March 28, 2014

Shopping at Dillard's

Recently my husband and I tried to return some gifts to Dillard's.  Our experience was some of the worst customer service treatment ever.  I decided to email them about my experiences; you can read my email here.

Dear Customer Service,
My name is Elizabeth Worley, I just married this June, and I used Dillard's as one of my wedding registries.  I wanted to make an inquiry into returning a few gifts and tell you about a frustrating Dillard's experience last Saturday (March 22, 2014) at the Gainesville, FL store.  My husband and I went to return some unneeded wedding gifts and were incredibly appalled at the frustrating return service.  My husband and I went to return three navy blue Fiesta bowls and one Oneida hostess set, all of which we registered for and either received duplicates or more than enough.  The Oneida set was sent by a woman named Kim Bevis and we did not have the receipt anymore.  Also, we did not have a receipt for the bowls but they still had the yellow tag on them.  The assistant manager and customer service rep would not let us return any of the items for store credit.  We knew we didn't have the receipts but we expected store credit.

First, why could we not return the Fiestaware bowls?  They had the yellow tags on them but apparently it was after 90 days so the manager would not allow the return.  Now, I understand this policy if it is for a seasonal item, like a Christmas plate, but this is for an item still being sold at full price at all of your stores (Cobalt blue Fiestaware Gusto bowls, $10).  The items still had the yellow tag on them so we could prove they came from your department chain.  I found this 90 day return policy to be really inconvenient.  We registered for these items as gifts.  Gifts for many married couples come in the months before and after the wedding.  When someone bought an item is not always when they give that item to the recipient couple.  This 90 day policy is useful for Dillard's and regular customers, but for registry customers is very short sighted because the time from purchase and the time that we receive the item can often be very different from one another.  The family that gave us this gift didn't give us a gift receipt; they probably did not think they needed to because the yellow tags should be proof enough.

Second, the manager would not consider allowing us to return the Oneida hostess set (Oneida Dover Hostess 6-piece set $50) because we did not have the receipt or yellow sticker.  We did not expect to return it for cash because we did not have a receipt, but we did expect to return it for store credit.  The manager said that without the yellow ticket they would not return it but then I asked if online purchases got a yellow ticket and he said no, so there was no way for us to return this item without a ticket that we could not have gotten in the first place because it was a gift that was purchased online.  Both the flatware and Fiestware continue to sell for full price, according to your website.

Third, we were a couple on a wedding registry.  You can see proof that somebody purchased that item if you would only look at our registry.  Right there is shows that an item was purchased and I'm sure with some basic research it would tell you who bought that item and for how much.  The store had a registry machine right there but would not look at it even though I asked them to.

My fourth complaint is my overall general treatment at the store.  The customer service rep was fine, clearly overwhelmed at what we were asking her to do, so I asked to speak with a manager.  I worked retail for several years while I finished my college degrees and understood that managers were usually the best step because they have the authority to make these kinds of decisions.  The assistant manager came over and he really gave my husband and myself a runaround.  When I asked for the corporate phone number and the name of the manager he did give it to me but told me that my overall efforts would be useless because the store manager was out on vacation (he said it was her first day of a two-week vacation) and that any complaints would just come back to him and he would give me the same answer.  I felt like he was trying to discourage me from voicing my frustration by attempting to portray it as fruitless and a waste of time.  I hope this email is not a waste of time.  I live in Southwest Rural Georgia and while I lived near a Dillard's when I was engaged, now that I am married there is no Dillard's near me.  We made a special trip to return these items at great inconvenience to us.  I said this to the manager as well but he was not interested in hearing about my experience or special trip to this store.

I hope this issue can be resolved quickly.  Again, I wasn't asking for cash, just store credits.  And while the stickers may have said the items were passed a particular time, I continue to receive wedding gifts and have no control over when an item is purchased and when it is then given to me, no couple does.  I feel like this places an undue burden on wedding registry couples and that other department stores would be more accommodating.  I do not think I will be shopping at Dillard's and could not advise other couples to register there.

March 27, 2014

Good grief, here again.

Am I the only person who can go from running 13.1 miles, having a personal best, and then less than a month later struggling to get through 1 mile?

Tonight I barely finished 1 mile.  I was jiggly and sore.  My pants weren't fitting right and my bra was too loose to be effective.  Really, any excuse was what I wanted to get out of there.

I'm supposed to run in a race next week.  A 5K or a half-marathon option.

How can I possibly be ready for a half marathon if tonight was so frustratingly difficult?

On a different note: Brandon found some triathlons for me to do this summer.

March 6, 2014

Do you have an anthem?

I've often said to my family, and now to Brandon, that when I'm dead and gone I want one particular song to be played as I am carried out in the casket.

It is not a funeral song.

It is not a church song.

It isn't even a sad song.

Instead, it is a triumphant anthem.  It is Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now."

If you don't know this Queen song then take a few minutes and be transformed, not only by Freddie Mercury's voice and the overall musical stylings, but the pulse of the song.  The energy of this song is all up, up, up.

I always listen to this song before races.  It never fails to put me in a good mood and to make me feel like I can take on the world.

Readers: do you have an anthem?  A power song?  A song that unfailingly makes you feel like a conqueror?  Let me know on Facebook.

March 3, 2014

Albany Half Marathon Review

On Saturday I completed my first half marathon for 2014 and my husband, Brandon, ran his first full marathon.  This was an awesome, awesome experience that I really did not think I would be able to do even up until the night before the race.  I know that race was a success because of consistent work but also months of answered prayers.  Brandon and I prayed for bravery, courage, and the ability to run through pain.  I was particularly worried about running 8 or more miles through incredible aching or pain.  We told God we were grateful for healthy bodies and asked him to give us the courage to run through pain, if needed.

God met and exceeded our requests.

My goals were to finish, to run in less than 3 hours, to run in less than 2:55, and then, if possible, to run in less than 2:50.  I finished in 2:52:13.  I ran the first 8 miles without any walking breaks and the first 6-7 miles all around 12:08 splits.  At mile 8 I took a 2/10 walking break and another at mile 10 and mile 12 (both of those times I walked for a half mile each).

This was one of the best races I've been to as far as community support.  Church groups, clubs, and local organizations were all strategically every half mile or so to cheer runners and provide runners with water, food, and Gatorade.  They also cheered with enthusiasm; they were excited to be there.

If I would suggest anything to the Albany Half/Marathon planners for 2015 I would suggest that runners need some entertainment.  Could they get some high school marching bands or drum corps at every 4-6 miles?  I think having some entertainment would break up some of the miles into more manageable chunks