Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Shopper's Nightmare!

We all know how much I love shopping.

Let's face it, shopping to me is an experience. It an experience on all sensory levels. It's a feast for the eyes, it makes my heart race, my palms sweat (okay, maybe not my palms - but certainly my heart pulpitates faster) and my mind swirls amidst the racks of clothes, the array of shoes and the multitude of accessories.

Shopping is a hobby I take seriously and throughly enjoy. And up until yesterday, I have always enjoyed my shopping experience... that was until I decided to shop at BCBGMaxAzria in Park Royal North.

Never in my life have I ever been treated so poorly. Let me rephrase. It's not so much about how they treated me but more about how they didn't treat me. In short, they treated me like I didn't exist, like I wasn't there, like they could see right through me altogether.

It was a very strange experience really... something I've never experienced before and wish never to experience again.

Having looked through the racks of clothes, I found 3 cute numbers to try on. I walked to the fitting room only to find that all of the rooms were full. I had no problem waiting. But during the wait (of which I waited a full 20 minutes) not once did anyone acknowledge my presence or tell me that the next fitting room was mine. Nothing.

At least 4 different Sales people walked in and out of that fitting room and not one made eye-contact. No one said Hi. Not one said anything. However, they had no problem speaking with all of the other girls and ladies in the fitting room. One interesting note, all of the women in the fitting room plus 3 out of the 4 sales people who had walked in and out of the fitting room were of the same ethnic background. They all spoke the same language and were very comfortable with one another. However, again, none spoke with me.

Maybe it's because I was of a different race. Maybe it's becuase I looked like I couldn't afford anything in the store (but didn't their mom's teach them not to judge a book by it's cover?). Or maybe it's because they were all too busy to acknowlege me. Regardlss of the reason, I certainly felt discriminated. I don't know exactly know what I was being discriminated on but it was certainly the weirdest and oddest experience ever.

Needless to say, I left without buying anything.

Have you shared a similar experience?


dinagideon said...

Blegh. How horrible. Maybe they thought you were young. When I was younger, I was treated HORRIBLY by all in retail.

J. Crew, I will note, has always been very good to me. Even when I was 14. LOL. :)

Lynn said...

YES that has happened to me! You need to just remind those snobs that they work retail :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that happened to you!
Abercrombie and Fitch SA's used to do that..but they pretty much did that to everyone so I started joking around with em whenever I stopped by.

Diana Draw said...

Ugh! That shouldn't have happened, and it sucks. I've had similar experiences - it never feels good.

Lady Cardigan said...

I had this experience once. It was people of my own race, so that wasn't a factor. Maybe it was socio-economic, maybe I didn't look rich enough, I don't know. I was left standing at a counter while people chatted around me as if I wasn't there. No "Excuse me, we'll be with you," nothing. I was invisible. Yes, I did finally leave. Who knows what they were thinking.

RatsOnParade said...

Yuck! I'm so sorry to hear how horribly you were treated. I understand that some sales associates will "size you up" when you come into the store - I suppose it makes sense (in some crazy world) for them to focus their attention on people who they think will bring them the best commission, but I hate this. REALLY REALLY REALLY HATE IT! I've had this happen to me SO freaking many times, at Banana Republic, J.Crew, makeup counters at Macy's and the most notable (and most frequent offenders) are at the Nordstrom at Easton (Columbus, OH). I can't help but tell anyone who will listen just how completely horrible the SAs there, especially because Nordies is supposedly known for their superior service. For the longest time I just told myself "I have money just like all these other people, and my money spends just the same as theirs," but it doesn't really make me feel any better. So I just assume those people who work in retail hate their jobs and wouldn't care if I looked like I had money or not, because they don't want to be there -- hence it makes no difference to try and reason with their logic.

Marie said...

So sorry to hear of your experience. My policy is never to give my hard-earned money to any store which treats me horribly. I've often gone window shopping (emphasis on window) down the length of 5th Ave. & Madison and it's interesting to note that it's those middle-range stores (like BCBG) who would ignore me. The very high end like Prada, Gucci, LV, Tod's SAs are really helpful & friendly even if I'm just looking. Luckily, Jcrew's SAs are generally very nice but Anthro's are consistently fab!

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

Dinagideon, thanks for the nice words. I wish I were young. I'm in my early 40s. I think they just thought that I couldn't afford it. It's truly too bad because I can and chose not to. Their loss, right? lol! I agree, J Crew's service is awesome. They've always been very good to me.

Lynn, funny you should say that, because while I was waiting in line for the change room, all I could think about is, these people work retail.

Missmasala, I love how you joked around with them. Maybe I should try that. lol!

DianaDraw, it so does suck, doesn't it? I don't understand, why does it continue to happen? It's soooo frustrating!

LadyCardigan, I cannot think of another way to make anyone feel smaller than to completely ignore them and pretend that they aren't there. I'm sorry to hear that it too happened to you. That's soooo awful! I tried looking these people in the eye but they wouldn't meet my gaze. Very strange.

RatsOnParade, so sorry to hear that it happened to you as well. It's soooo infuriating. I can so understand that yes, some people may not be able to afford it but the truth is that some of the wealthiest people are also the most humblest and they don't run around flaunting their money. Which goes to show that the old adage of "Never judge a book by it's cover" is sooo true. Just because that I look like I can't afford something doesn't mean that I can't.

Marie, I'm with you 100%. I hope I don't come across as being elitist whatsoever, because that is so not my intent, but my shopping hobby is as much about the clothes as it's about the service. Many a times, I will purchase because the service was outstanding. I'm sure many other people do the same. Clothes like everything else will eventually sell itself. However, to truly increase sales, it's all about the service. Some stores get it. Unfortunately, some don't. Hence, those stores that don't get it, will never see my discretionary income. Their loss.

Thanks for all the awesome support girls. My wish is that the stores that don't get it, will eventually get it in 2010. :)