Why Is JC Penney Unable To Send Me The Sizes I Actually Ordered?

For those of us who wear very unusual and/or large sizes of clothing, ordering clothes online is a thing of beauty and convenience. Unless you’re Matt, and JC Penney’s online fulfillment people are utterly unable to read the numbers on a pair of pants and put them in the correct box. Through multiple clothing orders, the retailer has been unable to send Matt the sizes that he actually requests–which I always thought was the entire point of ordering clothes online.

I write to you a man at the end of his rope. I have tried multiple times in the last month to get my order correct with JC Penney’s. Here’s a run down of what has happened.

I placed and order for two pairs of Levi Carpenter Jeans in the size of 52×32 on 11/15/10. When I received my order, I was the proud owner of one pair of 52×34 and a pair of 54×32 jeans. Of the correct manufacturer. That’s at least one point in their favor I suppose. Knowing that I needed the jeans in a time frame of now, I made the choice to wear them. Within two weeks, the pair of 54×32 jeans split at the back-right pocket. Another 2 weeks the other pair followed suit. Of course this is a defect in the Levi’s product, not really a concern of JC Penney’s. Not knowing that they had a 90-day return policy, I purchased two more pairs of 52×32 jeans (as the real size I want, 52×30, was out of stock) on 1/1/11 and three St. John’s Bay 5XLT shirts.

After waiting the normal shipping time (package arrived on 1/7/11), I was pleased to have my merchandise. I open the package only to find I now have a pair of 52×30 (the size that I actually wanted and the website said was unavailable) and a pair of 54×30. To add insult, I open the three shirts I also purchased, only to find one was barely a 1XLT and the other was a 4XLT. Even though the three shirts were labeled exactly the same and came from the same product line. So this prompted a phone call to JC Penney’s support line. I requested to speak to a supervisor (and in a classic rookie mistake, I forgot to get her name). After 25 minutes, she advised me I could take the two shirts, the pair of 54×30 jeans and the two damaged pair back to a store, be refunded the amount and should would place a correct order on her end. She even went as far to say that she would set the order to be hand picked so that it was correct.

Fast forward to 1/12/11. I had my supposedly correct merchandise waiting for me after work. When I opened the package I found that I only received one shirt that I should have and two of the three pairs of jeans. I will credit them by getting the jeans size correct this time (52×32 because 52×30 was apparently out…again). Thus, JC Penney customer support round two. This time the supervisor I spoke with acted as though she could care less about my problem. After 10 minutes on the phone, she could only state that I was owed one shirt. I explained the issue 3 times before getting snippy and told her to read the previous issue. Another 10 minutes later, she confirmed the size of jeans that I wanted (for the fourth time) and advised me that the order was taken care of. This time I got her name. I logged into my account on JCP.com and confirmed the order was placed.

Now we get to today’s bundle of joy. When I opened the package I was greeted by a shirt (the correct size) and a pair of 48×34 jeans. I called JC Penney support, for a third time and immediately requested to speak to someone in executive customer relations or the corporate office. I was given the corporate customer relation phone number (972-431-8200) where the phone was answered by another lady. After 5 minutes of discussion, she advised that she would open a corporate issue and let her manager know of the sizing and inventory issue they have at their distribution center. Then the call disconnected (on a land line, not a cell phone). I tried to call back and waited on hold for 25 minutes, two separate times before giving up.

So at this point, JC Penney’s has lost a long-time customer. I not only shop online but also in their brick and mortars. I can say that I am firmly dissatisfied with them and will be looking for another retailer for my clothing and household products.

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