Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Debenhams and H&M Rant

I will start by stating that I am in a very bad mood. There are two reasons for this and they come in the form of H&M and Debenhams.

Lanvin for H&M - the middle dress is what
I had my heart set on
I have been waiting for the release of the Lanvin for H&M Collection for what feels like months. There was no way I'd be able have got to one of the stores so was relieved that they were finally selling online. It launched at 7am so I was there from 6.30am trying but failing to get into the online store. Apparently they were busy.

I spent 90 minutes refreshing the page until I could access the store only to find that the dress I really wanted for my brother's wedding was sold out. There were a couple of others that I liked so I quickly added to them to my basket and headed to the checkout. I then spent another 45 minutes refreshing that page because there was an error. Finally, the whole site said it was shutting down for maintenance. When it came back up everyone that was in my basket was now sold out.

In all honesty I never really expected to be able to get the dress I wanted online, it seemed too good to be true. What does make me mad though is that they don't anticipate this kind of traffic on the website. It would have been far better if they had kept the online release time a secret and then people would have to check back from midnight onwards, now that would reward determination or fanaticism, whatever you like to call it! Similarly, why not limit the number of items to 3 or 5 per person? There is already a load of items on eBay and this is what makes me so angry. The people who just want one or two items miss out whilst professional eBayers make a fortune.

I know the best way is to not encourage their behaviour by buying off eBay, but in the past when I have wanted something from a collection like this that has been the only way to get hold of what I wanted, and what I really want is that dress!

YSL Holiday 2010 Collection
My other rant is focused on Debenhams and their appalling customer service. I popped in to my local store yesterday afternoon to try to pick up a beauty card and shock horror, buy some cosmetics. There was only one sales assistant on even though there were about t

en different counters so I finally asked her if she could find out some prices for me of YSL products, specifically the Touche D'Or. I was told that it was the same as the normal Touche Eclat. I didn't believe this and didn't know how much the ordinary one was anyway, so looking very annoyed, she started searching. About ten minutes later, with me helping, she found the item I wanted but then her mobile phone (!) started ringing so she told me I'd have to find someone else to serve me as she needed to answer it.

Too stunned to say anything, I drifted towards the jewellery counter to try to find someone willing to take my cash off me, and was then told that to get a beauty card I had to go to a member of staff in the beauty department. This sales assistant then went back to the conversation she was having with another staff member, the conversation I had so rudely interrupted to try to buy something.

At last I was saved by a lady who seemed to have returned to the shop floor at the Clarins counter. She was lovely and I got my item and my beauty card. However, I will never be shopping at Debenhams again. I resent being made to feel like I am being awkward just for wanting to buy something. To answer a personal mobile phone call when in the middle of dealing with a customer is beyond bad manners. As a student I worked in M&S and The Body Shop and it was instilled in us that customer service was the most important thing. I would have been sacked or at least disciplined if I had behaved in such a way. The sad thing is that the young girls on the shop floor don't seem to know any better. Management should provide better training for their staff and teach them to value customers. particularly in these hard times.

Rant over and now I feel slightly better. Has anyone else had any bad customer service recently? Did anyone manage to get hold of anything they wanted from Lanvin for H&M? Any advice as to where to shop for beauty products to get a really good customer experience?

(I promise to be in a better mood in future posts!)


  1. That H&M would have annoyed me no end, they really should have anticipated a huge influx once the line was launched. I know what you mean about Debenhams, I had a mascara in hand once and could not get anyone to serve me on any on the tills, as they were either talking or said they weren’t working on the till, in the end I had to go up the lift with it to find another till on the next floor!
    Just recently I was buying some Chanel in John Lewis and the lady who was a general SA (not from the Chanel counter) said she couldn’t help me and I would have to wait 30 minutes for the Chanel SA to come back from lunch, I duly gave her the name and number of the products I wanted and asked her to pick them out from the drawers for me, she was really put out I can tell you! I think I am at the point now that if I get good customer service in a shop I am surprised.

  2. I can only add that John Lewis customer service is now pretty appalling. Initially i did think this was just at the Bluewater store, but after trying to buy bed linen at the Oxford St store, I'm going to give them a miss from now on. Truly terrible, as the SAs hate being interrupted in their chats, and the supervisors don't seem to care, really.

  3. HI Replica, I can't believe H&M. I just looked in eBay and there are over 1,500 Lanvin items on there, that is probably nearly the whole lot! They need to find a way to try to stop this kind og thing as whatever they think they are doing, it's not working.

    Hi Sabrina, after hearing both yours and Replica's experience at John Lewis, I think I will be steering well clear. The only one I have shopped in is the Bluewater one but not for cosmetics, and it was years ago. I understand that sales assistants may not have the most exciting job at times, but that is no excuse for bad serevice, especially when so many people are desperate for jobs. I can't believe that brands are happy for this kind of behaviour to represent them, and it seems such a common occurance.

    If I am in an area where there is another store selling the same item, I always take my business elsewhere if I don't like the service, but unfortunately so many items are store exclusives so I end up putting up with it so I can get what I wanted. It just makes me shop online more and more.