(repost from 2010 essay. The thigh story still stands the test of time.)
Apparently, their phones, email and customer service call centers don’t work.
Let me say this first. I like LOFT clothes. I like the fact that I can try something on and it fits. And I often look swell. And people that shop there aren’t saying words like “swell” quite yet, but neither are they sexting their boyfriends.
I completely understand that many consider LOFT the discounted, cheapo version of Ann Taylor. But let’s be real here: it’s not cheap. It’s not Nordstrom’s, but it’s no Target or Walmart either.
It costs a butt load more than H&M which has equally chic clothes, but with a hip factor through the roof. Unfortunately, H&M pants haven’t been made for hips that birthed 4 kids. (Ew, I said birthed. That’s just wrong.)
Coupons in hand, this mid-life mama goes shopping
Every so often I grab my coupons and venture into LOFT. The ladies are nice, they smell good, and haven’t given me that 8th-grade-mean-girl-up-and-down-you-don’t-belong-here look since I started showering before shopping. And the clothes do look good not only on mannequins but on mid-life mamas as well.
So a few weeks back, I bought a great pair of little Lucille Ball cropped pants for a sale price of $39.99. I cut off the tags last Friday and finally wore them to a meeting.
NOTE: these pants fit. They did not fit tight, no VPL, no camel toe, no wedgie. They are adorable, and I did not resemble in the least a frumpy, dog-walking, tennis playing, coffee drinking return-to-work mom. I love them. I don’t say that often. I don’t say that ever.
Halfway through the meeting that I noticed thigh ooze squeezing out of not one, but two holes on the inner seam. If the tears connected to the crime – party over. My thighs would spill over the chair like oil in the gulf. Not pretty and the damage long-lasting and immeasurable, both personally and professionally.
This was embarrassing.
I work from pjs at home and meet with real people once, maybe twice a month. MAYBE. My one time out of the house and my thighs are busting loose – not from my Target wow-I-got-these-for-12-bucks-pants, but my grown-up, I can play with the big girls now $39.99 LOFT slacks. You read that correctly; I called them slacks.
What’d I do? I took the crap pants back the next day, I did. And a nice smelling LOFT lady at the counter asked for the three-week-old receipt, which I of course didn’t have, but I did have the tags fished from the garbage and the little metal security tag sewn inside to irritate your chub rub.
LOFT didn’t have my size to exchange. There were none on-line. The manager was out of the store (but I swear she was cowering in the dressing room, waiting for me to leave). I asked if I could get them repaired and have LOFT pick up the tab? Nice smelling lady didn’t know, but LOFT manager would return my call when she returned (from cowering in the dressing room).
I left my home, cell, email contact information. I was a cool, calm, content customer returning a defective garment. I apologized for not holding onto a receipt for three weeks, for tags I pulled from the garbage, for being difficult and requesting, you know, the pants to hold up more than an hour after I put them on. They’d get back to me. She promised. But so far, nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch.
I took the pants to the tailor to fix the seam, and I’ll hold onto that receipt should LOFT care to do the right thing, but am not holding my breath. I’d like to boycott this crappy customer service experience, but I sometimes need to look like a grown-up. I hate to shop and LOFT is easy, but the quality apparently sucks, as does the customer service. Sure wish my ass wasn’t too big for H&M.
Anybody out there got a LOFT story? A customer service success? A nightmare? Do share.
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