Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Don't buy Aldo Shoes or Accessories!

Get comfy! It's a long story….  

I’m very disappointed in Aldo. I’m disappointed with the DISorganization so much so that I’d rather not shop at their store or online. A couple years ago, I decided to never shop with them again after I ordered a pair of shoes I really really really wanted online. I had been waiting and actually had the luck of ordering the few that were left in my size. They never came. When I called Aldo, they said that they attempted to deliver 3 times. The shoes were sent back after that, since no one signed their life away to accepting them. However, I only received ONE notice of “failed delivery.” Long story short, I decided I would not buy from them again after CS said they couldn’t just resend them if there are no other pairs in my size left.

Fast forward to 09-28-13. I received a $50 Aldo gift card. Since I had a wedding photo shoot on 10-06-13 and needed shoes, I figured I’d use it there for budget reasons. I bought the size 38 “Nunes.” I wore them the next morning for breakfast and noticed something faulty with the heel. The stiletto portion was separating from the heel of the shoe. Defective! Luckily I went back to the same Aldo in the North County Fair Mall (272 E Via Rancho Pkwy, Escondido, CA), and the same guy, Arthur, from the night before was there. He was happy to help. The problem was, they did not have an additional pair in my size. No problem. Arthur said he’d order them in-store and they should come before 10-06-13. I told him about my experience a few years ago and he thought it’d be fine. I thought it’d be fine. What are the chances, right? He even had me look at the computer screen to ensure my name, address, phone number and email were all correct. They were. Shortly after, I get an email confirmation that stated:

SHIPPING DATE: between Oct 07, 2013 and Oct 11, 2013
DELIVERY DATE: between Oct 03, 2013 and Oct 11, 2013

SO there’s a possibility that they can arrive BEFORE they’re shipped. That’s cool! But, 10-05-13 rolls around and I still had no shoes. I am frantically calling around to different Aldo stores. A representative at the North County Fair Mall told me over the phone that Otay Ranch, Horton Plaza Mall and the Fashion Valley Mall locations have the shoe in my size. I called Fashion Valley Mall since they’re closest to home and their line was busy for AT LEAST FIVE HOURS before I gave up. I called North County Fair back, and they too were unable to get through to the Fashion Valley Mall location. I decide to drive straight to the Horton Plaza location. They told me in person, they do not have that shoe in my size, in store.  As a matter of fact, the Nunes shoes do not exist in their system. I gave her the “DCS” number (DCS: 11-08-03) that I found on the website. I even spelled it, and she read back some other name that was not REMOTELY close. They had no explanation as to why the shoes were in the system as “in-store” at their location. So I left. Frustrated.

It’s getting to be closing time at the malls on Saturday (still can’t get ahold of Fashion Valley). I call the Otay Ranch/Chula Vista Aldo (which is a decent 22-25 miles from where I was at the time and 15-20 miles from my home). The gal, I think it was Melissa maybe Vanessa, told me that she indeed had a pair of the Nunes in black and in my size. Yesssss! I am flying on the freeway to the store that closes in less than half an hour and just my luck… they could only find HALF of the pair. The other shoe was missing and could not be located. She was very apologetic, so I figured after all this drama, I was not meant to have this pair of shoes. I accepted that.

But I had no choice; I needed shoes for the photo shoot the next morning. Aldo already took my $50 gift card from me for the Nunes pair, so I end up buying the “Mican” for $110 of my own cash. Essentially, I’m $150 out of pocket trying to cut corners and budget by using the gift card.

About the third week of October I still have not received my Nunes (which I intended on returning the moment they arrived since I had the Micans). I check the tracking status on the UPS website and it said they were delivered about one week before. N E G A T I V E! I never received them. I even checked with neighbors to either side of me and they knew nothing of it. I call Aldo. I was told to open a claim/investigation with UPS and that I should hear back from Aldo shortly after that. UPS called. I answered a few questions and that was at the end of October 2013. A few days later, a UPS delivery person came to my door and had me sign something that confirmed I indeed NEVER received the package.  Should be done right??

November 7, 2013, Aldo still had not contacted me so I decide to give them a call. Naturally, CSR Vanessa in Canada tells me that UPS was unable to locate the package and/or could not find my address. I should have received an email on the refund process.  Again, N E G A T I V E. I received no such email. She attempts to locate my order and after 10 minutes of holding says, “I cannot locate your order and method of ORIGINAL payment in order to refund you accordingly.”  The refund department would call me within 24-48 hours.

I was entirely over it. But the bus does not stop there. After this debacle, I figured Aldo would be generous enough to allow me to use my gift card towards the Mican pair once the Nunes were refunded. In other words, “returning” the Micans and then instantly buying them again using the gift card and my own cash like I did with the Nunes. That was the whole point of this, right? Use my gift card.

Long long long story shortened, I tell Aldo to send the refund email/info to Otay Ranch since that’s where I bought the Micans. Hopefully they will remember/understand my UPS drama and work with me on applying the gift card to the Micans.

On 11-09-13, I head in and begin to explain to the nice sales gal about the refund/email and how I would like to apply my gift card to the pair of Micans since I never received the Nunes and would be getting a refund today. I prefaced it with, “this might be more of a ‘manager’ type question, but let me explain.” I had brought the Micans with me in their box with the original receipt in PRESTINE condition. I can tell that she is a little confused by my jumbled (brief) explanation and I turned to my boyfriend and said, “Am I explaining this right? I know it’s confusing.” He begins to explain it to her. I will add that he has no emotional investment in these shoes. He has not experienced the frustration with the reps and UPS that I have. Therefore, he has no reason to be angry, upset, frustrated with this gal. Matter of fact, I have NO reason to be upset with her. She has NO idea what has happened in the last month. My BF… could care LESS about my damn shoes. I also know the music is quite loud in Aldo and my BF naturally has a strong command presence. Suddenly, the manager Steven, is yelling from the front of the store and coming toward the counter, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! You don’t need to talk to her like that!” He yelled something to the effect of “if we had problem, he was the manager, so we could take it up with him.” And from there he was the EPITOME of unprofessional. There was no point in arguing with him except for saying twice that we weren’t yelling AT her. He obviously misinterpreted our interaction and was trying to assert his authority. He didn’t pick up on the body language of the THREE of us looking at him in utter confusion. Unfortunately, the gal didn’t intervene and tell him she was fine (she told us later once Steven was in the back area on the phone and out of ear shot by WHISPERING, “you weren’t yelling.” Which was also frustrating.).

When he started plugging away at the computer concerning my refund (which took him about 45 minutes to figure out), I turned to my boyfriend and whispered, “You weren’t even yelling babe.” And Steven again yells, “Yeah you were! I could hear you from the front of the store!” I was blown away. Wow.

I completely understand that you shouldn’t let people walk over you. I’m sure he gets enough of that working in that industry. But, by no means did we have any reason to be rude with her. AND BY NO MEANS DID HE HAVE ANY REASON TO BE DISCOURTEOUS TO US. I’ve learned that that doesn’t get you anywhere with getting what you want/need in LIFE. It’s just wasted energy.

The bottom line was: I just want my money back and apply my gift card to the shoes I actually received. That is that. He tells me that it is not an option. In fact, he was already “bending the rules” for me since I did not have my original receipt for the Nunes pair. Isn’t that why a “refund email” was sent to the store to begin with? After almost an hour in that store, and listening to Steven’s nonsense, I realize that I don’t have the credit card I originally paid with.

Does this nightmare ever end? I ask him to have the email sent to the North County Fair Mall location (my BF lives up there) and I’ll just get my refund there later on in the day.  He tells me to bring my receipt so it’d be faster/easier.

I arrive at the North County Fair Mall location just before closing that same night WITH MY RECEIPT per Sergeant Steven. The manager tells me that she had spoke to Steven earlier in the day and that she understood that I already received my refund.

What else can I do but smile?

There is absolutely NOTHING, NOTHING I can do but smile and tell her, “No. No I haven’t. I didn’t have my original credit card with me. So I never received a refund.” So I wait another 30 minutes while she finishes up with another customer and then research my story with Otay Ranch, I guess. I finally get that silly gift card and $40ish back on my card.  A gift card I will never use and hope to sell it to Plastic Jungle or Gift Card Rescue, maybe Craigslist if it’s allowed in their policy.

I believe that Aldo was the major malfunction here (F.U.B.A.R.), so why am I getting the super short end of the stick?

Ultimately, I wanted customers, and Aldo, to be aware of the unprofessionalism, incompetence and disorder I experienced. Hopefully, customers will think twice before buying someone a gift card or any merchandise from Aldo. Especially with the holidays fast approaching. DSW or Famous Footwear are better alternatives.