Guess - Damage goods


Brand names used to mean something. When you purchased a brand name set of luggage, for example, you expected the handles to remain intact. When you buy expensive shirts from a brand well known for quality, you’d expect them to last through at least one wash cycle without shrinking or pilling.

Sadly, even the “quality” companies are trying to expand their bottom line by paying less for construction and raising prices for their now inferior products. This, of course, does not apply to every top end store, but when there is a series of events occurring for a single brand across a range of countries and stores, there is certainly a problem.

Inferior Products

Paying top dollar for products usually means you can count on a decent level of quality. Of course this isn’t couture, but it should still fit after washing! Sadly, some of the most heavily advertised designer products are no longer living up to expectations.

You buy a shirt from a small boutique designer store. You try it on and fits perfectly. You grab a few others in different colors and take them home. After removing the tags, you run the new shirts through the washing machine – after all, you want them to be free of chemicals. You are careful to follow the instructions for washing, of course, since you don’t want to deal with shrinkage or dye problems.

When you pull the shirt out of the washing machine you notice a problem – the shirt is definitely not the same size it was when you put it into the washer. Neither is the next one. It turns out every shirt you just washed – according to the instructions no less – is now misshapen and unwearable.

Faulty Service

It’s no problem, you realize. You know you have the receipt and you know that the high-end designer store will surely want to know about the problem and make this situation right again.

But they don’t.

When you arrive at the store, the manager takes one look at your now-smaller shirts and tells you that she refuses to take them back. The shirts must have been worn, she claims. The shirts were washed incorrectly, she states. You deny both of these things vehemently, but still she persists.

Now she’s raising her voice to tell you that she refuses to take back the shirts and that the problem is obviously yours – not hers. Sadly this isn’t an isolated event.

At this particular store, you can’t even return a sweater if you remove the tags but keep them at hand. Let’s say that you plan to wear the sweater. You carefully clip the tags and then pull on the sweater at home. It doesn’t actually go with the outfit you have planned, so you remove the sweater and wear something different.

The next day – just a week or so after buying the sweater – you gather up the tags and the unworn sweater and take it back. The store employee will likely refuse to take the return. Without attached tags, you’re out of luck – you might get a store credit, but you won’t get your money back, and you certainly won’t get a polite response from anyone working in the store either.

Designer stores don’t have a huge customer base. It would stand to reason that they would work harder to reach the customers they do have and make wrong situations right.

But sadly poor products and even poorer service have infiltrated the industry, and it looks as though these trends are here to stay.