December 2, 2008
I got an email early in the day that said that Old Navy had free shipping and 20% discounts on orders today. Just today.
Excited, because Old Navy has lots of TALL sizes online, I hoped to get a little Christmas shopping done. You can imagine my increasing excitement when I realized that a lot of the stuff I wanted was on sale—and the 20% off would apply to those items, too!
I started shopping after dinner, filling my shopping cart with careful deliberation. Then, without warning, I got my first migraine of the year. My vision went crooked and blurry, and I reluctantly saved my shopping cart and took the ibuprofen that K brought me and went to bed for a spell.
When I awoke, thankfully functional, I continued adding to my Old Navy shopping cart—collecting sizes, preferences, fussing over detail. The deadline for the offers was midnight, so I started checking out at 10 p.m.
When I checked out, it made me save my information and open a customer e-mail account, which I resented. Then, there was only one field to accept a PROMO code. I was disappointed, because I was under the impression that I could use the 20% AND the free shipping. I typed in the 20% code because it was the biggest saver. A message pops up over the “Place Order” button: “You must use an Old Navy credit card to use this promotional code.”
Opening extra windows, I checked the details of the promotion—no mention of an Old Navy credit card. I was frustrated. It appeared that if I clicked the “Place Order” button, my credit card would be charged a considerable amount of cash, plus shipping. I was stuck with hours of thoughtful shopping in my cart, a cyber Monday deadline, and the need to get some work done on other things. I scoured the Old Navy site for help, careful not to delete my beautiful shopping cart. I found a customer service number.
When I first called customer service, jumped through the menus, and got put on hold with music, I put my cell phone on speaker. After 5 sessions of music and announcements about my call being answered in the order it was received, the music stopped. Dead. My call appeared to have been aborted.
I called back. I was steamed now. It was 10:20 and I had better things to do. I had spent so much time on this order and if it didn’t work out, if my call was never answered, it was all a waste. I looked back at the computer screen and considered clicking the “Place Order” button. Maybe I would get a chance to enter more PROMO codes before it was charged to my credit card.
I decided this was not likely and called Customer Service one last time.
This time I hung on even when the line went “dead.” In a minute, a voice came on to ask me to hold, then it went dead again. The whole time I held, I was steaming angry. I had spent so much time on this. I tried to get some work done on my students’ papers while I waited, dreaming about the nasty letters I would write to Old Navy.
About 20 minutes later, I got a real person. A real, kind person. She had a bit of a Southern accent. She offered to just place the order herself, even though the web site said the promotion could only be realized online. She thought I could use both item codes. She told me NOT to click the “Place Order” button. She said Old Navy had been very overwhelmed with customer response and the system was a bit taxed. I started reading her the VERY LONG item codes that were in my shopping cart—seems she couldn’t see my cart. Then, I gave her my customer info all over again.
When I was done, the order was almost a third less than the sale prices of the items in my cart.
The kind customer service person said, “Thanks for your patience!”
I said, “Oh, I have not been very patient up until now, but you have made everything better!”
I wish I had taken her name and written her supervisor. I had felt my blood pressure decrease by a dozen points. Competence and kindness is a balm for many kinds of wounds. Thank you, whoever you are.
By, 11 p.m., I was thinking maybe I wouldn’t boycott Old Navy.