Forever 21 won’t let more than one person into a dressing room, a policy that extends to Aldys and her eight-year-old son. We remember being young, climbing things and looking to run away with strangers, so we were surprised that Forever 21 ordered Aldys to leave her child unattended while she tried on clothes. When she refused and brought her son into the dressing room, a manager called security and told Aldys she had thirty seconds to scram. She calls it as “the most embarrassing and humiliating moment of my life.”
She sent the following letter to CEO Don Chang and CFO Larry Meyer:
To Whom It May Concern:
I am a frequent customer at Forever 21 and have done a lot of shopping at your stores with my eight-year-old son who almost always accompanies me here and at other retail outlets. I have always enjoyed shopping at Forever 21 because of your huge selection of styles, colors and variety of clothing that fits any occasion and the reasonable prices.
I say all this because on February 13, 2008 at about 7:45 pm I experienced the most embarrassing and humiliating moment of my life in one of your stores located at the Providence Place Mall in Providence Rhode Island. I would have never thought that what happened to me yesterday was possible.
I was shopping in your store and needed to try on clothing I had selected. As usual my eight-year-old son accompanied me. I went to the fitting room area with my son and handed the attendant my clothing to be counted. She escorted my son and I to a fitting room. As I was about to enter the room she informed me that my son would have to wait outside the fitting room area. I was in complete shock and refused to leave my son unattended in the main area of your store or anywhere else in the store. I told her that I would not leave him unsupervised and brought him in the dressing room with me.
After trying on two pair of pants there was a loud bang on my door and a manager told me that only one person was allowed in the fitting room and one of us had to exit immediately. At this point I became extremely upset, as any person would, never have I been told to leave my son unattended in order to try on clothing. I shop in many different places and was never told that my son could not accompany me in the fitting room. I told the manager that I would not let my son leave the room unless it was with me and I had to get dressed before exiting the fitting room. At this point they called security and stated that I had thirty seconds to exit the room.
I was utterly humiliated and embarrassed as well as very upset. I left the fitting room without tying my shoes and my son had to witness this whole ordeal. It was utterly humiliating and embarrassing. I have never been treated in such a horrible manner by anyone in my life. My son was afraid and felt like he did something wrong. I refused to be escorted out of the store by security and the verbal assault by your employees attracted the attention of all the customers and other store employees.
I only have the names of the two managers who were accosting me: Felix and Tracy. I don’t know the name of the attendant. Had I followed the irresponsible and unprofessional demands of the attendant and managers and left my son alone, something terrible could have happened to him and you would have caused my family irreparable and devastating harm and/or loss. Something any company should prevent and avoid causing, even the suggestion of such. My son is only EIGHT years old and would never need to be left alone with a stranger or in any public place.
Responsible parenting or a reasonable anti-shoplifting measure? Tell us in the comments.