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Victoria's Secret stores have gone insane

I had the strangest experience at Victoria's Secret this weekend. I think they must be REALLY desperate and hurting for sales to do the things they are doing now. I walked in and as soon as a sales gal greeted me I told her I'm looking for a racer back bra. Instead of doing what all sales girls in all stores do (take me back and show me where they are) she asks me for my name and writes it down on a card. What!? Then she asks for my bra size and writes that down on the card. Then she gets on a walkie talkie and tells some one she is sending me down for help.

I'm not feeling comfortable with this at all but I play along and wonder around the back trying to find the person she supposedly radioed and is going to help me. It takes me a while. The sales girls tells me that instead of racer back bra I want this special convertible bra that can be worn 7 different ways. Ummmm...no...I don't. If I wanted a convertible bra I would have asked for one. So she shows me a style of racerback that only comes in patterns and I ask her where the solid colored or black racer back bras are. She starts to walk me toward the front but stops as if there is some invisible dog fence keeping her from walking forward. She says, "we have one like that in our glam section but I don't see anyone working in the glam section." She scans the glam section from afar telling me she is looking for some one. I'm baffled that she can't leave her section to take me there herself. So I tell invisible dog fence trapped girl I will wonder around and find it myself.

I wonder the glam section and don't find it. I do finally find a sales girl who asks me if I would like a frequent purchaser card that will earn me points. At first I say no but then she says it will give me $10 in credit every year for my birthday. So I say yes and she asks for my name (second girl in the store who has asked for my name now) and other personal info. I'm thinking, what the hell, I got a frequent purchaser card from Hot Topic and they never asked me for my name. So I told her I will fill out the application later and she writes her employee number on it so clearly she's getting a commission later.

I go back to a different section and I do find a solid colored racer back bra on a pretty glass display but can't find it on the sales floor. And guess what, I can't find a sales girl on the sales floor to lead me to it. I ask at the register for a sales girl and she radios for one. No one comes. Apparently they are understaffed. I wait and I wait and finally I give up and just take the bra off the glass display on the wall to try on.

So I get to the dressing room and the dressing room attendant pulls out a card and pen and asks me for, you guessed it, MY NAME. Well, my name and my bra size. I asked her why she needed that and she said, "That's just how we do it here." I said, "I had to give my name at the front just to get a sales girl to help me. Then I had to give my name again for a frequent purchaser points card. I don't care to give my name a third time here." She looked flustered but finally said, "Ummm, okay." From the dressing room I overheard her greet other customers and quickly figured out why she wants your name and bra size. The conversation goes like this:

Sales girl: I can take you to a room. Can I have your name and bra size?

Customer: My name is Cindy and I'm a 34C.

Sales girl: Here is your room. I'm going to bring you a box of our best selling bras in your size Cindy.

Mind you she didn't say, "May I bring you a box of our best selling bras?" She just brings this box to every woman who is there to try stuff on. Ummm...HIGH PRESSURE SALES MUCH? I decided not to buy a bra there and I couldn't wait to get the hell out of there before anyone else asked for my name. When I got home I looked at the "frequent purchaser card" application and was furious to discover it was in fact a Victoria's Secret credit card application and not a frequent purchaser card like they have at Hot Topic. Way to trick me into applying for a card, thank goodness I took it home instead of letting you fill it out for me.

Victoria's Secret used to be a fun place to shop. Now it's sales girls who can't help you if you're not in their section and high pressure sales and being asked your name by 3 different sales girls. No thank you.

Comments

What a horrible experience. It's "customer service" situations like that where I snap for that type of treatment. I can imagine the torment of invisible dog fence girl - when I worked briefly in retail, we had zones, too - and you had to "do your best with the customer, and take them to a new zone or help them if somone is out of their area, but... DON'T LEAVE YOUR ZONE! but help them in the other zone if they need it." so you couldn't win no matter what you did.

How odd that VS would switch to those tactics. I suppose if you get assertive with them, they simply become less functional or helpful - realizing that it "wasn't in the manual" so they can't deal with it, or that they're losing their sales/commission/brownie points so they're unmotivated to help.

Yikes...
I think photosexual is right. You're probably seeing the results of commission sales -- in fact, some places like Macy's almost force you to make commission otherwise you go "negative" on any bonuses until you "catch up" and the pressure is immense.

Not a good experience for you -- and unethical to basically trick people into credit card agreements.
Sometime in the last few years the quality at Victoria's Secret just went down the drain. Last time I went, they measured me wrong, the bras I got were poor quality, and it was like pulling teeth to find *any* that weren't push-up. Not knocking push-ups, but not everyone needs them and on me they're almost worse than not wearing a bra at all!

I've heard good things about Nordstrom's lingerie. Going to try them next. Vicky's was great years ago, but between my experience and yours I'm not even going to bother trying them again.
I had this experience recently. I was looking for a silk teddy and first they ignored me and then when I asked they tried to tell me that a poly one was the same as silk. They used to have good stuff, but not anymore.
was it memorial weekend? i had the same experience on valentines weekend, i think it may be something they do for what should be big retail weekends. i had a similar experience at the juniors section of nordies, sans walkie talkies, they get a spiff/small commission too.
Yes, Memorial weekend. So you think maybe the high pressure sales are just for busy shopping weekends?
maybe? i worked for years as a commission sales person (i swear i'm not evil) and we handled the floor very differently on big weekends, memorial is usually a huge retail weekend. i would email/call and ask about in-store sales service to verify, i have only gone to VS in person once and it was valentines weekend, so i don't know how a normal week day experience would be

vs card

fwiw i also was "offered" a card, and i like it-you get 1 point for every dollar purchased with double points on bras and it comes with a neat coupon book with one coupon a month(15$ off a specific bra, free undies w/credit card purchase, sadly only in black, white, nude colors), at 250 points you get a free "upgrade" with a new/different card and offers/coupons, every time you "earn" 250 points you are mailed a $10 off coupon. its great for on-line clearance shopping. :)
You should complain to their website or something. I personally hate shopping in stores anymore because they make their people do this sort of stuff. I would be willing to bet that the girls deep down and even more uncomfortable that they have to harass their customers. I also agree with everyone else about VS's bras, they suck now. I used to wear them alot and now I stick with Macy's and buying there because they cost less money and are waaaaaay better quality - even if I get the cheapest brand they have.
I would say to ask for a manager right off, but I bet they would be "unable" to find one.