The adage ‘the customer is always right’ definitely does not hold true in this situation.
I was given a bag from Charles & Keith as a gift from my brother. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s a popular brand manufacturing shoes and bags based out of Singapore. Just when I was about to rip the hardware wrapping, I noticed a major gash on the bag, and therefore took it to the store in Bangkok to have it replaced. Instead of apologizing for something that was clearly a manufacturing defect, the first question the store manager asked was ‘what did I do with the bag’. I explained to her that the gash was present and that my mother had the exact same bag for a year and despite rough use it was scratch free. So this was not something that could be done in a day!
I was informed first that the bag could not be changed, and later she told me that they get a replacement from the company. Then I was told that the company stopped manufacturing them, A few calls later I was told that they had located it at the Rama 9 branch and I could come and collect it from the Future Park Rangsit branch (the store the bag was purchased from) in two weeks time. When I returned to the store I was told that unfortunately they had not been able to locate the bag. In the meantime there had been no contact from the company to inform me of the situation, despite having my number.
Next I was told that I could pick another bag but if the value was less there would be no monetary return from the store. I tried to reason with her, but she was adamant. I told her to keep the bag, and that I would get in touch with customer service. I got a call from the store after I had left to say that I could in fact come and pick up the bag and any balance would be paid to me.
By then I was well on my way home, and told her I would be back later. When yesterday I returned to the store it was a different story. Now the manager refused to pay any balance, and since the bag had been on sale, the value allotted was now 70% of the original price. But she would note the original price of any new bag and not the value after the 30% ongoing sale. This sounded extremely ridiculous to me-you are ready to make sure the customer suffers a loss but not you!! After much arguing and a call to the local office it was decided that the original value of the bag was intact, and the sale price of any new bag would be taken into consideration.
Not a single bag in the store matched the cost of the bag, and I asked again if I could club it with another bag or shoe, and I would pay any amount above the original but was refused.
Eventually I had to pick a bag with a loss of 600 THB. This is not a big amount, but it is the principle of the situation that I find shocking. Instead of apologizing for a mistake that was the company’s and for making up for it, the manager chose to first accuse and then rip off the customer.
This is the first time that I have ever heard where the company chooses to keep the money for their fault and in turn have an unhappy customer. It is quite shameful. I have quite a few shoes and bags from Charles & keith and am always recommending it to family and friends. After this unpleasant experience I would definitely not be doing the same.
I am sorry this post is a rant, but I am seriously pissed off with the way the situation was handled, not to mention the times, the manager just walked away from the conversation. Truly terrible!