David Jones department store needs to lift its game

Retailers are complaining that online shopping has affected their profits over Christmas. They say that it’s not fair that they should have to pay a GST (Goods and Services Tax) which raises their costs while overseas internet sellers don’t have to pay this tax. All this is true. And yet…

What retailers have in their favour, supposedly, is that their goods can be viewed and tried on there and then in the store. This is a definite advantage, since the disadvantage of online shopping is that you are depending on a photo and description of the product. The other disadvantage of internet shopping is that it is a nuisance to return an unsuitable purchase. Wrapping the item, going to the post office and paying for postage is a drag.

So what one is paying for in a store is personal service. It should be easy, therefore, to return a faulty purchase.

But it isn’t. Not at David Jones in the good old Chadstone Shopping complex.

Take my husband’s sleeveless reversible vest made by Huski. He bought it in July of last year. It looked good, was comfortable and he loved it. When I say “he loved it” I mean he didn’t hate it and to be more truthful, he lets me do the choosing cause he couldn’t care less. As long as he can do it up and it has enough pockets for his gadgets, he is one happy man.

In December, the zipper on his Huski vest broke down. So David Jones in downtown Melbourne exchanged it for him. He wore the replacement vest just a couple of times since the weather was warming up and then once again the zipper failed.

This time, he decided that the zippers on this garment were too unreliable to hazard another one and so we took the vest to David Jones in Chadstone. We had the exchange docket with the amount, plus the date etc. in our possession but the original docket had been kept by the salesperson who exchanged the vest the first time.

A little salesguy with the voice of a jockey made things unpleasant for my unflappable husband. Having related the history of the lamentable vest, my husband said that he didn’t mind how the refund was made—-cash or credit, whatever was easier.

I’ll have to check with the manager. Phone call to manager. Manager is not in today (Sunday). We’ll have to check in the computer records for the month of July when you originally bought the first vest. It will take about half an hour.

I told the salesman that this is not good service and that David Jones shouldn’t be selling faulty items.

He explained that David Jones is not responsible for the quality of its merchandise.

“So you just take the money.”

He didn’t like my comment and told me outright that he didn’t want any attitude from me. Very nice…

He told us that all he could do for us is give us a David Jones gift card. As my husband had said, he didn’t mind how the refund was made.

But actually, we did mind because the gift card means that David Jones will get another sale from us when we may not want anything there.

The behaviour of the salesman makes me very nostalgic for the days when David Jones meant service with a smile. It was great going shopping in good old D.J’s then.

It does make you wonder, though, if a virtual shop with a “thank you for your custom” message isn’t preferable to being treated with such cocky dismissal as we had to endure from that waste of air.


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