This evening, I was at Takashimaya boots-hunting for my bestie’s upcoming wedding.
Chanced upon this lovely pair of boots from Hush Puppies, tried it on and fell in love with it instantly. As I paraded in front of the mirror and admiring them, I was soon painfully aware of something sharp digging into my ankles from both sides.
I remove the boots and felt around – and noticed that the knotted thread edges were sticking out of the fabric and pointing inwards. It wasn’t your usual soft thread as well. It was stiff and felt plasticky. My enthusiasm for the boots fizzled somewhat.
So I asked to try another pair, and the salesperson happily obliged. (I guess she could tell I really loved the boots.)
Unfortunately, the second pair was much worse. It felt like I was wearing a prickly hedgehog around my ankles.
The salesperson overheard my gripes and tried to help. She said she’d do something about it, took the boots aside and did something with them while I waited. Later on, she returned with the boots. To my delight, they no longer hurt.
“What did you do with them?” I asked her.
“Ooh, I cut off all the threads! So they won’t be poking you anymore!” was her reply.
All the blood drained from my face.
“WHAT?!” I exclaimed. I picked up a boot and looked closely at it. The knots were all gone. I gingerly tapped on the fabric. Just as I expected, part of the fabric fell apart. Now, I no longer had a prickly knots problem, but a loose thread problem. And not just one loose thread. Plenty of them.
“Um, I think you shouldn’t have done that. Because now the threads are loose!” I pointed out to her.
“No, the design is like that one (sic)!” The salesperson responded, as she began doing the same with the second pair of boots I tried.
“Uhh,” I tried to stop her, but it was too late.
Snip, snip, snip! went her clippers and all the knots fell off.
Now, I had two defective pair of boots on my hands. They were pretty pricey too, at $159. And surely, I wouldn’t want to spend that kind of money on a pair of boots with the fabric falling apart. (At least with the prickly knots, I could have filed them down or applied some kind of coating. :()
I sighed. The salesperson was still looking at me expectantly.
My dad who was shopping with me, caught on the situation and asked. “Do you have another pair?”
The salesperson looked slightly put off.
“No, we only have two pairs of each size. If you’re still not happy with the boots, you can go to another outlet,” she replied, frowning slightly.
I hesitated. Part of me felt rather bad because she had assisted us a lot. But well, her “help” had led to a much worse outcome – two damaged pair of boots. :(
Eventually, I decided to pass on them. I handed the boots back to her, thanking her twice.
She simply took the boots from me, shoved them back into the box and slammed the lid back on. Obviously, she was pissed.
Well, as a consumer, I do have the right to choose what I want to pay for, and to receive defect-free goods, especially when they are priced highly.
But still, I felt guilty and a little sorry for her.
So, I was patronizing a particular store on level 3 at Bugis Street this evening when I chanced upon a series of button-on collars. I knew that I was definitely getting one, though was still quite undecided on the colour. So I told the salesgirl that I’d think about it first and return later.
Her response left me dumbstruck.
“If you walk out of the store and come back later, the price will not be $10 any more, it’ll be $15,” the salesgirl informed me in a snooty tone.
“Wow, really?! Then I’m NOT coming back,” said I, and strode out immediately.
(She spoke in Mandarin, and what I’ve just quoted was a rough translation to English. Apparently – according to her – $15 was the original price of the collar, while she decided to quote me $10 out of niceness … which everyone could see by now, had a huge caveat attached to it.)
I was experiencing a lot of indignation after that. Though I really wanted the collar, I hated her attitude so badly that I simply refused to give her any form of business (or commission, for that matter). She sure as heck didn’t deserve it.
Luck was on my side, though.
I chanced upon another store selling the same collars at $15. After a bit of haggling, I managed to bargain the price down to $10, while the salesgirl even offered 20% on all her apparel if I bought the collar (the last bit was on her own accord).
I ended up buying two collars. (But no apparel.)
Button-on collars in yellow and green.
The salesgirl was also full of #win. She remained friendly throughout the entire transaction, even when I was showing signs of indecisiveness. No trace of snootiness anywhere. I like.
Salespeople out there, your attitude and sincerity matters. If you don’t have it, I’m going to your competitors.