Archive for August, 2012

08.24.12

I recently had a very poor experience as a customer at Wellness Baby store in Uptown Dallas, which stretched across more than 2 months. Below is an “Unhappy Email” I sent to the owner.  I’m not usually one to bash a store for 1 bad experience, because most stores make up for it in customer service or some other redeeming quality. However, that’s not the case for this boutique. I also requested contact information to speak directly with the store’s owner, Jinny Park, but was only given the store’s main phone number and generic “info@” email address and was told this is the only contact info they have.

I am a FIRM believer in delivering quality/over the top customer service. To me, that’ really makes a brand/store. It’s what keeps people returning as valued customers and helps your brand grow. It’s sad when I see a cool store, restaurant, or service fail to meet expected customer service, or at least deliver on what they promise (even if it’s just placing an order and providing what you ordered.)

We (tried) to order a well made glider and ottoman from Wellness Baby.  This was a big investment for Brian and me. I even sorta planned the nursery decor around this beautiful glider and ottoman.  I wish I would have been informed earlier along in the process that they were not able to provide what I ordered so I could have resolved it sooner. Now we’re almost out of time and SOL on something we were excited about and spent a decent amount of money on.  My hope is that my bad experience will bring attention to the Wellness Baby Store in Dallas and help IMPROVE their customer service experience for others from here on out.

Enjoy the email below…

Dear Jinny Park,
My name is Lauren Allen. I requested a phone number and email to reach you, but the only info I was given was the generic store contact information, as I’d prefer to speak to you in person about this.  I am very confused as to how we got to where we are today with my order, or should I say lack there of? Back in June I visited your store SEVERAL times and spoke with Meredith each time about the Nursery Works Cole Glider and Ottoman.  She was a pleasure to work with and after visiting several other stores in the area to “test drive” gliders and researching online, I decided to return to your store to pull the trigger on ordering said furniture. This was the biggest investment for our first baby’s nursery so, I was very excited.  Your store was randomly closed one afternoon, so I called the next day to make the order over the phone with Jasmine.
Jasmine took my order and charged my credit card over the phone and I requested she send me an email confirmation and receipt (see attached emailed receipt from your store & email correspondence).  After several hours, Jasmine informed me that the slate ottoman with ecru piping was discontinued, so I requested she just order the all-slate Cole ottoman with dark legs, even though this wouldn’t match the slate with ecru piping Cole glider. I was ok with this, as I just wanted to get my order in for both pieces.
Wellness Baby Store Dallas
Three weeks had passed since placing my order with your store on June 29 with no updates yet which were promised so, I called to check on the status of the order/shipping. When I called and spoke with Jasmine, she seemed unsure of my order status and said she’d return my call once she checked on it. TWO days passed before I heard from your store again. I called and Jasmine informed me that my original order was never placed. How does this happen??!! She said they were “dealing with it” and would call me back to confirm the successful order placement.   When Jasmine called me back within a day or two, she confirmed that they were able to order both matching pieces (Slate with ecru piping Cole glider AND ottoman). I was confused since when my original order should have been placed I was told the matching ottoman was discontinued, so I asked her several times “Are you sure??” She informed me it’d be 2 weeks before they received the items in-store for me to pick up.
Three more weeks had passed with no updates since we last spoke on the phone, so I called to check on the order status. I spoke with Jasmine and she checked the shipping info while on the phone with me. She said the glider would arrive in a couple days, Thursday (8/23), but they hadn’t receive shipping information for the ottoman yet and she’d let me know once they did.  I received a call from Jasmine Thursday that the Glider had arrived in-store, but that the ottoman might not be available. What?! I requested she check on it immediately and please send me email confirmation of the order status by the end of day (email correspondence attached). Why is that the order has been placed more than 3 weeks before but she was just now “checking on the availability” of the item when it should have already arrived in-store for pick up?
Wellness Baby Store Dallas
What I don’t understand is:
1) How does this happened not once, but TWICE across an 8 week period?
2) How is it that during this entire unpleasant screwed-up-order process I was not apologized to until yesterday when I’m SOL b/c one of the pieces is no longer available after I paid for it 8 weeks ago?!
3) Why did you hold onto my money for over 2 months and tell me that my order had successfully gone through THREE times, when that was a lie and now you’re telling me it’s not available?!
I feel I deserve an explanation as to why my order was “placed” over 2 months ago and yesterday I’m told that it’s no longer available !!
I have several friends that are also pregnant, and it’s unfortunate that I cannot and will not refer them to your boutique. I am so frustrated by the lack of customer service and poor communication that your store provided, which led to a horrible experience. I’m not one to bash a store for 1 bad experience, because usually the store makes up for it in customer service or some other redeeming quality, but that’s not been the case for your boutique, unfortunately.
I’m now about 6 weeks out before my baby arrives and screwed over by your store’s mistakes. This is ridiculous. 
Please refund my Visa card for the cost of the ottoman that I never received. Also, please feel free to contact me via phone (see below) or email.
Thank you,
Lauren Allen

 

 

UPDATE:

The store manager refunded the cost of the ottoman and gave me an additional 10% discount on the glider. It was then communicated to me that the manufacturer (Nursery Works) that was selling these items was shady to work with and she showed me some email correspondence between them and the store. Overall, it was just a lack of good clear communication between all parties that was never communicated to me and made it seem like the store didn’t really care and was only being sorta reactive. If you shop here, ask for the manager, Meredith, she’s nice to work with.

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08.21.12

31 weeks pregnant

HOW FAR ALONG? 31 weeks…. only 9 ish weeks left.

SIZE OF OUR SWEET BABY?  Weighs as much as 4 navel oranges (up to 19  inches head to heal, and about 3.5 – 4 lbs).

MATERNITY CLOTHES?  Yep. Still rockin’ them. And they’re getting a bit snug. I enjoy dresses and skirts more than anything tight around the bottom of my waist or legs. No thank you!

GENDER: BOY

SLEEP?  It’s been ok. I’ve been traveling so much lately that my sleep is lighter when away from home. I try to BE in bed for at least  8-9 hours with hopes of snagging at least 7 hours of “solid” sleep.

FOOD CRAVINGS?  Salads lately. Probably since I’ve been away from home and can’t control my diet as much, I just want to replenish with healthy salads/smoothies. I made a delicious Italian chopped salad for our Switch Family Feast the last night of the Switch Retreat.

WHAT I MISS?  Exercising outside at the lake. There have been more than 10 fatal cases of West Nile Virus in the area, so I’ve steered clear (and haven’t had time). Reaching my feet (thankful for pedicures).

SYMPTOMS?  This is the first week I’ve REALLY felt the physical effects of late pregnancy. Swollen feet (they’re only getting bigger), achey back and hips. Exhaustion. Lots of trips to the lady’s room since Brady’s kicking/laying on my bladder. Also, feeling a lot more emotional. I’ve been so even keel the entire time, but it hit hard this week.

BELLY BUTTON?  WAY stretched out.

BEST MOMENT(S) OF THE PAST WEEK?

1. Spending time in Colorado with my co-workers who I really enjoy. Good food, deep conversations, lots of fun & laughter.  One of my favorite “moments” of the trip was making a big italian dinner together our last night in Colorado and all 13 of us sitting around a big table sharing comical, as well as, sentimental moments with each other. I will miss times like this.

2. The day after my birthday (still in Durango), everyone went into town to float the river or rent bikes/hike and my boss surprised me with a mani/pedi at a local spa!  I was blown away. She even apologized that she wasn’t able to get me a massage since they were booked. What?! It was such a nice gift!!!

3. All of the sweet phone calls, emails, and snail-mail cards from friends and family wishing me a happy birthday. I always feel so loved by their thoughtful actions!

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08.15.12

Click here to read Part 1  and  Part 2.

Part 3 is a (looong) continuation of the second day of our Gather Retreat back in April. Each girl had their photo taken and was primped by several other ladies and their artistic talents/gifts.  These women are just so beautiful inside and out! What a pleasure it was spending the weekend building new friendships and learning from one another. I am truly grateful.

After everyone had their photo taken, several girls would be found in various parts of the cabin exercising their gifts/talents. I was taken back by some of the girl’s talents (charcoal sketching, baking (hand painting blueberries with edible blue glitter!), writing, journaling, etc…)  Andea and I were the last to have our photos taken, and once we returned, it was time for me to start prepping the dinner feast. It was so nice to have help from the other girls. We allocated the dessert making to several girls, and boy did they deliver! Bethany even hand-painted the blueberries on top of the cupcakes. My gosh, they were fantastic.  While we cooked, the other “team” of girls prepped the beautiful table for our feast. They gathered wild flowers from the nearby field we’d been shooting in all afternoon, they strung little Chinese lanterns, made place cards for each girl, etc… It really was neat to see the group effort come together and everyone was truly enjoying themselves.

On the Menu:

  • Strawberry & Spinach Salad
  • Spring Roast with root vegetables (& rosemary from my garden!)
  • Roasted & Seasoned Asparagus
  • Wheat Rolls and homemade honey butter (this stuff is addicting, y’all)
  • Sangria, Wine, Lemon Water
  • Desserts:
    • Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream
    • Little Spice Cake Bites
    • S’Mores Bars
    • Mini  Chocolate Orange Cheesecakes

 

We transfered all the delicious food outside and took our places at the table. We took in the fresh air as we sat on the balcony overlooking miles and miles of huge pine trees in front of a lovely sunset amongst many talented women. We said a blessing and dug in. Towards the end of dinner we served coffee and desserts and Ashley gave an amazing delivery of the spoken word. I got goose bumps. I’m having  hard time putting into words how she shared what she’d written. It was empowering, encouraging, motivating, filled with truth and love about our God and some of her personal experiences. There was repetition, and it was sort of read to a beat.  It was so lovely. I feel blessed for having heard it.

After dinner, we piled the dishes into the kitchen, helped clean up and prepared for Andea’s discussion for the night. Andea spoke on “Priorities: Keeping your first love first.”

 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. – Deuteronomy 6:5

She had us answer a few reflection questions about our priorities and what things we put before our Lord instead of loving him wholly.  What personal pursuits have been put in front of pursuing the Lord?

After dinner we slowly wound down for bed and April wound everyone back up by doing her “stuffed animal dance” puppet show that had us in tears laughing. (Yea, I know. We’re grown women and someone brought a stuffed animal- hah another story for another time.) Of course rap music was involved, which then motived others to get up and start dancing. It was a good night….

The next morning we woke up and made pancakes, smoothies, eggs, bacon, fruit, coffee and juices. It was a delicious farewell breakfast! Overall, it was an amazing weekend. Thank you to the girls who participated!  Andea and Amanda are co-hosting another Gather Retreat on the Texas Coast at the end of September. Unfortunately, I will not be able to co host, as my travel cut off date is Sept. 1 for this pregnancy.  Can’t wait for future Gather Retreats!  Praise God!

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