“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” –Warren Buffett
It’s not easy to make it as a small business in Toronto, but with poor customer service you’re almost guaranteed to fail. In the Digital Age, it has become increasingly important to ensure customers leave your business with a positive experience. If they don’t, many will be quick to share critical reviews and vent about their negative interaction for friends, family, colleagues, and the entire world to see.
Which brings me to The Boutique X, a ladies apparel store marketing themselves as offering “runway fashions” with exclusive prices. In my opinion, their sequined, frilly garbs look more like costumes than classy attire. From their window displays, I was skeptical we would find anything worth trying on but since my niece was excited to begin the hunt for her prom dress, we decided to give the new store a chance. I wish we hadn’t.
From the moment we attempted to enter Boutique X, we were made to feel uncomfortable and untrustworthy. My sister-in-law, who was drinking her coffee in a reusable cup, was denied entry. “No drinks allowed!” the salesperson shouted, despite no such store policy being displayed outside. Once my eldest niece found a few dresses to try on, they were taken from her and put aside.
We were made to wait despite the curtained change room being available.
The salesperson was cashing out another customer, who was haggling over the final price of her purchase. Passing my niece one dress at a time, she criticized the fit. “Her body is tiny,” the salesperson said. “None of these dresses will work,” discouraging her from trying on the rest of her selections.
My poor six year old niece, who was bored standing outside with her mom, was pressing the automatic door button as people walked by the store. Apparently this was getting on the salesperson’s nerves, because she yelled at her to stop. Then as her eight year old sister tried to approach a mannequin, only to comment on the shirt, the salesperson yelled, “Stay away from the display!”.
Since when is shouting at children an acceptable form of communication for a customer service representative?
Next, the salesperson noticed me checking the price-tag on a dress hanging on a rack near the cash. The dress was listed at $110.00. She rushed over to inform me that it wasn’t for sale, “It’s a sample,” she said and with a judgemental stare added, “When it’s listed for sale, it’ll be at least $550.00.” Quite a markup to be bragging about, if you ask me.
Ready to leave, we exited the store and my youngest niece pressed the automatic door button one more time. Seemingly, this hit a nerve with the salesperson who chased us out onto the street screaming. Her behaviour frightened my nieces.
When I expressed the details of my negative experience on Instagram, a representative from Boutique X got back to me.
I wish I could say they acknowledged their inappropriate actions and apologized. Unfortunately, this was not the case. They called me an exaggerating bully and denied having done anything offensive. I wished them luck; because I believe with their overpriced clothing and complete lack of decency, they’ll need it.
8 Comments Add yours
Well written. Reminds me of shopping in Toronto….we friendly Newfoundlanders would never say things to hurt others when they are shopping…🤗
Wow! Cannot imagine how they expect customers to want to go back there.
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A single voice can be heard in a quiet room. Most people would not share their experiences. You do a great service by speaking up. Hopefully that store will learn, or close. We do not put up with bullies any more!
What a downright horrible experience.
I’m so glad that someone brought this horrendous owners manners to the internet. This store needs to be shut down ASAP. The worst part about this store is that lady you dealt with is the owner and her entire family who help run it all have the same rude demeanour.
I had walked in and was looking at the clothes one by one moving the hangers and she proceeded to yell at me saying I was being disrespectful. ( how are you supposed to shop if you can’t touch the clothing?). After she yelled at me I decided to walk towards the door because I was so uncomfortable then she yells “ THATS IT YOURE NOT GOING TO BUY ANYTHING?” I will never go back I’m in such disbelief someone could yell and be so rude so her customers.
One of my other friends went in and was on her phone and the lady had told her that she wasn’t allowed to be on the phone while she was in the store!!!!!
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Oh wow! I’m sorry you also had a negative experience. No way to treat potential customers.
Ready for my experience there a year ago? I took it as far as having a face to face meeting with the ‘owner’ in which I DENIED her offer of a ‘$300 shopping spree’ in lieu of an apology. Here’s my story:
I recently visited the new, and beautiful store, Boutique X…. unfortunately the sales associate had a far from beautiful attitude. I have never felt more JUDGED, INSECURE, and UNWELCOMED in all of my shopping experiences.
I’m a 33yr old grown woman who was ready to try on a few of her pieces. As I started pulling items off the racks, I was asked ‘what size I was looking for’ but with the underlying intent that I was too big for her clothing. As I continued to browse, I came upon a dress in the window which I gently touched. I was scolded like a 5yr old ‘not to touch the item!!!!!!!’ as if I was about to destroy the item. I asked if it was for sale, and I would have been willing to spend the $450, and she said yes. I asked her how was it possible to try on a dress I wasn’t allowed to ‘touch?????’
I was called to the back to try on the dress I had set aside and as soon as I went to the fitting room, I was told the dress was ‘no longer available.’ She said she had JUST got a phone call that someone from another store wanted it set aside.
There was no phone call……
I was the told ‘better luck next time,’ as I left the store….. I promptly said ‘there will be no next time.’
It’s unfortunate that this woman had the most sour and judgemental attitude. As a confident woman, I left the store in pure discomfort and disgust. I feel unflattering, too ‘big’ and uncomfortable in my own skin. This situation will definitely stick with me in the back of my mind, and it’s sickening that this woman had that impact on me.
I encourage you to rethink having this retailer in your mall. Stunning pieces but left feeling less than stunning. Will be SURE to tell all of my clients about my experience.
Oh my goodness! That’s horrible. I’m so sorry you experienced such awful customer service. I hope by sharing our stories we’re able to save others from the same fate.