Daily Archives: April 11, 2017

A shopper’s tale

It’s a good thing that Levi’s is a privately held company. If it were a public company, investors might be upset by my recent experience.

Several weeks ago, I finally noticed my everyday pants were wearing out. Wearing through, I suppose you would say, in somewhat vital spots. I bought this pair at Costco, but they are not among the current offerings. So I checked Amazon, selected a couple of pairs of Dockers, but then saw that one would not be available to ship for several weeks. Order cancelled, alternate source sought.

Then I went directly to the source. Dockers.com. Apart from having trouble searching through a long list of almost identical styles, I finally found the two that I wanted. Immediate availability. Click to complete your order. Done.

The package was delivered in just a few days, and I was disappointed to find that the dye on the pair of denims was flawed. So I went back to the confirmation email from Dockers, clicked on the link provided to reach customer service, and wrote that I wanted to exchange this pair for a new one.

And thus started a mini saga.

The company response came the next day.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We look forward to helping you and we shall contact you as soon as possible. For your reference we have given your email to us the number (xxxxxx).

It was signed: “Dockers Online Shop Team”

So far, so good.

Later, the same day, a second reply.

Dear Mr Lind,

Thank you for your email from 03.04.2017 and your interest in our brand.

Please be aware that you have contacted the European Online Store. Your query will be forwarded to the US Store, and they will be in contact with you shortly.

We would like to thank you for your appreciation and are looking forward to see you soon on www.levi.com.

Best regards,

Noah

Levis Online Shop Team
Kind regards

Dockers Online Shop Team
P.O. Box 41 01 04
44271 Dortmund
Germany

Two things noted. First, Dockers and Levis are apparently interchangeable, as least as far as customer service is concerned. And apparently that’s not a good thing, as both they and their consumers may get confused. And my contact with customer service was through the link on their order confirmation. I didn’t contact their European Online Store. I replied to customer service as their order confirmation provided.

But I appreciated that at least they were now forwarding my email to the proper place.

Oops. Not so fast. Check the next message, which arrived under a bright red Levi’s logo :

Hi Ian,

Thank you for contacting us at Levi’s! I sincerely apologize you have experienced a defect in your jeans! I will be more than happy to assist you!

It looks like this order number is not from us. I would recommend you to email the appropriate store to help you with the issue!

I hope you have a wonderful day, Ian!

Sincerely,

Alexandra McClain
Customer Service
www.Levi.com
1-866-860-8907

“I hope you have a wonderful day, Ian!” Now get lost. Good form.

By now I’m started to feel frustrated, and sent off a quick reply.

I’m not sure what’s going on.

I bought directly from Dockers.com, and replied by using the link to customer service that was in the shipping confirmation email from Dockers.

Somehow that got to you, and you tell me that it isn’t your problem.

From the consumer end of things, that’s not helpful.

-Ian Lind
Honolulu, Hawaii

I received a reply the next day. The return address was the Levi’s store, but the email displayed a Dockers logo.

Hi Ian,

I am sorry for the recent difficulties you have experienced on order 9010xxxxxx. The packing slip within your order contains a pre-paid return label. Please affix this to your package to return your item(s) at our expense. Due to the situation, the return fee of $7.50 will be waived.

To ensure your return shipping is waived, please include the following number on your return label and packing slip: xxxxxx. This is your free return authorization number.

Hopeful, but I did not have the original packing slip with prepaid label. This time I got on the phone and called customer service.

I got through to a rep who seemed useful. He said he would email a replacement label. And he helped me get the exchange process started. I thought we were finally on track.

But when the next email came, there was no label attached.

I guess that at this point I made a mistake. I replied by email, pointing out that I had been told that a label would be forthcoming.

Although I referenced the chain of emails and phone call, I perhaps was not sufficiently clear, because suddenly their customer service was treating this as a new case with a new reference number, etc.

Luckily, at this point, I took several deep breaths, reviewed all the emails and checked the online help pages, and I think I’m ready to send back the defective pair of jeans. I think.

Seriously, folks, I thought that ordering from the manufacturer’s website would be the easiest and simplest, with the fewest chances of errors. Instead, it’s been a cascading avalanche of errors.

Lesson learned. Amazon rules the retail world. I truly believe none of this would have happened if I had just ordered whatever Amazon had available at the time. Of course, others say, I should have gone to a local retailer and avoided all this trouble. But, as I said in the beginning, I’m not a good shopper. I don’t enjoy traipsing from one store to another in search of the elusive product in the right size and color. Some people have fun doing that. Not I.

But it could be lots worse. At least an airport cop didn’t drag me out of my seat, pummel me bloody, and haul me down the aisle and off our United flight back from Portland.