This past weekend I was visiting a Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store in Williamsburg, Virginia (Saturday 3:30 PM) and the store manager was quite rude. There were signs on the exterior of the store with 50% off of the entire shop accept Clearance, (no discount) Home, and Polo Bear which was 30% off the original price.
I purchased a Bear sweater and button down along with several other pieces such as a belt, two more button downs, and a polo shirt. While at the register I proceded to give the associate a VIP coupon giving me an additional 10% off my purchase. The associate told me she was not sure how to use the coupon because it had no barcode printed on it. I said, there goes your manager, can you ask her?
She turned and saw the manager and proceeded to ask another associate to flag the manager down. The manager walked over and looked at my coupon and then proceeded to ask the associate "Where did you get this coupon?" The associate told her the customer is standing right next to me and the manager told her not to allow me to use it. The associate turned to me and told me what the manager had said, and so I asked why. The manager apparently heard me and turned around to walk over to us once more.
She (manager) proceeded to say it has no barcode on it and our registers will not allow us to accept coupons without barcodes. Well, I tried explaining to her that the coupon came without a barcode but it has a code at the very bottom written in red with instructions how to use it. She looked at me again and repeated herself "I said it has to have a barcode or you cannot use it." I was baffled this particular manager had always been polite to me in the past, and her attitude caught me off guard. So, I repeated myself telling her all you have to do is read the coupon at the very bottom, and it tells you exactly how to enter it into your register.
She said, NO! I am not going to allow you to use the coupon, anyway, we have everything in the store on sale at 30 - 50% off what more do you want? Honestly, I wanted to be treated like a customer who was appreciated being almost my entire wardrobe is Polo Ralph Lauren not only from Factory Stores but from the website and the store in Georgetown which is not a Factory Store. I have spent thousands of dollars throughout my life on clothes by Ralph Lauren, and I felt attacked as if I were an idiot.
Although, I have worked in retail during my college career at Christmas and I know it is the most stressful time of the year for everyone the employees and the customers. However, I honestly am not exaggerating I had spent over two hours in that one store looking through merchandise trying to find something I could wear and possibly a couple of Christmas gifts. When a customer walks into a store no larger than one of your Factory Stores and stays for two hours you must have something to keep his/her attention. I do admit your Factory Stores (the ones I have been too) are quite nice for a store that sells mostly seconds.
Yes, I will even accept that they could have been shorthanded due to it being a Factory Store, so they do not have the necessary staff to keep everything pristine. It makes no difference to me if the manager was running that entire store alone and 100 people were walking around, trying on clothes, browsing, and buying things it still gave her no excuse to be so rude. Perhaps you are not aware, but the Factory Store Centers have membership programs customers can join and be a VIP member. I get one sometimes more coupons for almost every store to use anytime from January 1 - December 31st.
I always wait until the Christmas holiday to use these particular coupons. So, I know the manager could have accepted my coupon because she knew I was a repeat customer and there were other stores in the shopping center that allowed their coupons on top of their Christmas discounts. my reason for sending this review is to make someone aware of how they are treating VIP customers at this particular store + hopefully feel appreciated by Polo Ralph Lauren once more.
There are many brands of clothes people can wear, but I have been loyal to Polo Ralph Lauren since I was in prep school and I am over 40 years old. So, all those years is quite a lot of loyalty.
Product or Service Mentioned: Ralph Lauren Deal.
Reason of review: Pricing issue.
Monetary Loss: $110.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
Ralph Lauren Pros: All the traditional classic polo shirts and color selection, Brand.
Ralph Lauren Cons: Nightmare customer service.