Finally, a resolution to my H&M customer service problem

Finally a resolution to the lost gift card debacle! Not a good one, but at least I can forget about this mess now. For a quick recap, here’s my original blog post from yesterday about it.

After months and months of phone calls with no results, I went all social media on H&M and they responded within minutes! I wrote my blog post about my experience, then tweeted about it and posted it on H&M’s Facebook page, and got a phone call about fifteen minutes later from a very helpful lady at H&M; she left a voicemail and I called her right back. This lady was able to tell me right away that as long as the gift card had remained unused they’d be able to issue me a new one, which is all I wanted this whole time. She asked me to send my receipt again.

Later the same afternoon I received a voicemail from another H&M representative who informed me that the $200 gift card was used a few days after I gave it to the original recipient.

So, this sucks, because the card really was lost and found by someone else, and not just accidentally thrown in the trash or something. I knew this was a possibility but of course it’s disappointing. Still, I am very relieved to be done with all these long, frustrating phone calls!

Now that this is all done, here are some remaining frustrations from the whole experience:

  • It took an email, five phone calls, two voicemails, three blog/social posts, and three months to get here. I interacted with a total of twelve H&M representatives during this time. Just for someone to look up a number and say, “yes, the card was used.”
  • I was asked to wait 5-7 business days for a call back after each of my first four calls to H&M customer service, and never got one.
  • I’ve probably spent about three hours total on the phone over this situation, and a couple hours writing about it.
  • The most recent phone number I was asked to call only had three options, none of which were relevant to this problem: 1) place an order, 2) questions regarding online shopping, and 3) H&M stores. I randomly picked online shopping.
  • The (very nice) lady who answered the online shopping line wasn’t able to help me (surprise!). It took her a long time to track down the person I needed to talk to.
  • Let’s back up; why did the very first person I speak to, back in June, tell me that it wasn’t possible to get issued a new gift card? Why straight-up lie? I’d already received an email from their support telling me to call the number for “lost and stolen gift cards,” indicating that a solution was possible. This first lady I spoke to told me the card was “like cash” and that if it was lost, it was lost. This was patently false.
  • And also: Why did the last person I spoke to, back in August, have my wrong phone number on file? What the heck was that about? All the previous people I spoke to recited my contact info to me and it was correct each time. Why get it wrong the last time? Maybe to try to excuse the fact that they’d never called me back? That’s what it felt like.
  • When this new, helpful person called yesterday, why was she not able to find a case file referring to all my previous calls, the receipt I’d faxed, etc? Why had none of that been recorded? All those long phone calls for nothing at all? What’s going on over there?
  • The helpful lady yesterday explained that I’d been speaking to a different customer service department in all my previous calls, and now she was handling this personally. Wonderful! But: why work with that customer service department at all and put their customers through this if this kind of thing happens?

My advice to you if you’re ever dealing with a problem like this: Don’t waste too much time (like I did) going through official channels; go the social media route! Make a record of everything and make it public! After months of playing along and doing what I was asked, I finally got results when I changed my method and took it online.

I’m very happy this has been resolved! I go shopping on my lunch break all the time and usually spend around $100 per month at H&M (working in midtown Manhattan and having two big H&M stores nearby makes this all too easy). However, I’d been boycotting them since this mess started. Think about how much of my money they lost by not getting my business these last several months, not to mention all the trash I was talking on them. If they’d had better customer service and took care of this issue sooner, they’d have earned a lot more of my money.

One more result of all of this: I used to buy H&M gift cards for my girlfriend all the time, for Christmas, birthdays, etc. I definitely will never buy one again.

In any case, I’m grateful that this is finished!

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