Louis Vuitton — bad service and bad product
My Note to Louis Vuitton:
I have recently had a second terrible experience at your Palo Alto, CA store. I will spare the details of the first incident since it has been resolved, but in short, it took multiple trips to multiple stores when a $3, 000 purse’s (a gift) part broke in less than 6 months. I am a valuable and frequent customer of Louis Vuitton.
I purchased a pair of Louis Vuitton Evidence sunglasses back in July of 2008. These sunglasses cost over $720. I was very pleased with these sunglasses until they were stolen while I was on vacation in January 2009…On January 31, 2009 (same month and year) my girlfriend and I went to Louis Vuitton where she bought me a second pair for my birthday. Again, the cost was over $720. I was ecstatic to have my favorite sunglasses again.
Flash forward to September 2010. This SECOND pair breaks while I am wearing them . I was walking into my apartment and they broke as I turned my head to close the front door. It was a hot day and the temperature must have been in the mid 90’s. I only mention the heat because maybe that could have had something to do with them. These sunglasses were not abused, not dropped, not thrown, etc. They don't even have a single scratch on them. They are in perfect condition until the frame snapped for no apparent reason. How can this be deemed normal wear and tear?
So, I take the sunglasses into the Palo Alto store on Sunday, September 12, 2010 and they say they will try and fix them for me. She also mentions that my temples may have stretched them out, created a stress point and caused them to break. This was not mentioned to me when I originally purchased my first pair or when I purchased my second pair. However, this was her opinion and I am curious to know how Sheila Radoc can make that judgment? Is there a certain qualification or expert certification exam that she took and studied to be able to make that assessment in the store? It is interesting that it is only now being mentioned if it was truly as easy to spot as Sheila seems to think.
I leave my sunglasses and they tell me they will call me at the end of the week. I receive no call after week one. I call into the store, leave a message and get no response. I wait another week, without any communication again. At this point I am questioning the level of service a brand like Louis Vuitton has. It is now the middle of the third week and the sales rep still hasn't called me. However, I get a call from someone in the repair shop on September 29, 2010 saying they cannot fix them and that the tests that they ran show that it was wear and tear...I then asked to speak with a manager. They say that Terry (the manager) is not available. This is at 1:25pm PST September 29, 2010. I leave a message and get no response. I wait one hour because I figure the client that the repairmen told me Terry was working with was probably gone by now. I call again and Sheila Radoc picks up (she originally took in the broken sunglasses). She tells me they cannot fix or compensate me for the sunglasses. I ask to speak with Terry, her manager. Sheila says Terry is not available again. I tell her I will come in and talk to Terry in person. Sheila says to go ahead and come by.
I arrive and Sheila says that her manager is not available again. Sheila tries to explain why it is wear and tear and why they can’t help me. They ask why I didn't get them adjusted because it seems my temples stretched them and created a stress point. I am not an expert on this and they did not feel tight, why would I adjust them? If these sales reps are experts, shouldn’t they tell me to adjust them when I buy them to avoid this? How do we know my temples stressed them? If Sheila is an expert, shouldn’t the sales rep that sold them to me be one as well. And shouldn’t that rep be able to tell me to adjust them by looking at my temples as Sheila did? Are the salespeople inside the store experts? Sheila told me that was likely the issue when I initially brought them in for repair. Sheila then brought out Sandra to explain the situation again. I didn’t quite understand Sandra’s role in this if she is not the store manager and not was part of the leather goods department.
I asked again if there was anything that they could do to repair and they said it was not repairable. How does a pair of sunglasses that are part of "luxury" brand break whilst one is wearing them? How is it that a company like LVMH cannot make this right? How is it that when I call into 866.VUITTON Customer Suppoer Specialist (Justine) tells me that the sunglasses went through all the rigorous Quality Tests and assures me that these tests are by experts, but that LV cannot disclose what those tests entailed? Why is it that you can just “tell me” that the break was not your fault and that it was not a defect without showing me the results of the test? I told Justine that it should be public information; Louis Vuitton is part of a public company...Maybe it isn’t public information, but I am sure we can have the “Quality Test” audited. Justine responds and says that Louis Vuitton is private??? Is Louis Vuitton not part of LVMH, a public company? Your own employees don't know that the company that they work for is Public?????? Does she not know all the other brands, like Moet, Hennessy, Dom Perignon, Vueve Clicquot, Thomas Pink, Belvedere, Marc Jacobs and the list goes on and on. This is a little discouraging to know that one of your Customer Support Specialists doesn’t even know her own company...How will she know what the Quality Tests consist of… And that they are done by experts and what it entails. Also discouraging is that LVMH is a multi-billion dollar company that can’t exchange a pair of sunglasses that cost $675 retail, without taxes. Instead they would rather waste over $1, 000 of company money (because time is money and I am taking up yours and I will continue to take it up until this is resolved) to not exchange a product that probably costs less than $200 from inception to sale.
Then I ask Justine, your Customer Service Specialist, to speak with her manager and she says her manager is unavailable. Then I ask for her manager’s name and she says that she is unsure which one will be calling me so she can’t connect me or give me a name… I ask if they are all busy right now and she says yes… I ask her to leave a message, however, she is reluctant to leave a message for her manager because she assures me that no one can overturn a decision made by the quality assessment team, no one. I find it hard to believe that not one single person of a “privately” held company as Justine said, can overturn the ruling of a quality assessment team. However, you are part of a public company; that I am sure of. There are processes in place for matters such as these.
My complaint is that over $1, 400 were spent on two pairs of sunglasses in two years and when the second pair seems to be defective, a company that supposedly has only the highest quality products, made of the best materials, sold and supported by only the best employees, can’t seem to admit that it has a defective pair of sunglasses and exchange them for a valued customer.
I am not asking for my money back. I am asking for a certain level of expected service and quality to be met when I buy a luxury brand. Unfortunately, that has not been my experience. As a company can handle this matter and approve an exchange if you want to. There is always a process or an exception to the rule when it comes to customer service and future business.
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