• Report: #1078099
Complaint Review:

Saks Fifth Avenue

  • Submitted: Thu, August 22, 2013
  • Updated: Thu, August 22, 2013

  • Reported By: DONTSHOPATSAKS — Trussville Alabama
Saks Fifth Avenue
129 Summit Blvd Birmingham, Alabama USA


*UPDATE EX-employee responds: MORE SAKS FACTS

*Author of original report: SAKS SCAM

*Consumer Comment: To the Former Employee..

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Former Employee Clears Up Posted Errors

*Consumer Comment: Easy Solution

*General Comment: lets see..

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When you enter Saks Fifth Avenue, You expect a certain level of service and professionalism.  On every level imaginable they failed me .... their customer.

I have severe headaches from strong french perfumes.  They literally make me sick to smell them when they are too strong.  I received as a gift a $250.00 PERFUME BOX that WAS NOT OPENED IN ANY WAY!  There was a distinct perforated seal and it was NOT BROKEN.  I have pictures and video to prove it.

They claimed during the refund process (I was swapping it for cosmetics in their store) that they needed to open the box just to make sure there really was perfume in the box since you could not SEE into the box.  I laughed and said sure it's your box now, since I'm swapping it for something else, do what you want.  The girl proceeded to RIP the seal off tearing the paper on the box rather than gently cutting along the perforated seal which would have NOT torn the box and why Im sure the manufacturer sealed it that way in the first place.

Their Store associates are supposed to be trained and offer excellent service as compared to someone who might not have their training in a smaller brand name store.  After they open it up, ripping the paper off my box, of expensive perfume, this lady comes up from out of no where and claims that the lady helping me needs to get approval to make the swap, and all of the sudden we went from ok mam we are swapping this out for you to oh we might not be able to swap it out for you since you don't have a receipt.


She literally already had my other items laying beside the register and was in the middle of doing the swap when this other lady intervened.  I am upset with them because A.  They did not tell me they were not going to be able to swap my items out until they had ruined my box by OPENING IT and RIPPING THE PAPER and B.  THEIR ASSOCIATES IN SAKS FIFTH AVENUE OF ALL PLACES DO NOT KNOW HOW TO CUT ALONG A PERFORATED EDGE AND NOT DESTROY SOMEONES PROPERTY.

After like 2 hours of standing their waiting for associate after associate to put their two cents in they tried to force me to take my ruined box of perfume back.  I refused.  I got the managers name, i shot a video of the entire incident and i took pictures also.  Since that time I have offered them 2 resolutions, swap my item out or give me one that is not open.  They did not fully inform me that they were not doing the swap or I WOULD HAVE NEVER EVER EVER LET THEM OPEN MY BOX.

Who wants an OPEN BOX OF PERFUME?  I DONT!!!!!  SAKS TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR POORLY TRAINED STAFF.  I AM NOT LETTING THIS GO.  I WILL Continue to persue this and take all legal action necessary until you make this right.





This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/22/2013 10:13 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/saks-fifth-avenue/birmingham-alabama-35243/saks-fifth-avenue-scammers-ruined-my-25000-bottle-of-perfume-refuse-to-refund-or-repla-1078099. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds


AUTHOR: Happyfamily99 - ()

You made some very valid points, however, the saks system does not require a CC - only a name.  They have quite an elaborate system of data collection about their "Guest" (AKA Shoppers).

They keep profiles on all of their GUESTS so they can serve them better.  All in an effort to offer a very personal shopping experience.

Also usually if not always, Perfume and Cosmetics are excluded from any sales/promotions.  The most I ever saw them give was a promotional item with some free cosmetic samples inside.

The promotion you were referring to for the giftcard is for clothes and accessories and shoes.





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#2 Author of original report



I feel I left out a few details.  I was in the Store with my two daughters.  I went up to the associate that handles selling the perfume I was wanting to swap for something else.  She is the one who first looked over the box, even commented that she understood, that the particular fragrance was one of Guerlain's bolder fragrances.  She asked me what I would like to exchange it for and even escorted me and my daughters to the next oval and helped me pick out the items I wanted to exchange it for.  The first associate was not the problem at all - it was the random lady that walked up and inserted herself in the transaction.

I did not start to take the pictures or video until after the random lady walked up and ripped my box.  I had zero problem with them opening the box the right way.  I understand they were just doing their job. What I do have a problem with is that they took away my options and did not fully inform me of the possible outcomes.  At the time I granted permission to open the box we were literally in the middle of the exchange.  I had no reason to think the exchange was not going to take place.  And Yes, to the former employee, this was a unique item so there was no question at all about it being a Sak's item. 

I shopped at Saks often in the past as did most of my family, and none of us have ever experienced anything like this.  My sole complaint is that they of all people are familiar with the correct way to open this item and it did not have to be torn in such a manner.  For whatever reason this trouble making associate that inserted herself in an otherwise normal exchange was careless and did not tell me that they were not going to do the exchange.  If they had informed me of that, I would have never given persmission to open the box period and certainly not rip the seal open.

To summarize, price was never a question, the item being from Saks was not in question either and the first associate helping me saw no issue either or why would she have helped me pick out the items I was exchanging it for?  I will never shop there again.  I will go to Nordstroms or Neiman Marcus instead, both of which by the way, have amazing customer service.  I never once asked for cash or credit.  This was intended to be an exchange from start to finish.


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#3 Consumer Comment

To the Former Employee..

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

 You brought up some interesting points..but actually kind of confirmed a few of the points you think were wrong.

First the OP stated that she received this as a "gift" so unless she happens to have the CC of the person who bought it..any sort of "lookup" is useless.  Of course if she had the CC, then as stated should could have just asked for the receipt as well.

You also say that they carry unique items that make it obivous it was sold in the store...well again without a receipt was it actually "sold"?

Then you say they don't have sales.  Well that is NOT exactly true.   There are at least a couple of times a year when Saks will have a special deal that if you buy a certain amount of merchandise you get a "gift card".  The amount of the Gift Card increases as the person buys more items.  So at $250 without a receipt according to your comments there would be nothing that would keep a person from buying the item, getting the gift card, returning the item without a receipt and still gets to keep the gift card.  You do see the problem with this...right?

The other thing that wasn't even mentioned before was her complaint about the associate ripping open the package.  Well it doesn't matter if she ripped it open or she used a razor blade to break the seal..in both cases the end result is the same.  The seal is broken.  The ONLY difference is that there are people who are experts (criminally speaking) that can make a package look like it was never even opended.  And they can do it a lot easier if the package is surgically opened rather than just ripped.  Not saying that this is the OP's case..but something that is probably worth mentioning.

Now..a decade ago or even up to a few years ago would an associate need to actually open the package to verify that there was still perfume in there..probably not.  But today..you can't even go into a "Big Box" store to return an unopended DVD without them opening it to verify that the DVD is still there...and Sacks just like any store doesn't want to take a loss on things like this.

As sad as it is, if a company took that "Philosophy" as set in stone no matter what...they would be out of business within a week.  Because there would be people looking for a way to take advantage of that for their gain.

Again I am not saying that this is the OP's case, and still would really hope that they post their 2 hour video of the "entire" incident.

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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Former Employee Clears Up Posted Errors

AUTHOR: Happyfamily99 - ()

This caught my attention because I worked for saks for 11 years.  The two people who posted rebuttals obviously never worked at a Saks Fifth Avenue store.  Each associate is taught to make their customers shopping experience the best ever.  We received extensive and ongoing training.  So I do understand a Saks customer expecting us to know how to handle a return in a professional manner.

Saks Mission Statement

From the day our doors first opened in 1924, we have embodied the spirit of our current Mission Statement:  

To inspire customer confidence and style with every Saks shopping experience.  Saks Fifth Avenue caters to a variety of dedicated fashionistas, special occasion shoppers, global travelers and people who love beautiful things of quality. The diversity of our selections mirrors the diversity of our customers.

Being part of this legendary organization is a source of great pride for our Associates – and the beginning of many inspired careers.

Also, SAKS does track every purchase made via credit card and stores it in our customers portfolio of purchases.  Usually we can type in a persons name and pull up everything they ever bought so often you do not need a receipt at Saks.   I think I should also mention that Saks carries very unique items, not found in most stores, so usually we could easily identify if an item was bought in our store or not.  Perfume of that quality never goes on Sale, so price would not have been issue either.  It sounds like from reading the original message that there was not a dispute about the item coming from there but maybe they just couldn't find the purchase in their system.  I worked in the Dallas store and I know my boss would have written one of us up on the spot if we had damaged an item.  Saks associates are trained to be excellent associates.  I can liken it to flying in first class or coach.  If you shop at Saks you are treated like you are flying in First Class.

However, that being said, one of the reason I left my job after 11 years was because the quality of people that I worked with had gone down severely.  We were treated awful my last few years there and at least in my store in Dallas we were told repeatedly to do things that I knew would be against the corporate philosophy.  I once was proud to say I worked at Saks, but my last two years there I hated every moment and was sad to see such a decline in moral compass.

To the lady above, I would contact the New York office about your experience, I am sure they will make things right for you.  Good Luck.

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#5 Consumer Comment

Easy Solution

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

 If the problem is that you don't have a receipt, then just go ask the person who gave it to you for it.  After all if they are close enough to you to give you a $250 bottle of perfume...they are close enough to you to understand that you would like to exchange it.  Because the rest of your story has some issues.

You say you took a video of the ENTIRE incident.  Really the ENTIRE incident?  Does this include when you first went for the exchange before the package was opened?  Because if so the question is why would you do that if you were not expecting any problems?  Of course if you didn't..then what exactly is the purpose of the video..2 hours of them telling you that you can't return it?

Who wants an OPEN BOX OF PERFUME?  I DONT!!!!!

Well according to the reason you were returning it you didn't even want an Unopened box of perfume.  The reason for the exchange was supposedly because you get headaches from it.  So why would you accept an unopended package back?  Were you going to give it back to the person who gave it to you?  Were you going to try and re-gift it?  Were you going to go to a different store and try the same thing?

She literally already had my other items laying beside the register and was in the middle of doing the swap when this other lady intervened.

Did you go to the register first and say you wanted to do an exchange. Or did you pick all of your items out and then go to the counter?

The fact is that without a receipt the store has no idea if you stole the item, paid less for the item, or if the item is even from their store.   Of course since you mentioned the videos..how about posting them along with the pictures.

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#6 General Comment

lets see..

AUTHOR: Tyg - ()

 Ok so you are attempting to return a product without a reciept and get mad on the way they opened the product in order to do the swap for you. You do realize that you are nothing special right??? You are just one of many ppl out there attempting to circumvent the return process. Had you had a reciept this situation would never have happend. They would have given you your money back and you could have purchased something else. As you DID NOT have a reciept a swap is normally authorized by someone in managment. Youre not going to get a new bottle of perfume, as the bottle isnt broken and wasnt broken by them, and they wont give you a new bottle simply because the packaging is damaged. The packaging was damaged due to the fact that they had to open it to make sure you were not attempting to pull a fast one on them. This event and everything that came from it was from the fact that you did not have a reciept. They do not know if this was something stolen ,since no reciept was there, or something you purchased from someone else at a cheaper amount and are just trying to screw them over by getting back more then you paid for it. You can rant and rail all you like. Saxs isnt the person who was potentially commiting return fraud, that was you. In the future I would suggest that you KEEP all your reciepts somewhere safe that way this situation wont happen again.

You cannot put the blame on them for doing thier job as they have been instructed to by the company that hired them. YOU are not thier boss. YOU are not the one who pays them. YOU are the one responsable for following the return process outlined on the back of any reciept. YOU did not follow this so you cannot claim they ripped you off. They did thier job, YOU didnt do your part. YOU demand that they take responsability yet you yourself refused to do the same and went in KNOWING what you were doing was wrong.

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