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House of Fraser doubled down over my denim problem

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I bought a pair of £65 jeans as a gift for my niece in the House of Fraser store in London. They turned out not to fit. As I live in Shetland and couldn’t get back to London, I emailed to ask if I could mail them for an exchange and I received a response confirming that I could and providing an address. I sent them with a covering note and heard nothing. Three weeks later, I emailed and was told by a customer service agent that I could only return online purchases and must take the jeans back into a store. They claimed the returns confirmation I’d been sent was an automated email and applied to online purchases only. I was also told that my jeans had been received and sent back to me. They never arrived.

The next customer service agent changed the story, said the warehouse had never received the jeans and closed the case. Now they’re insisting that the package had contained no return details and had therefore got lost in the warehouse. They couldn’t explain how they knew it was my package if it had no sender details, but said it was my fault for returning jeans when I had been advised not to: completely the opposite of what actually happened.

It’s now not about the £65 or the jeans. It is about the string of misinformation I have been fed by various customer service agents who clearly can’t be bothered to sort this out. House of Fraser has my jeans and my £65 and has no intention of returning either.

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GB, Lerwick

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It’s fair enough for stores to require purchases to be returned by the same medium that they were bought, but that’s not the point. Instead of addressing your specific question, House of Fraser sent an automated email that misled you and the attitude of the last customer service rep who responded to your complaint was that he couldn’t be held responsible for his colleagues’ incorrect advice. Others were verging on the belligerent as they tried to explain away their colleagues’ errors. You’d think the company would have twigged that, for the sake of £65, there was no point digging itself deeper into the hole of its own making, but no – only when I intervened did it acknowledge that the parcel had been lost within its own network and apologise for its behaviour. In belated contrition, it refunded the £65 and offered £20 in e-vouchers.

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