Stein Mart has ranked high on shopper’s “favorite” lists for years. Personally, I think it’s a better men’s store than women’s, which is why my husband and I typically shop there for him. (always together; alas, he is color-blind)
Recently, we were on a golf mission trip, starting at Dicks. Despite the BOGO sale on shirts, we left with only a desire to check out the more stylish shirt selection at Stein Mart.
The golf section was alive with prominent, but expired Sale signage, with extra 20% off coupons laid out on nicely stacked tables of new merchandise. Twenty minutes later we’re at the checkout line, only to be told the sale was over, and that the tiny print on the coupon said the 20% didn’t apply to the “fabulous finds” shirt we selected from the table with coupons placed directly next the shirt.
The register clerk said they hadn’t had time to remove all the POS. Nor had they posted any coupon-exempt “fabulous finds” signs on the golf shirts. But, clearly they had taken time to refold and re-stack all the table displays, given how neat the department was.
Is refusal to honor posted deals the first sin of retail? Misleading the customer and not honoring all posted offer is, IMHO, the number one mistake in customer experience. And the “we’re too busy or short-staffed” chatter at the register about outdated POS is not an acceptable excuse.
We bought the merchandise and promptly asked to see the store manager. I introduced myself and asked her to walk through my shopping experience with me, pointing out the mis-cues and lack of pertinent information I might have used to figure out that I’d be paying full price. I positioned myself as the giver of “free expert advice” on how to eliminate a misleading experience for her shoppers. When she too gave me the short-staffed excuse, I pressed for a reason she was in the back room (unpacking new merchandise) instead of removing old the POS herself.
She wanted me to leave the store happy, and insisted on giving us a refund of $16.00 ( 20% off). I let her know that what would make me happy enough to come back was for her to take immediate action to remove the misleading and outdated signage. I’d have gladly donated the $16.00 to cover her time.