Customer Service Experience with Four Companies

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After my last law school exam for the year I was in need of some serious shop therapy.  I wanted to avoid crowds, or even worse, tumbleweeds blowing down the aisles of my favorite stores.  Shopping online seemed to provide the perfect solution for me to do my part to support the economy and brighten my day.

On May 1st, 2009, I placed web orders from four different stores: Victoria’s Secret, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hanes, and Old Navy.  I was not optimistic.  Positive that my purchases would take entirely too long to arrive and then be wrong when it did get here, I sat back and monitored the status of my selections everyday on the internet.

Victoria’s Secret’s website was easy to use.  My favorite feature is the ability to search for items by specific sizes.  There is nothing more depressing than finding the cutest bra and it not be available in your size.  If you are unsure of your size, the site provides a feature that explains how to measure yourself.  The website also describes the best way to care for your bras.  Once I placed my order, however, I had trouble checking the status because I could never locate my “Customer Number” as required.  Victoria’s Secret was, however, the first order to arrive.  The package arrived undamaged on May 5th.  The order was complete, nothing being shipped separately.  Apparently, Victoria’s largest secret is that they provide excellent web service.

The orders from Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hanes and Old Navy all arrived May 6th, 2009.  Meaning, I had all of my items 5 days after my initial order.  Seeking an entertaining outdoor method of dropping some weight, I selected rollerblades for both my husband and I from Dick’s Sporting Goods.  Since I was unsure whether rollerblades would be classified as “footwear”, I used the search feature on the website to look only for rollerblades.  Dick’s Sporting Goods’s website posts user reviews for some of their products.  The site also provided hints on sizing the rollerblades since they do not precisely match shoe sizes.  The rollerblades arrived in pristine condition, even if I managed to fall on my face and scratch them within 7 minutes of putting them on.

Hanes has a very simple, easily navigable website.  Product selections are much wider than what you will find in stores.  I went to the site intending to purchase undergarments for both my husband and myself, plus work socks and t-shirts for my husband.  Allowing shoppers to compare different Hanes items makes it easy to know that you are getting exactly what you want for the best price.  Unfortunately, I could not find Hanes bras in my size, but suggestions on the site reminded me that I needed to replace some of my older sports bras.  Sports bras are plainly classified by the degree of activity the wearer intends to engage in.  My sole complaint is that the website referred to my order status as “in process” every day, including the day it arrived.  Most pleasing, my order arrived exactly as I requested.

Last, but certainly not least is Old Navy.  I have been a fan of Old Navy for several years, but was concerned that the economic downturn and resulting layoffs would damage our longstanding relationship with long delivery times and incorrect orders.  I ordered a pair of stack flip-flops, two pairs of pants, and three tops.  The prices were still as low as ever and the website provides shoppers with great features like being able to zoom in on parts of the garments for detail or change the color just by rolling over the palette.  You can look at products divided by type of clothing.  Or, if you are like me, you want to avoid the possibility of falling in love with clothing not in your size, you can avoid the heartache and search for clothes in your size alone.  Again, everything I ordered arrived in one shipment in the sizes and colors I had requested on the 5th day after my order.

My shopping experience left me with hope.  These large companies, suffering like every other from a beleaguered economy and increased fuel costs are still providing an excellent shopping experience.  I did not have to speak with any customer service representatives regarding delays, returns, or order cancellations.  The purchases were smooth and delivered with haste.  I will order from these companies again without hesitation and recommend that you do the same.

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