Nordstrom II: The breakup

In my previous post I wrote about the retail store Nordstrom, explaining how they are known for their exemplary customer service. Those that know me probably suspected it was leading somewhere. And you were right.

There is this watch I’ve owned for a while; long enough to be fuzzy on the details of how it made it’s way into my possession. It had two links too many but I wore it anyway. When I first got it, I remember walking through the Macy’s store in Water Tower and thinking it probably wouldn’t be a problem to ask the watch counter to remove the links. Well, it was. “I can’t do this without a receipt,” the salesgirl said rudely as she distastefully dropped the watch back into my hand.

This was going to be a problem. Again, I didn’t exactly remember where the watch came from, much less be able to produce a receipt. Another year passed, and I wore my other watch instead . . . at least until the battery died.

Out came the watch with its two too many links. I received a lot of helpful suggestions about how I should have the links removed, which prompted me to explain the situation I was in. I was reminded of Nordstrom and the lengths they went to achieve customer satisfaction.

The Nordstrom on Michigan Avenue has been within close walking distance three out of the four years I’ve lived in Chicago. I will not admit the amount of money I’ve spent there during that time for fear of embarrassing my mother, but I will assure her that 95% of it was on some sort of sale. My point is I am a very loyal Nordstrom shopper . . . to the extent that I rarely shop elsewhere.

My coworker and I found the watch counter and I explained the situation, asking if they could help. The salesgirl was very friendly and said, “Yes, of course, it’s no problem!” I handed her the watch and she immediately handed it back to me. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said. “We don’t service brands we don’t carry.”

I know that sounds reasonable, but I tell you I felt like I was punched in the stomach . . . betrayed! I expected that response from Macy’s but I was unprepared to hear those words from my beloved Nordstrom. They were supposed to not care about whether or not they carried that brand . . . they were supposed to care about me instead–their loyal customer–and doing what it takes to make sure any requests are met. And this was such a simple request, especially since the same tool is used to remove links, regardless of the brand!

Believe me, I know I sound like a spoiled brat and this situation doesn’t even rate on the global scale of “Terrible Problems to Have.” I know that.

It’s just that I trusted them. And this was a breach of that trust.

I walked out of the store, not stopping in the shoe department as planned, making dramatic statements about how I’ll never shop there again.

But of course I did . . . which is a story for next time.

But before I go, I’d like to also mention that I submitted a customer comment via Nordstrom.com, explaining how disappointed I was in the experience and the brand. I received an automated response stating that I would be contacted within 48 hours . . . and to my further disappointment I was not.

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