After years of being trained to dread contacting a company via phone, lest we get trapped in the automated phone tree, customers are turning to e-mail for resolving their customer service issues. And while a new study shows that a majority of the top online retailers did a passable job of replying to customer inquiries, a handful of websites apparently decided to give their e-mail customer service teams some extra time off this holiday season.
When we noted the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire on March 25, you might have looked at that and thought, phew, good thing stuff like that isn’t happening anymore. But in developing countries around the world with little to no worker rights and sweatshops paying pennies a day, it is. Like in Bangladesh in December 2010 when 29 workers died after a fire swept through the Hameem garment factory. The workers were trapped inside because guards had been ordered to lock the gates in the event of a fire in order to prevent clothes from being stolen during the confusion. The factory made clothes for GAP.
Yesterday, we reported on some confusion at The Gap. The sign for its Feed USA campaign, which donates $5 from the sale of certain bags to a school lunch program, clearly states “Made in the U.S.A.,” while the label on the bag beneath the sign states “Made In China.” Today, the retailer has reached out to Consumerist to try to clarify the matter.
One would think that with a major national retailer such as The Gap, promotional signage would be carefully coordinated on a national basis. Local stores wouldn’t be slapping whatever placards they have lying around in the store window, whether or not the sales advertised on those placards are actually happening, and regardless of whether the prices on the placards are actually true. Jeremy tells Consumerist that… well, at his local Gap, that pretty much seems to be the case.
Your pants are lying to you. An Esquire investigation found that different clothing stores have greatly varying definitions of waistline size. Old Navy was the worst offender. Their “36 inch” pants measured actually at 41 inches. At the GAP, 36 inches actually means 39. Guess we need to start going to stores with conversion charts in hand.
Alex and his wife bought into a Groupon offer for Gap, where you could buy $50 worth of merchandise for $25. Everything was going great until they ran into a manager at their local store who refused to even ring up the pants they’d chosen, saying anything already discounted wasn’t eligible for the offer.
Generally speaking, when a store advertises an item as being “on sale,” they usually mean that the price of said item has been discounted. But it looks like Old Navy’s Fundamentals Sale includes some items that are merely just for sale.
GAP has a new promo for the holidays. They’re selling bikes, covered in an argyle pattern. We can only speculate as to dear God why. Perhaps it’s so shoppers can flee from the fashion fiasco that is their retail chain even faster.
Sweatshop In Queens Produced Clothes For Macy's, the Gap, Banana Republic, Urban Apparel, and Victoria's Secret
New York state labor officials are bringing one of their largest cases ever against Jin Shun, a clothing factory in Queens, New York that employed Chinese immigrants. Inspectors say the company
- cheated its workers out of more than $5 million in pay;
- instructed workers to lie to state inspectors;
- required 6 and 7-day workweeks, sometimes for up to 120 days at a time;
- didn’t pay overtime or minimum wage;
- kept two sets of timecards to fake-out inspectors.
Macy’s says they’re “very concerned” about the case and are investigating it, the Gap says they’re cooperating with authorities, and Victoria’s Secret says they have a “zero tolerance policy” for factories that are unwilling to work with them to achieve compliance—all of which makes us wonder whether any of these companies ever investigated the factory personally. (It’s not like it was in some remote part of China.)
Alenaya traced her lost wallet to a recently visited Gap and pieced together a disturbing story:
Seemingly, walked away from register and wallet fell out of pocket. Kind customer behind me gives to cashier, who sticks it on the side of the register and does not log or tell manager my wallet fell.
The Gap has pledged $200,000 to to improve working conditions in India, where only some forms of child labor are outlawed, and it also promised to tighten its own standards. The retailer canceled half of its orders with the vendor in India that was responsible for subcontracting the workshop in which children who had been sold to the factory were working off the debt by embroidering clothing for Gap Kids.
According to OK! magazine, Amy Poehler of Saturday Night Live and husband, Will Arnett, from Arrested Development are the latest celebrities to attempt to save the GAP by wearing its clothing in advertisements.
A freelance journalist has caught the GAP using child labor to produce hand embroidered clothing for its GAP Kids line. The children, who are as young as 10, are quoted as saying they were sold to the factory by their families and cannot leave until their debt is paid. A video of the factory’s squalid conditions shows GAP Kids labels on the clothing.