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An Open Letter to Macy's: The 'Gift' That Keeps on Screwing Me

Hello Macy's,

I recently paid a visit to your Beverly Center location here in Los Angeles to purchase a wedding gift for a dear friend. Luckily I saw that the $80 Cuisinart stir-fry pan listed on her registry was in stock at my nearest location, and I was happy to stop by on my way home from work and make the purchase in person.

Once the transaction was made, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a "gift" for giving a gift: a coupon good for $20 off my next Macy's purchase of $50 or more! Naturally, there was a list of restrictions (quite a long list), but I thought: what the hell, I'll come back and buy something for myself (I'm in need of a new summer wardrobe).

And two days later I did return, this time to the Westfield Culver City location. I spent a full two hours trying on clothes, working up a sweat in the fitting room, and trying to find something that would meet the coupon requirements. After three failed attempts to make a purchase with the coupon at the register, I gave up and spent my money without the discount I thought I had earned (a pair of American Rag shorts and a colorful Club Room Oxford shirt I really wanted).

I could list the dozens and dozens of items listed on the coupon as restricted, but that's what the attached photo is for. What kills me in particular, though, is the first item on the list: "Everyday Values (EDV)." According to one of your sales associates I spoke to, this translates as "any regularly priced item." This could've been a misinterpretation (as a regular shopper, perhaps I never noticed these). However, this begs the question: wouldn't it have taken up less paper to list what items I COULD purchase with this discount?

From the looks of it, the only things that may have been eligible were the Godiva bars on display at the register. But from looks of my waistline after struggling to squeeze into some jeans in the unattended and neglected fitting room, I do not need to buy $50 worth of gourmet chocolates.

I've always had a loving relationship with Macy's. You could say that it runs in my blood; my mother was a proud employee a long time ago (the 70s) in a land far, far away (New York). Two months before this unfortunate visit, it had been my first stop to buy birthday presents for loved ones (four gifts total, money well spent). And it's the only place where I can restock my supply of my favorite face wash (from Lab Series for Men).

While I understand certain designers and manufacturers have limits regarding coupons like these, I find it pointless to print these out. Why even bother handing out this "gift" to customers if they cannot use it on a majority of the store? Why not print in bold letters CONGRATS! YOU GET $20 OFF YOUR NEXT $50 ITEM, BUT YOU HAVE TO GUESS WHICH ONE IT IS! GOOD LUCK, SHOPPER! This "gift" is more like an empty promise, a blatant marketing ploy that wasted my time (and money). It's an experience that left a really bad taste in my mouth and my patience stretched thin.

Macy's, I don't wish to break up with you. I appreciated your prompt responses to my tweets over the holiday weekend. It shows that you're definitely keeping your eyes and ears open to the needs and concerns of your customers (unlike some big brands out there that shall remain nameless).

But this is ridiculous. I can't help but feel deceived, manipulated by some puppet master -- much like one of your giant Thanksgiving Day parade floats.

How can you earn my trust again?




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