1. Snooty salespeople
We were going coat shopping at the Nordstrom at the Pentagon City mall. A 6-foot-2 waif blond stepped out from behind a piece of tinsel and asked if she could help us. I didn't know what my coat size was when she asked, so I guess it would be similar to my shirt size, so I said a 32.
"That does not exist," she said with a look of disdain, followed by an almost imperceptible smile undoubtedly brought on by my embarrassment.
"What size are your trousers?" she demanded.
"Thirty-two," I replied, still mortified by her behavior. She pointed out some coats and thawed a bit, but the damage was done. We didn't want to give her the commission, so we left for Macy's.
2. Their website doesn't give a fuck about you
So I was feeling all angry and empowered, and decided to lodge a complaint on the Nordstrom sit. I have never seen a corporate website that cared less about their customers than Nordstrom.com. After navigating through the maze of menus to find their contact information, I noticed there was no option for complaints. I didn't want to live chat with someone, I wanted to send an angry email and get on with my life. But there was no avenue.
I eventually started typing my message into a "product question" site, when randomly the "complaint" link appeared on the side of my screen. Great, I thought. I clicked it and typed in my message. It was rejected because their message window only accepts a MAXIMUM of 250 CHARACTERS.
250 characters? That's less than two Tweets!!! You really expect people to be able to describe a problem in 1.5 sentences? Unbelievable. It gives me indigestion just thinking about it.....
UPDATE: I emailed Nordstrom's customer service on issue #1 and received the following response. I must admit I'm impressed that they named the offending salesperson (I didn't catch her name, so they must have researched it):
Please accept my sincerest apologies for disappointing you recently in our Men’s Clothing department when trying to purchase a coat. I’m so very sorry to hear that you had a poor service experience with XXXX, one of our salespeople in the department. This certainly is not our intention.
Please know that I have shared your comments with XXXXX, our Men’s Clothing department manager, and I have taken this opportunity to coach Agnese on the importance of servicing our customers. Thank you for affording us the opportunity to improve our level of service.
Again, our apologies for the service you encountered. We appreciate your feedback and hope that upon your next visit to our store, you will find that our level of service has improved.