Monday, July 25, 2011

Macy's: A Horrible Registry Experience

A little over a year ago I got engaged. I kept telling my now husband that I was most excited to get engaged so I could use the gun to register. Last August, my dream of shooting the registry gun came true. We decided to register at Macy's and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Our first stop was to Macy's at Lenox Square in Atlanta, GA. We arrived early on a Sunday with great excitement and a bit of fear, as we had no clue what to register for. However, our happy mood quickly changed.

We walked up to the registry desk and waited for about five minutes for one of the two women standing behind it to stop with their gossip conversation and ask us how they could help us. After arguing with each other about who would help us out, one very annoyed woman rolled her eyes and told us to follow her into the back area so she could get our information entered into their system. With little enthusiasm for her job, she asked us for our information and then proceeded to hand us a list of items we should register for. Without further guidance, she handed us the gun and walked away.

I can only imagine the deer-in-headlights look we were giving as we stood in front of the china section in complete overwhelmed. However, no one offered us any help, so we decided to head over to the kitchen section. Luckily for us, a nice man was there who worked for Calphalon, which was the brand of pots and pans that we wanted to register for. He was very informative and helpful, which was a breath of fresh air for us. But of course, he was not a Macy's employee so he couldn't help us with anything but his products.

We scanned the gun on a number of items, but we honestly had no idea what to look for, and what was a good product versus something that we wouldn't need. Knowing that we were going to upgrade our bed set, we headed over to the bedding section to see if there was a comforter that we could agree on. We found a bed set that we both really liked, however there was no bar code to scan. After standing over the bed quizzically for about five minutes without anyone offering us help, my fiance (now husband) decided to walk back over to the registry area to see if he could find us some help. While he was gone, a male employee was storming past me and the bed. I asked him if he could help me and what I got in return made me want to drop everything I was doing and leave the store immediately - the man actually put his hand in my face and told me that he didn't work in the bedding department and then continued to walk past me. It took me a few seconds to pick my jaw up off the ground, and when my fiance returned without anyone to help us, I thought about crying out of frustration.

We decided to walk back to the registry area to see if we could find every day place settings and also get some help with china. Finally, a nice woman helped us with the dinner plates and found the woman who originally set us up with our registry to show us a china place setting. However, this was too little, too late. We left Macy's feeling defeated and extremely frustrated.

We decided to  head over to Bed, Bath & Beyond after work the next day to register and just get the whole process over with. However, we had the complete opposite experience here than the prior day. We were immediately greeted by the woman who worked in the registry department. She printed out our list from our Macy's registry and then gave us a crash course on china. With the gun in my hand, checklist of items to register for in my fiance's hand, and the Macy's registry list in the employee's hand we were off to concur the store. She walked us throughout the entire store and offered her advice on certain product choices as well as items that we never would have thought to register for. She was so wonderful that she even stayed an hour after the store closed so that we wouldn't have to come back to finish registering. After our great experience at BB&B, we returned home and immediately started taking items off of our registry at Macy's.

My fiance was so impressed with our non-Macy's experience that he decided to contact the Macy's store to complain to the registry manager. However, after a few days of playing telephone tag, he found out that the manager had gone on vacation. He was promised that she would be in touch with us after she returned from her time-off. Surprisingly, we did not hear back from her.

Fast forward a few months to March. I had a bridal shower down in South Florida, and one of my friends decided to mail me a gift from Macy's so that I wouldn't have to worry about bringing it on the plane with me (which was much appreciated on my end). While at the shower, she put a picture of a sandwich press in her card. However, when I opened the box that was sent from Macy's, there was no sandwich press. Rather, there was an item that was not only not on our registry, but it wasn't even the same price as the sandwich press (it was $100 while the press was roughly $35). Because this was an error in our favor, my friend told us to exchange the item and get what we wanted and then keep the remaining money for ourselves.

We headed over to the Lenox Macy's to exchange the item. However, we did not have a receipt with us since the one included in the box was for a sandwich press. When the store clerk rang up our item, she said that it was not sold in their store and therefore could only give us $0.01. Um, one freaking cent? Was she out of her mind!?! The item was $99.99 online and this absolutely blew our minds! I told her that I would keep the item, and we immediately marched over the bridal area to ask for the manager who never returned my fiance's calls. Of course she wasn't there that day. My fiance explained to the employee that he wanted to speak with her and only her and gave her a brief overview of all that we had been through. The nice woman went ahead and emailed the manager and CCed my fiance and told her to contact him immediately, which she actually did. While she was apologetic, she said that she needed to speak with her regional manager to figure out what she could do for us. At this point, the damage was already done and he explained that we would never shop off a Macy's registry again. She insisted on calling her manager and said she would get back to my fiance. Of course, we never heard from her. (Side note: we took the item over to BB&B and returned it for a $100 store credit, no questions asked.)

A few more months went by and our wedding came and went, but we had not forgotten about the manager's lack of response. So my fiance decided to send her an email saying how disappointed he was in her, their store and Macy's as a whole. He said that while we didn't need anything from her, as a customer service manager he felt that something should have been done as a make-good. We did not receive a response from this email either.

After posting a few Twitter updates and Facebook status about how much we hate Macy's registry, it came up from a number of our friends that our experience was the norm. Other past-brides had the $0.01 return incident and also rude employees that refused to help with the registry process. This makes me sad as I believe that getting married should be a fun and pleasurable experience, which includes the registry process. I also love shopping for retail items at Macy's, which I will continue to do. Too bad Macy's doesn't take as much pride in their registry department as their competitors do.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Family Feud Fail

I absolutely love watching Family Feud, and was overly excited when I heard the news that the show was being taped in Atlanta for a few months, and jumped at the opportunity to attend a taping as an audience member. A group of friends and I registered to attend the Sunday, July 10th 2:45pm taping and were all excited to have a great day with lots of laughs and "good answers." However, we were wrong. 

After speaking with one of my friends who attended the taping the previous day, I was informed that her group was able to arrive at the venue a few minutes prior to the call time and get in no problem. So instead of our original plan to arrive an hour early, we decided on 45 minutes early. We also read on the ticket that there was a strict dress code and set of rules. Such rules were that you had to be 16 years of age or older, couldn't bring in bags, you had to dress nice (no jeans, shorts, flip flops) and there were certain shirts you couldn't wear (such as shirts that were plain white, striped, had obnoxious patterns or shirts with words or giant logos). I was also warned by my friend that you couldn't bring in your cell phones or cameras. 

We arrived 45 minutes before the call time, only to see a line filled with Atlanta's finest ghetto fab clientele. There was one woman in shorts with a bright yellow shirt and what looked like a holey sock on her head as a hat. Another woman was dressed in an obnoxious rainbow assortment of what she called an outfit. There were also a number of children around the age of 12. Clearly, these rules were not being enforced. The line was moving at a steady pace and everyone seemed to be let in until we were up to walk through the door. This was when the idiot intern girl taking tickets stopped at us and said they were out of seats. However, she was going to double check to see if her count was correct. At this moment, a group of 12 people showed up, cut us in line and walked in, no problem. Moments later, another two people arrived late only to walk through the door without any issues to meet their two other friends who were already inside. My friends and all were already about to call bullshit on this idiot intern chick when a group of 11 college kids walked up and were told they would get in since they had reservations. Oh, and two of them were wearing solid white shirts. 

The people in line behind us were all being pushed to the side and told to come back for the 5:45pm taping. However, we were "Shhhed" and told to stay where we were and we would be taken care of. So the five of us and five other people behind us stayed put while everyone else was turned away. After another 30 minutes outside, we were about to give up and go home when the staff member who shhhed us told us that we were part of the "overflow group" and would be sat in the balcony for the first show with an obstructed view, but we would be moved down to prime seats for the second show where we would take the place of the losing family team's guests. This sounded fair and promising so we went ahead in and waited on the side of everyone else in the holding area and took a seat on the floor with the fratastic kids, their dates and the other five people in line behind us. 

We had now been there for two hours with no sign of when we would be escorted into the makeshift studio. Thirty more minutes later, the idiot intern chick came out and started to seat people in what she thought was the order people arrived. Only the fratastic group was brought in first and given the first row. Then she started grabbing the people from the wrong side of the row. Eventually, someone spoke up when she told half of the second row of people that they wouldn't be getting to sit down in the normal audience area. Then the girl looked over at the ten of us sitting on the floor and asked what we were doing. This is when all hell started to break loose. 

One of my friends walked over to the idiot intern and  I quickly followed. We were both pretty heated that this moron didn't even know what her boss had told us and why we were off to the side. So, my friend proceeded to fill her in in front of the rest of the non-chosen group of angry people. The intern chick kept her fake, bitchy smile planted on her face and decided to just smile and nod at us. However, she wasn't the issue at hand. The group of other people behind us started screaming that they were there before us and they better get the treatment that we were told we would receive. The intern then promised them that they would have the opportunity to get on stage before us, which now pissed us off even more. We then asked the idiot chick to get us the guy who had given us the information outside. 

The main guy came back and basically changed his words and told us that there was a chance we would be able to be brought down to the main audience area on the stage, but only if the losing family had brought a lot of people with them. We asked him about the seats and he confirmed that we would be able to see everything except for one of the families, and that Steve Harvey would still interact with all of the people in the balcony. So we decided to stay. 

After being escorted upstairs, we quickly learned that nothing that we were told was true. Not only could we not see the one family, but we also couldn't see the answer board. Once the show started the pre-filming tests, we realized that we could hardly hear from our section, too. One of my friends described our section as, "It's like we snuck into the taping." This had officially turned into a waste of time. 

Halfway through the first show taping, two of our friends walked out. The rest of us stayed through the first show to see if we would be able to get downstairs, which of course we weren't. At this point, we decided to leave and find someone to complain to. Moments after we walked downstairs, the rest of our section followed us out. We found the guy who made us all of the false promises and expressed our frustrations with the day's events. In return he gave us a phone number and told us to call to reschedule another showing where we could get priority tickets (meaning we could be like the fratastic kids and show up at a set time and be able to sit in the front row). While we weren't happy leaving the set, we felt a little better that we at least received a make-good. All in all, it was a total failed day. 

Morale of the story - be prepared from here on out to have the day run by a bunch of morons since the head guy is officially done in Atlanta and is headed back to LA to continue his life of being a lying douchebag. Also, if you aren't one of the first thirty people in line or have a group reservation, don't be surprised if you get sat in the reject section, like us. We'll see if the number we were given is actually real or if the guy was just making more false promises to us to keep us quiet.