what makes me de-loyal

This past Saturday, while running mindless errands I found myself devastated by a company to whom I have been a loyal customer for the past three decades. Well, actually I was devastated by a sister company of the one to whom I’ve been loyal.

I went to Banana Republic, the swanky sexy younger sibling of the GAP, to return two blouses I’d bought during the holidays. Standing at the register, confident that the return was merely a formality, (and with two pairs of pants in my arms to try on) I was informed by the woman behind the counter that I had purchased the blouses more than 30 days before and thus they were unreturnable. Period. No store credit (and I had paid for them with my beloved Banana Republic card) no nothin’. I was stuck with them. For life. After 30 days. (And as I stood there it was day 31.)

Stunned and incredulous I left the store, (after having deposited the pants I was about to try on at some display on my way out). For a solid hour I went about my other errands shaking my head and muttering, “I can’t believe it.” I worked at the Gap in the early 90s when my kids were tiny, and I remember a day someone came in and returned a pair of jeans he’d bought a YEAR before, but he had his receipt and we gave him his refund. 30 days???? Are you kidding me???? During the holidays???

Almost a week later I am still shaken. My beloved GAP may very well become “dead to me now” as my Italian neighbor refers to those who’ve displeased him. For the life of me I can’t figure out who in their right mind thought this would be a savvy business move. Why would I ever ever buy a gift for anyone there? If the recipient has a normal busy life (ahem) he or she may not be able to get to the store in 30 days. Certainly this aggressive return policy will not encourage any new customers to try their stuff. The penalty’s too great.

I can only hope that within a very short time the powers that be at GAP Inc. will realize the error of their ways and change this woeful policy. Then maybe we can get back together. For the moment though, they’re dead to me.

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