February 23, 2016
To try and communicate to you how deeply upset and disturbed I am at the level of gross incompetence I have encountered in trying to make a purchase from JCPenney (JCP) is impossible. The events that I am going to recount cannot even be considered in the category of a “comedy of errors” as they are so common at every level of JCP’s ordering and fulfillment process they can only be considered gross incompetence.
I do not understand how JCP can stay in business treating customers and handling transactions the way I have been treated. I am so disturbed over this experience that not only will I not ever shop at a JCP again, but I will make sure my retirement account is such that no monies are invested through any funds with JCP, that I tell everyone I come in contact with at every opportunity about this experience and that I do the same every chance I get on social media and every consumer related website I find.
I do not make these claims lightheartedly and I am not some young inexperienced blue-collar worker off the street with no experience in business processes. My work experience has been over a decade in operations management and HR management with a Fortune one hundred company and security consulting the past decade and a half, so I know a little bit about what I am talking about. This experience tells me JCP has so many flaws and failures in their business processes that this cannot be a one-time accidental occurrence and must be wide spread.
During the course of this experience in dealing with JCP’s employees at both the customer service and supervisory levels in both the customer care and furniture divisions, I have encountered individuals who apparently did not know how to do their jobs, lied to me and hung up on me for merely asking their name. These are not the ear markings of a successful business or a business whose success relies on customer satisfaction and repeat business.
This all started on Saturday, February 13, when my wife placed an order for a bedroom suit which was on sale through JCP’s website. After ordering the bedroom suit which JCP described as the Providence Collection in antique espresso and which included the queen bed, eight drawer dresser, mirror and two nightstands, we realized we wanted the matching media center as well so my wife placed a second order for that item. Later that day I received notification from my credit card company, American Express, indicating possible fraud on my card and requesting that I verify the JCP transaction. I called American Express and talked with the fraud department and told them this was a legitimate charge and to process the payment. I was told this would be taken care of.
On Wednesday, February 17, my wife noticed she received an email from JCP, which stated the first order had been canceled because of a problem with the credit card. The second order for the media center had processed successfully.
I found out about the cancellation on Friday, February 19, and immediately called customer service at 4:47PM to get the items reordered. I called and spoke with a young lady named Debbie in the Columbus, Ohio office at the 1189 number who said she totally understood what happened and would copy the order exactly as it was so that we would receive all the discounts that we were receiving in the initial order (60% off original price plus an additional 20% with a coupon code). She said she released the order while we were on the phone and that I would get an email if there was a problem. I took her at her word and left for a short weekend trip. By Sunday afternoon I had not received any emails from JCP and found there were no charges pending on my credit card and no additional orders pending in my wife’s JCP online account.
Sunday, February 21, after returning from the trip and realizing Debbie in Columbus had not fixed the issue, I again called the phone number which was listed on the JCP website 800 – 322 – 1189 seven (7) times attempting to speak with someone to fix this problem. The first phone call was at 2:12PM and was totally in Spanish so I called again. This time my call was answered by an employee named Charlotte in Columbus who could not find the new order and put me on hold to verify receipt of the order with the furniture company. After waiting approximately five (5) minutes on hold I wound up speaking with Kayla in the Milwaukee facility. After talking with this person trying to get the order straightened out, I asked to speak with a supervisor. After another 3 minutes on hold I was transferred to a female saying her name was either Lisa or Alisa. When I tried to verify her name the call was mysteriously disconnected. I immediately called back which was at 2:37PM and this time spoke with an employee named Ruth also in the Milwaukee facility. I again asked to speak with a supervisor and was transferred to Erin who was supposedly in Columbus. I tried to explain my situation to Erin who said she would give us the same or lower price from the original order and she entered the order in again. Unfortunately, she did not give me the same discount I originally received (10% instead of 20%). In addition, she only ordered one nightstand instead of two, which made the order look like she had knocked a couple of hundred dollars off for my trouble when in fact she had actually overcharged me. When my wife pointed this out to me, I got back on the phone at 3:04PM and this time spoke with Cameron in Columbus. I asked to speak with Erin again to fix the order. Cameron said he was going to message Erin and asked me to wait a minute for him to message her and get a reply. Cameron returned and asked for the order number Erin placed so he could inform her what she did wrong. Shortly after that, the call was mysteriously disconnected. I immediately called back at 3:12PM and spoke with Ashley in Milwaukee. I asked to speak with a supervisor and she wanted to know why. I explained the order had been so mishandled that I did not want to add another layer to the issue. She then transferred me to a supervisor named Faye and I explained, once again, the series of events. Faye put me on hold while she said she was reaching out to someone in furniture customer care. Ten (10) minutes later Faye returned saying she would call me back. At 3:51PM, Faye called back and said she had a supervisor in furniture named Porsche on the line and they had the order fixed by adding the night stand to the order and that they needed my credit card to pay for the night stand. I asked her if the other pending orders had been cancelled and she said yes, that the original order had been cancelled and she cancelled the order Erin put in after copying her order to make a new order to add the nightstand. I was assured this was taken care of. At 4PM I called back and got Crea in Lenexa and explained I had just spoken to Faye and gave her Faye’s ID number and I needed to speak with her again. Crea said she could not transfer and said she would try and help. I told her I wanted to verify Faye had used the correct delivery address and I gave her the order number Portia had given me and she conformed it was being shipped to the correct address.
On Monday, February 22, at 8:15AM I checked my credit card, American Express, and saw there were pending charges for two sets of bedroom furniture. My wife checked her online JCP account and saw they were two orders for bedroom furniture pending so I called JCP again at 8:18AM. The phone number put me in touch with an employee named Ebony in Milwaukee. I requested to speak with a supervisor. Ebony wanted my name and number and asked if I wanted her to speak with furniture or a supervisor and I told her a supervisor, manager, or division manager, I did not care as the next call was going to be to corporate. She put me on hold and transferred me to Andrea also in Milwaukee. In speaking with the “Escalation Supervisor” I explained again the whole ordeal regarding our attempted purchase history and that the order Erin had put in incorrectly which was supposed to have been cancelled had apparently been shipped and not cancelled. She clearly had no idea how to handle this issue and was asking me what I wanted her to do so I asked to speak with her manager. I was transferred to someone named Precious, also in Milwaukee. When I asked to verify her name and position she initially said she was a manager. However, when I questioned her on it told me she was another floor supervisor. I again asked for a Manager and she told me her manager was busy but she would take my number and give it to her manager. She said her manger would call as soon as she got a chance. Surprisingly, I never received a call.
At that point, I reached out to the corporate office at 972-431-1000 at 8:59AM. The young lady on the phone asked who I had spoken to regarding my problem and I told her and I asked for the Director of Marketing and ended up speaking with an employee named Rosemarie in corporate relations. I explained my situation to her and she said she was transferring me to a corporate division supervisor. I was in fact transferred to an employee named Luisa who told me she was a floor supervisor in furniture. I explained my situation and all the history with my purchase and she tried to fix the order by just ordering an additional night stand. I gave her the same American Express credit card number but the whole process of errors on JCP’s part was so bad that American Express would not authorize any more charges to JCP. I am guessing this was because of repeated activity and duplicates pending, so I had to use another credit card to pay for this night stand. Luisa said she was giving us a $500 credit on our order for all the inconvenience which also never materialized. Later in the day, my wife checked the order status and found out the night stand order had been canceled with no explanation or notice. Upon learning this from my wife, I called JCP again at 5:36PM at the number Luisa had given me, saying it was her direct line, 800 – 442 – 7902, which turns out it was not. After spending another 5+ minutes speaking with an employee named Serafina, I requested to speak to Luisa or a manager. When I asked for confirmation that I was speaking with corporate care she did not answer and put me on hold, returned and requested my order number and said she was transferring me to one of their supervisors. I was transferred to a gentleman named Kaylin who said he was a supervisor in the furniture department. As I explained the situation and everything that had taken place to this point, he told me he could not help me because the nightstands were no longer in stock. They were a clearance/discontinued item and JCP could not get their hands on anymore. When I brought up the issue of JCP selling material they do not have, he made the comment that the website does not always reflect what they have on hand. I found this to be true as, in an act of desperation to save this order, my wife went online, saw the nightstand table was still being advertised for sale and placed an order for one. The order confirmation indicated the nightstand was “in stock” and the credit card showed another pending charge. I found out later that night the order had been canceled. Mind you none of these orders gave explanations as to why they were canceled during this whole process. From my talk with Kaylin, it appears JCP has been advertising and taking orders for furniture they do not have in stock and have no intention of bringing into stock for almost two days under the guise of a sale which opens up several ethical issues to say the least.
And here we are another day later Tuesday, February 23. I have begun the process of calling corporate to complain and cancel my orders. I have already been hung up on (mysteriously disconnected) once and been on hold for over 10 minutes on the second attempt. As I try and get the orders cancelled including the duplicated order they overlooked which has doubled the thousands in charges to my credit card I am being told it will take ten days to get the money returned to my card. Can you believe this? After all this they expect me to loan them money! Unbelievable!
I will be sending this letter to anyone who will read it inside and outside of JCP in hopes that no one else will have to endure this kind of treatment by JCP.
Product or Service Mentioned: Jcpenney Coupon.
Reason of review: Order processing issue.
Jcpenney Cons: Never again, Worst customer experience, Given false information, Selling merchandise they do not have, Incompetent.