Bad Shopping Experience

Shopping at Roopam

I recently learned that a new Indian clothing store, Roopam,  had opened in Sacramento. I was excited about this as the nearest Indian clothing store was 2 hours away in Berkeley. I had also shopped at the Berkeley Roopam,  store and did like the inventory.

As it was a few days before Diwali, I decided to shop at this new store. It was a 40 minute drive from my home, a bit of a distance in itself. I bought gifts of clothing for my daughter-in-law, son and husband. As I was not quite sure if the sizes would work, I checked with the store manager if I could exchange the items, should there be a problem. He made a note on the garments that they were possible exchanges. They do have a sign, right near the cash register, that says, all sales are final, no exchanges or returns.

Now this is what I find very difficult to accept.

I had this experience in an Indian clothing store in Berkeley.  On that occasion, I was not aware that returns would not be accepted. When I did go to return an item, I was told that it is not their policy to accept returns or offer a refund. After much discussion, they agreed to let me choose other items to the value of the item I was returning.

But coming back to Roopam.  As it happens, the dress did not fit my daughter in law. The outfit did not fit my son and my husband just did not like the style that I had chosen and wanted me to buy something for myself instead.

So I go along to Roopam. The store manager was not there and a store assistant, obviously in a higher rank than the other sales associates comes to help me. I tell her my story.  She then gets a call on her cell phone. So I just stand there, while she chats. I try to get someone else to help, but I am told that she is the person who will help.

So I wait.  No apology for keeping me waiting. The first outfit for my son is exchanged for a bigger size.  I am then told that there are no more dresses in a larger size in that style & color available. I am asked to choose from other dresses in that price range. As I am not happy with the other dresses, I take a chance and ask if they will give me a cash refund. I am told that, that  is not possible and I am shown the notices, that no returns are accepted.

So I look at other dresses. The “chief assistant,” gets another call. So I wait again. The other lady did try to help, by showing me other items, but as she did not know prices etc. I had to wait for the “chief assistant.”

She showed me a dress that was $20 dollar more than the dress that I had purchased. I liked it. I agreed to buy this one and told her that it was not a problem,  as I would use the money from the other outfit, (my husband’s),  that also needed to be exchanged.

The “chief assistant”  looked at me, aghast!!  That outfit I was told,  cannot be used to supplement the cost of the dress. That is from the men’s section and I can only exchange that for an outfit from the men’s section. I was also told, that strictly, I am only allowed to get a larger size, not even to get another item from the men’s section.

I was also told that the dress that I had brought in had nothing to indicate that it was eligible for exchange. It was from the goodness of her heart she was doing me a favor. She did not have to exchange anything.

I told her that I was really surprised by their rigid return policy and said that most department stores are open to returns and it did not have to be from the same section. Cash refunds or credits to the card, were given with no hassles.

I also asked about considering the customer.  If they were more flexible I would most certainly shop there again, but this rigid style actually deters me from ever coming there again.

The “chief assistant” was not concerned about this. She said that at other stores, things are purchased at full price, so therefore they are open to returns and that is not the case with them.

That of course is totally untrue. I buy things on sale all the time and if I have to exchange the item, I never have a problem. In fact,  the dress that I was now returning was marked down by $10, since I bought it a week ago. So it is not as if they are selling at dirt cheap prices.

I was left with no alternate but to exchange the dress for another color in the same price range. I did not return my husband’s oufit as I decided he should go there himself and try it on and decide on a style he wanted. So,  we most likely will do one more trip to this store.  But I will certainly not shop there again. Very sad as I would have been a frequent customer.

Does anyone know why Indian stores have this rigid attitude to exchanges, returns and a lack of consideration for their customers?

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