So, on the 13th of this month, Lane Bryant sent me an email saying they “missed me.” They don’t know me personally; they just missed my money as I hadn’t shopped there in awhile.
In the email, there was a 40% off coupon. It was just 40% off one regular priced item, but I had received a gift card for my birthday, so I wanted to print the coupon out to take it to the store with me. No newbie to how this stuff goes, I went to use “print preview” to make sure the barcode part of the email would actually be printed. The print preview did as I feared, only showing the model and not the barcode. So I clicked to “view the email online” — and that’s when the proverbial shit hit the fan.
The page on the Lane Bryant site was without an image. All I got was the website header and footer — just a big hunk of whitespace in the middle. So I went back to the email.
The image had disappeared.
Perhaps the gremlins which run the interwebs believed that use of print preview meant I had printed it — and only one coupon is allowed. But I hadn’t printed. So now what?
Since this was a coupon from a national chain that I was going to have to use at my local Lane Bryant store, I called them. I figured that as I’d be using the coupon there, they’d be familiar with the process and maybe even have a spare or blank coupon for such things. No, they did not. Instead, they gave me a customer service number. Only that customer service number is for Lane Bryant card holders, which meant that not only was it difficult to get past the voicemail prompts, but when I finally did reach a person, she couldn’t do anything to help me. I doubt very much that even had I been a Lane Bryant credit card holder that she could have helped me as her understanding of how email lists etc. work was very limited.
“Just sign up for the newsletter again,” she said.
“I don’t think you understand,” I began patiently. “You see, the email was about ‘missing me’, so I would need — along with a new email address to join under — to shop at the store and then not shop at the store for six months in order to be ‘missed.”
She put me on hold.
When she came back, she suggested I call my local store. To which I replied that I’d already done that; that’s how I got the number I called to reach her.
“Well, all I can suggest is to get a new email address to sign up for the newsletter with.”
Umm, didn’t we already cover that?
Was there another number for customer service — one not related to credit cards? Would a supervisor be able to help? Was there any other Lane Bryant number to call at all?
No. No. No. (Though it turns out there is another Lane Bryant customer service number; sadly no one gave me that number or even seemed to know it.)
So, Lane Bryant, thanks so much for missing me and creating a marketing disaster.
Instead of making me happy, making me feel treated to something special (even though we all know it’s just about you getting your hand in my pocket and getting my money), you peeved me off. For all the efforts of your team of marketers who want to build relationships with me, you forgot some basic rules. Rules gold diggers know:
1. Be accessible. Yeah, “not to available” might lend an air or mystery; but no means of contact — or having so many hurdles to contact, just means the man with money grabs another honey.
2. Smile nice when reaching into my pocket. Lean in and make me want you to put your hand there… Lift the bills out and take them. Don’t stand so far away, don’t place your other hand over the wallet so that the whole deal is a struggle.
3. Know what you are doing. That includes any of your cohorts (aka employees). Don’t make the mark have to do so much work. Unless our relationship is based on some S&M kink, I shouldn’t be frustrated and sweaty just trying to give you my money.
4. When all is said and done, I should be left with an empty wallet and a smile, dreamily looking forward to next time.
If it weren’t for the fact that I have a gift card, and a rare window of time to shop, it would be a lot longer for you to see me again.