Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dominican Customer Service

I've been doing a lot of shopping lately, trying to get my new apartment set up. It's been hard here- I'm too cheap and the stuff here is poor quality and costs a lot. Basically, if I find a store I like I plop down a lot of cash. You think that would be enough to get a little bot of customer service, but it ain't.

I wanted nice fluffy, big towels so I went to Casa Cuesta, which is like a Dominican Bed Bath and Beyond. Fluffy towels are expensive, and in all I spent about $100 on towels and various kitchen items. Of course, when I got home the towels didn't match my bathroom, so the next day I tried to exchange them. The woman at Casa Cuesta said that they don't do excahnges, only returns, but that they would issue me a gift card. Since I bought them with my credit card, I asked her to just refund the amount to my credit card. She said it was against their policy to do that- fair enough, I would take the gift card.

I went to the towel section, and although they had the color I wanted, the only had them in hand towels. Frustrated, I remembered that they had another bigger store in the mall near whereI used to live, so I decided to try my luck there. Sure enough, they had exactly what I wanted. Since I am still exercising consumer urges that long laid dormant in Angola, I picked up a few other things as well. This time the bill came to around $150.

I handed the cashier the gift card that prominently says "CASA CUESTA" on it. She said, "We can't take that here." I asked for an explanation, because I didn't understand why I couldn't use a Casa Cuesta gift card at a Casa Cuesta location. She explained that the new store (where I was at the moment) was on a diffierent system and could not accept gift cards from the old location.

I tried to reason but quickly realized that it was futile and that, in the end, it wasn't the poor cashier's fault, so I asked to speak to a manager. The manager came and I asked for an explanation. He gave me the same story and basically told me, "tough sh*t." He was not helpful and not really concerned that he was going to lose a customer over this matter. I explained that I never wanted the gift card in the first place, but that the store policy prevented me from doing what I wanted in the first place. He said that the first store should have told me that I could only use it there. I agreed, but that obviously that didn't happen. After a few unconfortable moments of me standing there, waiting for someone to finally break and say, "Okay, we're sorry for the inconvenience and will accept our store's credit... in our store." But he just said, "Sorry!" and walked away.

In the end, I made the purchase anyway. I was kicking myself the whole time, but I couldn't resist the call of fluffy towels that I hadn't seen anywhere else. I wrote the email address on the website with a formal complaint, but haven''t heard anything. Something tells me I won't...

1 comment:

Babette said...

WELCOME!! To the land of Anti Customer Service... You have only just begun...

tranquillo...