I had a birthday a while ago. I received some birthday money. I decided to spend some of it during the sales going on right now.
I do most of my clothes shopping on-line. I like the search functions that allow me to only look at things that I can afford and that will fit. I shop at several national chains and greatly appreciate their service, quality, reliable sizing and pricing. I'm not going to mention any names in this post because I really have no complaint against the company.
One chain I shop at regularly has a great return policy. I can either package it up and leave it on my porch for the mailman to pick up or I can take my purchase to the local store. I typically go to the local store to avoid worrying about whether or not it will arrive at its destination.
Now, I shop at this particular store a lot. In 'flusher' years, I've even managed to become a preferred customer. I'm in their computer. The closest store for returns is a lovely place but it carries a very limited range of sizes. It does not carry my size. That is quite all right with me. I understand they have done their research, (although I always wonder how they can say they don't sell particular sizes if they never reliably carry them. But that is a question for another time).
On this particular day as I was making a return of a small portion of larger order the clerk started telling me about all of the sales and suggested I look around for an exchange. Pretty typical fare. Nothing I didn't expect. I said, "No thank you. You don't carry my size." She then started to tell me about all the other sizes and particular styles that I could try on to see if they would work. I told her that I didn't want to waste my time looking at things I that I could not buy today. I really wasn't trying to criticize the store, I was just trying to state a fact. I hate looking at things that I KNOW come in my size but aren't available for me to purchase. It is annoying and I can find what I want and order online if I want to wait a week for delivery.
I was set on relieving my wallet of some of my birthday money right then. I didn't want to wait. I didn't want to pay shipping or make another trip to the store. I wanted an outfit to wear now. It happens like that some days.
So I completed my return with a rather huffy salesclerk and left the store. I walked two doors down to the store that carries a full range of sizes. The friendly clerk helped me find the right size and never once suggested I try things that clearly would not fit. I spent a fair bit of my birthday money.
As I was walking back past the original store with my rather full garment bag I wanted to go back in. I wanted to say, "Look. I came out to spend money today. If you carried the full range of sizes your company produces, I would have spent it here. If you had suggested I could order from your catalog kiosk, I might have considered that as well. You did neither, so the lovely Lisa two doors down, received a hefty commission instead."
I didn't because I am certain it would have been perceived as cranky criticism rather than an opportunity to learn from a loyal customer. I really wanted them to know that I would be happy to spend money in their store, have done so in the past and would do so in the future if they would make it easy for me. I really wanted to. But I didn't.
Well, I've shared it with you, so I feel a bit better. Would you have said something?