I can’t even begin to tell you how ridiculous/utterly disappointing my experience with Aspinal of London has been. Like seriously. I find it really hilarious when a “luuuuuuxurrrry company” who claim to care “oh so very much about cuuuuussssssstomer service” act like you should be satisfied with being treated like shit while paying extortionate prices for things, and then be grateful about it.
To reenact this pathetic, two-month-long-display of fuckery masquerading as customer service, we’ll need some actors. (Someone cue Tim Curry and that bitch from PRETTY WOMAN who’s all no-uh-uh-faces at Julia Roberts in LE BOUTIQUE FAN-Cee ’cause they’re about to play the part of dickhead shopgirls 1 and 2.)
So I had my gorgeous Chloe keyholder stolen and rather than just cleverly replace it with a gorgeous new one from a brand that isn’t ridiculous, I decided to try something new and buy something from Aspinal of London (or AssholeFAIL of London, if you prefer) and selected a keyring that was all “meh, you’ll do.” Seeing as I’d just had my keys nicked, near my house, my bank and travelcards along with them, and to top it all off it was fucking CHLOE, I wanted something to make mommy happy. My friend suggested this brand, except they only had the item in a tragic powder-pink with silver hardware, which just sounds dire, don’t bother to imagine it further unless you want to buy a large belt buckle and some flares and further embarrass yourself. I select it in Brown Croc and gold hardware, pay £50.00 (or thereabouts) for an item that I’m told will be sent out in two days (which I was okay with, because it took a week to get the stupid bank card sent out and everything – but I was making do with the stupid situation of my replacement key trailing down into the bottom of my bag every stupid day which was massively annoying, especially when you’ve just paid £50.00 to NOT have that happen).
Fast forward a week and a half and I’d still not received it. So I call head office to ask “uh, where is my item?” which they can’t answer and tell me to call the store. I do, and some dude answers like “HMMM I can’t seem to find your order, regardless of the order reference number you are providing me with.” He says “I’ll call you back” and then never does. Four days later, I have to call back again and explain this, AGAIN, to another ASS-ociate, who’s all “Fa fa fa fa fa” (that’s the sound of faffing about trying to sound really fancy while you make £7.20/hr in a shopping centre) “Oh my,” she says, “I’m simply ever so distressed that you have been subjected to such terrible customer service,” to which I’m all “YEAH, ME TOO.” She said she’s going to sort it out and get the item customized for me, which I was like “damn straight” about. Like, sorry, Luxury Goods Company, the price you pay for ME paying that price in the first place is not being completely SHIT at selling things. That’s why you get to charge LOTS OF MONEY for items of arguable “quality”.
So she’s said the “I’m Sowwy” and I’m semi-satisfied, and I’m set away to wait for my fucking keyholder to finally be sent out not TWO, but FIFTEEN days later. Does it show up? JE PENSE QUE “DUH”. I call in to say “uh, where is my keyholder” like 19 days later, and the GENERAL MANAGER of the store picks up and takes approximately 150 hours to find my order, which he then tells me is STILL IN THE STORE. Like SERIOUSLY, what the fuck, right? Like nobody else would be pissed off at this point? I explain to him that I’m not happy and he gets all SNAPPY SHOPGIRL BITCHY at me and is all “look, I’M trying to HELP you,” which seriously makes me wonder if working in RETAIL causes men to MENSTRUATE and then tells me I can’t complain about this shitty service – unless it’s in an email addressed to him. Like super bitchily. He then says “Look, do you want me to send it out or not?” all HOLDING MY KEYRING HOSTAGE #WTF. No, I want to just pay for it and have it kept safe in the store you DICK.
So fancy retail salesman gets all huffy and says “I am going to send it out myself” in that way that makes you wonder HOW MUCH SPIT is going to be in my salad if I send it back. I call head office and make a huge complaint, which they then ask me for in writing. He then called me and acted totally SOCIALLY INEPT on the phone, which of course I mention in my complaint. An Extract? Oh, OKAY:
I had a phone call about 14:00:00 today and said “Hello?” “Nikki? I’ts Jamal” (or whatever his name is.) I paused and had no idea who was calling me. An awkward silence ensued. He finally identified himself as the General Manager at Aspinal and told me he was calling to say that he had sent the item off and that it was going to arrive by 13:00:00, Thursday February 16th, Special Delivery. He also said that he had included a 10% off voucher with my purchase. I thanked him and said goodbye.
To be very honest with you, my first thought was that it was hilarious that he would offer me 10% off a purchase I would never make after my treatment at that store. My second thought was that he was trying to smooth things over so that I would not complain about his treatment and the overall unsatisfactory experience of Aspinal Westfield. Finally I thought how weird is it that this man would call my mobile as though he was someone I knew, call me by my first name like we are friends and like he hasn’t just been completely rude to me, and act like he was making some huge effort by enclosing some rubbish voucher? I had previously associated the brand with luxury and fine treatment, and now feel like it’s awkward and inept staff hawking goods that never actually arrive! Is this a luxury goods brand or an East-end market stall!?
Guess what’s AWESOME? This confirmed-BY-ASPINAL-HEAD-OFFICE “KNOB” of a manager can’t MANAGE sending a fucking package out, because following the next day, when I sat and waited for it to arrive and didn’t, I called Assholepinal AGAIN to say “where the fuck is my package that I’ve canceled my whole day to WAIT FOR” and girlfriend’s like “oh we HAVE IT ON RECORD that it was sent out and YOU WEREN’T THERE.” I’m like bitch, please, and decide the only way to get this stupid thing sorted out is to go to the Post Office and pick it up myself. And I give Postman Pat my name and address, and there’s no package. This fuckery goes on for 20 minutes while I explain that I have the tracking number and he finally retrieves it from the depths of the Royal Mail. AND GUESS WHAT – He can’t give it to me because the dumbshit shopgirl/man at Aspinal addressed it to MRS NIKKI at a completely wrong ADRESS. Like seriously? Who writes MEESUS NEEKEE on a parcel? FROM A “LUXURY GOODS” CO.? Want more hilarity? Even when GIRLFRIEND calls from Aspinal Head Office to say “FA FA FA FA FA MISUNDERSTANDING,” Postman Pat’s like “Sorry babe, we’re sending it back to Belfast to be DESTROYED.”
So this generated some response, and I find myself having to have hours and hours of further conversations with Asssholepinal of LonDON’T (like seriously this is going on and on and on) because they then send me ANOTHER stupid keyholder in the post and then I have to have all these “chats” with various members of their Head Office (like hours and hours and hours) when the stupid keyholder arrives at the end of FEBRUARY (um yeah SO gonna buy that £500.00 handbag next, right? Fuck you and your 10% off voucher that PS WAS DESTROYED IN BELFAST) and i’m STILL having conversations with then until on March 9th, the head of retail calls me, makes me go through the WHOLE store AGAIN for like the BILLIONTH time and finally said “OKAY, What can I do to “make this go away”? I’d like to give you a handbag….No, IN FACT… I want to meet you… PERSONALLY, in store, and go shopping WITH YOU.”
That sounds like HAPPY PRESENTS MAKE BAD THINGS BE QUIET NOW to me, what does it sound like to you? So she proposes dates, so that I can come down to their prestigious flagship store because the Chairman, Iain Burton, she said, would be simply horrified hooooooorrrrrrified about all this and she was mortified and blah blah blah. Like the maitre’d of afternoon tea at the Savoy just realized a profiterole came out shaped like an oblong and offended the queen. I cancel MY DAY/STUDIO to accommodate meeting her – which she then cancels! I get a note that says I’ve sent you a gift to make up for this.
So guess what arrives!? A shitty leather wallet that’s missing the little silver logo (basically 100% from the discount bin) and ANOTHER FUCKING KEYCHAIN! Like HMMMM lets just look around for bullshit scraps of NAFF we can send like it’s an apology to get out of having to do anything about this. My friends were like, um, are you serious, THAT SUCKS.
I sent them an email that said:
In my position, would you ladies not want to sarcastically ask “Oh, were there not any sale/faulty items or surplus stock in the brown croc?“ It also just feels a bit ridiculous as well to be given another keychain (particularly one that seems to have no function aside from showing off the Aspinal branding). I don’t quite understand the logic. Am I supposed to give that to a friend to introduce them to the brand?
I feel really perplexed/dissatisfied, if I’m very honest with you. I wouldn’t have generally had any “hopes up” or anything, but when someone says “we’re going to the Ritz” and then, last-minute, says “Oh actually, it’s the Best Western, and uh, we’re downgrading you to a single room” one tends to feel rather disappointed. You’ve said “Can I give you a handbag?” and sent me a really unimpressive, faulty purse which doesn’t even aim to correlate to my taste, and a matching (second, utterly superfluous) keyring, to make up for the key-holder I have said I already feel like binning after this whole mess.
So then they get girl-at-head-office-who-is-not-a-director to call me and say “i’m sorry.. I must have… terrible taste… perhaps I should arrange to have it TAKEN BACK” and I was like, taken back and WHAT? at point she gets all “um/er” because I think she thought I was going to be guilt tripped into the whole “gift horse” thing… but bitch, the GIFT HORSE you said you were sending me was a HANDBAG not a KEYCHAIN AND A CRAPPY BARGAIN BIN WALLET! She clearly cannot answer anything without a superior feeding her cue card bullshit, and after pressing “mute” on the phone 50 times, then says that essentially that the only thing Assholepinal will offer is to REMOVE THE UNSIGHTLY WALLET AND KEYCHAIN FROM MY PRESENCE. We say “bye”. I write this:
I appreciate the fact and sympathize with Rachael for having been put in the awkward position of having to “explain” that, and be on the other end of the phone with someone who is now quite upset (to put it lightly). However, when I told her how I honestly feel; as though I have been fobbed off with a gift-with-purchase-looking keyring (that really, really seems like a pretty dumb thing to send someone who just bought a key-holder with the space for several keys on it) and a may-or-may-not-be-current product (which was not at all in line with what was offered to me by Jill during our last conversation)…she responded, “well, I wouldn’t want you to have something you don’t like, so I can arrange to have it collected.” I asked Rachael to explain what she meant clearly, and told her I was very tired of this, was tired in general and asked, “will anyone be in touch with me? Is it like, have this or have a kick in the teeth?” She said she didn’t think it was “likely to go further if I chose to return the purse.” I told her that was actually hilarious, and asked if we both wanted to laugh at how pathetic that sounded. Especially in light of the “Oh Iain Burton would simply be just horrified” story I’d been sold the last time we spoke…. I told her it was like getting the free Lancome GWP as a Valentine’s gift and having to pretend to be happy. I further asked her again to explain to me what she was saying about “if I chose to send the product back,” and told her it felt like it was a “you can eat your broccoli, or you can starve” kind of an offer. It was infuriating to be placed on hold during her “coughing fits” and call me suspicious/100% psychic, but I really don’t buy it.
So guess what’s happened now? I get a free, all expenses paid GUILT TRIP from this retail manager who totally fakes this story that I told her I had wanted to go down to the Aspinal Flagship store not for a freebie WE’RE SORRY SHOPPING TRIP – but so that I can MAKE A STAND FOR LUXURY SHOPPERS EVERYWHERE!!!! and acted all like her nose was out of joint because SHE THOUGHT I WAS A REAL GENUINE LADY WHO CARED ENOUGH ABOUT THE BRAND TO TELL THEM ABOUT HOW SHITTY THEIR SERVICE IS!!!! And she CC’d me in with the managing director to make up this TOTAL BULLSHIT. So here you are, readers, complainers and general OH FFSers, my final paragraphs.
I think it’s completely absurd that you have fabricated this bizarre story of me wanting to come in-person to your store “to tell my story” (particularly as I had already wasted hours if not weeks indicating to your company how dire your level of customer service is), as though I have nothing better to do with my time – which I have indicated to you has been consistently disregarded by Aspinal of London. Why on earth would I do such a thing – scheduling a meeting with a the retail director of a company to fine-tune a luxury brand’s lack of basic customer service? It’s utterly ridiculous. Do you think I should next call Louis Vuitton and propose the national sales manager and I pop down to Caffe Nero and discuss their branding? That is complete fabrication and hilarious.
I told Sue on Friday March 16th, 2012, that I felt as though I was being pressured and “embarrassed” (by her suggestion that I was not “genuine”) into being satisfied with “this gift” I have been sent as an apology – after being invited to choose an item of higher value by Jill, further being invited to “go shopping” with Jill at your flagship store after she said she wanted to meet me personally, then being canceled on, after having altered my schedule to accommodate Jill’s schedule (which I have always maintained was not a problem even though it inconvenienced me greatly), then finally fobbed off with a product which Sue kindly valued for me at £135.00. This is the value of my time, my aggravation, my consistent patience with your inconsistency of service, and which is then, in my opinion, thrown in my face at the end of over 50 days of being patient and considerate with Aspinal of London, and all of you as individuals, when I finally get actually upset.
I went through the ridiculous situation I have outlined above. I have further attached all my email correspondence with Rachel, Sue and Jill, which show how polite and warm I was with them despite Aspinal of London’s failure to do anything but repeatedly waste my time over and over, and which I will be happy to post publicly, because this story is priceless, probably worth at least a couple grand’s worth of keychains.
If Aspinal of London is content that I should be grateful after this consistent maltreatment, I certainly don’t wish to argue it further. I will forever be grateful for the hilarious story of your shoddy customer service and inability to deliver on promises – which I’m sure will make me laugh for years to come.