On Kate Spade.
I’ve been a loyal Kate Spade fan, nay lover, for years. One of my first indulgence bags was this boxy black nylon number that every girl on campus had. I loved Kate Spade. The bright colors! The beautiful clothing and accessories! I just knew I would be a fan for life.
So when it came time to buy a new continental style wallet to carry my checkbook (yes, I still carry a checkbook. Fight me) I knew Kate Spade was the perfect place to find one. I went to the store in Lenox Mall early in 2012 and dropped $200 on the Cobble Hill Lacy. It was cute, functional and I would have it forever. Done and done.
Unfortunately, in December of 2012, not even a year after purchasing the wallet, something got stuck in the zipper and it wouldn’t close anymore. Womp. I was super bummed but just knew that the lovely folks at KS would make this better. I didn’t want anything for free, hell I didn’t even expect an exchange, I was just hoping they could send it off and maybe replace/repair the zipper on this $200 wallet because let’s be honest. That’s a lot of cheese for something that just holds money.
On a Friday evening, I called the store, told them about my broken zipper and they told me they could absolutely send it off and get it repaired. No sweat at all! HOORAY! Exactly what I wanted to hear.
Saturday afternoon (right around Christmas, mind you) I go to Lenox with my friend, White Paige* (WP for short) to take care of the wallet situation. WP has some other shopping at Ralph Lauren right next to KS, so we split up. Just for a point of reference, the hair is laid to the gods, I’ve got on khakis, a chambray button down and my J. Crew field jacket. Typical everyday Alishan garments. Paige has on wunderunders and a t-shirt. Typical WP garments. Not entirely relevant but details are fun.
Once I walk into the store I have to wait approx. 5 minutes before anyone even acknowledges me but meh, it’s Saturday at the mall. No bigs. Once I tell the cute little thing behind the counter what I need, she gets the manager for me. We will call the manager, White Suzy.
Suzy comes over, I politely tell her the story (called yesterday, broken wallet, just want it repaired, will pay for it, blah blah) and she just looks at me. I stand there awkwardly because uuuuuhm, say words, woman! She then tells me that I’m going to need a receipt. Say what now? It’s a wallet from March, not a flat screen TV. I apologize and tell her I didn’t keep the receipt. She suggests I go home and bring back my credit card statement to prove I purchased it.
Prove. I. Purchased. It.
At this point, I’m annoyed. Suzy is being condescending and I’m not here for it. BUT. I want my wallet fixed so I chill. I explain that I don’t generally keep credit card statements from 9 months prior. Again, I didn’t want anything for free, I just wanted this woman to offer a bit of assistance. The wallet is clearly from Kate Spade as they still currently sell it no more than 10 feet from where I am standing. She repeats again that she will need my receipt or that she won’t be able to help me.
I’m at about a 6 on the annoyance scale so I tell her I will see what I can find out and come back. She walks away. Cool.
Paige meets me outside of KS and I’m not at about an 8 because WHO KEEPS THE RECEIPT FOR A WALLET FROM MARCH!?! It didn’t sit well. We continue on with our shopping and on our way out, I ask Paige to run into Kate Spade and see if she has any better luck.
Paige rolls her eyes because I stay having a conspiracy theory, but obliges. I’m waiting in the mall. She goes in, asks for a manager and out comes Suzy. Paige didn’t even get out her full request before Suzy is offering to exchange the wallet on the spot.
Say what now?
Not 30 minutes prior, you’re telling me I need to go home to get my credit card statement to prove that I actually purchased the wallet, and my blonde Caucasian friend comes in with the SAME wallet and you are offering to exchange it with no receipts.
Now listen, I get that it may have been an accident. It may have been a fluke that White Suzy was stank to me (when I hand to God, was really, REALLY nice) and really lovely to White Paige. I may be blowing this out of proportion but yo.
So I did the natural thing and started crying in the parking lot because racism is exhausting y’all. Being treated like shit makes me cry in public sometimes. It’s draining. I know online I can be bossy and blah blah but I do right by people in customer service positions because I have been there. I am polite and try really damn hard to not be a cunt in public.
After a few weeks and talks with friends, I decided it was time to email the lovely folks at Kate Spade and let them know about what happened. I didn’t expect anything in return, but I wanted them to know how one of their longtime customers was being treated. More of a heads up if anything.
So I penned a letter explaining exactly what happened. I told them I was saddened by the treatment I received. I spoke to the inconsistencies of their employees and the way being blatantly discriminated against in 2012, really, really sucks. I left all of my contact information and told them I would be glad to speak to someone about this in further detail as I want to make sure no one else leaves their store feeling the same way. They would HAVE to respond, right!? I mean that guy got an email back from the CEO of J. Crew in 4 minutes. I would certainly hear something back.
Wrong. Straight Crickets.
This was back in January. Kate Spade is apparently too busy doing whateverthefuck Kate Spade does, to deal with a customer issue. Now I’m not trying to start a PR nightmare (lol not true) for Kate Spade, but this behavior is not acceptable. I was here for their overpriced accessories that are likely to fall apart, and all of the rest of their preppy goodness. I was even willing to overlook this one mishap if they had just responded. By ignoring my experience, Kate Spade is invalidating my feelings and concerns and for that I say FUCK YOU KATE SPADE.
I will now be giving even more of my money to J. Crew since they carry the same wallet, for less money, and it comes with better customer service.
Do better Kate Spade. Do fucking better.
eta: * White Paige, is not my friends real name. Just in case y’all were confused.