ED Magedson – Founder
fossil2280 north greenville avenue richardson, Texas United States of America
gray gattoni, national sales manager for fossil, inc (stock market symbol FOSL) really needs to consider taking a class in customer service and acquire some badly needed customer service skills.
this man treated me, his customer, very condescendingly from the start of our very first conversation, like i was one of his sales staff who was on his short list. i guess i'm not an important enough customer for fossil.
i'm really surprised that this man has the position that he does. i recommend to any future prospective employer who is reading this to reevaluate before considering this man to represent your company. i've also sent this complaint to his current employers, but have not had any response. I don't know about anybody else, but if this man was in my employ, i would want to know about his behavior.
i am the owner of our mom & pop retail business that offered the fossil line of watches, wallets and belts as part of our selection. to start, we ordered the usual buy-in that fossil required.
we were doing quite well with them, until i received an order of watches that fossil shipped us that we didn't order. this was the beginning of our unhappy fossil experience.
our records show that we opened our account in march 2008 and shipped almost $2600 that year.
then in march of 2009, fossil shipped us a $350 order that we didn't order... and then refused to give us our money back! they wanted to issue us a store credit, but not give us our money back. we did not want a store credit. we are a men's store and the order was women's watches and stuff, plus we didn't order it!
fossil took so long, we had to pay that amount to our credit card company that fossil took from us, and finally after almost 5 months later, and after many phone calls we finally received our money back.
i don't know any other company that makes a mistake and drafts someones account and then tries to get them to settle for a store credit. it's my money. i'll make the decision on who get it and when. we got a bad taste from that experience, so i tried to contact our rep, hillary wright, about fossil sending us a happy to help compensate for all the trouble and ended up talking to gray gattoni.
i told him that i felt that a good compensation for my time was sending me a couple of half off watches that i could in turn sell and all would be well.
as a seasoned ex-rep, in the past, this was selectively a great way to calm an upset account down or get them to wear our product personally over a competitors product.
instead of listening to my concerns and trying to make the situation better, gray immediately began to ask completely unrelated questions. i felt like i was under interrogation instead of getting someone in charge to help me with my situation.
what did the following questions have to do with hearing about my situation?
asked if we had a store!!
asked what watch lines i carry (i had already been vetted by the rep when i opened my account in person. although we never saw her again after that)
repeatedly asked how much business did we did with them this year.
repeatedly implied closing me down, pointed out to me that he re-evaluates accounts and anything less than $1000 a year is shut down.
began to use the word "happy" condescendingly until i asked him for word that i should use that he would better understand.
said that i must have more time on my hands to be able argue with him about this, the implication being several negative things.
gray then offered me free shipping and said that was all he could do.
to me and considering all the time that i had to spend on the situation, that was really a pathetic offer. he said that it was probably equal to what our credit card charges were.
what about all the time it took to get my money back?
i asked him if his time was valuable to him, because he obviously was oblivious to the amount of time i had to spend to get this situation resolved.
i guess my time is not as valuable as his.
he talked to me like i was one of his reps.
i'm the customer! a brick and mortar small business owner who has spent thousands of dollars with fossil! the lack of customer service skills displayed to me and my situation is very surprising for a person at the level of a national sales manager. my resume includes working as a rep for 10 years for some major companies in my field and if his customer service skills are normally what he displayed to me, he should take some classes or really consider a position where he doesn't have any customer interaction.
it get's better.
i went over his head and talked to tim burkhart, one of fossil's vice presidents.
tim, after hearing my story, agreed to remedy the situation, and agreed to do what i had proposed initially.
i had a real reservation about placing an order with fossil so soon after the verbal struggle that i had with gray. it left a bad taste in my mouth and we didn't really need anything at the moment, so i decided to give it some time to air out before placing our next order.
after some time and the season was right for more product, we then put a call in to the home office. i was told that to place an order i had to talk to our rep hillary so i left her a message.
never received a call back.
in fact i don't think i've ever had any correspondence from hillary wright other than the one time that she came by the store when we opened our account, and the recent reply to one of my emails later in this process.
we had our order prepared and ready to give fossil the green light to send us some product, put money on their table, but never heard back from hillary.
why do i have to chase down my rep to get an order filled?
other companies want my money and call me back, stop by, send me emails...
i put a call into gray's boss, tim, as i didn't really want to talk to gray again. instead of tim calling me back, i hear from gray....
i told him that i wanted to place an order and take advantage of tim's offer. the offer that he (gray) had originally told me could not be done. he seemed surprised that i had more to order than just the two watches at half off. i guess he thought i was only going to order the two half off watches. i let him know that i was going to place an order. he told me to send the order to hillary's email.
hillary sends me a response back (our first correspondence since we met her) telling me that i had to "re"open my account.
incredible. apparently they wanted me to re-qualify. said that i was off target to be an account.
i told them we would be on target if i didn't have the trouble that i had with this situation.
i sent an email to gray about the situation and he indicates that he is going to have to enforce this minimum. after an already negative situation and the way that he had initially talked to me, he still wanted us to "re"open our account with 36 watches?! plus he went on to mention that the annual requirement for being allowed the privilege of being a fossil retail outlet has increased from $1000 annually to $2000 for 2011. i told him we will not be ordering 36 watches to requalify. we had already met their initial large qualifying opening order.
my order that i had just emailed to our rep hillary was over a $700 order! plus this order was sent in november of 2010! it wasn't even $2011 yet! why is gray mentioning anything about a directive that will take effect next year?!
i told him that I find it very interesting that i'm hearing about a $2000 annual minimum for the first time. again, was he pointing out the small size of our account, as he did in our conversation a few months ago? the last time we spoke, he only mentioned the annual minimum being $1000. now it's $2000 and during this tough economical climate we find ourselves in?
i asked him what time frame that he used for this figure?
was that per calendar year, or an average that can change with the next order?
how do he expect to maintain this new $2000 annual minimum without any communication from the rep?
he mentioned that our phone was blocked, but this guy had no problem getting through to me when he wanted to. we only block calls that hide their caller id. it saves us from nuisance callers. why would fossil block their caller id? if he had trouble getting through to me by phone, that is fine by me, as i would rather not have any further verbal communication with him. apparently, they don't know about email correspondence at fossil. it's not like i don't have email, snail mail, facebook fanpage, twitter and this contact information can be found on any one of these sites.
i asked him to send my order through as it is.
i don't think that a $700 order is peanuts to get back on track again.
it's almost $300 shy of their "old" annual $1000 minimum.
they never sent my order.
i missed the opportunity to offer those fossil products during the busiest season of the year for a retail business Christmas.
in hindsight, maybe I should have just disputed the charge with my credit card company. but why should i have to do that with a reputable company?
i'm bringing this to the public forum to shed some light on this experience, as up to now only a handful of people are aware of it. these kinds of people survive by spin and hiding under their rock and compartmentalizing negative information so that it never reaches the right ears. but he should be held accountable, and i hope that this reaches the right ears. i want this account of our interaction to be known publicly, to help keep this from happening to any other business owner in the future. in the near future, i may also be considering preparing a youtube video as it will surface high in a google search right along with this website. at this point, i've got nothing to lose by putting this in the public forum. what I have stated is true, and he has the right to issue a rebuttal, but what's been done is done.
is fossil so big now that they really don't need my business? i wonder if that attitude would change if the CEO knew that there is that perception floating around.
if you have had any negative dealings with gray gattoni, i would like to hear about your experience. post it online. i'll google him later.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/18/2011 01:42 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/fossil/richardson-texas-75082/fossil-gray-gattoni-fossil-exec-needs-some-customer-service-training-richardson-texas-684054. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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