You may have noticed this past weekly which I ranted about RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) and later the following day of Charles & Keith (A popular Singaporean lady’s shoe store chain) on twitter. This post is the story behind the rants and right now I am really wanting to flip the bird to both RBC and Charles & Keith. Not sure either of them will get my business again.
Over the past six years I have made an annual trip to Singapore, either for business or pleasure. One of the “must stops” on my list is always “Charles and Keith” which is a very popular lady’s shoe store that has good styles along with amazing prices. Quality and comfort may vary, from what most girls say, however my wife is a big fan, since they have fun designs and pretty much for every woman, most shoes are “disposable”. (note: on each visit the average purchase is somewhere around 6-10 pairs of women’s shoes fore my wife)
In any case, this past week on Thursday, I wanted to be a good husband and buy my wife some new shoes and a purse. I know her shoe size is 38 and C&K shoes are very consistent in size so I never worry about buying the wrong pair. I go into the store located in the mall beside the Conrad Hotel, with a clear direction and talk to the staff member and let her know, my wife is in Canada I want to buy some shoes, I will buy what I think she will like – I will also send her some pictures and if she doesn’t like, can I bring back for a full refund? The girl that helped me said yes, that is not a problem and that I can return to any store location as my hotel was at the Royal Plaza on Scott’s near Orchard Road. Seemed like a fair deal to me!
I had spent about 40 minutes in the store scoping out shoes, I settled with 5 pairs of shoes and a purse for a total of nearly $300 sg. Now, I go to pay, using my RBC Avion (Which I did notify that I was traveling), I put my pin in the card reader and it said “Declined”, which was strange since I have a very very minimal balance on it. I told the girl to try again and once again it said declined so I was seriously like WTF and a little embarrassed that it did not go through. I ended up putting it on my TD travel Visa instead.
Right then, I knew something wasn’t right so I called up RBC visa (overseas call at $2+ per minute) I explained the issue to the gentlemen on the phone then to be told that it was not his department and he would need to transfer me to security department. Ok. So I get on with security and explain the issue, she then asks for my card number, security value on card, my name, address asking if it was shared with anyone else and then asked if I have overdraft on my bank account…like seriously?enough questions..she knows I’m calling from overseas – being annoyed and frustrated yes, I was rude to her and told her to hurry up and stop asking stupid questions she can see I’m trying to use my card..then asked why it didn’t go through, even though I used my pin! – she came back to me saying “because RBC chooses not to deal with that store”, what the hell does RBC know about Charles & Keith besides its probably the biggest woman’s shoe brand in Singapore and perhaps all of S.E. Asia. Pretty fricken pissed off at RBC, for the embarrassment and choose not to let the transaction go through, even with security measures in place (pin) and then to be left with a fricken lame excuse that RBC chooses not to deal with Charles and Keith…so here’s a big finger for you RBC, someone is going to choose not to do business with you 100%. There is a reason why I moved a majority of my banking a year and half ago to TD, we can leave that for another blog post if you like…
Now to my rant about Charles & Keith, sorry guys as much as your shoes make my wife happy, you sure as hell didn’t make me happy and I will not be supporting your business, especially with your crappy customer support, lying staffers and pure ignorance.
Friday morning I got my wife on Skype and showed her the shoes and bag, to my surprise and disappointment only 2 of the shoes she really loved and the other ones she suggested I returned along with the bag and suggested to see if I can find something else she might like. I went to Charles & Keith at ION centre which was close to my hotel and thought maybe they would have some additional shoes.. I talked to some guy working there, he said he was the assistant manager, instantly after telling him I bought the stuff but my wife didn’t like a few pairs so I want to return them (since it was what i was told) it was an instant, we don’t give refunds. Well, it’s not what the girl the night before told me where i bought the shoes. I asked to speak to the store manager since he was being a douche, if it wasn’t Singapore of all places I may have given him a right hook. near my hotel at the ION shipping centre, I was able to find one bag and one pair of shoes.
So I spoke with Denise, apparently the store manager which really was not keen to help or assist me. Infact it was like bagging her to help me. I spent a good 30 minutes looking for additional shoes to replace the ones I wanted to return. I found one pair of shoes I the my wife would like along with a different purse. There was still to be had a $92 refund, which she would not do! I had her call her district manager and apparently they also said no. I suggested maybe giving me a credit note/gift card, with the idea that I sell it to some girl for $80. I was then told that if I do that I would have to wait for it to be mailed to me, since they don’t sell or give-out gift cards…what kind of retail outlet doesn’t have gift cards – holy shit, I’m boiling! Denise suggested going around the store asking girls to pay cash to use my credit note and give me the cash, making me look stupid but Charles & Keith looking ignorant – eventually, this happened and I got my $92 back 2 hours later! Thanks you ignorant losers for wasting 2+ hours of my Friday night, and for Denise for not taking my issue seriously, infact your laughing and smirking was utmost insulting and showed you really didn’t give a shit! You screwed up my Friday evening when I should have been out enjoying the wonderful city of Singapore.
Charles & Keith, I am sure I am not the first person to come to Singapore and want to buy something to take home to my wife…I am seriously sorry that my wife didn’t like 3 of the 5 pairs of shoes but next time be a little more accommodating, I can appreciate your exchange only policy, however it can be a little hard for men to buy shoes for their wives if we aren’t sure she will like or not…I guess I can learn a couple things here… 1. Don’t believe or trust the employees at Charles & Keith, because they might lie to you about the store policy. 2. Read the store policy for yourself. 3. Don’t be a good husband and forget to buy something that you think your wife will appreciate and enjoy. – maybe buy boxes of chocolate from the duty free as a best option.
For the amount of good words I have shared about C&k to friends, colleagues, associates in the past six years, I am sure I have sent more than several thousands of additional revenue to your shops. It’s too bad our six year relationship is going to come to and end…your customer support and accommodating nature is purely non-existent as is my continued support, brand loyalty and appreciation for your products.
– now I can prepare for my trip home and for some anger management classes…lmao