Hudson’s Bay Company. Get your act together.

Have you ever had one of those encounters with a sales clerk where you had a plan on how it would go and it just doesn’t go the way you expected?

That was me yesterday.

I was returning an outfit to the Hudson’s Bay. I had bought it last week prior to coaching at Choices only to get it home to discover the clerk had left the security tags on all three items. The downtown Bay closes at 6. I debated and decided to drive to Chinook Centre to get the tags removed at the Bay there.

It was late and I was unhappy about the extra trip but wanted to wear the outfit the next day.

No such luck. I had bought it at the Olsen’s downtown, the sales clerk at the ladies clothing section told me. It’s not part of the Bay. Just a store within the Bay.

“But the sales receipt says, The Bay.” I said to the clerk.

“They use our system,” she replied and then promptly informed me that I should ‘rip the clerk’s face off’ when I took the items back.

I didn’t want to rip anyone’s face off, I told her. I just wanted to be able to wear the outfit the next day. Which in the end, I couldn’t.

So I decided to return it. I didn’t need to wear a reminder of how irritated I was.

Yesterday, on my way to meet my daughter and step-daughter for dinner, I went to the Bay downtown, walked up to the Olsen’s counter and told the clerk, who happened to be the woman who’d sold me the outfit last week, my story.

“Oh dear,” she replied. “I don’t know how that happened.”

Neither did I. I then told her how when I left the store the buzzer beeped. I walked back to the sales counter close to the exit where the clerk checked my bag on the scanner and nothing beeped. She told me I was okay to go and not to worry if the buzzer went again. Which it did.

“Well,” the clerk at the Olsen’s counter said after hearing that part. “She should never have let you go out again. That is inexcusable.”

Hmmm…. Like leaving the security tags on 3 items is inexcusable?

I decided not to engage in an ‘I’m the victim’ here exchange and told her I wanted to return all 3 items.

“If that’s how you want to get revenge that’s fine,” she replied.


“I’m not looking for revenge,” I said. “I’m looking for satisfaction. I would like to know how you are going to compensate me for the extra time and bother your mistake has cost me.”

“Oh. I can’t do anything about that,” she said.

“Then who can?” I asked.

“My manager.”

“Can I speak to her?”

“Yes, but she’s away for two weeks.”

I left my name and number and asked for the manager to call me upon her return.

And that’s where ‘expectations’ do not result in satisfaction.

I expected the clerk to be able to do something about providing me satisfaction for this situation. She did what she could. Refund my money. Beyond the refund though I wanted her to be contrite, apologetic and to not see me through her eyes of ‘seeking revenge’ but rather to see it through my eyes of “I am a frustrated customer and I am seeking satisfaction”.

She cannot see me through her eyes.

I also happen to know she is fairly new to the store as last week she was still in training. Not taking the security tags off is an oversight which her supervisor could have also checked for as she was there overseeing her on the day I purchased the outfit.

Human error is forgivable.

So is acting from her human condition.

As to Hudson’s Bay and Olsen?

They could get their act together and recognize if they are going to use the ‘same system’ for billing, they should use the same system for security tags too.




9 thoughts on “Hudson’s Bay Company. Get your act together.”

  1. HBC isn’t the HBC we shopped at during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. They’ve graduated, been bought and sold a couple of times, and now belong to the owners of Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor etc … very upscale NYC retailers. And fine ones with grand old reputations – and like so many old school businesses built on fantastic reputations, they are resisting the future by dumbing down, staffing down and winding down the very fundamentals of any great retail business: knowledgeable staff, caring, superb customer service, integrity and ‘the person dealing with the customer takes ownership in solving the problem’. Sadly, we get satisfaction (or maybe revenge is the new word) by yelling loud and stomping our feet, or voting with them. Most people don’t speak up, stand up or care. I doubt your story will ever reach the CEO of the parent company – and I doubt anyone in HBC management will know or care. They should. Their shareholders should want them to know and to act. But they won’t, because shareholders know that service and integrity are not as important anymore. And yet they’ll yearn for the reputation and profit margins of Nordstroms and other ‘we get it’ retailers who are embracing the future without forgetting what brought them here …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Louise! I’m sure everyone has had a similar experience and it is so frustrating!! I know I have boycotted a chain due to an unbelievably rude encounter with a sales member. In the end I’m pretty sure I am the only one who suffered then…and continues to suffer…because I liked the items in that store!
    Sending understanding and lots of live energy! ♡

    Liked by 1 person

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