Monday, September 17, 2012

Lesson Learned.

RL with our conservative haul.
Yesterday, we braved the crowds and shopped at Mall of Asia's 3-day SALE Weekend. Yes, count on me to lug the whole family to this. Actually, we went that-a-way to catch the last day of the 33rd Manila International Book Fair. And because it was raining lions and tigers, I thought it would be best to try to make it south, since people were probably staying home because of the weather.

I was partly right. Although the book fair had a sizable amount of people (but we went late in the afternoon anyway), the mall wasn't so full. A was excited to check out Cotton On, but they didn't have anything on sale (as expected since they just opened). I was happy to see that they had mid-length tanks in stock so I got a couple (2 for P800, not bad as price is somewhat comparable to SG prices). I also bought this nice purple blouse I had wanted to get in Hong Kong (but didn't) for P999. The Cotton On store in MOA is small. Not as huge as I had expected.

The relatively small Cotton On store at Mall of Asia. I was expecting something bigger. Hehe.

Or maybe Uniqlo killed that expectation for me.

Uniqlo's version of Heaven on Earth!

That's because Uniqlo is practically four times the size of the Cotton On store. Heaven on earth, I tell you!

But yes, when going shopping, forget about bringing the toddler. RL was complaining the whole time. Each time we went back to a section to check out something, he'd exclaim "not here again!" and slouch like it's the end of the world. So I was only able to grab a pair of pants. I had wanted to get A a pair of pants, too. We've been buying only Uniqlo for her since she outgrew H&M Kids. Uniqlo had their adult Knitted Legging Pants on limited offer for the Sale Weekend, P790 instead of P990. A wanted the purple knits. We were planning on getting those, until we reached the kids section and noticed that the Girls Knitted Legging Pants were on sale for P590! Since A currently wears their XL, I decided to save myself the extra P200 and purchased the Girls knits instead. Since purple wasn't available in the girls' size, A chose a pair of khaki ones.

I was too happy with my purchases that I didn't even bother checking when the cashier rang up my bill. That, plus RL was whining to the high heavens that he was hungry and wanted soup.

However, when I got home last night, I had noticed that the pants I had gotten for A got charged at regular price (P790). It was too late to call since we got home close to midnight.

So today, I gave Uniqlo Mall of Asia a call.

I initially spoke with a kind man named MJ. As much as he was kind, he wasn't at all helpful. Since the pair of khaki knits I had gotten A was the last piece, he couldn't verify if it indeed was on sale yesterday. I described the rack to him and explained they sold it in other colors - black, pink, denim, checks, etc. He came back to tell me that the rack said it wasn't on sale. But of course, the sign had said it was on limited offer only until the 16th, which was yesterday. They had probably changed the signs last night.

He then asked me if I could just call back after 10 minutes. The managers were in a meeting, he explained. Couldn't he just check? He explains, he doesn't have the code because I got the last piece. "I have the code on the receipt", I reminded him. Maybe he wanted me to give him details of my purchase?

He got the code.

And I waited.

But he comes back to tell me he can't check because I got the last piece.

"Can't you check with the system?" I asked. Surely, he can input the bar code and get details, right? After a while, he sees the manager, and explains the situation.

He comes back on the line to tell me that those pants were never on sale. And that maybe his colleague made a mistake.

Okay. Can I speak with the manager? If the colleague made a mistake, why was I supposed to pay for his or her mistake? The sign was up on the rack yesterday, and I had double-checked. I wouldn't have picked the kid-sized pants if not for the P200 savings. And I was familiar with the style and that they were Knitted Legging Pants because I personally have 3pairs, and A currently has 3pairs of the kids' version, not counting the one we bought yesterday.

Sigh. I consider myself a very careful shopper, but failed to check the receipt yesterday because my little boy was whining up a storm.

And yes, I asked to speak to the manager. Not because of the measly P200 difference. At that point, I wasn't expecting a refund. Obviously, there had been a mistake. A signage mistake? A merchandiser's mistake? Regardless, I knew by then there was nothing I could do to get the P200 "mistake" back. But because I had once worked for retail, and because I had worked to help fix the customer service department of another SM-owned company, I wanted to get to the bottom of this "mistake". I would have done so, had I been the one on the other end of the line, helping out an inquiring customer.

Manager Lia came to the phone already apologetic and obviously briefed by MJ. I had, after all, demanded to speak with her. I explained the predicament and the "colleague's mistake." However, because they claim the signage is no longer in place and that no one can vouch that it was ever in place, there was nothing she can do to remedy the mistake or appease the frustrated shopper - me.

The Uniqlo disclaimer. 
After about another 5 minutes on the phone, with her checking on who possibly changed the signage last night, only to tell me it was never changed nor did it ever reflect a sale or limited offer, I gave up. Even if I wanted to have it exchanged to the purple adult knit, I couldn't do so, since the P790 price for the adult pair was only until yesterday. A-ya!

Plus the receipt does say "Fast Retailing Philippines, Inc. reserves the right for final decision".  Who was I to argue with that disclaimer? LOL!

Lesson learned. I should have double-checked the receipt. I knew it was on sale, but sadly, in this case, I had no way to prove the sign was ever there. I may be a careful shopper, but alas, in this case, I wasn't careful enough. So yes, goodbye reason. Hello, P790 pants!

EDIT:  Let me just reiterate what I said on Facebook. I probably wouldn't have gone all the way back to MOA for the P200 difference had they issued a refund. I wrote this piece to showcase the mishandling of consumer complaints and concerns in the Philippines. I initially called Uniqlo to see if they had made a mistake, but I ended up questioning myself if I was dreaming while shopping, and maybe I needed new glasses. The pants weren't in a special sale bin (for returns or those with minor damage). These were on the regular rack in the kids' section. The shelf signage (right on the same shelf that housed the pants) had the red limited offer card, similar to the ones on other specials in-store. If they had told me the Khaki ones weren't on sale, I would have said thank you and bye. I have nothing against Uniqlo. I will most likely shop there again. I just think they need to brief their people on how to handle consumer concerns properly. C'est tout.


  1. could it be possible that the pair of pants were mistakenly placed in the "sale rack" when it wasn't on sale?

    1. The knitted pants I had picked up were the same girls' knitted pants on the rack. It was on top of the pink ones and I had double-checked pa if they were the same style.

      Had they explained that the pants I bought wasn't the same as the ones on the rack, I would have accepted that as a reason. But no, they're insisting that nothing was on sale at P590 yesterday. And if something was, they weren't the knitted legging pants. But I checked and double-checked. I even asked a guy there if they had other khaki ones in stock pa, since the one we got was a little dusty sa lower leg (from fitting siguro).

      Oh well. I don't mind the P790 price. Cheap na nga considering I don't have to fly to nearby HK or SG for it, but yeah, just the fact that I opted to get it because it was a bit cheaper. Should've checked talaga.


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