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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Forever 21 The Wash and Dispose Clothing Store

Will Forever 21 force me to hunt down Dave Carrol and beg him to write a song about my recent shopping experience.

My Experience began with my sons recent purchase of a pair of pants he was in need of to wear to his grandfathers memorial service.  The pants were to long so I suggested he wash them and I would take them to a seamstress to have them hemmed.  Why wash them? Because often clothing will shrink in the wash -  thus shrink them first  then hem them right?  Right, except the result of our attempt to wash them and then get them hemmed ended with the washing.  Once the washer ended its cycle my son went to retrieve them to place into the dryer and what did he  find?  a pair of pants that had fallen apart - that's right the waist no longer in tack a pair of pants no longer worthy of hemming but in need of being returned to Forever 21.

Pants back in the bag with tags and receipt - The mom as in me headed back to Forever 21 to exchange them for a new pair  - Simple right.  I was within their 21 day return policy had the tags and receipt - wrong.  They do not allow returns for any merchandise that has been washed or worn.  Wait a minute had we not washed them they would not have fallen apart.   Was the sales person at Forever 21 suggesting to me that their clothing is truly disposable wear it and toss it because once washed it falls apart and you can not return it.

I was positive she was confused  - seriously what store sells clothing that can not be washed.

I told her I understood she was doing her job and could I speak to her boss - he arrived at the counter and after 60 seconds he gave me the same story no returns - I shared my story even told him they were bought two states away that I had just flown in- he replied "Can you take them back to the original Forever 21 you bought them at two states away they might be able to do something for you",   SERIOUSLY?  get on a plane and return to another Forever 21 store because they might be more sympathetic, caring and just might stand behind the product I paid hard earned money for.

At this point  I began thinking  about Dave Carrol's broken guitar  and  his United Airlines experience- in which he wrote a song about. Now I was wishing I had his talent and could write my own Forever 21 song letting the mom world know the truth behind the return policy.

Lets face it I can't sing nor play the guitar so instead I  headed over to Social media venues -  I can do that - I stopped at Facebook and left a comment in which Forever 21  kindly hid from the rest of the world

Here was what I posted to Forever 21 Facebook:
Moms you should be warned about buying defective merchandise at Forever 21- if it falls apart in the wash before you even wear it you can not return it, exchange it or get a store credit they do not stand behind their clothes. I suppose thus the nickname disposable clothes/ Forever21. Wear and toss do not wash they will fall apart. Do you have a Bad Customer service story?
Next stop Twitter - I was able to tweet it out and got other moms  tweeting  along with their own experiences.   Has Forever 21 tried to connect with  me - nope.   Am  I easy to find and connect with - yes. Twitter, Facebook , Email it is all available to them.  Maybe they don't care about one unhappy moms experience but they did care enough to  hide my Facebook post.

Why am I telling you my story - mostly because I am still in shock that a company as big as Forever 21 does not stand behind their merchandise, does not care about their customers and thought I should get back on a plane fly two states away and just maybe another store would help me.

Did I get your curiosity up about Dave Carrol and his Story?  if so watch the below video and next time you have a customer service issue you to will be on the hunt for Dave Carrols ability to write and sing a song for you. Did I mention over 11 Million people have listened to his you tube.

Now if only I could get 11 million moms to leave comments on Forever 21 Facebook or tweet them maybe we would see things change at Forever 21.

P.S. Anyone know Dave Carroll



Blogger Christina Gould said...

I feel your pain! I haven't purchased anything from Forever 21, but I've bought plenty of "disposable" clothing from cheap bottom feeder retailers. One thing I've learned though is to take your concerns straight to the top. Get the name of the current CEO on their website and write an old-fashioned letter. Enclose the shirt and request a refund. What are they going to do, send the shirt back with a note that says "tough luck"? I doubt it. They are going to have to respond if they don't want to look like bafoons. I'm rarely disappointed when using this method. If that doesn't work, file a complaint with the BBB of jurisdiction, whether that's the store or the corporate office. Good luck!

December 3, 2011 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Beaner said...

Terrible! I assume you can contact the credit card company you used as payment and dispute through them???!!!!!!!!!

December 3, 2011 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger crrazymommy76 said...

Lots of stores have the policy of only accepting unwashed clothing, Old Navy being one examplke besides Forever 21. People will go buy a dress for a special occasion, then return it, used, washed/worn, so they have had to adopt this policy. Old Navy a few years ago used to accept ANY returns, and people literally returned jeans like 3 years old!!!! It stinks b/c the item you are refering to was not just washed, but defective, but the policy is what it is for reasons.

December 3, 2011 at 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Julie B. said...

I worked at a quality drycleaners for many years until a few years ago when I decided to stay home with my kids. We had experience with clothing that would say "dryclean only" on care labels when they really couldn't be. Whenever a piece of clothing that had dark and light colors (like a black and white dress for example) came in we would test it to make sure dyes didn't bleed. Many times the label will state dryclean only when it cant be. If we were to clean it the dyes would bleed. Another situation is a label says dryclean only and then they glue on fancy decorations. Well the glue will dissolve in drycleaning solvent and the decorative design will come off. we also had many washable clothing items that when the care label was followed, and we washed exactly how label stated, something happened. In all these situations we would give the customer a print out explaining how we followed care label exactly how it was stated and state what happened. Customer would return clothing to.store with this paper from us and by law they had to take it back. They had to at least give store credit if not refund for clothing. There is a care label law out there! These articles of clothing could be returned worn, dirty, no tags, no receipt, even if they were a year old, and no matter what store policy is. This was a law and had to be returned. We never once had anyone turned away from a store when sent with these notes from us. The situation you have seems to fall into this category, just as long as you followed the care label.

December 3, 2011 at 8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be fair, I think "disposable" clothing is almost to be expected when you shop at places like Forever 21 and Old Navy with their low prices. I'm amazed when their products don't fall apart when you wash them. I think their customer service should have been better to you but I don't blame them for not taking the clothes back. They're the equivalent of the dollar store for clothes.

December 3, 2011 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Jet'set said...

I absolutely sympathize with you however, I am unaware of any clothing store that will take back washed clothing?!
A few years ago when our oldest was a baby we bought his Easter sweater at Gymboree & I washed it unknowing that it had a stain on the white trim. Gymboree would not accept the return. I do not consider them to be a 'cheap' clothing store.
Does anyone know of stores that do accept washed returns?
I always save tags & I try to buy quality... In your case I'd probabaly return without mentioning the washing! My husband hates returning & dishonesty & I hate being dissatisfied with shoddy merchandise!!

December 4, 2011 at 12:53 AM  
Blogger ericahall said...

I personally purchased a top from Gymboree and of course washed it before putting it on my kids. I mean who just wears it straight from the store? Gross! Well the colors bled onto one another and I promptly returned it to Gymboree and got a refund, No questions asked. Anyway, this is why I prefer to shop at a place like Nordstrom, because if anything, EVER goes wrong with the item it can always be returned.

December 4, 2011 at 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your experience is now posted on my facebook blog and more people will know about this, thank you so much for sharing your experience!


December 4, 2011 at 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Kymy of Everything Your Mama Made & More! said...

I have actually never had stores refuse to take back defective clothing. (except stores like Alley Kat that take NO returns period). I understand why stores have strict policy's about it because growing up I knew people who would buy something were it once or twice & return in.

That being said a lot of stores will actually take defective (not stained or the wrong size but flaws in their sewing/making) clothes that have already been washed. Jet'set I have actually had great luck with gymboree returning defective items, but they weren't stained. I had jeans that the rhinestones fell off, leggings that had a hole in them after one wash & patterned tights that the threads popped loose after on where as well as multiple items of the last 6.5 years that have had color bleeding. Not only have they taken the one defective item back but I have twins so I buy everything X2 and they have taken both items back & given me store credit. That being said I have always returned them with-in 90 days with the receipt. Walmart also takes washed defective clothing & shoes back with the receipt. My mom bought me a pair of running shoes one year & while running on a trail stepped in a puddle causing the dye to run off the shoe. We washed them & took them back with out issue. Most nicer stores will take washed defective clothing items back with the receipt with-in a certain time frame. That being said most don't consider a stain that was there when you bought it or them not fitting right after washing defective.

That being said I buy a lot of my t-shirts for $6 or less at Alley Kat which is similar to Forever 21 and they flat out say no returns period. But when I first bought them there I didn't think they would last and I have actually been pleasantly surprised because 3 years including a pregnancy that I work them until I went into labor they still look great & only have a little lycra pilling/wear under the arms. But they are up front with their return policy.

As for the comment from the manager about telling you to fly back to the other state, I would have not had a nice reply.

December 4, 2011 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Storm Safety Blog said...

The return policy on their website suggests that you can return defective items to any store. I suggest contacting the corporate office (info from 2011 Forbes' list):

Forever 21
3880 N. Mission Rd.
Los Angeles CA 90031
Phone: 213-741-5100
CEO: Do Won (Don) Chang
CFO: Ann Cadier Kim

They should be willing to make this right.

December 4, 2011 at 6:55 PM  
Blogger wildcat32 said...

My teens have wanted clothes from Forever 21 before but I would not buy them because the clothes felt cheap. Now I am glad I didn't.

December 6, 2011 at 3:39 AM  

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