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May 03, 2005



"Oooh, that must be so frustrating! I'll complain to J. Jill next time I'm there!"
I really did read the whole post. I agree that their computer program is goofy and should be changed.


I was going to post exactly what Lora did. :)How ridiculous! Bad J. Jill. Now you need to pull a Pretty Woman move and go to Chico's and buy a ton of clothes and then walk over to J. Jill with your bags in hand and tell the manager you would have purchased your stuff at J. Jill if they had a better return/coupon policy.


Just another example of how computers--for all the benefits they provide--also make our lives more complicated! Otherwise, the store manager could have simply complied with your request. Instead, the computer is the one actually in charge!

Jen Rodis

The silliest part is J. Jill probably lost a valued customer over a measley $2.76.


I'd be tempted to return the entire purchase, including the shirt. Then, re-purchase the items you want to keep and apply the $25 coupon. It's odd that J.Jill would have such poor service as they are usually much more Lands End-like in their approach.

Green-Eyed Lady

I would grrrrrrr, too! It is ridiculous that they lost a customer due to poor service. Unfortunatley, I've had that happen to me, too in other places. It's so aggrivating.


I have one better for you: I recently purchased a bunch of t-shirts with their buy 2 get 1 free promotion. I went to exchange 4 that were the wrong color or size. Unfortunately, they were wiped out on sizes due to the sale. I decided to return the shirts, since I had bought enough anyway. Imagine my surprise, when 2 of the shirts were returned for $0!! Yes, I had chosen 2 of my freebies to return and the manager would not give me any monetary value for the shirts. She explained that they were free, and the computer could not do it any other way!! Does this take the cake or what?


Chico's does the same thing. I catalog ordered two pairs of pants in different sizes (along with other items) and told the operator who took my order that I would be returning which ever pair did not fit. She did not mention this coupon deal to me. When I received the order and went to the local store to return the pants, I ran into this same ordeal. The store manager gave me a $10 off coupon after I complained.


J.Jill sells great on Ebay, especially if it's new with the tags still on. Don't return what you don't want - sell it. You'll make way more doing that then returning the things to the store!


My goodness! What an ordeal! You spent a great deal of time and energy trying to recover that $2.76 and the unfairness of it all. Not to trivialize your dilema, but just think how lucky you are to be able to afford to spend $350 on clothing that you probably don't need and not worry about minor things that other people deal with such as not having enough money to buy groceries for your children or to pay your gas bill before it gets turned off, or medicine for yourself, etc. So GET OVER IT!


I do indeed feel very grateful that I can afford new clothing every now and then (and, believe me, I do not treat myself to new clothing very often -- I spend it on the kids instead). But just because I can buy new clothing and not worry about food bills instead doesn't mean that good customer service is no big deal to me. I take it very seriously and expect to be treated fairly and with respect.


I agree that this isn't right, Gymboree and The Children's Place also do this and it's not a nice thing for them to do to us. We should all get together and do something! Any ideas?


I'm glad I found this post because I was about to use a coupon for JJill tonight. I've noticed this is a growing trend for merchants to deduct % per item. I have an online store and its good to learn more about what customers want in their shopping experience. At my store the coupon % is taken off the entire subtotal and if someone makes a return they get the full item cost back. It just makes more sense to me. In any case, if a customer complained I would have just adjusted their return since customer satisfaction seems more important than saving just a few $. I am a consumer too and it gets frustrating fighting the 'red tape' of big stores constantly.

Cris Clay

This is a very bad policy. GAP does it too. I had the same experience at GAP when returning 2 items of 4 that I purchased and used a $20 certificate on. My certificate was a GAP rewards certificate given to me for making a certain amount of purchases. When I returned the items, they would not give me the coupon credit. I was so angry. I will deal with it in the future by doing exactly as you said - having them ring up questionable items on another receipt. But we shouldn't have to do this.


I have also run into this before and discovered that if you return the item without a receipt you will usually get the last sale price and a store credit. If you are wanting to exchange the item for something else in the store you are better off doing this because most of the time you will come out ahead. Just an idea. I've had to do this at Children's Place for the same reason because you've ended up spending more money than the coupon required and you will end up losing most of the value of the coupon if you returned one or two items. You have to play their silly game!


Yes, I actually had some similar problem with a return to Gap when using my Reward Certificate. I returned the skirt and lost the reward! Hello! I still wanted to use the reward on something else in the store! I ended up calling their 1-800 number and the guy apologized and said I should still be able to use my reward on something else. He made it right! I was so amazed! But I had to go through too much to make it right. No wonder customers get nasty customer service can suck sometimes.


I just came across this entry, and I had to comment because I've had the same thing happen to me at both J Jill and The Gap! It's infuriating!! Basically, I have learned to NEVER use a coupon on something that I am not sure I will keep. However, in the event that you have to do that to make the "minimum" purchase, if you end up needing to return something, as noted in another comment, you usually will come out ahead bringing in the item WITHOUT the receipt and telling them you received it as a gift. I always ask the sales associate how much I will get back for the item, and make a decision accordingly. And I'm sorry, but I find it incredibly hard to believe that a manager does not have the capability of doing some sort of "manual override" to rectify these sorts of issues. It's nice to hear that I am not the only one who has lost sleep over this stupid policy!! It's so not about the $2.76, it's the PRINCIPLE of it!!


Here's another for you -
Bought a DVD movie at full price at Target.
Still unopened, with original receipt, Target said they could only give me 1/2 price back because it was now on sale or clearance. I had a receipt for the full price!!! Furious, I left Target, went to Walmart, and explained to them that I purchased it elsewhere, but could they return it? Walmart indeed took a competitor's product (because they also stocked it) and gave me full price in the form of a store card. Needless to say, I NEVER shop at Target any more. Over approximately $9, Target lost a customer whose typical annual spending at stores is in the $3-4 thousand range. It's been over 2 years, and I go 5 miles out of my way to avoid Target.


Well, I just received a $10 coupon from the Gap, along with a letter saying that because of a class-action suit, from now on they will credit rewards points back to customers' accounts on returned items! Yee-ha, we won for a change!

Lisa Saxon

Wow.I cannot believe JJill treated you that way. I have always received excellent customer service there. The customer service reps have broken rules and credited my account when a sale item is further reduced. .... A few weeks ago, I purchased a full-price shirt that was ruined in the laundry (hem fell out). JJill sent me a new shirt and invited me to keep the one that was defective. The operator even offered to waive the shipping fee on any other item I wanted. ... The clerk at my local JJill store has coupons behind the counter, and she shares them with customers she recognizes (I go there maybe four times a year, and the woman remembers me by name -- probably because I drop $300 every time I go in!).

I suggest you mention this incident the next time you order something. Ask the operator to waive the shipping fee.

Good luck!


Sahalie is even worse. I recently tried to buy a "Wooby" sweater. They advertised free shipping for all Wooby products and also advertised 10% off for any purchase over $49. My purchase was over $49 but they wouldn't give me BOTH 10% off AND the free shipping even though it doesn't say anywhere on their website that you can only use one discount per purchase. The Sahalie reps told me their "system" couldn't handle two discounts. I suggested that they get a human being to handle the transaction but they insisted that their system was at fault and why wasn't I happy with the $7.99 shipping discount? So for $4.95 they lost me as a customer. I hope that a lawyer brings a class action lawsuit against these companies for false advertising on their websites and coupons. It would be a good case of consumers vs. the companies.


Love the comment about how you shouldn't expect good customer service because you can afford to buy the clothes...that's classic. I've had all of those places (J Jill, Coldwater Creek, etc) do exactly the same thing. My fave was when I had $300 worth of clothes (sorry, the kids didn't get to eat that week because mommy wanted clothes) and wanted to apply two of the coupons...they said no, so I said "Cool, put away half of them and I will come back in half an hour with another coupon for the other ones"....then they magically made the computer work!


Holy cow, to the person that thinks bad service is ok as long as you can afford $300 for clothing even though they don't even know your personal situation. {{{rolls eyes}}} Just remember this, many people ate because of your clothing purchase. ;)

Bad service aside, the clothing at JJill is great, isn't it? If you really like their things, like I do, I think I'd write a letter to their customer service department explaining why you think the policy is unfair...I do, too. Maybe you'll get a response. Who knows.


I have had the same bad experiences at J.Jill! The $25 coupon issue AND issues with their buy two get one free schemes. Woe is you if happen to want to return/exchange the item that rang up as being free for another color/style. They wouldn't even let me exchange for same-priced-item (the promotion was still ongoing)! since they said it was a free item! I was so mad I went and donated the items to charity rather than give it back to the store for them to resell to someone else! I had been spending so much at their store but this experience has chilled my passion.


I think the only way to get the attention of these stores and actually change their return 'screw the customer' policy is to band together and bring a class action suit against the company. It's usually FREE for the consumers who sue cause the lawyers love this and want the case, it's bad publicity for the retailer, and it's also very costly for the retailer cause they have to spend the $$$$$ to put up a defense and then they have to probably change their policy in the future anyway. So, this is the BEST way to get their attention. Writing a letter to the CEO doesn't do the trick cause they don't care if they lose ONE or TWO customers. They make their fortune on maintaining a 'good' reputation. CLASS ACTION SUIT. It's the best way.


Oh and there's another way around this but you need to be ordering ONLINE for this to work.

1. Put all the items in your cart and place your order and wait for the order to go through.

2. Your items should be packaged and shipped within 24 hrs. and they will send you an email. To make doubly sure, wait 1 day until those items get packed and an invoice printed.

3. Then CALL customer service and tell them you have a coupon or gift cert but it didn't go through correctly when you placed your order and you want to make sure you get credit for it on your order. They will ask you your order number and coupon number.

This *should* work to get your discount applied but not at the individual line item. And, if you wait until the item was just shipped then the invoice printed out will not show a discount or coupon, but you can still get J.Jill to apply it to the order you just placed. Then, if you need to return something to the store or exchange an item, you take in the invoice that came with your package and you're good as gold cause no discount appears on that invoice.


Two years ago my daughter gave me slippers from Target for Christmas. Unfortunately, there was a lump sewn into the bottom of one and I went to return them, actually exchange, for another pair, but they didn't have my size in any color. I tried 2 more Targets, neither of which had any of that particular slipper available, and finally gave them the gift receipt to obtain money or a store credit. I was told that because I had made 3 returns in a 90 day period (even with receipts) I was ineligible. If I couldn't find the same slippers to exchange I was just out of luck. I avoid Target and now also shop at Walmart: I have never had a return denied with or without a receipt and on occasion even after the 90 day grace period, and, let's face it, they have better prices anyway.


Fear not, there is an ongoing class action suit against Old Navy for similar practice, and it is about going to payment at this point. If I come across the paperwork, I'll surely alert them to your experiences, although, I do believe its really bad for all to have to go to these measures. JJill should be able to read their own promotion definitions and adjust the ever so problematic 'computers' to do the same.


Let me tell you as a big fan/shopper of J.Jill as well as a former employee of same -they DO have the ability to override any price they want and give you back what you paid (without deducting the coupon). I know this for a fact, they just choose not too. I love the store and their product so much that I worked there part-time for awhile, but the employees (at my local store anyways) seem to have some sort of resentment at times towards customers who are able to benefit from coupons, rewards, etc. (because company policy dictates employees are not eligible). Wish they would just realize if it wasn't for us loyal customers they would not have a job.

Karen Sorensen

I am sick to death of JJill and their ridiculous "teaser" offers. I have just been through another of their nightmares only to be told that their "deferred billing" program is no longer valid. They send me emails and coupons indicating that they have are offering these promos but when you enter the codes, they are not valid. I call the customer service number and live chat and they are beyond rude telling me that they do not offer this any longer (stating that I missed it by one day). They do not care that they will lose a $1200.00 order because of rude customer service personnel. I guess their jobs do not mean that much to them. They seem to forget that without customers, none of them would have jobs. None of these catalogues would have any business if it weren't for us customers. JJill, Coldwater Creek, Spiegel, Newport News, etc. all offer deferred billing for their customers. I have recently noticed that the websites that share this information for members have actually had this content blocked/deleted by the company. I cannot believe that they are losing that much money for a 10% coupon and deferred billing for three months. Let's get real. They just do not want people having access to the information without registering at their website first where you only get a bunch of junk mail anyway. Forget class action lawsuits - it is not worth it. The only way to hurt them is to stop spending money at their stores. All shoppers should boycott all catalogues and Internet websites for one week and hit all these companies where it hurts until they shape up and treat their customers right!! Whatever happened to "the customer is always right"? I guess companies no longer operate on this philosophy. I have never, ever been treated so rudely by customer service personnel than I have by JJill customer service. Do they think that they are paying us to wear their clothing?


I am sorry to hear that about my favorite store. I have got my colleagues, my friends " jjill"addicted. I have always received great customer service. Sorry, you went to the wrong one.


The discount is prorated, so you got back what you paid for the shirt. I am sure the back of your coupon states that the discounts are prorated. I would also like to remind you the a sales person just trying to following company policy is not poor customer service. I am sure you have rules and regulations that you have to follow at your company. Just keep that in mind the next time you are shopping.


In fact, the $25 coupon did not say anything about prorating the discount, because I pointed that out to the salesclerk. And what ended up happening was that after my return, I didn't get the full $25 discount even though my remaining purchase was still valid. My $25 coupon ended up not being worth $25, just because I returned an item.

And I wasn't referring to the salesclerk's customer service; I was referring to the company policy.

rebecca goy

I had a similiar experience at new york & co. They tried to charge me $13 more for a necklace that was $3 less than the original, for an exchange. They said the computer takes 25% off any returns or exchanges when using coupons. Isn't this like a restocking fee? I've never heard of this on clothing. I was so mad. I argued politely for about 10 min. before the lady was nice enough to apply some fake discount so that I didn't have to at least pay $13 more for a less expensive item. I took it, though I'm still frustrated that I lost about $4 plus I couldn't use my cash bucks to further discount the item. SO BEWARE AT NEW YORK & CO. If I had bought the item using the separate transaction idea, I would have gotten the full amount back, since I had spent the amount requirred for a coupon anyway. Then I could have just returned the item and used my cash bucks to buy it again. I don't think it is ethical for these companys' to work this way.


QUIT YER BITCHIN! Like 'she' said: My goodness! What an ordeal! You spent a great deal of time and energy trying to recover that $2.76 and the unfairness of it all. Not to trivialize your dilema, but just think how lucky you are to be able to afford to spend $350 on clothing that you probably don't need and not worry about minor things that other people deal with such as not having enough money to buy groceries for your children or to pay your gas bill before it gets turned off, or medicine for yourself, etc. So GET OVER IT!!


Since you took the time to copy and paste someone else's entire comment, I'll take the time to copy and paste my reply to that first commenter, which appears right after it anyhow:

I do indeed feel very grateful that I can afford new clothing every now and then (and, believe me, I do not treat myself to new clothing very often -- I spend it on the kids instead). But just because I can buy new clothing and not worry about food bills instead doesn't mean that good customer service is no big deal to me. I take it very seriously and expect to be treated fairly and with respect.


Although it can wipe me out for the day, I will fight/canoodle/charm to the end to make such consumer situations right. I win about 99% of the time. Although it's in one's best mental interest to "get over it" (ie, not be bitter about it in the end), I agree with the other posters here it is indeed the principle, and that in being a stand for fairness we increase the fairness for all consumers, for the mom with her kids to feed. If we let businesses get away with stuff, they will do it, and do more. Money talks. Integrity has a pass-it-along effect. I find, interestingly, when I myself am paying close attention to my own integrity in life, I win these situations with great ease. Even with companies like Sprint!


I have experienced a somewhat similar situation at the jjill store where I purchased the item to be returned. Because there is another jjill store about 10 mi. away I went to that one with the same return and had no problems. So it's not the computer, it's the store manager.
By the way, I hear that if someone doesn't step up and buy all the jjill stores Talbots(the current owners) are closing them all down after Christmas.


GAP is still doing this. I purchased over $100 worth of boys clothing and got a discount (buy $75 or more and get $25 off). By the way, we didn't eat that week but the boys looked good! Anyway, returned a pair of jeans cause "they weren't cool enough". LOL. Store would only give me the discounted amount for the jeans even though remaining purchases were still over $75.

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