What a Girl Wants, What a Girl Needs: Lark Lennox Needs a New Dress!

Lark Lennox has been a very busy girl/woman. (She is both in my book and a good friend.) You will find her popping up with lots of shopping stories soon and this is just the first of a batch that I am happy to post. Mostly because I got to live through her shopping experience in the world of Saks, Bloomingdales, Rent the Runway and one of my favorite fashion designers, Nanette Lepore!

Lark had a “need” for a new dress– some very special event was coming up and she called me to ask my opinion on dresses. The phone call turned into many and several emails back and forth as she hunted for the perfect dress– because I was not going to let her get away with one more LBD!! (and skipping the red too!) . Spring 2011 calls for brights and not in the usual colors. While Honeysuckle seems to be Pantone’s color du jour, this was not a color I personally woud wear and I think it’s a bit overhyped. While Lark was shooting for blue, there wasn’t anything that caught her eye and I directed that eye towards a warmer but not too warm pink. Something middling — brighter, bolder than honeysuckle. Lark did what she does best– she shops!

Saks Fifth Avenue Nanette Lepore All Tuckered Out dress ( working on finding a larger photo)

Here’s what she found– an incredible dress by Nanette Lepore– which a price tag that had us both gasp because it’s not a dress that’s going to be worn to an office and it’s a bit of an edge for Lark. Here’s the description:
a patchwork of supple silk tiers adds dimension to this vibrant sleeveless frock with a side zip in silk. The color is called Hibiscus.

slightly larger photo. (still working on finding a good one that is larger)

Me, I loved it. I would wear it- but I can’t justify a $348 price tag which is where Lark and I agreed. There’s not a lot to this dress and it’s very trend-sensitive so it might work well for holiday depending on accessories and tights. It’s like a tall tropical drink that’s pure fun and sparkling. The trick was to find it for less. That’s where it got interesting because Lark had a conversation with Saks.com that seemed to go awry. She had a discount code and the site and the people working the site seemed to acknowledge it but not want to use it.
Read on for a transcript!

(names have been changed to protect “Tiffany” at saks.com!)

Tiffany: Welcome to saks.com! My name is Tiffany. How may I assist you today?

Lark: I have a “welcome back” code for 10% off but when I enter it, I get a message saying the code is invalid.

Tiffany: I will be more than happy to assist you. May I have the welcome code please?

Tiffany: I do apologize. Do you still have the e-mail that contained the welcome code?

Lark: yes

Tiffany: Can you please copy and paste the code that was provided within the e-mail?

Lark: I did.

Tiffany: Can you please forward me the e-mail that contained the welcome code? To Tiffany:_ @Saksinc.com?

Lark: okay.

Tiffany: Thank you.

Lark: It’s on its way.

Tiffany: Thank you. One moment. I would need to turn this over to a supervisor. However, we could manually apply the 10% of your order back to you. If you would like to place the order and provide me the order number.

Lark: I don’t have time for this right now. Can you please turn it over to a supervisor and ask them to just send me a valid code?

Tiffany: Unfortunately, we wouldn’t be able to send out another code. The system gives them out automatically, we do not have access to pull one. We could always credit you 10% or place the order for you and provide you 10% off when placing the order for you. I am truly sorry for the frustration and inconveniences.

Lark: It reminds me of why I stopped being a Saks customer in the first place. I’d appreciate it if you would forward the transcript of this chat to someone who could actually address the issue of why an invalid code is being sent. I am really aggravated to be spending my time this way. Can you forward a transcript to me, too?

Tiffany: I have informed my supervisor of the system error. I truly understand your frustration. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to assist you today.

Lark: Can you email a transcript to me at lark@llennox.com ?

Tiffany: I’m sorry, we can not send the chat itself. However, I can give you the session ID number – XXXXX. All of our chats and phone calls are recorded.

Lark: Tiffany, I know none of this is your fault, but it really doesn’t help me if this chat is recorded but not available to me.

Tiffany: I understand. If you need to reference this chat for any reason, you may do so by the ID number. Unfortunately, we can not send the transcript of the chat out. I am truly sorry.

Lark: I’ve copied and pasted it but I lost the formatting. Thank you for your help.

Tiffany: You’re welcome. Have a great day.

Saks.com sends out a welcome code that is invalid and Saks.com employees want to credit back after the dress is billed and shipped rather than just issue a new code. No, Lark can’t talk to a supervisor. They record the call but won’t give her a transcript.

Does this sound like good customer service to you? It didn’t to me when I heard about it over the phone and even less so when I read it. So Saks.com — got something to say about this? You were about to make a good sale, and gain a lost customer but as a store, you tell a potential customer to wait for customer service to get back to her– and it never happens….

3/19/11 Update
Nine days later, Lark has not heard from saks.com customer service. Since the online chat, Lark has unsubscribed from saks.com updates and has, once again, sworn off shopping with Saks Fifth Avenue.

Sounds like a wise move to me!! I wouldn’t be shopping there if they didn’t treat me right either.

The day after the chat, Lark went to Bloomingdales.com and found the dress she’d tried to purchase from Saks.
Bloomingdales was offering free shipping,
a $50 discount on purchases above $250
and an additional 20% off if Lark opened a Bloomingdales account.
On advice of an online Bloomies chat associate, Lark phoned the NYC store to ask for advice on what size to order. Lark told a sales associate her height, weight and shape. The associate then asked a co-worker with similar proportions to try on the dress to see how it would fit Lark! Then she told Lark the size she should order.

Two days later, the dress arrived. It fit perfectly and Lark was tickled pink—which happens to be the color of the dress!

So thanks to Bloomies my dear friend Lark Lennox has a dress I would kill to have — except it’s a size too big. But I suppose I could try and pull off the same deal except that if I see her and we are wearing the same dress, we will be the Bobbsey Twins.. and hmmmmmmmmm do we want to do that? I don’t want the dress in black.
I just want a dress in that color!!

So the moral to this stories my fashionista friends, is to shop around and DO NOT tolerate poor customer service. if I told you the roll call for bad customer service you would be appalled. (*I have been making a list– trying to give these companies time to redeem themselves. 1 year is a long time to wait)
So forget Saks.com unless you have the card and a special Saks friend to help you.

Thank you to Lark Lennox for taking the time to put this together and sharing your story. This isn’t to say that Saks is a terrible store. It’s a story where you should expect good service and no BS from any store– no matter the price tag. The point is to call them on it when they do give you bad service — and it’s not just stores, it could be mobile carriers, car dealerships, salons, just about anything.

So if you have a story to share and can put it together neatly, let me know. I am willing to gve you a voice and a shout out.

A big hug and shout to Lark Lennox for such a great fashion coup. I am so jealous!

Stevie Wilson, LA-Story.com

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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. LA-Story.com appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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