Swarovski North America / dismal customer service at boutique
I am writing with regards to an extremely unpleasant and offensive encounter that I had with the manager at the Swarovski Boutique in Valley Fair Mall, San Jose, California.
I have always appreciated Swarovski's high quality products, but after today's encounter I am sure that I will definitely consider twice before returning to any Swarovski Boutique, and never at the mentioned location.
I visited the boutique today in order to return a certain purchase which was made 6 days ago. I was returning one item out of two which was made in the same transaction. When I took the item and the receipt for the return, the employee told me that I had to return the Mother's Day Card (I received two without asking for it, and was not told that I need to return them along with my purchase), as well as a gift card which said a gift will be given with a purchase of $50 or more. Despite the inconvenience, because the employee insisted on these being returned, I had to make a second trip to the boutique.
Upon arriving, I told the employee that they need to make it clear when handing out these "free gifts" that they must be returned along with the items purchased, should the buyer choose to return the item.
To my frustration, when I was explaining my frustration to the employee, the manager very rudely asked "so what does she (referring to me) want? She can keep the cards - we don't even keep them in stock anymore." Which basically told me that I did not need to return these gifts back to the boutique, and that I had just made an unnecessary second trip to the boutique.
While trying to figure out what it was that made the employee ask me to go back and bring these back, the manager of the boutique pushed both myself and the employee aside, demanding very rudely for us to move away so that he can make a purchase transaction for a different customer. While I would have understood the need to make space for him and would have been more than happy to oblige if he have asked politely, the extremely offensive tone he used made it obvious to me that he thought my complaints were trivial compared to the big purchases that would be made by the customer he was helping.
Not only this, but he turned back afterwards to demand what was it that I wanted by screaming and shouting at the employee, and that's why he had to make me move away. All I had been doing was explaining the inconveniences that I unnecessarily experienced.in a voice much louder and more aggressive than mine, he flat out asked me what I wanted. No apology was made despite the fact that he understood the situation, and he treated me as a nuance which he wished to be rid of as soon as possible. He said I can have the cards if I want, which was not what I had been there for. I respected the store policy and brought these gifts back, only to find out that it was unnecessary for me to do so. A simple apology for the inconveniences would have sufficed, and I would have returned home slightly frustrated at the inconvenience but satisfied with the services by the employees at the Swarovski Boutique.
The lack of proper explanations when the gifts were handed out, the unnecessary request for the gifts to be returned, and the abysmal treatment I received from the manager (who above all should not be yelling at the customer to get out of his face) has made me think twice about ever setting foot into another Swarovski Boutique.
I hope that this letter will cause some level of reflection in terms of customer service in Boutiques in the US. The appalling treatment I received was nowhere near the level of service I expected from some place as distinguished as Swarovski. While I do not want my case to be used in a direct or specific reference to any particular employee in the mentioned boutique, I would think that the boutique would want to take this poor experience into account in re-evaluating its customer service quality.
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