Thursday, January 26, 2012

Macy's Customer Service and their need to do multiplication drills during staff training...

Recently (well, not that recently anymore) the WCM decided to get some new dinnerware. I ordered these (amazing) salad plates from Anthropologie.

To accompany these under-the-sea wonders of beauty, I ordered these dinner plates and bowls from Macy's. Let's all agree at the outset here that these plates and bowls are kind of amazing. Their style pairs perfectly with the nautical look/feel of the Anthro plates - in fact, the bowls even look like seashells. (Please note: this detail is crucial as to why I didn't give up on Macy's customer service 4+ months ago).

In August, I ordered 3 sets of the above-pictured dinner plates, bowls, and mugs.  Each items comes as a set of 4 (i.e. 4 plates come together, 4 bowls come together), so I ordered enough to have 12 place settings (you all are following me with the multiplication at this point, correct?).

To reiterate, please note: this saga began in August. Checking the timestamp on my blog posting, it is now the end of January.

Soon after ordering my plates, I receive a box in the mail from Macy's, containing exactly:
3 plates
3 mugs
3 bowls

Not 3 sets...just 3 individual pieces of each.

I decided to call Macy's for some help clarifying the matter.
Me: "Hello, dear customer service. I ordered 3 SETS of plates, however I only recieved 3 plates, 3 mugs, and 3 bowls."  
Macy's Customer Service Rep: "Oh right right, we'll be sure to send the rest out."

Time goes on - and I receive nothing in the mail. Stumped, I call Macy's again. 

Me: "Um, just a quick question: where are my dinnerware settings?"  
Macy's Customer Service Rep: "Oh right...about turns out these place settings are on back's going to be another 3-5 weeks."
Me: Internal groan. "Ok fine, I can wait."

A month after placing my original order, I received an email from Macy's whose subject line reads, "Return merchandise confirmation." I call Macy's again.

An increasingly annoyed Me: "What is this email?"
Macy's Customer Service Rep: "Oh, it's a refund for the dishes you ordered."
Me: "And what refund is this? I'm still waiting for my dishes."
Macy's Rep: "I'm afraid those aren't on back order, they're actually out of stock."
Me: "You know, they probably were in stock when I originally ordered them, but you sent me the wrong amount of stuff."
Macy's Rep: "Yeah, right. sorry about that. We will have your money refunded and send you a $25 gift card."
Me: "Ok. Thanks....?"

Two weeks after this exchange, my money still had not been refunded. So I call Macy's again.

Me: "Where the hell is my money?"
Macy's Customer Service Rep: "Good question. Um, let me look through these notes. [insert long pause] Ma'am, it appears that your dishes are on back order."
Me: "Are they on back order, or are they out of stock?"
Macy's Rep: "Back order, so you should receive them."
Me: "Ok fine. I can wait. How long do you think it will be?"
Macy's Rep: "Let me see....oh no wait, you know what? They ARE out of stock. I'm sorry. We'll refund your money."
Me: "If these are out of stock, why are they still on your website?"


This time, Macy's refunded my money. Meanwhile, I happened to find my coveted and long-awaited place settings online at Bloomingdales. Bloomies was selling them individually, so I ordered 12 bowls and 12 plates. 

Bloomingdales sent 1 bowl (one!!), followed by an email whose subject line reads, "Cancellation confirmation. Cancelled items - 11 bowls, 12 plates." So I call Bloomingdales.

Me: "Seriously?! What does this email mean?"
Bloomingdales Rep: "Well, those place settings are out of stock, so your order has been cancelled and refunded...except for the one bowl, because you have that already."
Me, now frantic: "One bowl?! What do you want me to do with one bowl?!? I ordered a set of dishes, and you sent me ONE BOWL! It's like if I had ordered a pair of socks and you sent me just one, rather than the pair. Or if I had ordered a set of silverware and you sent me one knife. Please, for the love of all that's pure and holy, just refund my money."

In December I noticed that the plates and bowls are still on the Macy's Web site. I needed to talk to them about this.

Me: "Are these actually available? I already ordered them once and didn't get them [insert long, dramatic retelling of the story here]."
Macy's Customer Service Rep: "No, they are definitely available! Try again!"

I ordered 3 sets of 4 plates, and 3 sets of 4 bowls (you all can do the math, right? Again - I'm essentially ordering 12 place settings). 

The next week I receive my box, containing 3 plates. Are these people kidding me. So I call Macy's agian.

Me: "Yeah, so 3 times 4 equals 12."
Macy's Customer Service Rep: "We'll get those sent out right away."

The following week, I recieved my new box, which this time has 3 more plates in it. I called Macy's again.

Me: "Ok kids, what the hell is going on out there? I have received the wrong amount of dishes three times."
Macy's Customer Service Rep: "This is a problem at the warehouse. Our systems says "set of 4" but theirs doesn't."
Me: "....Curious, considering that the packing slip in the box says SET OF 4 on it."
Macy's Rep: "We have to fix it on the warehouse's end, give it 5 days and they'll send you the rest of your stuff"

I waited 10 days, all the while giving Macy's the benefit of the doubt, but after 10 days I still had received nothing. I called Macy's.

Me: "[Retell dramatic story]. I am still missing 6 plates and 12 bowls. You told me 10 days ago to expect the rest of my shipment in 5 days. 
Macy's Customer Service Rep: "Oh dear! Let me send that out right away."

This time, I immediately received a shipping confirmation. YAY!

Meanwhile, I received a gift card for $100 in the mail from Macy's. Clearly they heard my cries and groans and compensated me. Thank you, Macy's!

Shortly thereafter, I received a box...of 3 bowls.

Now, this is probably the point in the story when you start to doubt my credibility and you want to close your browser window so as not to read anymore, right? Macy's couldn't possibly send you the wrong number of items four times. Oh yes, my friends, yes they did! Also, this is when all my friends (who have been monitoring the saga with me for months) start to say, "It must be written on the Web site wrong? They must come individually, not as sets." Interesting thought but no...I went over this with my Macy's customer service friends (who are now more like close family if you are measuring familial ties based on the number times you call a person in a week. Hell, I call them multiple times a day, it's like we're dating... note to self: dump Macy's).

Call Macy's
Me: "So, listen here. [Recount fiasco in great and dramatic detail]."
Macy's Customer Service: "I can see why this is frustrating. I will get everything else sent out to you right away."

Soon, I received my new box from Macy's...of 2 plates. THIS MUST BE A COSMIC JOKE! Are you kidding me?! FOUR TIMES THREE IS TWELVE. TWELVE!!!

At this point, the current dish count is 8 plates and 3 bowls. 

Last Wednesday, I decided to call Macy's again.
Me: "I want to talk to a manager."
Macy's Customer Service Rep: "Sure, what seems to be the problem?"
Me: "I am not repeating this story more than once. Get a manager."
Macy's Rep: "Sure, hold on."
[Hold for 15 minutes]
Macy's: "Hi, how can I help you?"
Me: "Is this a manager?"
Person on the other line: "No, but I can help." 
Me: "No. Get. A. Manager."
[Hold for 15 more minutes]
Person on the other line: "Just hang on another minute."
[Hold 10 more minutes. Clearly Macy's is not only terrible at multiplication, but they can't tell time, either.]
Person on the other line: "Ok, I have someone who can speak to you, but they need 5 more minutes."
[Hold for 10 more minutes...get the Macy's credit card division (?!?!)]
Me: "LISTEN, I have been on hold for 50 minutes waiting for a manager and now somehow I've been transferred to credit cards?!  I don't even have a Macy's card (nor do I EVER plan to apply for one now!). You get a manager on this phone right now!"
[Hold 10 more minutes]
Manager: "Hello ma'am, how can I help you?"
Manager: "Sure thing, right away ma'am." (This is where she also told me that she would put this on her "watch" list so she would call me before I could call her if something was wrong. Take a guess if that happened.)

I received a Fedex shipment confirmation in my email inbox. I notice that the box en route weighs 2.1 lbs. Huh. That doesn't sound like the weight of 4 plates and 9 bowls.

I weigh one of my 3 bowls. 11 oz. if I am supposed to be receiving 9 bowls, that would be 9 x 11 oz = 99 oz ...that's a little more than 6 lbs (plus the weight of the box and shipping materials). Clearly, this is not the rest of my merchandise. But, of course, we wouldn't expect them to realize that because, if we've learned one thing, it is that Macy's staff struggle with elementary mathematics.

Last Friday night, I called Macy's.
Me: "...just send me my dishes already."
Macy's Rep: "Sure. I just talked to Josh* and he is contacting the warehouse directly instead of ordering them through the system. These will ship on Monday, second day, you'll get everything Wednesday."
Me: "Perfect. And what is Josh's extension?"
Macy's Rep: "Um, I don't know."
Me: "Ok, what's his last name?"
Macy's Rep: "Eeeerrrrr...."
Me: "Let me talk to a manager."
Macy's Manager: "Hi, this is Jake Allen."
Me: "Hi Jake, I'd like to receive the merchandise I paid for."
Jake: "Sure sure, Cynthia and Josh just ordered it. You'll get it Wednesday. If you have any problems you can call me."
Me: "Jake, I don't have too much faith in this. You are very nice and you all have clearly understood the issue, but based on previous experience, I'm fairly skeptical."
Jake: "I understand. See we're in Missouri and the warehouse is in Connecticut so it's hard because if it was our warehouse here, I'd just go talk to them myself."
Me: "Jake, I don't care if you have to fly to Connecticut and personally put 4 plates and 9 bowls in a box yourself and then walk them to me in California, get me my plates!" (I actually said this)
Jake: "No worries, I'll be sure to help if you hit any problems. Let's talk Wednesday to see what you get. Here is my direct line"
Me: "PS Jake, I don't feel like I should really be paying for this, at this point."
Jake: "I understand, but did you get our $100 gift card?"
Me: "You know Jake, I'm not really falling all over myself about the gift card because if I were to charge you my hourly wage for the amount of time I have spent on the phone with Macy's customer service, it would add up to more than that."
Jake: "Let's see what you get on Wednesday and then we can talk about some kind of accommodation if you are still unsatisfied."

Meanwhile, Cynthia sends me an email confirmation of all we've discussed and tells me that my dishes will come Wednesday.

On shipment confirmation. I checked my order online. Nothing new has shipped.

I called Jake. 
No answer.
Left a message.

Tuesday, still nothing.
I called Jake.
No answer.
Left a message.

Wednesday (yesterday), still nothing.
Called Jake.
No answer.
Left a message.

Have you died Jake Allen? Are you out with the flu Jake Allen?

I called Macy's customer service - the only thing it seems I know to do these days.
Me: "Manager! Now!"
[Hold for 20 minutes]
Macy's Customer Service Rep: "We can call you back...the supervisor is on another call."
Me: "Fine - call me back."
I never received a phone call. Let's be honest - nobody is actually surprised by this at this point.

Meanwhile, I get home from work to that package that we saw in shipment. Ya know, the one that should have weighed 7+ lbs. It was 2 bowls. I. kid. not.

Call Macy's.
Me: "Manager!"
Macy's Customer Service Rep: "I can help."
Me: "No, you can't. Manager."
Manager: "Hi, this is Sandy!"
"[Recap ridiculous story with Sandy (who has turned out to be a real gem and quite attentive in the following days...unfortunately for her, she was getting me at a very frustrated point)]. Sandy, I need you to place an order for me of 7 SETS of bowls and 4 SETS of plates"
Sandy: "But if I do that, you'll get like, 28 plates!!"
Me: "Really Sandy, really? I've received SIX shipments of the wrong thing. I would really be shocked if somehow they suddenly miraculously sent me the correct thing."
Sandy: "Ok right. I'll do it, and send you an email confirmation. Oh and errr... umm, the plates are on back order until March 11."
Me: "Do you know WHY that is Sandy? Because every person that is ordering a set of 4 dishes is getting 1 dish so Macy's is sending 1 dish here and 2 dishes there. So my sweet BIA feathered plates are scattered all over the country. But when those people get fed up and send their three plates back, you're going to send them to me."
Sandy: "You know I could refund the money on a gift card and you could just buy them at the store."
Me: "SANDY THEY AREN'T SOLD IN STORES!!!! Don't you think I would have thought of that after wrong shipment number FIVE?!?!!"
Sandy: "Right, I'll order you 7 sets of bowls and 4 sets of plates. And I'll send you another $100 gift card."
Me: "Thanks, and you might want to check on Jake Allen. I think he might have slipped in the bathtub or something."

*all names of Macy's customer service team members have been changed for their job security. 


  1. you are the funniest person i know. i'm dying here, laughing out loud, and lyla's like, what's wrong, mama?

  2. I completely feel your pain. Due to numerous occasions like this, I now only deal with large companies if I really have to. If you can't talk directly to someone that cares about the company, then go elsewhere.

  3. Jesus -- this sounds horrific. Let me know how the saga ends....

  4. Wait, so what about the mugs? Have you forsaken the mugs and hedged all bets on the plates and bowls by this point?

  5. Well, as shocking as this might sound, when I went to reorder the plates and bowls in Decemeber, the mugs were out of stock so I just forgot about them. Now I just fear ordering them because I know we'll do this all over again.

  6. this is obscene -- although you left out the gift cards when you told me about it in person... still, just miserable.

  7. wow! you're re-telling is hysterical, but seriously, the whole thing is ridiculous! i will never shop at macy's again. wait, i don't shop at macy's. anyway...hope you get those plates and bowls one day!

  8. hehe. So, what has Sandy accomplished in the past few days since you wrote this?

  9. well, Sandy has at least been answering my emails...and quickly. I got one bowl yesterday so now we are at 8 plates and 6 bowls. Com'on Macy's...we are. so. close.

  10. Please tell me you have the complete sets you ordered and dare I say it... with mugs?