Ever felt like your designer labels weren’t showing? Last week my dd had to return a blouse she received for Christmas from a relative.  It didn’t fit so we took off for another one of our mother/daughter excursions.  We had several of these special days when she was home from college over the Christmas holiday.  It was quite a little drive to the mall.  It’s not a place we frequent as it’s too far, hard to park, crowded and rather pricey.  But it was a mother/daughter adventure and so off we went.

We walked up to the Nordstrom cashier and my dd told the woman she wanted to return the blouse because it didn’t fit.  The woman asked if my dd had the receipt and she gave her the gift receipt.  The woman behind the counter changed a bit.  She looked at us and, with a distinct condescending tone, told us that this blouse was from Nordstrom’s Rack and not Nordstrom.  She said she couldn’t return it and immediately began to turn her back on us.

I thought since the two stores are somehow related, it might be possible for her to do an exchange rather than a return so I asked.  The saleswoman looked us up and down and proceeded to inform us, obviously lower class individuals, that Nordstrom and Nordstrom’s Rack are two very different establishments and that she couldn’t possibly do such a thing.  She was obviously irritated when we asked her where we might find a Nordstrom’s Rack and quite ungraciously told us that we’d have to head back down the street from this neighborhood to the other side of town.

It was a rather long drive to the Nordstrom’s Rack and on the way each of us quietly began to question our treatment feeling more and more offended as the miles went by.  I guess our designer labels weren’t showing, or more to the point, our pedigrees.

At Nordstrom’s Rack most of the items were very nice and we noticed several items that were marked down considerably from their original Nordstrom price.  However we had some fun looking at a few of the items like the rather plain and not very figure flattering navy blue dress for several hundred dollars marked down from $3000!

As with many of the stores these days, Nordstrom had its share of ugly items as well.   We found a thin, see through dingy white t-shirt that looked as if the sleeves and bottom were cut with scissors by a 2 y/o!  The price?  $29.95 marked down from $54.95!  I wouldn’t have given them $5 for it.

The lady who rang up our exchange at Nordstrom’s Rack was quite nice and asked about our day.  My dd and I said that it was a bit longer than we had anticipated because we had driven all the way to the mall to find that Nordstrom wouldn’t return this for us.  To our surprise, the sales woman told us that she should have! Apparently there is an agreement that if a customer comes in to Nordstrom and doesn’t realize the item actually had come from Nordstrom’s Rack (the labels all still say Nordstrom), they are authorized to do the exchange or return.

On the way home, my dd and I were discussing the matter and feeling quite the second class citizens.  After we got home and told my dh about it, I got on the phone to talk to the manager of Nordstrom.  I actually wasn’t surprised to find that they didn’t condone this behavior from their sales reps and that they were very happy I called so they could address the situation.  At their prices, customer service is a huge issue!

In fact, she informed me that they were having a meeting the following day and she would bring this to the attention of the management staff.  She said she was aware that some of the sales people were not allowing customers to make these kinds of returns.  This was a training issue they were in the process of addressing.  However, she was not aware (or happy) to hear about the way we had been treated and said she would be addressing that issue directly with that sales woman AND the management staff.

I was happy to find a department store of their reputation handling the situation well.  I commend the management staff. Customer service is important even for a large and well respected company.  Customer service is second contact.  If a customer is not treated well at the sale, customers have a way of sharing their experience with others-like on a blog.  lol  I am happy to report that Nordstrom did that right!