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Why Some Large Retailers Are Missing the Mark on Customer Service


Big box retailers have changed the retail landscape. Many of us wouldn't even know where to find a mom and pop store for most of our purchases. At TrustDALE, we work with many family businesses and find that they offer some of the best customer service. So when we were faced with a customer relations nightmare from a vast national retailer, we knew we had our work cut out for us.

A Blind Mistake

A few months ago, Brenda ordered new blinds from JCPenney. Not only would JCPenney provide the blinds, but they would also send someone to her home to measure for the blinds before the purchase and then to come back later and install them. This seemed like an excellent service that would save her a lot of hassle doing things herself. But what she got was a whole lot more hassle.

When the blinds arrived, they were not the correct size. And it wasn't Brenda's fault. The worker who measured and recorded the size for the blinds was working for JCPenney. So the mistake was theirs to remedy. But when Brenda tried to return the blinds, she was told that would not be possible.

TrustDALE Takes On Round One

Amazed that she could not return a defective product, Brenda called the team at TrustDALE. We got in touch with JCPenney and learned very quickly how different it is dealing with a national retailer than a mom and pop store. Not only is there no way to talk to the owner, Brenda couldn't even get in touch with a manager. The JCPenney employees were friendly to us, but none of them had the authority to do anything. The best they could do was to try to send the problem up the chain of command. But there wasn't really anywhere to go.

Of course, at TrustDALE, we are used to working with businesses large and small, and eventually, we got in touch with the right people to handle the first part of Brenda's problem. We got JCPenney to agree to take back the defective blinds. But here's where it gets even more confusing. JCPenney could take back the merchandise, but they couldn't offer a refund.

Round Two of Merchandise Return Madness

Have you ever heard of a company asking you to return a defective product without anything in return? Surely any business that takes back merchandise should offer a refund. But the employees at JCPenney said they couldn't do that because the JCPenney credit card that Brenda used to pay for her blinds was not directly linked to the JCPenney retail store. It turns out that the credit card that calls itself JCPenney is actually a distinct financial services company, and the store employees couldn't do anything about a charge made by that company.

At this point, it was time for TrustDALE to get involved again. We got in touch with the public relations department at JCPenney, and luckily, the TrustDALE name carries some weight. We were able to convince them to get in touch with the JCPenney credit card company. Once the two companies communicated, they managed to get Brenda her refund. But if it hadn't been for TrustDALE, she might never have gotten the resolution she was looking for.

Sometimes, you just need a little help, and when you do, you can call TrustDALE.