When Steven paid Neiman Marcus $682 for a Bugaboo stroller, he expected to receive a new model, not a used stroller with worn wheels and axles coated with hair.
Neiman Marcus immediately offered to take back the stroller and issue a credit, which should have resolved the problem. But one Neiman Marcus manager, Mia Beasley, tried to go the extra mile and ended up making things far worse. Mia promised Steven that she would find him a new stroller and, if necessary, eat the difference in cost.
Mia couldn’t find a new stroller, and when Steven pressed for action, she disappeared entirely.
Steven cc’d us on his letter to Neiman Marcus:
Dear Mr. Tansky,
I am writing today to inform you of an experience I recently had purchasing a stroller online at Neiman Marcus. The lack of customer service and quality of the product was surprising, to say the least, considering your company’s extraordinary reputation.
On May 23, 2008 my wife and I purchased a Bugaboo stroller from the Neiman Marcus online store. We are expecting our first child in November 2008 and thought Neiman Marcus would be a great place to purchase our first item for our child. The stroller was purchased at an excellent discounted price of $682, including shipping.
We received the stroller on May 30, 2008 and to our disappointment the item appeared used. The wheels were worn out on the front, the wheel axel had human hair covering it, and some of the handles were worn out. The item was also not in its original packaging; it appeared to be thrown in a big box and sent out. My wife and I were thoroughly disappointed.
On May 31, 2008 I placed a call to a customer service agent explaining the situation and he offered to give us a credit for the purchase and to pick up the item. I explained to him that we were unable to find the stroller anywhere else at such a great price. I also asked if there was anything else he could do for us besides giving us the credit. He then put me through to his manager, Mia Beasley. Mia was very helpful on that day and told me that she would give us the credit immediately and order us a new stroller from one of the stores as soon as the funds cleared in our account. She also stated that they would eat the cost difference of the new stroller given the unsatisfactory condition our stroller had been received in. I was very pleased at that moment, but this is where the customer satisfaction ended.
The funds were released to our bank account on June 4, 2008. My wife and I called Mia Beasley on June 5, 2008 and left a message stating that our funds had been released. Mia Beasley called us on June 10, 2008 and asked if we were still interested in the new stroller, my wife answered “of course, we have been waiting anxiously for you to call us back.” Mia stated that Stephany Patrina would be in contact with us that same day to place the order. Mia once again told my wife that Neiman Marcus would assume the cost difference between the new stroller and the discounted stroller we had purchased. Stephany Patrina never called us. My wife attempted to call Mia Beasley on June 11th, 12th, 13th, and 17th without success. Several voice messages were left on those days.
Mia finally returned our call on June 17, 2008 after a fourth message was left for her dating back to June 11th. When Mia spoke to my wife she explained that they were having difficulty locating the stroller at one of the stores and were unable to provide us with a new item. Mia Beasley also told my wife “to Google the item and try and find it at another store”. I, at this point, was very upset with the lack of customer support and urgency to get this matter resolved by Mia Beasley. I called her back and left a message expressing my unhappiness with the results thus far, and threatened to go above her to another manager, director, or directly to the CEO. I expressed an interest in getting the matter resolved within twenty four hours. Mia angrily returned my call stating that she was “very disturbed by my message”. I guess she was disturbed by the fact that I wanted to get the matter resolved and I was threatening to go above her authority to get it done. I was at wits end with the process by this point. I then told Mia that she should not have made my wife and I a promise that she couldn’t keep. Mia then claimed that she had never told us that she would replace our purchase with a new stroller and also claimed that she never told my wife or I that they would eat the cost difference.
At this point I was quite aggravated with Mia and the customer service, or lack thereof, that I had received. Not only was Mia totally reversing what she had said, but now she was calling my wife and I liars. I then told Mia that I was going to have to take this above her to her manager and possibly the CEO of Neiman Marcus. Mia then told me that she didn’t care and that I could take it to whomever I needed to.
On June 17th at 5:00 pm EST, I gave it one more shot. I called Mia’s manager Maggie Barker and left a message to call me back immediately regarding this situation. I still haven’t heard back from Maggie as of the date of this letter. Not exactly the world class customer service I expected from Neiman Marcus.
You will be happy to know that my wife and I did get our Bugaboo Stroller for $700, only $18 more than what we would have paid at Neiman Marcus. The difference was a lot less aggravation and a positive experience. It was purchased from an unknown company called mystrollers.com. They might not have the world class name that Neiman Marcus possesses but the customer service and the product was delivered in a world class manner. We received the item only twenty four hours after placing the order. The product was new, in its original packaging, and the shipping was free. I hope that Neiman Marcus is proud of the fact that they were outclassed by an online start-up company. I feel as if Neiman Marcus owes my wife and I some sort of apology. I am not sure, however, that anything can change the experience that cost your company this purchase, and may have cost Neiman Marcus customers for life.