08 January 2008

they got the "limited" part right

Richard bought my Xmas gift online at Victoria’s Secret. Unfortunately, unlike the happy lady in the above photo, those polka-dot jammies weren’t having the same emotional affect on me. In fact, my eyes were starting to tear from the bright pattern. But I have a very kind, understanding and not overly sensitive husband, who wasn’t hurt or disappointed by my reaction and urged me to return them for something else.

So, on Dec. 31, off to Vicky’s online I go. First up is my discovery that you cannot return catalog or online purchases to a physical store. Bummer.

Next, I’m trying to figure out how to set up an exchange. Guess what: they can’t process a return or exchange online. You’ve got to do it either by mail or phone.

I decide to do the phone option. I’m told to wrap up the unwanted items and ship them back. Upon receipt at Vicky’s, my husband's credit card will be credited. Separately, they take my “exchange” order for which I have to give credit card info. They can't use the information on file from the original order. Well, Richard’s not home, so I get to pay for my own Xmas gift. OK, so for me and Richard, it’s not a big deal: his money is my money, mine is his, ours is ours.

But really? You’re gonna make a gift recipient pay for their own gift because you don’t have the workflow functionality/business process integration to properly do this? And you don't take store returns/exchanges.

A few days later I read on Universal Hub that, at least for a while, Vicky’s system is not going to improve. Limited Brands is willing to dump $30 million into an ecommerce system and can't/won't wait for the results.

Finally: Today I received one of my “exchanged” items, with no sign or indication of when I’ll receive the other item. Next to the missing but ordered item, the printout simply says “NO SHIP.” No duh. Another phone call to Vicky’s reveals that, for reasons unknown, the other item will ship this week.

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