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Biba Jeans

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Yikes ... 2 years and no photo's....

Since that time I've sold quite a few pairs, and recently donated two pairs (one new, one pair worn 2 or 3 times) to my walking companion. (And both pairs fitted like the proverbial.) I have several other pairs, some of which are surely going to the auction site, but two pairs I wear regularly. Unsurprisingly, one black pair and one dark blue pair. Anyway ....


The reason for dragging this thread up .... Was my experience yesterday, with Marks and Spencer.

I'd visited one of their stores a couple of weeks ago, and found some jeans I really liked. Priced at £35, which is expensive compared to some (though not to brands like Levi or Armarni) but expensive compared to what I might usually pay ... They were bought at that price with me thinking I would return to store and use a buy-back trick I've learned to use during one of their frequent 20% discount days. Which is a method I've employed many times in the past.

Glitch #1 .... I could not find this style in any other store I visited. (About 6.) I read the receipt, and the style included the word 'trial', suggesting it was a style introduced to see if they sold. This was somewhat confirmed by a sales assistant in a store, who said M+S were trying to introduce some exclusivity into their range, by doing shorter, more localised styles from time to time. Possibly I had one? That being the case, my 'buy-back' dodge couldn't work.

The style wasn't/isn't available online, suggesting something unusual? While I'm often loathe to ask for help, I contacted M+S Customer Services via email for some info. Email of course allows plenty of detail to be included, so ALL of it was. It also allows a flexible response period, so investigations can be conclusive if they need to be.

Glitch #2 Mindful I was after a "Per Una" jean in "12 Long" (which is a womans size/style) the response was a product code mans jean. Other than is was blue, it had nothing else in common with my requirements. I didn't want 'hipsters', didn't want straight leg, and I didn't want non-stretch material.

Glitch #3 You can't respond, to the response. You have to send another enquiry, which I did, and I gave the product code for a similar style, but I had made it clear, it wasn't the style I was after.

Glitch #4 Having given up on the email, and not bothering to wait an answer for my second attempt, I rang M+S at the store I had bought the jeans from. Simple? Especially given the number was on my receipt.... Nope. Got put through to a National M+S call centre. As before, they didn't have the skill to help, and kept telling what I already knew, in that the product number (that I suspect they didn't believe) couldn't be found. I confirmed that was not fresh information and could I talk to the store?

Glitch #5 During our conversation, I was told she would contact the store, would I mind waiting. "Not at all" was my polite but untruthful answer. When the adviser came back I was told again, she was contacting the store. I asked if she was struggling to get someone to pick up the phone? She used about 30 words to tell me what she was doing. I asked again, "Struggling to get an answer?" She got halfway through the same diatribe, but I stopped her. I told her that "waiting for someone to pick up the phone" was also "struggling to get someone to answer". She was English, so had no excuse for being so naive, but after 3 times of asking she said; "yes".

Glitch #6 Without any introduction, I finally got connected to the store. But to the Mens section, not Womens. (Wrong floor.) A further transfer got me speaking to someone who knew what they were about. That had taken almost 20 minutes to get to her. Historically, M+S customer service has the reputation of being as good as it gets. Not in my experience.


It turns out, the £35 jeans were reduced to £12 a week after I bought them having been put into sale/clearance. "Sale" (or clearance) items drop off the system, which seems a bit foolish. It's not like retailers have a shortage of space for data on their servers. Conclusion? I have two choices: return the jeans and walk away, or return the jeans and hope they are there during my next visit and buy them back for £12. M+S don't allow instant 'buy-back' so once they get returned, they HAVE to go back into the store before they can be sold again. I need a second pair to work my dodge. :rolleyes:

I have until the 17th of January to decide .... So no rush. :huh:


Glitch #7. After going to all this trouble, I got a second response from M+S, concerning my second email. In it I had suggested the original adviser was inept and the style I was was looking for was similar (not same) as WOMANS style "xxxx". The email reply, was a stock availability list for a group of stores nowhere near where I live, for "xxxx" which I had mentioned WASN'T the style I was looking for....  I think M+S must be employing semi-literate 16 year olds for their customer service department. You just couldn't make this up. 

Edited by FastFreddy2

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