Warning: Long, boring vent ahead! Feel free to skip it and then just leave a comment that says, "Oooh, that must be so frustrating! I'll complain to J. Jill next time I'm there!" Thanks.
This is the sort of thing that makes me spitting mad. As I mentioned, I had myself a little shopping spree at J. Jill a couple of weeks ago. I ended up buying 7 items, totaling $343.99. My 15% discount brought that down to $292.39, and with my $25 coupon I ended up at $267.39—a savings of $76.60! Pretty nice, huh? Well, I was unsure about one of the shirts I bought, so I figured I'd try it on at home and see what Andy thought. He agreed that it wasn't great, so I went to return it last week. Here's where the fun starts. The J. Jill computer rings up each item individually, each with its own 15% deduction and a prorated portion of the $25 coupon taken off of each one. So my receipt looked like this:
and so on. All of the "coupon" amounts add up to $25. So when I went to return the $38 shirt, I expected to get back $32.30 ($38 less the 15% discount I got). Instead, they gave me $29.54, which they said was what I paid for it. I reminded them that the $25 coupon said only that there was a minimum purchase of $100, which I obviously met. I said that I should be able to return all but $100 worth of merchandise and still save $25. They said sorry but that's the way the computer does it. I said that's ridiculous—you shouldn't be penalized for returning something; had I known, I would have put the questionable item on a separate bill. I said that if I had indeed returned all but $100 worth of merchandise, my $25 coupon would suddenly have been worth only about $5! They held firm and suggested I call their 800 number. So I did, but they said they deal only with the billing and not the actual purchasing; they said I should call the customer service people. So I did, but they said they only deal with catalog orders; they said I should call the store manager. I said that I had already spoken to the store manager, who said her hands were tied because she couldn't override the computer. I demanded to speak to a Big Boss, which is when I got one of those guys who listens patiently to everything you say and agrees that you have a point but then still claims that nothing can be done. It was maddening! I said that it was really deceitful to lure me into the store with a $25 coupon only to decrease its value just because I returned something. (I have since received another coupon—they always come in the catalog—and read all the fine print; nowhere does it say that you lose the value of the coupon on a returned item.) I explained that every other store in the universe deducts a coupon's value at the bottom of the receipt (and that their computers would be able to tell if someone tried to return merchandise so as to spend less than $100). He wanted to know how much we were talking about, and I said that it's not the $2.76 I'm upset about, it's that this whole transaction has left a bad taste in my mouth about the company. I also told him that the store manager had said she had people complaining about this all the time. Grrr.
Update: I forgot to mention that the store manager did give me a 10% discount card to use next time I'm in the store. That was all she could do, and I did appreciate it, although she was getting a wee bit snarky by the time I left.
Another Update (4/28/09): For some reason, this post attracts more spambots than usual, so I'm closing off comments. Feel free to email me if you want to make a (legitimate!) comment to this post.