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March 31, 2013

The effect of good and bad customer experience at New York & Company

by lrb7an

I want to describe two very different customer service experiences–one good and one bad–that I had at New York & Company.  For those of you who do not know, New York & Company is a moderately-priced women’s apparel store, specializing in business casual clothing.  The store targets women slightly older than we are, but I decided to shop there because my sister gave me gift card, or so I thought.

Over Spring Break, I went to a New York & Company in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  I spent about 40 minutes shopping there, and finally picked out a dress that I wanted to buy.  I presented my New York & Company card to the cashier.  She asked me for my ID, which I presented to her.  Then she promptly asked whether the New York & Company card was my mother’s.  I explained to her that it was actually my twin sister’s.  She said that she could not take it because the name on the Merchandise Credit card (my sister had returned an item purchased online to a brick and mortar store) did not match the name on my ID (even though our names are only two letters different).  Clearly someone in my family was a customer.  I just said “Seriously?” and she said “yes.”  I could not believe how ridiculous she was being.  So I just left angrily without another word, and without buying the dress.  I was frustrated that I had spent almost an hour searching for and finding something I liked but could not buy, without a reasonable explanation as to why.  I vowed to never shop at New York & Company again, or let my sister repeat purchase.

Against my better judgment, I visited the New York & Company in Charlottesville this weekend.  I found the same dress I liked under a 50% off sign.  I went to the cashier and presented the Merchandise Credit.  She just asked for my phone number, which I gave her.  I knew it was linked to my name, not my sister’s, since I had given this information to the cashier in Myrtle.  But the Charlottesville cashier did not ask for ID, and simply rang up the dress.  She just told me to be careful with my sister’s Merchandise Card, since not everyone will take it.  I just laughed and thanked her graciously.  I was happy I was finally able to purchase the dress I liked.  I am willing to shop at the New York & Company in Charlottesville again, but it will be hard to forget my first, negative experience with the brand.

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