Macy's Confiscates Your Item Because "Another Customer Wants It"

Reader Dyan isn’t sure if she’s right on this one and wants to know if we think Macy’s owes her an apology. She was shopping at Macy’s last Saturday when she noticed a cast-iron pot on sale for $19.99. The display item was the last one in stock, so she asked if she could have it. An employee said she could, but before she could pay for the item the store’s manager stopped her and took the pot away because “another customer want[ed] it.”

I’m not sure if I’m right, or if Macy’s is on this one:

I visited Macy’s on Saturday, during one of their many sales. I was in housewares, checking out a Martha Stewart cast iron pot, on sale for $19.99 down from $60. The one on display was the last one available. (It’s important to note that during this next step, which took about 5 minutes, there was no one around me the entire time). I stood guard, waiting for an employee to come by. One did, and I asked if I could just take the display one to buy, since it was the last. She said “Absolutely!”. I picked it up and headed to the checkout. I’m about 5 feet away, and i’m stopped by an employee, this one all decked out in a suit (I believed him to be the manager). He tells me, “You can’t buy that, because another customer wants it”. Huh? He’d apparently been in the back looking for more, and realized that the display one was the only one left, so he was going to give that one to the customer. I haggled with the guy for a bit, but got nowhere.

Some random customer on the opposite end of the department wanted it, so I was out of luck. I an effort to not cause a scene, I handed it over. He said nothing, walked off, and I stood there confused. It’s not like I can’t find another one, but it’s the principle of the thing. I had it in hand, so it should’ve been mine, right?

I sent them an email, but haven’t heard anything back yet. I’m not looking for anything from Macy’s, except maybe the apology I didn’t get Saturday.

Dyan S.

We think it would have been appropriate for Macy’s to apologize (either to you, or to the other customer) and offer a discount on another similar item. Macy’s could have also offered to call another location to see if the pot was in stock somewhere else. To simply demand that you turn over the item and then walk away without apologizing is just rude.

What do you think? Should she have handed over the pot? Or run screaming “Stranger Danger!” to the nearest register before the manager could grab it?

(Photo:Vince B.)

Comments

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  1. evilinkblot says:

    If this is as described, Macy’s was right but handled the situation about as poorly as possible

  2. FilthyHarry says:

    It’s a good chance if the guy was in the back looking for more, the other customer had probably asked first and the salesman felt on the spot. Nonetheless it was shitty to do without some sort of apology and attempt to make amends.

  3. winstonthorne says:

    I would have licked it.

  4. B says:

    Macy’s was in the wrong, and they should have sold her the pot and offered a discounted item to the other customer.

  5. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    Sounds like the “other customer” was the one who asked first before Dyan did. In this case, Macy’s is right, but handled the situation very poorly. How this d-bag got promoted to manager is beyond me.

  6. MameDennis says:

    The guy who was looking in the back should have taken the item off the display just in case this sort of thing happened.

    Also, is it just me or is the Martha Stewart line tanking at Macy’s? The displays are totally untouched whenever I shop there, while the other housewares stuff seems to be selling OK.

  7. drjayphd says:

    @winstonthorne: Seconded. Any objections?

  8. amv09 says:

    I work at macy’s and if this had happened at our store we probably would have offered you a similar item at the same price or have it shipped for free from another store to your home. Sorry you had to go through this! Btw if you emailed the store manager they are usually willing to fix the problem even though the sale is over. Good luck!

  9. heavylee-again says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: D-bags get promoted to managers all the time.

  10. Corydon says:

    First of all, when it comes to a clearance item, it should be first come, first served.

    What the manager should have done was to take the pot off the display and hang on to it behind the register for the first customer. Or the first customer could have put it in their cart. Or the manager could have even marked the tag “Sold”.

    But for whatever reason, none of those were done.

    The second mistake was the way that the manager dealt with Dyan. It’s reasonable to apologize and explain that they made a mistake and the pot wasn’t available any more because someone else had already asked for it previously. In that situation, I probably would have shrugged and handed it over with no hard feelings. It’s not reasonable to say “You can’t buy that, because another customer wants it” and to provoke an argument.

    So, assuming the email is an accurate description of what happened, Macy’s made two mistakes. I think Macy’s does owe Dyan an apology, and it would have been going the extra mile (but not strictly speaking necessary) to offer a similar discount on a similar item to make up for the errors.

  11. Bizdady says:

    And they wonder why theyre going broke.

  12. MDSasquatch says:

    Seeing as though a cast iron pot has no real value to the average person other than decorative; she was probably better off. I got one by the fireplace, but it only cost a buck at a yard sale.

  13. KyleOrton says:

    @MDSasquatch: Cast iron is awesome. Seriously.

  14. lunchbox says:

    @winstonthorne: ahhh hahahhahahah

  15. @MDSasquatch: i’m an average person & a cast iron pot has a tremendous value: i can cook things in it without the food ending up on the floor or in the stove.

  16. BlackestRose says:

    @winstonthorne:

    Much like a dog wetting a fence post – Mine, MINE, ALL MINE!

    It could be that the other customer was first or it could be that the other salesperson was higher on the corporate food chain than the salesperson who gave you the all clear. In either case the person in questions handled the situation with startlingly bad manners resulting in lost sales, bad feelings and ultimately bad publicity.

  17. Hanke says:

    @winstonthorne: I would have stinkpalmed it.

  18. NightSteel says:

    I wonder if the manager walked off with it because they wanted it for themselves. “You can’t have this, another customer wants it. What customer? Uh, they’re on the other end of the store. Shoo.”

  19. Meg Marco says:

    @MDSasquatch: Are you smoking crack or something?

  20. FightOnTrojans says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: I think it’s a requirement. At least it is where I work.

  21. BigElectricCat says:

    Clearly, Dyan’s *first* mistake was shopping at Macy’s.

  22. ThinkerTDM says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: Maybe they should have people stationed right in front of the checkout lanes to remove items other people may want. Maybe right before you check out, your cart should be searched for items other people may want.
    How about this: Dyan should go to another manager, asked about the item, and have it taken from the offenders cart.

  23. dks76 says:

    Dyan here -

    With my luck, the woman probably changed her mind and decided she didn’t want it after all.

  24. LionelEHutz says:

    It’s clearly the customer’s fault for not just taking it and paying for it quicker.

  25. urban_ninjya says:

    Saved you the trouble. Could of bought the cast iron cookware cheaper at a sporting good store.

    I bought a nice size cast iron pan at Sport Chalet for like $12

  26. Veeber says:

    @MDSasquatch: Um, I use my cast-iron all the time. If you’ve got an extra one lying around I’d gladly take it off your hands.

  27. dragonvpm says:

    In my experience, most stores have a policy (stated or implied) that whoever is actually holding the merchandise has dibs on it. It doesn’t matter who wanted it first or who asked for it first, what matters is who has it in their possession when they reach the register.

    I’m sure we’ve all seen situations where someone puts something in low supply down only to have another customer swoop in to grab it as soon as it’s on the shelf again (this is especially true during sales).

    I’ve heard some horror stories from places like Wal-Mart (a friend used to work there) where people walk away (and sometimes simply turn away) from their carts to grab something on big sale days like Black Friday and they have things pulled from their shopping carts by other customers.

    In those instances the store would just apologize to the person who “lost” the item but point out that without knowing who did it, they can’t really go around taking away items from other customers.

    I’m inclined to think that the rude salesman was in the wrong here. Since he went back to check to see if they had any more in stock it would have been perfectly acceptable for him to come back and say “I’m sorry the one on display is the only one we have left” at which point it would have been the other customer’s problem for not thinking to either grab the display model. Clearly they were waiting to see if they could get a non-display model so the display model was still available as they didn’t have it in their possession.

  28. fostina1 says:

    @evilinkblot:

    totally disagree. first come first served. in this case the first person to get it in hand is the first person served.

  29. velvetjones says:

    @MDSasquatch: I’m guessing you don’t cook much because cast iron pans are awesome to cook with and generally not that awesome for looking at. If Conusmerist were a pan, it would likely be a covered cast iron skillet. I’m just sayin’.

    Macy’s didn’t handle this well and should have offered to get you the same pot from another store. I have a smililar on, and saw the ad and was shocked at the price. So I don’t blame you for fighting for this one. And I’m not surprised that they acted like a-holes about it. I’ve emailed the store before and have received not so shockingly cagey responses from store management, but it is worth a try.

  30. smirky says:

    I agree with the ‘Macy’s was right but handled it badly’ crowd.

    That would be a delicate situation but extending a similar discount to another piece would go a long way for customer satisfaction.

  31. friendlynerd says:

    I probably would have walked away and taken it to another department. What would they have done, pry it from my hands? (I don’t mind making a scene)

  32. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    @velvetjones: Damn straight. I’ll take cast iron over teflon, no-stick crap every time.

  33. dualityshift says:

    possession is 9/10ths, no?

  34. ivanthemute says:

    Ditto to all on this one. The manager should have removed the display and stored it at a register or in the back until he could confirm there was no available backstock. To take it out of the customer’s hand without a word of apology is just rude. BTW, you can get a really, really awesome Coleman cast iron skillet (14″) at Dick’s Sporting Goods for like, $15.

  35. Munsoned says:

    The Macy’s employee acted like a jerk. How can you pull something out of a paying customer’s hands and not (at a minimum) apologize? I know I’m writing this on the intertubes, but sometimes a $20 pan is not worth making a scene. Dyan should take comfort in the fact that she acted like a grown up and gave up the pan. The employee, on the other hand, has a to look forward to being on the business end of some bad karma…

  36. BlondeGrlz says:

    @MDSasquatch: The amazing cast iron pot I want from William Sonoma [www.williams-sonoma.com] Usless it is NOT.

  37. William Mize says:

    As I see it, this is interesting but only half of the real story. The first half is “What happened?” and we have that.
    The second half, and the half that Consumerist should be just as focused on, is “What did Macy’s do about it?” or perhaps “How did Macy’s respond to the complaint?”
    It’s too bad you couldn’t let this simmer a bit longer until Dylan got a response to his email.
    If a company screws the pooch, that’s bad, but if they make a goodwill, concerted effort to really correct the problem and apologize, that’s just as important.
    It’s what keeps The Consumerist away from Fonzie and the shark :)

  38. backbroken says:

    Rule of thumb: If you aren’t sure if someone owes you an apology, then they don’t.

    Is it just me, or is anyone else tired of ‘the official apology’ becoming the currency of our culture? Who really gives a flying eff if you get an apology because someone else bought your pot?

    If this went down as described, then the employee could use a lesson in customer relations. Feel free to demand better service by shopping elsewhere.

  39. mountaindew says:

    I had a similar situation happened to me before, but we were both looking at the same item (don’t even remember what it was now), so I let her have the display unit, because she asked about it first.

    But I agree with some of you, that Dyan should get an apology and a raincheck for that item or something similar.

  40. MeOhMy says:

    Isn’t that Martha Stewart stuff made in China anyway? I hate to spread the sometimes irrational fear of Chinese-made products, but lead in enamel/glazes has been a problem for awhile now. You could get a made-in-the-USA non-enameled cast iron pan for $20. If you really just gotta have the enameled cast iron, you’d be better off saving a whole lot of your pennies for Le Creuset or Staub.

    Oh, and the manager did handle it very poorly. Why couldn’t he have told the other person (the person NOT holding the merchandise!) that they were all sold out? Is this a commission-grub maneuver?

  41. bohemian says:

    I’m leaning towards the possession aspect of this. He had possession of said pan (even if the clerk was carrying it for him). For someone else to come and take it away was rude and stupid. They should have offered the other person an alternative.

    BTW, Lodge brand pans are really good and far less expensive. Most camping stores carry them and also Target & Wally World.

  42. JMB says:

    @BlondeGrlz: Try Lodge as well…I bought a similar pot from them (albeit, at one of there outlet stores) and it only cost $45. Looks like it was the exact same pot.

  43. bohemian says:

    @backbroken: The problem is that there are a very finite number of places you can purchase certain items. When all the stores are using the same playbook on how to treat customers like crap, going elsewhere doesn’t always solve much.

    Sort of like the churn theory the cell phone companies use.

  44. smirky says:

    Possession??? The store had clear ownership and it was up to the person in charge to decide who the lucky purchaser would be. A little tact could have resulted in 2 happy customers.

  45. Copper says:

    I say that manager owes you an apology, not Macy’s as a whole, because it’s not policy, it’s just the lack of nicety the manager displayed.

    Either way, you should’ve walked out of Macy’s with a $20 cast iron skillet, whether it was that one or a better one given at a discount.

  46. sjkang says:

    I would have held onto it and taken it to another register. What can the manager do? Accuse me of stealing? i would have told the manager that it’s too bad that the other customer wasn’t here to pick up the pot. My take is you snooze, you lose.

  47. ftrain says:

    I think you should refer to the Supreme Court Case of Finders vs Keepers

  48. Buran says:

    @evilinkblot: Right for what? They were going to sell the pot. What gives someone else the right to jump the line? If they wanted it they should have picked it up in the first place!

  49. JohnMc says:

    I would have taken the pot and beaten the manager with it. Then told the manager — “You know you are right, its used now. They can have it.” But then hey, thats against the law. Sigh…

  50. JanetCarol says:

    @winstonthorne:
    Awesome

  51. Juggernaut says:

    This item was returned to Sears yesterday along with a coat and a dress…

  52. JanetCarol says:

    You need a $50 giftcard – An apology from that guy directly and a new cast iron pan delivered to your house.
    What a messed up situation
    F him

  53. LawyerontheDL says:

    There are two sides of the story. Dyan’s is here, then there is the story of the other person who wanted the pot. He or she probably asked whether there were others or if she should take the display model. It may be that the manager told her that they had more in the back and she shouldn’t take down the display. Either way, Macy’s should have , as other commentators have said, either offered a discount on a similar item or to have the item shipped from another store.

  54. Buran says:

    @JohnMc: Legal version: turn it upside-down, sit down on it, and call corporate to file a complaint against the guy. “Hello? There’s a guy here who’s refusing to let me buy something, says someone else wants it but I was here first. Yeah, he’s right here and his nametag says…”

    Watch his story change as soon as he realizes you’re serious.

  55. kendra.e says:

    What happened to rainchecks?

  56. stubblyhead says:

    Macy’s sells cast iron pots?

  57. shocker says:

    “At Macy’s, we always like to take merchandise out of customers’ hands just as they’re ready to give us money for it.

    That’s the Macy’s Promise.”

  58. Wormfather says:
  59. APFPilot says:

    Two Words, Lodge Logic. Best cast iron pans out there (and still made in the USA)

  60. ArgusRun says:

    @BlondeGrlz: Try Costco. I don’t know if they still have it, but I bought a red 8qt Le Creuset french oven from there for $167. It was available for a few months.

    Brilliant for coq au vin.

  61. mpines says:

    I’ve never worked at Macy’s but do they pay their salespeople by commission? If they do the suit wearing salesperson was probably trying to make sure he got the sale and albeit paltry commission rather than the sales person who told you it would be okay. Poor customer service though.

  62. Good luck getting a response from Macy’s. After I spent over half an hour attempting to buy something and fired off an angry e-mail upon being totally foiled, Macy’s e-mailed me back that they were “Glad I enjoyed my customer service experience!” in the perkiest tone imaginable. SO. PISSED.

    Short version: Picking up a very large, very heavy piece of my Christmas china. Wait in line for about 20 minutes in housewares. Woman at housewares closes register when my turn comes, and tells me to take it to women’s lingerie, which is the next-nearest register. Tromp over there, wrists breaking from the weight, and wait in line at women’s lingerie. Some old woman is pitching a fit. After nearly 10 minutes, they ascertain that we are all going to STAND THERE while she fixes the problem, which the newly-arrived women’s wear manager affirms will take at least 15 minutes to find and fetch the product in question from elsewhere in the store and meanwhile they will NOT void out her transaction and ring up the other four people waiting. Nor will the manager open the second register. No, we will stand there and stare at fit-pitching woman and pick our asses. After another two minutes of arguing, I put down my enormous box and inform the women’s wear manager that I will not be purchasing today due to the fact that NOBODY WILL SELL ME THE ITEM and ask to speak with the store manager. She is vague on whether such a person exists. I leave, and attempt to ask two male clerks standing having a gossip session (an inappropriately sexual gossip session, in loud voices) in men’s suits for a manger. They just look at me, and one says, “I can’t help you” and then they go back to gossiping.

    Fire off my e-mail, get bizarre “woohoo, so glad we helped you!” response, so called store, where my call was dropped repeatedly when trying to transfer me to the manager. Manager doesn’t answer phone, leave message, voice mail never returned.

    And, yes, my first mistake was shopping at Macy’s, which I only did because it was the only store in the area that carried what I wanted. I thought, “Maybe I should get over the whole “Macy’s ate Fields” thing. Maybe I should give them a chance.” BAD IDEA. In the future, I will simply order from Amazon or go without. Because Macy’s QUITE OBVIOUSLY does not want my business and cannot be bothered to deal with customers a) at point of sale; b) via website comment/complaint form; or c) via telephone. What else is there, Macy’s? HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO STAY IN BUSINESS WHEN YOU WON’T SELL PEOPLE ANYTHING BECAUSE IT’S JUST TOO HARD????

    Will not use again. F—–. :P

  63. Tonguetied says:

    So the way I envision it. Customer #1 asked for the pot. Suit-employee (S for short) is the one who went to the back to look for a non-display model. Customer #1 followed S toward the back. In the meantime Dyan sees the pot and seeing that there are no non-display models around asks to purchase the display model.

    In the meantime S has been looking in the back for the last 5+ minutes and can’t find any more. He realizes the display model is the only one left and goes back to the floor to recover it. He sees Dyan walking away with it. He takes if from Dyan for the customer who was there first.

    That’s one possible scenario. The other is that S wanted it for himself and lied about the other customer.

    In any case S could have been far more forthcoming about the ‘Other Customer’ and far less abrupt and demanding….

  64. AnneofAndover says:

    If it is one of the enameled cast iron pots you are better off without it. I purchased a large Martha Stewart pot from Macy’s because I loved my Le Creuset but it was a little small. After only two uses, the coating on the inside of the lid started to chip. Macy’s took it back without incident and I’m now looking to find a good deal on a large Le Creuset. Definitely worth the extra money. Oh, and the manager was a jerk.

  65. ryanv1978 says:

    possession is 9/10’s of the law

    you got screwed.

  66. flidget says:

    If they HAD given her the pot we’d be reading a complaint from the person who asked about it and waited half an hour while the manager looked in back, only to be told that they had no more and while he was waiting Dyan had come along and bought the display.

    This could have been handled more tactfully, but whatever, that’s life.

  67. @MDSasquatch: You must not cook.

  68. KristinaBeana says:

    I work at Macy’s as a vendor. My guess is that the assumed manager was not a manager at all. The dress code calls for all men to wear a jacket and tie, not that they all do, but it is the standard. Yes, Dyan probably should have escalated, it usually works best if you head straight to that specific store’s gift wrap area, as it is usually located at the entrance of the manager’s office area. If I were her, I would still follow up, even if they no longer have the item in stock they can reimburse her for her time and the poor service she received via something called Macy Money – equivalent to a gift card, but kind of a tip off to the person ringing her up that she was treated poorly and followed up with management in response.

  69. ArgusRun says:

    @AnneofAndover:

    Costco. Costco. Costco.

    8qt Le Creuset french oven for $167.

  70. evilinkblot says:

    Next time I see someone with something I want at a store, I’m just taking the shit. I’m big and scary looking, they can fight me for it.

    Reading some on here it seems that’d be reasonable.

  71. S-the-K says:

    She should have blew her “rape whistle” when the manager took the item away from her when it was in her possession. What the manager did was not just rude, it was a violation of one’s personal space.

    Macy’s definitely owes Dylan an apology. If they want to soothe her hurt feelings and make amends on behalf of the Consumerist society, they’d sell her the item at a heavy discount.

  72. kilrathi says:

    STRANGER DANGER!!!

  73. kittenfoo says:

    there used to be (maybe still is) a cast iron skillet outlet near where i live. that’s where waffle house gets theirs. geez this makes me sound like a hick. but i just wanted to say that cast iron cookware rules! best stuff out there, and it’ll outlive me by centuries, probably.

  74. rolla says:

    that was wrong. he should have apologized for acting like a jerk. But i still love macys…when they have sales, the brand name clothes are crazy cheap!

  75. blameME says:

    If that had happened to my wife, that “manager” would have had his balls handed to him (figuratively). Once, after working a 12 hour night shift, and having to sit in a hospital waiting room with our sick daughter for another twelve, one of the emergency doctors walked by, got his coat and announced across the room to the receptionist that he was going for a meal. My wife piped up, loud enough to be heard from the 20 plus people waiting for treatment, of her situation (up nearly 30 hours total, spending last twelve waiting), and that he was not allowed to even THINK about leaving. He sheepishly return his coat and headed back into the emergency room. If we were not such a subdued society up here, she would have got a standing ovation.

  76. savvy9999 says:

    If I remember my Sunday school correctly, King Solomon had this kinda thing figured out a looooong time ago.

    Manager should have threatened to cut the prized cookware in half; the customer that cries the most obviously loves it the most, and therefore gets to keep it.

  77. @BlondeGrlz: Ooooh, shiny. Le Creuset makes some beautiful cookware.

    @JMB: I didn’t know that Lodge made cast iron with an enamel “outside” – I’ll have to keep that in mind, since we’re trying to phase out the non-stick/teflon cookware.

  78. juri squared says:

    @Buran: For all we know, the other customer could have been there first and didn’t want to disturb the display; that’s what I would have done at any rate.

    Still, crappy handling by Macy’s.

  79. MDSasquatch says:

    First of all, I do not smoke crack nor do I intend to start.

    Secondly, I inherited some cast iron skillets and do use them. They are HIGH MAINTENANCE.

    Most people avoid them in lieu of non-stick.

    I reiterate, the AVERAGE PERSON will not have much use for them.

  80. camille_javal says:

    To the “possession is 9/10…” quoters – it has only to do with possession of articles rightly owned by the possessor. If that were not the case, the guy who steals your wallet would have more of a right to it than you do.

  81. smirky says:

    @MDSasquatch: That just goes to show that most of us here are standard deviations. ;)

  82. @drjayphd: It’s a display item. Common sense should object.

  83. MeOhMy says:

    @savvy9999:

    Manager should have threatened to cut the prized cookware in half; the customer that cries the most obviously loves it the most, and therefore gets to keep it.

    And if nobody cries, we get the enjoyment of watching someone cut a cast iron pan in half! Would this require an acetylene torch?

  84. MayorBee says:

    @camille_javal: But if you have pot in the car (that’s not yours) and a cop finds it when he searches your vehicle (because you were swerving heavily because you were drunk trying to forget that bitch of an ex-wife living with your ex-best friend but she’s still getting alimony, may she choke on it)…wait, where’s my pot? What?

  85. QueenHawkeye says:

    i bet the manager wanted it.

  86. The Porkchop Express says:

    @winstonthorne: nice, me too.

  87. Umisaurus says:

    Count me in the “Macy’s right, but still douche-y” category. The manager should have pulled the item, or at least let the surrounding associates know not to sell it. He also should have offered a $40 discount on another cast-iron pan.

  88. dantsea says:

    I would agree that Macys was in the right, if it weren’t for the fact that the product was in the hands of a customer headed toward a register. That manager is playing with fire — for all he knew, Dyan was a Macys Elite Star card holder, but chances are with his attitude he’s going to piss off the wrong power shopper soon enough.

  89. lostalaska says:

    It was a cast iron pot right? So it shouldn’t have dented when you hit him in the head and than stepped into line to pay for it.

  90. CoffeeCake says:

    Am I the only one amazed that Dyan found not one but two employees actually working in the same department at a Macy’s? Incredible.

  91. hvsteve1 says:

    I’m one of many long time May Department Stores employees who bailed when Macy’s took over. We were in the mall with a Macy’s and always had people purchasing from us because they had been treated rudely at the other place. May built their company around customer service and associates were well rewarded for providing good service. I know Macy’s has a way to check other stores’ inventory on the register or computer. I would always have chased down the item, if it existed, and sent it to the customer with free shipping.

  92. Gokuhouse says:

    Well, what if by some chance this person with the pan walking to the register picked up this item 20 or 30 minutes earlier and was just now heading to pay for it? Did the manager know that for a fact this person JUST grabbed the display item? Maybe he did and there just wasn’t enough detail in the story, but IMO Macy’s was wrong. Anyone ever hear the saying Possession is nine-tenths of the law? She had it, it was hers.

  93. ekdikeo says:

    *shrug*

    The person should’ve said “I’m sorry, this other customer had asked me for that item a few minutes ago, and I was searching to see if we had another, which we don’t.” then given it to the original customer to purchase, and given you options to obtain another one.

    Although really, he should’ve just sold the display to begin with, then if there were any more, put a new one out. That’s basic retailing there.

  94. ekdikeo says:

    ping, my posts aren’t appearing, maybe i’ve been twitted

  95. brettt says:

    uhhhh, NOOOOOO.

    You do not take an item out of a customer’s hand. Ever.

    Too bad if the other person called it, or if that was a manager. It’s in your hand. You have first dibs on buying it. They should give you one for free now.

  96. forgottenpassword says:

    IMO whoever has the item in their hands first…. gets the item.

    The guy in the suit (manager?) who took it away from the customer was in the wrong. He should have just apologised to the OTHER customer that wanted it & offered some sort of comphensation.

  97. BugMeNot2 says:

    Don’t you get it, only a jerk would want to be a manager. Someone who didn’t enjoy bossing people around, threatening others with their livelihoods, and basking in the glory would find less managerial field.

  98. Craig says:

    Unless the item was set aside for the other customer (which it obviously wasn’t since it was still on display) then once the salesperson placed it in Dyan’s hands the manager had no right to take it from her, let alone so rudely.

  99. LogicalOne says:

    I am having difficulty reading this article and comments. As a person who grew up in Chicago, I no longer see or hear the letters “M” “A” “C” “Y” “S” when used together as a word. In fact, when there’s a commercial on TV, all I see is a blank screen and I hear no sound. All this happened right after I heard that Marshall Fields was bought out by that other company.

  100. r081984 says:

    I used to work at Walgreens.
    This would have never happened there.

    That manager was in the wrong. It is always first come, first served in retail.
    Any employee including a manager that would steal an item from one customer to give to another should be FIRED.
    That manager should have went to the other customer and said there were none left.

  101. Snaptastic says:

    Poor service by the manager. Given the way he explained the situation, he made it sound like another customer was more valuable than Dyan.

    He should have let her buy it, then explain to the other that it was not available anymore. Making a customer with it in hand give it up is just unacceptable.

  102. DjDynasty says:

    Boycott Macy’s and be done with it.

  103. Smorgasbord says:

    The key phrase here is when she said “I’m stopped by an employee, this one all decked out in a suit (I believed him to be the manager).” Did he have store ID on? Is it possible it was a customer who wanted it and conned the woman out of it? Let’s get all the facts before we place blame.

  104. drjayphd says:

    @LogicalOne: All right, we get it, you wish Marshall Fields didn’t get bought out and renamed. Enough already.

  105. mac-phisto says:

    @dks76: dude – no. do you go tag saling? have you been to the grocery store on blue hair day? only one rule applies here:

    minesies.

    it’s yours. don’t let it go. make a scene. & if you are willing to let it go, berate the hell out of the manager & make him pay. seriously. like real money…preferably a jackson. he wants the save face here, right? doesn’t want to piss off the customer?

    if there even was one…

    i sure as shit wouldn’t have let that thing out of my hands w/o seeing the other customer. & then i would have told them a sob story about how i just saved up enough money for my very first apartment & i was hoping to eat for the first time in a week, but i needed this pot (b/c it’s the only one i can afford) *que tears*, but perhaps if she’s willing to part with a few dollars so i could buy a better pot…

    all is fair in love, war & bargain hunting. never forget that.

  106. wring says:

    i agree about the apology part, but if i were the person who had the display on hold, i would fight tooth and nail for it too. ah konsumterror!

    my advice: get a black macy’s card and wait for an evaluation letter. that’s the only way you can make a difference.

  107. some_stupid_nut says:

    I worked at Macys and suits mean squat. Everyone is “required” to wear a suit. The way to tell is managers have red name tags while regular employees have beige name tags.

    I would’ve explained what was going on and call other stores. It isn’t hard to check inventory on the computer then call and tell them to put it on hold. Bad service, go to website and complain. Managers will make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    [www1.macys.com]

  108. hossfly says:

    Have you ever been HIT by something made from cast iron?
    THAT, would have been MY response!
    If said dipshit manager had any idea what his backroom inventory was, he would have known that was “possibly” the last one and picked the damn thing up and took it to the stockroom with him to ‘check for additional’ inventory.
    I mean, C’MON, it’s Martha Stewart Cookware for heaven’s sake; you should KNOW it’s gonna FLY out at such a cheap retail……uh, i guess…..

  109. wildness says:

    This is tough one. On the one hand, the other customer did apparently inquire first, BUT on the other hand, the other customer should have secured the display just in case there wasn’t any in the back (which would have been likely and good common sense would tell you).

    Macy’s handled it poorly, but acted in good faith towards the other customer. But, you had it hand, and short of licking it as suggested elsewhere, you should have refused and taken it to the cashier to pay; if they refused to take your money, then tell them the other customer wasn’t as smart as you to secure it, and it is their loss.

    Just remember, by most states’ laws, if you make a good faith effort to pay for an item and they refuse to take your money, then you can usually walk out with the item.

  110. pigeonpenelope says:

    macy’s was right to give the pan to the other customer since that other customer was technically first. what macy’s messed up on was small compensation.. like maybe 10 percent off a different pan and an apology. i don’t think this situation is all that worth a notation in the consumerist/

  111. pigeonpenelope says:

    @hossfly: inventory in a computer isn’t always accurate especially where theft can occur. it is important that if there is a glimmer of hope that there would be one in the back, they physically check before taking off the display item. i realize that a sign said “last one” however even i’ve been duped by checking inventory.

  112. DaoKaioshin says:

    @winstonthorne: Definitely the best advice I’ve ever heard.

  113. brent_w says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: What world do you live in.

    I was under the impression that there was an unwritten rule which reads “only d-bags may be given managerial positions”.

  114. Concerned_Citizen says:

    This guy wanted to do what was right, but in the end you had the pot. You should have told him only the police can get this thing out of your hands. He would have either backed down, or caused a much bigger problem. If you were stubborn enough, the right thing to do would have been to let you leave with the pot. The other customer didn’t suggest taking the display, you did. So the other customer didn’t exactly have a divine right to it.

  115. willray411 says:

    Dumbass for letting it go.

  116. GrandizerGo says:

    @MDSasquatch: You don’t know how to use them.
    They are not high maintenance at all.

    catch a clue dude. Cast Iron is one of the best materials to cook in.

    So say the chefs.

  117. Teddybears4ever2 says:

    I used to work at Macy’s. Let me help Dylan out http://www.macys.com/tellus is where you submit your complaints. You see Macy’s strives for outstanding service and employees are given stars if they get a good rating. Too many bad ones and you are fired.
    Yes Macy’s managers are rude and I’m sorry that you had to go through all of this. I wasn’t once respected and have had things taken from my hands before, too. I will echo the young lady who said that all Macy’s men wear suits. The dress code is all black.
    I don’t really like to shop at Macy’s anymore.
    You are right in demanding that this person in question apologizes to you. You didn’t deserve that type of treatment.

  118. skepticalpeach says:

    I used to work for Macy’s as a sales associate. I have to say I am not surprised by how you were treated. My fellow employees were creepy and rude. All but one of them was this way. They often picked on this lady because she spoke with an accent. Not only did they do this amongst themselves, they did it WITH customers.
    At one point I had to file a complaint against one coworker because she picked a verbal fight with me in front of a customer. All Macy’s did was schedule us at different times. The other associate decided to hang around our section when she wasn’t working during my shifts. I ended quitting that place the day before my 90 day probationary period was up.
    I am NEVER going back.
    I’d have stood my ground and asked to see the customer that wanted the pot. He most likely wanted it for himself because he can get it for $16. I know for a fact that it would have been very easy for the manager to see if the pot was in stock anywhere else; a few clicks of a button and/or some phone calls is all it takes. He shouldn’t have been rude.

  119. ninjatales says:

    Never take a display item unless you absolutely need it (to live) or it carries a discounted price tag.

    A dirty, depreciated, worn product is that display products are usually.

  120. Bruce says:

    Cast iron pots are awesome and durable for many generations to come. They also make the most wonderful sound when they bounce off some asshole employee’s head too!

  121. ShariC says:

    @MDSasquatch:
    Cast iron is the bee’s knees for people who cook their own food and want to do a good job of it. They also last forever if properly cared for and can be considered a good investment.

    As for the story, I agree that Dyan did the right thing in handing it over, but Macy’s employee was rude about how he handled it. Let’s hope this story gets her an apology.

  122. windycitygirl68 says:

    @backbroken: I’m with you, backbroken. We’ve become a nation of hyperoffended people. We expect and demand apologies for every perceived offense. Hell, just last weekend my son’s Little League team had to apologize to the opposing team for chanting “Hey, batter batter!” during a rally. WTF????? I’m not saying that Dyan didn’t at least deserve an apology from someone at Macy’s for the inconvenience, but did this really need to be escalated to the Consumerist level? So she got the pot. Time to move on! A lady stole my spot at the gas pumps the other day while I waited to pump cheap gas at Sam’s. I didn’t run in and demand an apology or gift card, but perhaps I should have.

  123. savvy9999 says:

    @Troy F.: If it was a cast iron pot, a torch won’t work; have to cut it with a tungsten saw, or break it somehow with a chain snap cutter.

    Cast iron is tough stuff.

  124. parabola101 says:

    Macy’s should of ordered (called) the pan from a different store for the customer who was without one. OR offered a discount on something else in their department. To take something away from one customer to give to another is just BS. SHAME on the STUPID STUPID Manager in the snazzy suit.

  125. dks76 says:

    @Smorgasbord: he was most definetely a Macy’s employee. He had a nametag on and all…I just didn’t know if he was a manager or not.

  126. dks76 says:

    @windycitygirl68: Um, actually, I didn’t get the pot. That was part of the issue. I’m not some hyper-sensative complainer. I put up with a lot of crap (as i’m sure most folks do) on a daily basis. This one was just over the top enough to say something about.

    An update – an apology was made late yesterday afternoon by Macy’s because of this posting on Consumerist.

  127. rawsteak says:

    first come first served. the display model was the only one left, and after it’s been picked up, there are no more left. the manager should have gone back to the other customer and said, “sorry, someone just picked it up [insert sad face]. maybe you can try another macy’s?”

  128. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @rawsteak: Exactly.

    The other customer did not pre-order the pan. They did not ask the store to put the pan aside for them. They simply asked if there were any left to purchase. That does not entitle them to items that are already in another customers hands.

  129. Nicholas_schaulsohn says:

    Macy’s was 100% correct.

    Imagine being the other person.

    You ask if they have any in stock.

    The manager is in the back looking for one.

    A random lady comes and takes the final display copy although you were there first.

    This is a non story.

  130. bobblack555 says:

    You’re better off without Martha Stewart’s crap anyways.

  131. backbroken says:

    @bohemian: But giving them the option of making it all better by saying I’m sorry doesn’t seem like it working.

  132. @savvy9999: If you get it really, really hot in the oven (like you’re seasoning it) and immediately put it outside on a subzero day, sometimes it’ll crack in half. Sometimes.

    (And if you think it’s too much work to clean, use it to make greasy grilled cheese when hungover. All that butter just helps season the pan! Wipe out the crumbs and call it a day.)