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.

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