Lord & Taylor — customer service & online ordering
Lord and Taylor is by far the most frustrating and unreliable company I have ever had to deal with. I'm used to companies like Nordstrom and Zappos, with quick, impeccable customer service, and policies that do everything they can to ensure your shopping experience is a pleasant one. It took me 8 emails and 2 phone calls for my situation to be fully addressed, and I am still waiting for it to be resolved ten days after my first attempt. For being the "oldest luxury department store" in the U.S., I expected much more than this.
Although the multiple customer care representatives I spoke with were polite and tried to help, it seemed like they were simply offering scripted replies because there wasn't much they could do. I've worked in retail and customer service for 3+ years so I know what it's like to have no control over corporate policy. I don't have any problems with the individuals I spoke with, but it was a constant struggle to get the company to even acknowledge that anything was wrong.
Apparently, Lord and Taylor's website "doesn't update in real time, " so there is always a possibility that all or part of an order gets cancelled. How is this business still functioning? I have never once run into this issue anywhere else in all my years of shopping online. On top of that, the company either cannot or does not credit money back to the account in a timely manner, which is simply unbelievable. Two or three days I understand, but ten and counting??? Every step of getting my money back for a situation out of my control has been a hurdle that apparently requires 3-5 business days to investigate, and 3-5 more business days for the money to make it into my account.
I am fortunate that I have both the time to deal with this ridiculous situation, and that I am not in financial need of the money right away. I can't even imagine how much more stressful and absurd this would be if that weren't the case. This whole ordeal has left me in furious disbelief at the deceit and manipulation of this well-known company. Needless to say, I will absolutely not be doing business with Lord and Taylor in the future.
I ordered two pairs of shoes in the same style and different sizes, and it seemed like everything was fine until I opened the package and saw only one pair. The invoice stated that one of the sizes was "Cancelled - Out of Stock". I thought it was strange and mildly irritating that there was no prior communication about the shoes being out of stock, nor was there a credit back to my account after I was charged for something that was unavailable. But I chalked it up to an oversight and figured it would be a pretty easy fix for an understandable situation.
When I emailed Lord and Taylor about this mistake, I was first told the shoes had been delivered, and I had to respond saying that, yes, I did receive a package, but with only half of my order. I included a photo of the invoice and order with this message, only to be told again that "both pairs were shown as being delivered", and to wait two more days to see if the other pair showed up before contacting customer service. Again I gave the company the benefit of the doubt, even though it seemed pretty obvious to me that I would not be receiving an item that was "cancelled" and "out of stock".
Lo and behold, two days passed and nothing turned up on my doorstep. Five days after my initial attempt, Lord and Taylor finally submitted a case for review that would take "5-7 business days to receive". After waiting two days, I called customer service to check on its status, and also see if I could get a complimentary return label for the pair of shoes I did receive (too small). I was so tired of dealing with this company and its lack of initiative in resolving my issues. I had stated that I wished to return them in my very first message, and while the representative was pleasantly agreeable and sent me a label, it seems like a minor courtesy that Lord and Taylor should have offered at the onset as a mark of good customer service, and for all the inconvenience that stemmed from their mistake.
I thought that was the end of it, but I REALLY wanted these shoes, and noticed soon after that they were shown as available online in the exact size and color that I ordered and never received. So I called customer service once again to see if they could somehow just send me this pair and forget about the case/refund. I knew it was a lot to ask and was disappointed but not too surprised when I was told I would have to place another order. I placed an order with the representative but was understandably concerned that it would get cancelled yet again. It was only after I expressed my exasperation with my experience and pressed the representative that she admitted that, yes, that could very well happen. Apparently, because Lord and Taylor's website isn't updated in real time, there is essentially no guarantee that a customer will get what they actually ordered. (Truly astonishing. Other online retailers seem to managing the impossible.) However, the representative assured me that if that were to happen, my card would not be charged for the cancelled order - which was comforting, but unfortunately, that wasn't the case with my original purchase.
Two days after I placed this new order, I received an email saying it was cancelled. Honestly, I expected it at this point. Ten days have passed since I sent my first message, and I am still waiting for a refund for a product I never received. I plan on keeping a copy of my invoice when I send in the shoes for return because I wouldn't put it past this company to dismiss my case or pretend like it never happened. Get it together, Lord and Taylor.
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