Grad school: the year in review
10 pm, starving, want brownies, writing inane blog post instead

How to score free clothes from Banana Republic. Seriously! FREE!

Several weeks ago I fell victim to one of the dozens of "25% Off! Two Days Only! At One Of The Very Few Stores You Shop At!" emails I get every single day. I bought some cheap tank tops and a pair of bright blue yoga pants from Old Navy. Only I ended up buying them from the Banana Republic check out - you know how you can fill your "cart" and then hunt around the Gap and BR and Piperlime, etc. ANYWAY. That was just the first stupid thing I did. 

So a few days later I'm checking the tracking number, as you do, and I find out my package has been delivered. Except, um, no it wasn't. I open my door at least ten times a day hoping to see Surprise Care Packages (which is really sad, because I suck at sending them, OMG MORGAN I AM SORRY!) so I would KNOW if my package arrived. Which it didn't. 

It crosses my mind that my package may have been delivered to the old house (this was not long after we moved in) but no, that can't be right, because this would be my SECOND Old Navy order since moving in (see: dozens of sale emails, falling victim to) and THAT one was delivered to the right house. Someone ELSE messed up!

So I call Old Navy and then I find out I have to call Banana Republic and GAH and THEN I find out that yes, indeed, it WAS delivered. It was delivered to my OLD HOUSE. Perhaps the Old Navy site had my new address but the BR site didn't? Still trying to figure out how this isn't MY fault, and, obvs, failing. Sigh. 

Anyway, the girl on the phone asks me if I can "retrieve" it. And, well, TECHNICALLY: yes, I can. But you may recall that I was not feeling particularly charitable towards our buyers. It took me a few weeks to stop feeling... offended or something. Which I KNOW. STUPID. But GOD no, I did NOT want to show up at my old house and cheerfully inquire if they had my missing package? 

[Tangent! When we moved into that house it was a brand new address - the builders built 4 townhouses on one lot. Therefore, new addresses. And our address was exactly the same, save one little letter, as this old lady who lived on the other side of the freeway. We got mail addressed to Ethel So and So and Ethel got OUR mail for at LEAST a year. And we saved it up for a few weeks (nothing important) and exchanged it every once in a while. And exchanged phone numbers! So we would know if anything WAS important! We were THOUGHTFUL!) 

But we had changed all the addresses and the buyers had ALL of our info (while giving us NONE of their info) and I felt like, well, if they have something important of ours they will let us know. I was happy with this scenario. And I can be very DRAMATIC, and my five dollar tank tops weren't worth the emotional fallout of showing up on my old house's doorstep and having to talk to the buyers. GAH!

(I know you are rolling your eyes, but I! Don't! Care!) 

Phillip thought this was the dumbest thing he had ever heard and all the things YOU want to say to me HE said to me and WAS I REALLY SERIOUS and there was MUCH fretting over, I don't know, huge credit card bills we weren't receiving or something (EVEN THOUGH WE CHANGED THE ADDRESSES AND EVERYTHING WAS FINE.) 

So I attempt to convey this to the BR girl in, like, two sentences and she says, "Well, I can send you a replacement order, but half of those items are no longer in stock." And I say, oh, that's okay, never mind and THEN she says that they will REFUND ME. For an order shipped to a wrong address that I supplied and that I won't go pick up. BECAUSE I AM A WUSS. They are refunding me DESPITE the stupidity and wussiness. At this point I start to think BR is the greatest company on earth. 

FAAAAAAAST forward to another several weeks ago when Phillip decides, of his own accord, to show up unannounced at our old house and see if we have any mail. (I was not with him. AS IF.) And wouldn't you know! We had a HUUUUUGE stack of mail! Including my package! That apparently was just going to sit in the entry way until we sucked it up and demanded it back! WHATEVER! Anyway, there was absolutely nothing of any importance in that stack, except my order. And I thought, hey, why not, I'll see if I like these cheapo tank tops. 

And oh, I did. Hawaii here I come. 

So then I started to feel guilty. Because, you know, I was REFUNDED. For things I KEPT. I wrote myself a little "Call BR!" note and I only got around to it TODAY. I've worn the bright blue yoga pants at LEAST ten times by now. The guilt, it was festering. 

I called BR this morning and talked to a very nice girl named Heather and attempted to explain my (stupid, wussy) situation. Good customer service rep that she is, she never once accused me of being stupid and/or wussy, which I appreciated, but she also had no idea how to accept my money. That's correct. NO CLUE. 

I sat on the phone with Heather for a good fifteen to twenty minutes while she tried to hunt down supervisors and troubleshoot and we talked about Hawaii and whether it was sunny where I am (no) or where she is (yes) and blah blah blah and she never figured it out. I am all, "Have credit card, will give you number" and she is all, "But if I take your money, we'll automatically send out another order!" 

[Tangent! Having been the designer, builder and operator of several databasey computer systems in my day, I have sympathy for this particular issue. You design your system to do one thing, not all things. I get it. HOWEVER. It STILL seems a little ridiculous that BR couldn't figure out HOW TO TAKE MY MONEY.]

And you know what the solution was? I will paraphrase Heather: 

"Okay! So you could buy a prepaid mailing label, send it back to us, let us know that you need to pay for it."

Obviously this was a little confusing since 1) this was weeks ago, the packaging is gone 2) I've WORN the items, multiple times and 3) wouldn't they just have to send them back? I kept saying I didn't understand and Heather kept saying she understood that I didn't understand and kept saying it slower and slower and slower and finally I caught on to the part where she says, "Now, it's UP TO YOU, but you COULD blah blah blah..." 

And I said, very slowly, "OH. I think I know what you are saying."

And she says, "Yes. Well. I can't really SAY it."

And I said, "Okay, well..." 

And she said, "Just so you know, we do a one time courtesy refund or resend, so if you don't send it back - AND IT'S UP TO YOU - you might not get your courtesy refund again."

And I said, "I see."

And she said, "So you just decide what you want to do and let us know!" 

I feel sort of... FOILED. I mean, so much for THAT. On one hand I'm sorely disappointed with myself for not having had the foresight to buy a couple of snazzy dresses from Banana Republic instead of five dollar tank tops from Old Navy. On the other hand: REALLY? This has never happened before? (She said that, although I'm sure she's referring to HER experience, not BR's entire experience.) And THAT'S the policy? Because it was clearly The Policy as recommended by her supervisors, not something she came up with on her own. And now I STILL feel guilty because I COULD package them all up and do this ridiculous (RIDICULOUS!) refund/resend thing so that it's all correct in their SYSTEM (although honestly, even that doesn't make sense to me) but SERIOUSLY? I have better things to do with my time (see: write blog posts on retail injustice).

Comments

jessica

That happened to me once.. they sent the package to my old address. When I went to the old house to see if the new people had it, they weren't home, so I left a very nice note.

Never heard a thing from her. Hopefully she wore my size. I never thought about calling Old Navy about it, though.....

Christiana

That is hysterical. So funny how they can't accept money for things they sold you... isn't that the rub of technology?

We had an issue when we got married/got an apartment. We had selected an apartment and when we showed up to move in, it wasn't ready, so they put us in another apartment in the same complex. I changed the address on my wedding registry in one place, but apparently I also had to change it in another place to have anything that was shipped directly to us and I didn't realize until I was told that someone sent us a gift directly through the website... had to track down the old apt # residents... they claimed that there had been no name or address on the package (yeah, right) but that the items just showed up on their stoop. Whatever. We got them back and they hadn't used them yet, but seriously? How rude. They opened my package, even though their name wasn't on it!

Melanie

Right after we got married, I ordered a bunch of things off of my registry at Bed, Bath & Beyond - our comforter and lots of expensive kitchen gadgets. Somehow, I changed the billing address to our new address but it switched the shipping address back to the default. When I finally realized what had happened, I did go back to our rental house where the girl shut the door in my face about ten seconds after I mentioned the package.

Luckily for me, it was sent via UPS and left on the porch, so since no one had technically received it, I had to wait a week and then UPS took responsbility (felt kind of bad about that!) and BBB resent it to me. I sure hope my comforter matched their color scheme!

Christiana

Okay, so I just started to go check out the stuff at BR/ON and realized that nothing would fit me right now anyway... seeing as I'm nearly 7 mos pregnant and I'm huge. Ugh. I miss regular clothes already.

Christy

When we got married, we had a set of those clear plastic shoeboxes on the registry. It was a set of 12. When they arrived, one was broken. So I called Target and asked if they could send me a new one. One box. They sent us a whole new set of 12. Which my husband got and opened and saw that one of THOSE was broken. He called Target right away(and he NEVER takes the initiative like this), not knowing these ones were replacements and Target sends out another whole set of 12! So that's how you get 36 shoeboxes from Target. And I totally kept the broken ones and use those anyway, the plastic lids are just chipped, but they are for SHOES, so who cares?

brietta

I don't know you-- I stumbled on your blog after reading another blog and clicking, and then clicking again... and then clicking again (you get the idea)-- but I just wanted to say this totally made me laugh.

And also? Keep the clothes for free. It's my gift to you for all the times Gap/ON has screwed me over.

How's that? :)

Jessica

OK – it wasn’t a nice of your buyers to not call and let you know you had mail, but I understand. We moved into a new house 1.5 years ago and still get the Roth IRA statements for the old resident. I know I have their phone number somewhere, but I can’t find it. Plus, now I’d now have to say I have your IRA statements for the last year and a half (including the income tax statement!) and that just sounds bad. I sure hope she got her income tax information online or something.

I did call them once not too long after we moved in when we got a birthday party invitation for one of their kids. They acted like it was an inconvenience, but said they’d come pick it up. And never did. I kind of stopped caring after that.

Life of a Doctor's Wife

It is freaking RIDICULOUS how inflexible computer systems can be.

I fall victim to those sale things ALL the time. Especially if there's a free shipping deal. I am terrible. My husband even said last night, "It seems like you buy clothes online a lot." Which is TRUE. But I don't KEEP everything I buy online. Some of it I return because it is awfully hard to tell, via Internet, if something is going to fit or look good.

Amanda

Since there is no good/easy way to pay BR, perhaps it would be best to just donate the money to the Church. And keep buying stuff from the company, due to their awesome customer service in this instance.

TheFatHeadedKlingonWoman

Sorry, but I don't think I'd even have tried to explain the situation to the company, because the customer service person on the end would think I was completely insane. I mean really. (Caller: "I ordered something and it got sent to the wrong address, and I asked for my money back and you gave it back, but then I managed to get the package from the rude people who bought my old house, so now I feel like I should give you your refund back. That's not a problem, is it?" Customer Service: "WTH is this person talking about, and can I force myself to sound like I care?")


Well ok, I probably would feel slightly guilty about getting free clothes, but then I'd be like "Oh well. Stuff happens, and I didn't do it on purpose, and they can afford it." Live and learn. And your house buyers? Total a-holes for not getting your mail to you. Or at least calling to tell you they had it. How much effort does it take to be a decent human being? Too much for some people, apparently.

Jess

I would not package them up and send them back because I would not trust random warehouse workers to figure out the situation and re-ship me my same items, and you already know that they don't make the same items still, so I say everybody wins and you keep the stuff AND your money. Go you!

Amy

I had to comment because we just moved around the same time you did, and I've been having the mail dilemma as well, on both ends. I have a stack of mail for the former residents that I haven't called them about. Nothing looks serious, but still...my bad :( The people who bought our house did call, but it took me ages to call them back (I am anti-phone, I guess) but eventually had them leave our mail with the neighbors across the street who we wanted an excuse to visit anyway. Of course, they're moving soon as well, so there goes that plan. So once we got our stack of mail, holy crap...our old mortgage company sent the check to sort of finish off our old mortgage (escrow, maybe?) to our OLD house. And it was a good amount of money. You mean to tell me that even though most (all?) of the time they send this type of check out that it's to someone who JUST moved, they don't have a good way of acquiring forwarding information? Or just make sure it's marked to be forwarded? Seriously?! I can't imagine how many people never got their checks. Brutal.

HereWeGoAJen

I got two orders of flowers once, because they delivered the first set to 2345 instead of 3345 (or wherever we lived at the time). Matt called and yelled at the florist, they sent another, and then he found the first set on his way home from work.

Julie

I've lived in my house now for...ummm..about 6 years, and I still get mail for the previous owner AND the owner before them! It all goes in the recycling bin.

AsMommy

Am I just dense? Or did I just not get ANY of what you wrote :P

Don't feel bad, you tried. And for a giant company like that, it cost them MORE to figure out how to take your money, then the actual money you want to send them! All that time with Heather, she could've been take real orders! :)

Petroni

Okay, I TOTALLY understand about not wanting to go back to the old house to get the package from your buyers. We just sold our house, and I'm not particularly crazy about the buyer. She was really difficult through the whole process and made us jump through what I consider to be some unreasonable hoops. And so I'm wondering what we'll do when we inevitably get mail sent to the old place. I think I may just ask her to give it to our friends right across the street (or will have them walk over and pick it up), and then we can get it from our friends when we see them. I just don't really want to have to interact with her.

Christina

Do you know I've done this every. single. time. we've moved for like the last 3 houses? I seriously never learn. Once it was this HUGE composter thingy from Plow&Hearth and another time I think it was shoes or something... but seriously, every. single. time. And not once has the new owner thought to just call me or bring it by. People just aren't as nice as they used to be, I think.

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