Woman Battles Neiman Marcus To Return Damaged Dress

You can understand Amy’s disappointment when she ordered a belted dress from Neiman Marcus, but the dress arrived beltless. Starting in July, she tangled with customer service to get her money back.

After months of back-and-forth, Neiman Marcus caved once she finally cc’d Consumerist on a message. She describes her ordeal:

Here’s the timeline:

July 27: Receive item dress which was described as “belted dress” without said belt. Request a discount for the damaged merchandise, which was proffered (10%) and refunded to my debit card.

Contact Executive Offices to request an additional discount, since 10% would have bought a pretty chintzy belt. This request was granted for an additional 10%.

Decide that I would prefer to return the merchandise, as I noticed a snagged seam in addition to the missing belt. Send it in.

On August 10, I called to inquire about the status of the return, because I had lost my debit card and needed to cancel it. I wanted to insure the credit had been applied to my bank account before I did so, as I feared that canceling the card before receiving my return credit would be problematic. The phone representative said it had been “credited to my account” (exact words) on August 7. I cancelled my debit card.

On August 13, I went to the bank to close out my account, as I had moved for a job and thus switched banks. I found that my account was short a serious amount of money. I called Neiman Marcus and asked them what was going on. They said that they had sent out a “check” (exact words), so reassured, I closed my account.

I returned to the school that I work at on August 27 to find a gift card in my mailbox. At that point I got in touch with them to see what could be done to get my money back as per the return policy. I must have spoken to at least 3 different people, because I could never get any follow-up on the promises that were made to me. There was acknowledgement that it was a mistake to send a gift card, that I was owed money, and pledges to get this take care of via their refunds department, but now it’s almost a month later. I’m still waiting and still spending hours on the phone trying to explain this to people who don’t have the authority to do anything about the situation.

If you need any more information, below I have appended the whole history of e-mail correspondence with customer service filling my inbox.

Apparently it was sent as a merch credit because I shipped it to an address other than my billing address using my nickname — which is fine, it’s an automatic system, whatever, as long as the issue is addressed in a timely manner. However, they have admitted they owe me the money and I’m still waiting. I’m a teacher, but I’m also a loyal customer who appreciates beautiful clothes that are made to last (or, I was), and I buy this stuff on sale. I’ve been polite on every phone call despite my rising level of frustration. I really could use the money for my car insurance bill!

On Sept. 19, a Neiman Marcus responded to Amy’s inquiry about the status of her refund, telling her they were unable to access her tracking information. She wrote us Saturday saying that Neiman Marcus has refunded her money, suspecting the company did so because she cc’d Consumerist on an e-mail.

So feel free to cut us in on any complaint messages. Doing so may save you the hassle of having to go the Executive Email Carpet Bomb route.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.