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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Zellers ~ Product reliability and customer service FAIL

Since I have posted close to two hundred product reviews in the last year and a half. I am pretty confident in saying I know what I look for when posting a product review. And, since I have a voice here I thought I would share my recent experiences with Zellers.

Zellers is a long-established department store here in Canada. It is part of a chain owned by the parent company The Hudson's Bay Company. I frequent the Zellers in Stratford Ontario. In recent years Zellers has had to pull up their boot straps with WalMart coming to Canada...or so I thought!

On November 5, 2010 I took my children to Zellers to buy their winter gear. After spending $290 dollars I walked out of my local Zellers with four pairs of boots, one snow suit, one winter jacket, one pair of snow pants, and several hats and mitts. We were all set for our impending winter weather.

However November didn't produce any snow. December did though! So the kids were excited to wear their new winter-wear. It is now January 9 and the kids have had 40 days wearing their clothing from Zellers. About a week ago I noticed that Matt's boots were coming apart at the soles.

We have since had to purchase a second pair of boots for him since his feet were wet and cold. (Not at Zellers.) I figured I would inquire with Zellers Customer Service Email as to whether they had a replacement guarantee on children's items. They responded asking for all the details of my purchase. Which I was happy to do, since I still have my receipt. They asked for the UPC# of the boot, day bought, transaction #, and method of payment. All, I could provide.

The next day I received a form letter saying they had passed along my concern to their buyers. While, I think that is a worth-while thing to do, it doesn't satisfy me. The boots have only been worn for 40 days (assuming he went outdoors every day during those 40 days). My expectation is that a product would and should last for at least the season it was intended.

My response was that I appreciated their form letter, but my question remained are they going to replace their defective merchandise?

Stratford doesn't have a WalMart YET, but, it is coming. And, I say it can't come soon enough!

Zellers is willing to sell sub-standard merchandise and then just shrug their shoulders. I can't wait to take my almost $300 dollars and spend it at WalMart next year when it comes time to buy winter gear. And, throughout the year. You can just imagine what I spend in a year with three children. I have tried to be loyal to Zellers, since they are Canadian, but, if they aren't willing to stand by their merchandise I will happily take my dollars elsewhere.

As always, these are my opinions and experiences, yours may differ.


Zeemaid said...

I agree with you 100%. We've tried to remain loyal to Zellers because they are Canadian and lets face it they are less crowded than Wal-Mart. However, it's pretty hard when they have a crappy website and poor customer service which is pretty much our experience every time we go there.

Janet said...

I hate poor customer service! Stacey gave me a lovely pair of slippers as part of my Christmas present. I wore them the next day and they broke. Woolies changed them without a problem! The new pair broke too - so when I took them back a second time they gave me a gift voucher!

Misfit Momma aka Missy said...

I don't think it's just Zellers. This happens to my kids shoes/boots from WalMart too! A couple of years ago we bought the boys some fancy spiderman boots, they did last the season but they looked like they were years old. No saving them to use again, they went in the trash! We have had good luck with the Sorel brand holding together but just about everything else falls apart.

Their shoes are the worst. I don't know if they are just overly rough (dragging their toes on the ground?) but we have had shoes come apart like this after a month or so too. Granted I never thought of or tried to return them. My daughters shoes seem to stay i n one piece, which is why I figure the boys are being rough with them.

Heavensent1 said...

Whenever I go to Zellers here in town and talk to an actual person...they always give me the results I am looking for...not sure if writing them an email is effective~!!

As for Wal-Mart...they are a money-hungry corp. who doesn't have your concerns in focus either...both companies by their products from China...so truthfully, the blame should fall on the buyers of BOTH companies to purchase higher standard items...but then, if you REALLY wanted good quality boots, you will pay much, MUCH more than $40 for a pair of boots...I guess the adage, you get what you pay for may apply here!!

I used to work in footwear...and anything that comes from China doesn't hold up to our Western standards...things made in sweat shops usually don't...LOL

Truthfully, the only company I have really had horrid customer service, where I was left CRYING, was CSN Stores...now that is truly some RUDE customer service, IMHO~!!!

Debbie said...

Zellers is condemning themselves to their own death sentence with their "policies" and "I'm sorry Ma'am" routines. Bottom line, customer service stinks.
If find their prices are becoming inflated, they examine you and your coupons with a fine tooth comb. If find many cashiers use this "I don't know if I can allow this coupon" routine often!! Think about how times you have insisted a coupon be used and that line is used. They don't take printables.
I find I am no longer a supporter of this company that wears the Maple Leaf.

blueviolet said...

That's just ridiculous. They should issue a refund and deal with the company on their own. You have a receipt and it's 40 days! Outrageous!

Terra H. said...

For most places, 40 days is too long of a period to return an item, even with a receipt. However, I understand you being upset because they were worn only a few times and you have all the needed documentation. Wal-Mart is no better. I won't shop there unless necessary.
Recently Shopko impressed me. I bought shoes for both my sons there. They were the exact same brand and design, just a different color. One boy's shoes worked perfectly. The others stunk to high heaven. I thought it was his feet at first, but found out it was the shoe material. I tried everything under the sun to make them smell fresh or not even smell at all. It got so bad that we put each shoe in Ziploc bags and left them outside to see if the stench would go away. Finally, after 30 days, we went into Shopko with the shoes still in the Ziploc bags and we were prepared for a battle. I had my receipt, but all I had to do was explain the situation and the worker kindly and efficiently told me I could exchange them for a new pair. Wish all places could be like that.

D.M. McGowan said...

No one in retail seems to know what service is. The best I've experienced recently is Sears and they're upsetting a great many people. They are all buying their producst from China, it's cheap crap and the supplier in China doesn't care.
Of course, some of this is our fault. Costs have increased astronomically in the past few years and we ... at least our attitudes ... have not kept up. Ten years ago $300 bought a great deal; today it doesn't buy very much. At Work Wearhouse or a sport store what you spent $300 for would cost about $450 but it would probably last a lot longer.

hippo chick said...

I'm beginning to believe there is no such thing as customer service anymore. However, I have NEVER had any kind of problem with JC Penney. They are wonderful about returns and damaged merchandise.

You have given me impetus to write a post about Subaru. I am more than upset with them.

Thanks for the post.

~hippo hugs~

Xmas Dolly said...

Well, I don't know this store, but it doesn't matter. I agree with you those boots should've lasted throughout the season at the very least. Have you tried going higher up in the company? Like writing a letter to the CEO? If that doesn't work I would definitely turn them into the Better Business Bureau, and if they have an ad at Amazon.com I would also write a review there. When you do talk to the CEO I would definitely tell them if you don't get some sort of satisfaction from them that this is what you're going to do. When you start name dropping like the BBB for some reason their ears perk up! Good Luck!