The time I told you about the worst customer experience EVER…

Let’s start this story with the fact that I, Dawn, live in Orlando, Florida. My parents live in Indiana. I, Dawn, work for a little bitty company called Walt Disney World and do not get holidays off. This Christmas my parents bought me some really nice pots and pans for a gift, because that’s something I really needed. Because of the distance, and not being able to be with my family for the holidays, my mom ordered them from and had them delivered straight to me. SMART MOM!

So Christmas morning I open the pots and pans via FaceTime (yay, modern technology!) and I start excitedly putting lids on pots and whatnot. Sadly, one of the pots had a little defect in the rim and the lid wouldn’t fit on it correctly. NO BIG DEAL! Right?! Just take it back. Even exchange that sucker. All will be AWESOME.


So, let’s discuss how the nearest Kohl’s to me is about 40 minutes away. I finally had an evening off a week later and I went straight from work to Kohl’s with the big heavy box of pots and pans. I carried them in and put them on the counter.

Me: “Hi! I got these for Christmas and there’s a defect in one of the pans and  I just want to exchange them for the same pans!”
Kohl’s Lady #1: “No problem! For merchandise we give you a merchandise gift card for the amount and you can go home and reorder the set to have it delievered to you!”
Me: “That sounds great and easy!”

So she does the return and gives me the gift card and on my way I go.

The next day I go to actually sit down and order the pots and pans set thinking life would be easy peasy pudding pie. But I sadly discover that the set is not $79.63. Oh, no, no it is not. It’s $190. UM. WHAT IS GOING ON. I immediately text my mom and inquire and it turns out she’s the savvy shopper she is and used discount coupons and Kohl’s cash and pixie dust and bibbidy bobbidy boo and whatever it is you use at Kohl’s to discount things to normal human prices. She sort of flips out, as my mother would, and I reassure her.

“No big deal. I’ll just go back in and tell them the issue and have them fix it! Honest mistake and I didn’t know all the info I needed going in. It’ll be fine!”

Little did I know how NOT fine it was going to be….

So now I go back. Yes. The 40 minute one way trip back to Kohl’s. I take my little booty up the counter, where I stand. Because one person is working it and one person is already being helped. And then another person walks up to wait. And then the one person working helps the person who arrived after me first. But I stay patient. I’m not in a rush. My issue is EEEEEEASY. Finally I get helped and the worker lady doesn’t understand me. She’s not normally the customer service/returns lady. She’s “just helping out”. So Kohl’s lady #2 calls for help. So I explain my story to Kohl’s lady #3. Let’s call her Patrice. (Her name was Patrice.) Patrice stays straight faced and unemotional the whole time. So talks down to me. Acts like I’m an idiot. Like I don’t know what I’m talking about. Tells me I’m “out of luck” and that The $79.68 is what I have. So I have no Christmas gift, and only $79.68 to replace a $190 product?! UH NO. But, oh yes, she says. That’s how it is because and Kohl’s stores are different. They’re not the same. So all discounts that were applied don’t matter. She’s been working retail for 21 years and she knows better than me: words she actually vocalized to my face. DO TELL, PATRICE?!?! DO YOU!?!? (Please read that in Robin’s voice from HIMYM. Because I think I now understand her issue with Patrice now. If Patrice was a negative nancy meanie know-it-all bitch type.) She refused to call a manager. So, between frustrated tears, I demand she go to the back and find the defected set of pots and pans I had returned two days prior, because having defected merchandise was better than dealing with this situation.

<inhale> <exhale> <BREATHE.>< do some yoga>

I carry the pots and pans back out to my car and I proceed to sit in my car, in the Kohl’s parking lot, and call customer service. I get Kohl’s lady #4 with who is marginally sweet and I instantly burst into frustrated sobbing as I’m trying to tell her what’s going on. She tells me to stay on the phone with her, take the pots and pans back in, get the merchandise gift card back, and that she will do the exchange over the phone and honor the price they gave on the gift card. So I do that. And then I’m on the phone with this lady for FIFTY-TWO MINUTES. 52. I know, because my phone told me. She could not get the order to go through. The Kohl’s lady #5 next to her couldn’t figure it out. I hear everyone talking and trying to figure it out, but no one is successful and I’m on the phone for 52 freaking minutes. Finally, she determines that it’s because there is no more inventory of the set I need, but that some is on order and will be in stock soon, so she’s going to give me a reference number for my case so I can just call back and order when they’re back in stock. A thing, by the way, of which I have to be responsible for, because they have no alert system or anything. I just need to keep stalking until they show back up. WHAT?! Is this real life?! But okay. WHATEVER.

I finally am home, and trying to eat my Chipotle and calm down. I decide:

“You know, those pots and pans were on their site last night and this seems weird…”

Sure enough. There they were! Available! Ready to ship! SO I CALL BACK. I can’t even believe my (in)sanity. I call those mofo’s back. This lady (#6 if we’re only counting the people I dealt with Thursday) takes my reference number and I explain that they are right there on the site and please just order them before I go insane. I should have known something was fishy when I had to read her the merchandise gift card number like 5 times, but I let it slide. Because she says:

“Your order is placed! Here’s your order number!”

I almost cry for the 3rd time because I’m so excited that the whole scenario is finally done.


I finish my Chipotle. Oh that delicious Chipotle. Your tacos are where life is. Carnitas. OMG. I want some right now…. BUT! Distraction. I’m so sorry….

So, I finish my Chipotle. I check my email. And there’s the email confirmation of my order. YAY! Scrollscrollscroll. WAIT WHAT?! Am I reading that correctly?! DID YOU SERIOUSLY CHARGE MY CREDIT CARD ON FILE AND NOT THE GIFT CARD I READ YOU FIVE TIMES?!?!?!?!

So. I. Call. Back. <sigh>

I actually DO cry for the third time when I get Kohl’s guy #7 on the phone. And after explaining everything, he says, no joke:

“There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s already a submitted order so I can’t cancel it or refund you. You can use your gift card on something else.”

At this point I’m in complete “HELL NO!” mode and I demand a supervisor. He tries to not send me to one, by repeating that I’m out of luck and no one will be able to help me. Yep. That helps, sir. NO IT DOES NOT. So here comes the doozy….are you ready for this?! Kohl’s guy #8, the supposed supervisor, gets on the phone with me. Acts as if I’m bothering him and an idiot and tells me he can do nothing after an order is submitted. I tell him I REFUSE to believe that. Refuse. It hasn’t shipped. I just submitted the order like an hour ago. There’s just no way that order can’t be cancelled and my money refunded. I don’t believe him. He says, and I quote:

“I can buy you another set using your gift card and then you can call your bank and report the charge we made as fraudulent. It’s the best I can offer.”

I didn’t even know how to react to this. I mean, seriously. How do you react to this?! I question him, because seriously. You WANT me to report your business as fraudulent?! REALLY?! But, I agree.

“Yes. I will ABSOLUTELY report you as fraud. I will also be telling the world about my 6 hour adventure with Kohl’s and how horrible this whole day was. How disrespectfully I was treated and poorly this situation was handled. And I will never ever in a million years be stepping foot inside a Kohl’s for any reason. Ever. And I will make it my mission to make sure no one I know ever does either.”

So, now I have two sets of pots and pans coming to me. And my bank is taking care of the charge. And I’m blasting Kohl’s EVERYWHERE and to EVERYONE. I cannot even handle that 6 hours and 8 customer service reps later, my issue was still an issue. And NOT ONCE did anyone apologize to me or act like I wasn’t an inconvenience to them. I’ve had some bad experiences in my life that now look like roses in comparison. I’ve dealt with people, as a customer service worker, who I’ve watched pick things up from shelves and try to return them for money (Yes. Seriously.) who were easier to handle than every single person I dealt with on this Kohl’s experience.

This is my story, people. The worst customer experience ever. It makes me wish I was still at Panera, teaching the new hire class, talking about customer interaction good/bad, because this story would have been the PERFECT example. 🙂

But, seriously, do not ever go to Kohl’s. At least not if you want someone to be helpful or expect good service.

2 thoughts on “The time I told you about the worst customer experience EVER…

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