I may have to break up with Kohl's

Over the years, Kohl's has been one of my favorite department stores. The biggest reason? It is a stand-alone store and not in a mall. Have I mentioned how much I hate malls? And shopping in general, for that matter?

Back in August, I found a nice hooded navy cardigan for J that I thought would be great for school and that she actually liked (the non-hooded version she was much less impressed with). Unfortunately, the medium (8 to 10) size barely fit her, and there was no large. But Kohl's has this neat little kiosk in its store that allows you to order the size or color of an item that is not in the store, and said item will be shipped to your house for free. And for charge customers, it could not be easier to do. You just pop your Kohl's card in, and your info is already there; you just have to touch your way to the item you want.

I ordered the large (12 to 14) hooded navy cardigan at the kiosk in about two minutes flat, and was almost excited when it arrived at my house only one week later. Unfortunately, I received a small hooded cardigan, not a large, even though the large size was clearly indicated on the packing slip. I immediately called Kohls.com to express my displeasure. Upon investigation, the person I talked to discovered the SKU for the small was the same as the one for the large. Kohl's dude told me to call back in three to seven days, and the situation should be corrected. I waited about five days, which was not enough. After a few more days, I called again, and explained my situation to another Kohl's dude (whom I pictured as Uniqua on Glee). Uniqua said it appears the problem had been fixed; the large had a different SKU as the small, and it was, in fact, the hooded navy cardigan, so we appeared to be set. And I even convinced Uniqua to throw in another 10 percent discount for my troubles. In the meantime, I returned the small cardigan to the local store.

Almost a week later, I got an email confirmation that said my size large 6x hooded navy cardigan was on its way. What?! Come again? I immediately called Kohls.com again and explained the latest size mix up. This time, Kohl's gal said the girls large hooded navy cardigans were no longer in stock at Kohls.com (the 6x is apparently the "little girls" large), and there was nothing she could do. As soon as I hung up the phone, I wrote a rather curt email to customer service. The gist of the response I received? Sorry, for the inconvenience, but we cannot access stores' inventory to see which stores may it. But you can check with other local stores and ask an associate to check the stock.

As you can imagine, that did not go over well with me, so I wrote an even more strongly worded email to Kohls.com. This time, the responder apparently found a way to access store inventory, providing me with the name and phone number for a store that did have the sweater. I immediately called the store, explained my dilemma and said exactly what I wanted: the girls large 12 to 14 navy hooded cardigan. The store person looked and apparently found the item and said she could send it to my local store, and it would arrive in approximately two to four weeks. Even though I could have driven to that store in about 45 minutes, I decided we could wait until October to get it considering it would probably be in the 80s for most of the next few weeks.

Yesterday, a month and a day after speaking with that store associate, my local Kohl's left me a message saying the sweater had arrived. I called to confirm that the original sale prices would be honored, but also to make sure what they had was what I wanted. I held my breath as the woman said it was, in fact, the large sweater, but, alas, it was a non-hooded one. Ack!

J and I went to Kohl's today to get it. She was okay with it, so we decided to keep it, even though it was not the freaking sweater I have been trying to get for over two months now. 

I am more mad at Kohls.com than I am at the store(s), so I probably won't break up with the physical places, but I do think we are going to start to see other people. Unfortunately, it appears that Kohl's is not the soul mate I thought I had.



LaLa said…
That made my head hurt. You were not meant to have a large hooded cardigan for your child. Inquiring minds want to know the contents of your curt and strongly worded emails!
Jessica R. said…
I hate it when a store that I love hurts me that way. It feels like betrayal!
Facie said…
LaLa: It made my head hurt to write it, believe me.

As for the emails, I basically said that I had been a customer since 1999, I felt anything but a mostly valued customer. and their apology was not enough.

I think my second email said something to the effect that there was no way I was going to call a bunch of stores to find a sweater that I was promised twice. In at least one of the emails I said I would let everyone know of my bad experience and would not be shopping Kohl's any time soon.

Ironically enough, a few moms at the school told me that the kids are not allowed to wear hooded sweaters (which J insisted they could as others have/do). So I guess it worked out for the best, although I did make two extra trips to the store.
Facie said…
Jessica: Yes, yes, it does feel like a betrayal. And I do hold a grudge (which is why I have not been back to Jiffy Lube since the spring of 2009 and Monro since early summer of 2011). But what Kohl's did cannot come close to those places, which is why I have spent some money at K's since. Thanks for stopping by!
I have never had an experience as frustrating as yours with Kohl's, but in general I find their stores to be much more customer-friendly than their website. I think they could use an overhaul of their site to help keep them a first choice of many of the families I know.
Cassie said…
Dang. And I thought it bad when they sent me pants with a hole in the crotch not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES.
Facie said…
Kristen: I agree; my shopping experiences in the stores have been pretty good. And I love the return policy: no questions asked, just bring it back whenever.

Cassie: Three times! Are you kidding me?! I guess I better pipe down.

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