Aldo Shoes — sub standard customer service
For the past ten years I have been both a devoted, as well as, a very satisfied Aldo customer. However, I am compelled to forward this letter of complaint to your attention.
I have purchased shoes and accessories from Aldo on a regular basis in stores all across the globe; and not only for myself, but for my entire family. I have multiple homes and upon my return to our beach house in FL this year, I discovered a forgotten pair of brand new, gorgeous black patent platform sandals in my closet which I purchased just about a year ago. I was very eager to finally wear them.
Last Wednesday evening, June 10, 2009, was the idea occasion. However, as I stepped out of our house and walked on to our car, I mentioned to my husband how painful these shoes were. Determined to enjoy their trendy style and beauty, I decided to ignore the pain for the fashion sake. However, after another 30 minutes of agony, it became apparent, that ignoring the pain was no longer possible.
After wearing them no longer than 45 minutes, I called the Aldo store at International Mall, ( Store 2117) in Tampa, FL. where I had the privilege to speak to Josh, the store manager, and upon my explanation of the situation, he quickly responded, that this was not a problem, and even though the shoes were worn once, I could bring them in for a simple return.
I was very grateful to Josh, and was amazed at how professional he was in trying to handle this situation. After all, I have never had to call a store to return a "used" pair of shoes.
I mentioned to Josh, that I will be able to bring the shoes, with the original box and the receipt, on Sunday, June 14, 2009. Josh advised me that since it was his day off, he will forward this information along with instructions, to Jessie (2303), the assistant manager who would be managing the store that day.
My husband and I arrived to the store on Sunday morning, and asked for Jessie. Jessie replied to us that he knew nothing of my conversation with Josh, nor did he have any instructions. He stated that he would call Josh for clarifications. We patiently awaited, while Jessie went into the back room to call Josh. Upon his return, Jessie's reaction was rather rude, stating that the shoes have been worn more than once and he will not be able to accept them, but only for an exchange. (I was rather astonished by his attitude, let alone the "expertise" that he had shown as to the condition of the wear of the shoes!).
After 15 minutes of very vehement argument, Jessie insisted on not accepting the return. I requested him to provide me with an opportunity to speak to Josh, since that original conversation was between myself and him, but he adamantly refused to redial his number and let me talk to him.
I asked for a contact information for the Corporate Headquarter, but he continued to refuse my requests. Furthermore, the hourly employee that was standing next to him, just "barked" at us that they were simply not going to do the return and that I was welcome to come back when Josh was around.
Since I knew I wasn't going to be coming back to this area soon, I picked up another pair of shoes, which I did not care for of equal value, exchanged them, and stormed out of the store. On our long drive home, of over an hour, we stopped by another Aldo store, and successfully returned the new pair of shoes!
On the way back, I also had the chance to reflect on this ironic situation, and the poor handling of what should have been a rather simple return and a very satisfied, long time customer, but instead cost the company, hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue!
This shouldn't take a rocket scientist to understand the simple arithmetic and the consequences. However, neither Jessie, nor Josh, cared to pay attention, think, or better, simply provide exemplary customer service.
So on my long way back, I picked up my phone and called a couple of my good shopping friends. Each one of them has been an Aldo devotee shopper for years, since I was the one that usually brought them with me to our mutual shopping sprees.
After relating this story to them, they quickly got on their multiple blogging sites and the social media groups, and emailed this story to over one thousand friends. Yes, girls talk. When they happy you know it, and when they feel wronged, you'll know it faster!
Within minutes, about 50 of their friends replied that they will never shop in Aldo again. This was just the beginning...as emails and bloggs of disgruntled customers have a life of their own.
As an attorney, and a CEO of a company, who is married to a successful physician, a $100 pair of shoes, wouldn't have broken my bank. However, the rudeness of the store's management drove me out of that store, quicker than a wild fire!
Over the years, I have invested and spent tens of thousand of dollars in all the different Aldo stores. If all our blogging friends who swore to never shop there again have spent just a fraction of what I used to spend per year, this will amount to a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars to Aldo.
One of my friends later called the store to inform Jessie of his grave mistake, and poor judgement. She told him that his poor decision is going to cost the company far more than $100.00. His reply was simple and rather astonishing: He simply didn't care and stated that the loss was not of the company but of the customers.
At that moment, it became clearer than ever, that if he had applied for a job in my company, I wouldn't hire him to wash our floors!
Customer service is everything and in this economic environment I do not know of any company which can afford this kind of negative publicity and loss of revenues.
The loss is not of the customers, because we, the ones who have the disposable income to splurge on fashions, will continue shopping at the better stores such as Nordstrom, Neiman, and Sacks, where customer service is taken to the highest levels, and not only our dollars are the one who are being appreciated, but it is the long term relationship that is being valued!
Is there a moral to this story ...well, I guess more than just one ...
But in a gist, don't shop where you are not appreciated, where the company does not stand behind it's products, or where the company cannot afford to train their management!
Was it all worth it for $100.00 ???
Well, if Aldo continues the same way, these $100.00 incidents will destroy the company, and as for the valuable assistant manager - Jessie 2303 ...as he stated, he simply did not care!
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