Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ripped Off by JC Penney

Last week on Lisa Ricard Claro's blog, she posted "No Customr Service - Still," about her problems getting service from Sears. When I read her post I understood what she was talking about; I have shared her pain with big chain stores making promises but failing to deliver.

Yesterday I had a similar experience with JC Penney. Yep. I got ripped off by JC Penney with their bogus coupons and misleading business practice of "price adjustments."

Question: Where is a $10 off coupon not really worth $10?

Answer: JC Penney, at least the one at Mid Rivers Mall in St. Peters, MO.

Here's what happened: Last Thursday my granddaughter bought a dress for homecoming at JC Penney at West County Mall. She used my debit card, and I must admit; her dress is adorable and she got a good deal.

After I saw where she bought the dress, I remembered I had a $10 off coupon and found out I could get a price adjustment.I figured the $10 could go towards buying a pair of shoes to go with her dress.

So, yesterday, I took my receipt, debit card, and $10 off coupon to our closest JC Penney story at Mid Rivers Mall in St. Peters.

The cashier told me that since my granddaughter used my debit card she would have to refund my purchase in cash then I would have to rebuy the dress to use the $10 off coupon. No problem so far.

With cash in hand I waited for the cashier to rering the purchase and deduct the $10 coupon. The final result was a refund of $6 and change.

Wait. What?

I held the money in front of her and asked, "What is this?"

"It's because of the tax," she answered.

"But it was a $10 off coupon. I should get more than $10 back,not less, because of the taxes."

"Let's see," she said, studying the receipt.

Then she told me that the dress had gone up in price since last Thursday so she had to charge me Monday's price for the dress. Hence my "price adjustment" was that I actually paid MORE for the dress before the coupon was deducted.

"Sorry that's the best I can do," she said, as she tore up my coupon and put it in the trash before I could ask for a do-over and use my $10 coupon to buy something else.

Because I was in a hurry to pick up my grandson from school I didn't have time to ask to talk to a manager--and there was a long line of people waiting behind me.

"Well, it's better than nothing, but not much better," I said, fuming.

As I stepped aside and  put my receipt and credit card away, the woman behind me in line told the cashier she had a 20% off coupon, but it wasn't good until Wednesday.

"That's okay," the cashier said, ringing up the woman's purchase, "You can buy it today and bring it back on Wednesday for a price adjustment."

Good luck with that, lady, because at JC Penney the price adjustments aren't what you think they are.

My lesson is to avoid shopping at JC Penney, where apparently a "price adjustment" isn't what it seems and the JCP actually stands for Jerking around Customers, Plenty!

Hey, wait. Maybe I'll write to their corporate office and see what they think of my new acronym.  Who knows, it might catch on.


  1. Donna, that really is ridiculous! I would definitely write an e-mail to the store manager first and see where you get. I've found that when I do write a complaint letter, stating the facts and not getting too JCP (Just Cryin' Plenty!) I usually end up with a gift certificate! The cashier who waited on you was definitely incorrect!

  2. Should still go above her head. The price you paid should have been the price you rebought it for. I'd be stomping mad.

  3. Wow -- but maybe, like other big companies, JCP has a social media team scouring the Web for negative comments and they'll see your blog and make it up to you! That will be a whole new blog post! Either way, glad you got this off your chest. Two things in play, here: Big company shenanigans and inadequately trained personnel.

  4. Hi Becky,
    Maybe I'll give it a shot, and I like your acronym.

    Hi Linda.
    I wanted to calm down before I talked to anyone above the cashier. And you exactly described the way I felt, "stomping mad."



  5. Hi Dianna,
    I have to admit I feel a little better today after getting it off my chest, but I'm still not pleased about how things turned out.
    Yesterday I was spitting mad and might have made a fool of myself telling a manager how ridiculous the whole idea of paying more for a price adjustment was. Maybe it was a blessing that I had to hurry up and pick up Michael from school.

  6. I am notorious for shaking my fist (after an incident like yours) and saying "I'll never shop here again!" There are quite a few places I refuse to step in again. Maybe you should add JCP to YOUR list.

    (I'm not saying it made a difference to those establishments, but I feel better.)

  7. Hi Cathy,
    I hear ya. JCP is on my list, but with Christmas coming who knows if I'll stick to my gus.

  8. Donna, I'm sorry you had such a negative experience. Maybe that customer service person just hadn't been trained correctly; maybe she was new, or maybe she just made a mistake. In any case, I'd write a complaint letter to the management, to at least give them an opportunity to correct the situation, before smearing them on the internet. Not every company is out to get the consumer.

    I've shopped at Penny's numerous times, with no problems, haven't you? I've actually gotten some good deals and some clothes I've really liked. Don't let one bad experience color your whole impression of them. (And no, I've never worked for them.)

    I'd write to the management, to get a response, before taking revenge on them online.

  9. Customer service in general seems to be going downhill, esp at some of the big chain stores where I USED to shop. (I realize in this case it might not have been the salesperson but more the store policy?)

    It's gotten to the point that when I DO receive good customer service, I'm surprised. Shouldn't it be the other way around, where good service is the norm and bad service the surprise?

    Okay, rant done. :)

    (Although, wasn't JCP under fire recently for carrying some awful sexist shirt for girls? Or was it some other store?)

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Hey Missouri Writer,

    Are you really from Missouri?

    What part of the state?

    And what kinds of things do you write? Fiction? Non-fiction? Poetry? Or only apologetic rants defending a major corporation?

    Since you are new to my blog and have never left a comment before, I'm curious as to why you have chosen today to comment.

    And why do you feel the need to apologize for JCP, speculate about what happened to me, defend them, make excuses for them, and dispense unsolicited advice on how I should handle the situation?

    You weren't there, so obviously you do not know what happened.

    You state you have never worked for JCP, but I suspect you are a consultant or work for a firm that trolls the Internet to refute negative comments about companies that screw up.

    Am I close?

    If not, why have you chosen today to post a long comment on my blog defending JCP and criticizing what I chose to post on my personal blog?

    And why are you lurking in the shadows and posting under such a generic name?

    Writing the facts about my negative experience with JCP on my personal blog is my business. I'm not smearing them. The facts are the facts.

    Donna V.

  12. Hi Madeline,

    I agree. A sales clerk can only do what the management or company policy dictates.

    I'm not sure if it was JCP who got in trouble for the sexist shirts for girls. Wouldn't surprise me, though.


  13. Donna--

    You are fired up. I'm glad I only a Missouri writer and not THE Missouri Writer. I would not want your well-aimed ammo pointed in my direction.


  14. Hi Sioux,
    You are right.
    I am still fired up about what happened, and the transparent post from the anonymous MISSOURI WRITER, who obviously gets paid for writing comments defending companies like JCP, added fuel to the fire.

  15. Donna,
    Kudos for taking Missouri Writer to the woodshed. If companies don't want unflattering facts reported on the internet, they should make sure there are no unflattering facts to report.

  16. Hi Val,


    I agree wth you 100 percent and sincerely appreciate your support.

    It amazes me that a shill like Missouri Writer thinks that an honest blogger like me with a legitimate complaint is so stupid that I cannot see through his ruse of disguising himself as concerned commentor, but in all probability he's a paid consultant or lawyer-lite hired to put out fires for companies who don't live up to their promises or expectations.

    Rather than mitigating the situation, fake commentors like Missouri Writer make matters worse by being such transparent weasels.


  17. So sorry you got scammed. :( What is it with these stores? Do they really want us sharing these horror stories on our blogs? Wouldn't they rather have us praising their service and encouraging others to shop there? I just don't get it!

    Oh, and thanks for the mention. :)

  18. Hi Lisa,
    Thanks, me too.
    I don't get it either.
    And I was hoping it was okay to link to your blog post about Sears.

  19. You're right on, Donna! I'm going to twitter this now. Let's get the word out.

  20. Hi Clara,
    Thanks! You are so sweet.

  21. I love the acronym - LOL. I'm sorry you had such a problem. I must say that things can be done to make a person happy when they are dissatisfied. Tonight my husband and I ate at Steak n Shake. We both got Chili Mac, but he also got a burger. It came with cheese. He asked if he had a choice as to what kind of cheese and the waiter said, yeah and listed the choices. So my husband picked cheddar. When we got our meal, my Chili Mac was way too saucy, but I ate it anyway (surprise!). When we got the bill, we were charged extra for the "substitute cheese". When we paid the Manager who asked how everything was and so we said, "well, we didn't think we should be charged for cheese and she said, "Oh, well you shouldn't have." She told us the waiter was fairly new and needs some more training. Then husband said, "And my wife's Chili Mac was really saucy but mine was fine." She apologized and said they should be consistent and all be the same and she would take that off our bill. We told her that wasn't necessary, but she insisted. That only makes you want to go back, whereas JCP, not so much. I've written letters to places where I've not been satisfied and when they've done nothing, I've never patronized again. There's too many choices out there to not have Customer Satisfaction. You go girl.

  22. Hi Lynn,
    Sounds like your Steak n Shake manager handled the situation just right so customers will come back.
    Today in the mail I received another coupon from JCP, but I doubt I'll be using it any time soon.


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