The Checkout

J.Crew says sorry

Ylan Mui

J. Crew wants you to know that it doesn't take technical glitches lightly. Consider this e-mail that appeared in my inbox and on the front of the retailer's Web site yesterday (trendy all-lowercase style is theirs):

"we've made some mistakes ... (too many in our mind). we want to say that we're sorry for any issues you have experienced while shopping J.Crew online or over the phone over the last few weeks -- we know we've let you down.

we are in the midst of making some enhancements to our web site an call center (and unfortunately encountered some bumps along the way). please bear with us as we work through these issues -- we know it's not perfect.

we appreciate your patience."

The heartfelt apology comes courtesy CEO Mickey Drexler and President Tracy Gardner. (But alas, no coupon or discount! A source inside the company said that was worried an big promotion would drive a rush of traffic that would overwhelm a system under construction.)

"He personally wanted to put his name out there as being sorry and letting everyone know that he is aware and working on all the issues to make sure we can get up to speed as quickly as possible," spokeswoman Margot Fooshee said.

The upgrades to the site are supposed to improve the search function, allow you to zoom in on that tangerine coat and shop the catalog online. But implementation ended up creating a long hold time for shoppers dialing the call center and difficulty tracking pacakges, Fooshee told me.

The last thing I ordered online from J.Crew was a lime green cashmere cardigan -- on sale, of course. I tooled around the site for a bit but didn't find anything out of order. However, I did find a few recent complaints about the site on The Nest's bulletin boards. In any case, I can definitely say I've never gotten an unsolicited apology from any retailer before!

By Ylan Mui |  July 31, 2008; 10:00 AM ET Consumer Alerts , Consumer News , Ylan Mui
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Comments

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I'm surprised you didn't find any problems. I am a formerly regular J Crew shopper who hasn't ordered anything since they revamped their website. Even the free shipping and extra 20 percent off sale prices didn't get me. There are too many times that you click on a sale item and find "null" appearing there, meaning none left. Also, you can't sort by size anymore -- I select "petite 0" and it gives me items that aren't available in that size. Also, some of the sale prices aren't what they claim to be -- a bag on sale for 69.99 shows up as 159.99 when you add it to your bag. It's just not worth the hassle. They should at least be sending some sort of discount or coupon to people who complain, esp those who used to be regular customers. I hope they're losing a lot of business from this dumb move -- hopefully that will encourage them to go back to the old system, which was fine!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 11:41 AM

fr anonymous:

>I am a formerly regular J Crew shopper who hasn't ordered anything since they revamped their website. Even the free shipping and extra 20 percent off sale prices didn't get me. There are too many times that you click on a sale item and find "null" appearing there, meaning none left. Also, you can't sort by size anymore -- I select "petite 0" and it gives me items that aren't available in that size....<

Try landsend.com, I think they are now offering petite sizes there, and the quality is VERY good.

Posted by: Alex | July 31, 2008 12:26 PM

Well, I'm having my own J. Crew customer service problems. I ordered a necklace 10 days ago and it's not even here. I've endured waits of over 20 minutes on the phone.

Posted by: vreed64 | July 31, 2008 1:06 PM

I've ordered many things from J Crew over the past few years and have always been very happy with their web site. I thought the apology was surprising and very conscientious.

Posted by: content | July 31, 2008 1:38 PM

Responding to comment 1, if I were a "petite 0" I don't think anything would bother me -- much less a Web site.

Posted by: anonymous | July 31, 2008 5:28 PM

I've been a regular J.Crew online shopper for the past couple years and have never had any reason to complain, until now. I ordered 3 pairs of pants when it was 30%. Did not received the order and when I looked at my J.Crew account status, there was no record. I want those pants at 30% off and am very disappointed with J.Crew. The apology is nice but seemed uncaring as there was no attempt to make things right with customers who were inconvenienced.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 10:17 PM

I actually called the customer service line, and although I did have to wait a few minutes, I did get through. If you have any sort of record- a number order, print out of confirmation, etc. I am sure they will honor it. I actually opened a credit card specifically so I could get the 10% off a neckalace I had been wanting in addition to my 15% teacher discount. When I order from the red phone in the store (to get free shipping), they said they no longer had it. A few days later it resurfaced. I had a "we will find it" reference number and they honored both discounts and gave me free shipping! Though the "null" issues are seriously annoying, I can't help but compliment their follow up service.

Posted by: Monica | August 5, 2008 1:42 AM

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