Sunday, December 8, 2013

On the 8th Day of Christmas, Nordstrom Return Policy


I walked into Nordstrom today and the Christmas shopping season was in full swing. Decor was perfect, Christmas music was playing in the background, everyone has busy with eyes darting to find the best gift for their loved ones (or themselves).

I don't usually shop in Nordstroms, but today I found myself returning a gift I received for Christmas last year. The gift was a Kate Spade iPad case. It was a very thoughtful gift from hubby who I'd never think would find himself at Nordstroms buying me an iPad case. The iPad case had broken. The plastic frame on the inside that holds the iPad in the case had completely cracked causing my iPad to slip out.


Because of the very well-known Nordstrom's return policy, I decided to return the case that had broken. In a Wall Street Journal article, a representative from Nordstroms had said “If the quality isn’t there, if the garment is falling apart, whatever it is, we’ll take it back. What we’re trying to do is stand behind our merchandise.”

I went over the handbag counter of my local Nordstroms and had asked to lady if I could return my iPad case. They looked at it, scanned the barcodes, and then told me, "Well, because this was purchased on December 13, 2012, over two years ago, and because of normal wear and tear on a product like this, I'll don't think we'll be able to take it back".

So I thought I had made a mistake. Was this given to me over two years ago? So I asked for the purchase date again and she said, "December 2012". So I corrected her and said, "2012 was last year so it's been a litle less than a year since this was purchased." "No," she said, "Since it's almost 2014, its about 2 years." I corrected her again and she finally realizing her mistake she said, "Well, I'll have to ask my manager if we can take this back."

The manager came over and asked how she could help. I explained again to the manager my reasons for my return. She again took a look over the case, scanned the bar codes, and said, "Because this was purchased about a year ago, and due to normal wear and tear, I won't be able to give you cash back, but I can offer you an exchange, did you want to take a look at what we have?"

I said, "No thank you. I'd just like to return the case. I really need something that's going to protect my iPad. I already took a look at what you have and I'd rather not make an exchange."

"I'm sorry I can't help you. Did you want a bag to put it in?" I said "No, thank you. thanks for your help." and walked away.

My interactions with these two ladies left me a bit bothered. Neither one of them smiled. Neither one of them had a helping or accommodating approach in their interaction with me. Neither one of them really seemed like they wanted to help me. I always thought Nordstrom was focused on "customer centricity" and making the customer first?


Anyways, I thought I'd try the customer service desk. There was a line of about three people deep as I wanted for my turn with one of the three customer service reps helping other guests. None of them smiled. None of them looked in the "customer service" mood.

When it was finally my turn, I again (for the third time), explained my situation. The rep, again, took a look at the case, scanned the bar codes, and asked "How would you like this back? Store credit, credit back to your credit card, or cash?" I said I'd like cash and I was told, "Ok. Well for cash, we're going to have to wait a bit." She then went to another register to finish up the transaction. She handed my a receipt and my cash, I said thank you, and we were done. No smile and no you're welcome.

First of all, for the amount of money people spend at Nordstrom, I'd think they'd be a bit more friendly and welcoming of my business. Perhaps, because I was making a return, I was given the "cold shoulder". But, nevertheless, I'm still a customer who expects quality of the items I purchase from your store. I'm sure Nordstrom wants their customers to have a pleasant experience to keep them coming. If there is a "wear and tear" stipulation to returns, then it should he stated somewhere.

Secondly, maybe I didn't fit the "image" of a customer worth attention. I didn't have a fancy handbag, I wasn't wearing designer jeans, I didn't have the "bling" of a watch on my wrist, and I didn't have my hair recently blown out. Then again, maybe it's just me being super self-conscious.

Lastly, what exactly is the Nordstrom return policy? The return policy is that there is no return policy, says Colin Johnson, spokesman for Nordstrom in an interview with Fox Business. "You won't find one posted at the cash register or on your receipt. We're just going to stand behind our merchandise. The bottom line is that we work with the customer." So, I was just to return the iPad case which was not meeting my expectation.

With all that said, my experience at Nordstrom confirmed why it's is a place I don't usually shop. I have to say, Nordstrom Rack is more my vibe!

Where you you like to shop? Are you a Nordstrom fan?

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