Gordmans Valparaiso: Customer Service FAIL

Let me start off by saying this would be  a whole lot funnier if I wasn't trying to live my love out loud.  Insert angry mother language to boost your enjoyment at any stage in this post. Please do not shop at  the new Gordmans "Something Unexpected" store In Valparasio, Indiana without reading this first.  I raved about their excellent prices last week to my fellow mamas.   But then THIS happened. 

It was "UNEXPECTED" alright!

I had already made a second trip to the store one week ago to exchange one pair of sequined boots for a different size.  The cashier was pleasant but took a loooong time.  Probably half as long as it really took seeing as how I was trying to keep my two darlings from grabbing the candy off the displays or poking strangers in the leg with love. But still long enough that I offered to just return the boots instead of exchanging them for the right size.  It was a new store, so she probably was still learning.  I get it. After I got home I threw away the receipt since I was pretty sure I didn't need it any more.


When the boots split up the side after regular wear over a two week period, we were NOT happy.  So I load up Libby after we drop Portia off at preschool and drive out to Gordmans.  The cashier was pleasant, but informed me without the Gordman's card I would only get store credit and also be docked 15% since I didn't have the receipt. 


It was admittedly my fault for not keeping a receipt for when product I just bought fell apart.  Literally.  OK I will give you that.  Good customer service would have paid A LOT more attention to the fact they sold me shoddy goods than anything else.  No one even apologized.  (Or for that matter, acted surprised their merchandise fell apart.)

I didn't even mind I could only get store credit.  I would have understood if the boots were suddenly on sale and they could only reimburse me for the sale price.  But to just blanket  penalize me 15%?  I would guess most returns come with a receipt, but many will not.  It seems Gordmans is just clearly stating that once you buy from them you are stuck with that item.  And that item could be shoddy and fall apart.

I was so upset and frustrated I actually drove alllll the way home to double check for the receipt.  I did not have it.  I drove alllll the way back to Gordmans and asked to speak to the Manager.  The sweet but helpless cashier had more personality than the store manager.  He just stood there with his arms to his sides as I spoke.  Again, no apology.  No customer service.  Not a care in the world for me or any customer, I imagine. I must be expecting too much, since Gordmans is exactly like TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Walmart, etc.  Since it is just like every other retail store I guess it doesn't need to do anything to stand out at all.  Except not care about their customers.

About all he said was "Well, that is the benefit of getting the Gordmans card; you can return things without a receipt!"

Are you kidding me?  I had your product fall apart in my hands after two weeks of wear.  You are charging me 15% for not having my receipt and now you think for one tiny second I want the Gordmans store card?

God helped me and I was pleasant, calm and direct.  I admitted it was my fault not having the receipt, but as a mama my time and money meant a lot to me and I would spend it at Target or Kohl's who sell similar stuff at similar prices and have AWESOME return policies.   Customer friendly policies.  Alongside actual customer service.

And then.

I handed over those pink sparkly boots and said I was so upset, angry and disappointed  he could keep them and my twelve dollars and I would never shop there again.  And I would warn my friends before they thought about shopping there what to expect from Gordman's "Expect the Unexpected"  I should have read their signs more closely.

His reaction was....nothing.  

What will your reaction be?  Do you have any customer service stories to share?

UPDATE:  I tweeted this post to Gordmans and got this back, a shining ray of hope?  I dunno...policy change would be more exciting. 

Heather Curlee Novak@LiveLoudHeather
@gordmans your Valparaiso Manangement needs attention.liveyourloveoutloud.blogspot.com/2013/10/gordma… - 21 Oct
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@LiveLoudHeather Thank you for letting us know! I have already notified the district manager so they can make needed changes!
10:00 PM - 21 Oct 13

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UPDATE TWO: I have in the past 24 hours also received emails from the District and General Store managers.  Very nice to see they are very concerned, but no thank you, I do not want a replacement pair of the boots, etc.  I want you to delight your customers, something we dearly need in the world, right friends?  Love what you do, train your team to love what they do and reward them for loving what they do.  It makes a HUGE difference, how we move in the world.

If you would like to see a real salesman at work watch Kenny Brooks here on You Tube!

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