traveling pants [logic defied]

I was traveling. I bought pants. Then it got crazy.

First, let me be upfront that I know I’m not the demographic of Superdry.  I stumbled upon them last year in Times Square. I didn’t “get it” at the time. Besides, it was damn cold outside and I needed coffee.

Fast forward about a year (to the week, in fact) and I stumbled across their newest US store at Disney Springs. If you’re not familiar with Superdry, here’s how they’ve been described:

A British international branded clothing company, Superdry products combine vintage Americana styling with Japanese inspired graphics.

Yeah, not me. I thought. I had time to kill and a few extra dollars left from my conference per diem. So why not? I wandered through the aisles for about twenty minutes with increasing realization they don’t sell things in “dad size” and beginning to suspect the Japanese text on the clothes probably doesn’t mean anything. [I digress. I do that a lot.]

I found pants. Basically uber-comfy sweatpants. They were on sale. I thought they might be comfortable for an upcoming 15 hour flight when I’m crammed in the back of economy. The sizing is really weird on there clothes so I tried on an XL. They were, much to my delight, a bit too big. I decided to buy the Large. I grabbed a pair off of the shelf that has an L sticker on the folded leg and paid for them.

Two nights later I was back home and unpacking my suitcase. As I was going to pull the tags off of my new globetrotting pants I noticed something awful. Remember that little sticker with the L that I mentioned was on the leg? It was wrong. I had bought an XL- the size that didn’t fit when I tried them on in the store.

So here’s where the breakdown and head shaking starts. Try to keep up.

  • The next day, I logged on to the website and reviewed the return and exchange policy. I dealt entirely with orders that had been placed online.
  • I called the store at Disney Springs and explained what happened. The sales associate explained that I had to call the central customer service number to make the exchange (remember this part, it’s almost funny later).
  • I had to wait to call customer service because they are in the UK, don’t work weekends and have that whole 7 hour time difference.
  • The agent I spoke to told me I had to submit my request by email and provided a top secret email address for me to use.
  • About 36 hours later I received a reply from the customer service folks in the UK telling me I would need to call the store where I bought the pants and work it out with them because the customer service office didn’t have any merchandise in their office so they couldn’t swap them out for me (see, I told you it would be funny later).
  • Always one to follow directions (drips with sarcasm) I called the Disney Springs store the next day and explained what happened. They were confused and didn’t know what to do or how to help me. They gave me the number of a location in Brooklyn that had a warehouse and would be able to exchange my pants.
  • The number didn’t work.
  • I called Disney Springs back. They gave me the number to another NYC store and sent me on my way.
  • I called the NYC store, asked for the manager on duty and went through my entire adventure thus far. He asked why they didn’t have me call the store in LA because it’s closer to me. WTH?!?
  • He does take pity on me and has me text a picture of the pants to him so he can check their inventory. He does, and says I can mail mine to him and he’ll mail back the correct size.
  • I trek out and pack the pants in one of those spiffy free priority mail boxes at the post office. I also enclose a return shipping label and an $11 stamp for return postage (based on the estimate from the self-serve postal kiosk). It costs an additional $15 to to mail everything to NYC plus $3 for the packing tape.

Keep up with all of that? I’ll spare you all of the details about how the package arrived in NYC 3 days ago but no one bothered to tell the manager it was there until I called with proof of receipt yesterday.

I still don’t have my new comfy pants, but that’s not the main point here.

I am completely baffled that it is, by my best guess, 2017. I made a purchase from a company that not only has an e-commerce division but also a supply chain for  brick and mortar stores in several countries. How do they not have a central and efficient return and exchange process? If it’s too hard for you to figure out then just pay Amazon to do it for you like the rest of the world does.

Rant over. Now mail me my damn pants.

April 13 Update: I talked to the NYC store manger last Saturday, April 8th. Today I received a text from him asking what size I needed because they had done inventory and the pants he had set aside for me had been re-shelved. Um, if you had mailed them Monday when you said you would then we wouldn’t be having this convo.

April 22 Update: Still no pants.

Since I’m entrenched on a project at work dealing with open resources I feel obligated to admit the photo above isn’t mine.  Found it in a google search.

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