mall was nice and very understanding through this whole process. She even gave me a $15 in-store credit for what I had to go through because the guy on the phone wouldn’t budge, and she didn’t agree with that.

Again, I don’t want to point fingers here, but in the grand scheme of things, no matter what the heck happened to those few pieces of clothing that caused them to look like they got stuck in a lawnmower and pulled out then chewed by a pack of wolves, the American Eagle online store needed to take accountability for this because it makes them look bad for a customer to receive such dirty, unwearable clothes. In my opinion, and maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about, I would think any retail company would want to correct this in the smoothest way possible, and right this wrong with as little effort required from the customer. I am SO unhappy with this whole way this was handled, and I feel like AE did not care about something that they are ultimately represented by and responsible for. And of course I’m going to tell all my friends about this shitty experience. I don’t care that AE is sending new items to me – that should be a given – I walked away from this situation feeling unsatisfied and unhappy, and like the problem was unresolved. As a company that claims customer satisfaction is top priority, American Eagle has failed in every aspect and their image and reputation has been tarnished forever in my eyes.

-eudorable

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