Customer Service at Vera Bradley

Don’t you just love Vera Bradley’s byline:  “It’s good to be a girl.”?  I do. Nadine, our beautiful cat, likes it, too.

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I was never a fan of Vera Bradley. I never liked the cotton printed pocketbooks. They looked too, well, baggy, for one. And, the print never seemed to match what the woman was wearing who was carrying the printed bag. Not that women need to be matchy-matchy in their fashion style, but they shouldn’t be Glamour Don’ts, either.

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This Christmas, my grand-niece Lauren, had a lovely purple paisley print cosmetic bag. I love purple and paisley~put them together and WOW! Here’s what Lauren has~Lilac Tapestry:

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So I checked out Vera Bradley  and was surprised to see things other than pocketbooks and backpacks. I ended up buying some boxed notes, a note card for someone special, a pretty hair bow for our grand-daughter, a pair of wicked cool flip-flops, and a pajama tee. They were all on sale, plus an extra 40% off, and free shipping. Here’s the pattern on my flip-flops~Nomadic Floral:

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The lovely green lined box arrived with all my goodies. The only disappointment was that the tee was too large for me. There is an enclosed form to complete for returns as well as a prepaid mailing label. Very convenient for me.

I looked on-line and they had a smaller size in stock so I called customer service to order it and to see if I could get the same 40% discount as that promotion was no longer going on. “Sure” she said. “Let me see what I can do.” The real price came out a few cents less than I had paid. I was a happy shopper.

As soon as I hung up, the order verification was in my email as well as a customer satisfaction query. Not one of those long ones, that takes a chunk of time out of your afternoon and asks all sorts of personal demographic data. This one asks “How I would rate Gabriela on a scale of Poor to Excellent.” I choose ‘Excellent’. I was then asked why I gave that rating. I stated that “Gabriela was pleasant, helpful, and personable.” And, lastly, I was asked what should Gabriela be rewarded with: A cup of coffee, a lunch, or a product gift~these were shown in graphics. I choose a product gift.

All in all, I love Vera Bradley products [except for the bags and backpacks]. Beautiful designs and colors. The prices are good, especially when on sale, and if you can catch an extra promotion, that’s even better.

When I had an issue with an item needing to be returned, it was easy as pie and reordering via the customer service rep went smoothly and quickly.

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Customer Service at Sharper Image

Customer Service  at Sharper Image

As most of you know, I am seeing an occupational therapist for the treatment of arthritis in my hands. [These are not my hands.]

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I have arthritis throughout my body, but that is where the pain is. After 2 sessions, I was pain-free in my hands. The therapist gave me a paraffin heat treatment on my hands as well as hot moist treatment on my shoulders. She recommended that I get a paraffin treatment devise for home use and recommended Walmart.

I checked out Walmart and they were out of stock. I used Google Search for paraffin devises and checked out a number of sites and devices.  I especially wanted one that was made for feet so I could also treat the dry skin on my feet. I was considering features, price and shipping costs. I landed at Sharper Image where I have never shopped before. I found a Dr. Scholl’s model for $55.00 or so and had a 10% discount code which  I figured covered shipping. I received the devise, read the instructions, and plugged it in. The paraffin was suppose to melt in 2 hours. Well, 5 hours later, it was not fully melted. I left the devise on overnight and the wax finally was melted.  I gave myself a treatment and it did feel warming and soothing.

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However, since the heating unit was not working as specified, I decided to return it. I telephoned Sharper Image and told the rep the problem I had with its first use.  She said “What do you want?” I said “I want a refund.” She said “Your account will be credited within 7-10 business days.” It was nice that I did not have to return the defective item. But, there was no explanation and no apology for my inconvenience.

This was my first experience with Sharper Image and it left me with the impression that it sells shoddy goods and they are more than prepared to deal with refunds. I won’t shop Sharper Image again, nor will I buy Dr. Scholl’s products.

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