Thursday, May 17, 2012


Photo from here

We've are a "No Skechers" household. My footwear boycott began about 12 years ago. I had bought a pair of Skechers flip flops and they broke within a week, quite inconveniently while I was down in Soho. I cabbed it back uptown directly to Skechers on the Upper West Side. I wasn't amused. I left with a new pair of flip flops.

Two weeks later one flip flop broke again. I was starting to get a complex about the way I walked. I was also starting to get angry about shoes failing at totally inopportune times. I returned to the store.

"You know what, I just want my money back," I said, adding in my mind only, "And $30 for cab fare."

"Our policy is store credit only," someone replied.

"Is your policy also to sell shoes that break twice prematurely for no reason at all," I might have responded.

"I'm sorry," someone said insincerely.
"I'd like your corporate customer service number and address," I said. My mother is a pro at complaint letter writing.

They wouldn't give it to me. But they did give me another credit which I should have torn up in a dramatic exit. But I didn't. It was then that I vowed never to buy Skechers again for me or my children. And I stood my ground though at times it was hard especially at the mall when my kids looked at the sparkly light up shoes with desire.

Alas, even though I am pretty good about letting things slide, I held onto the Skecher grudge and then this week was kind of happy when the company got slapped with a class action suit for making false claims about certain shoes.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012


An incident today at the Greenville/Spartanburg airport between an Allegiant employee and a customer leaves me wondering, "Whatever happened to customer service?"

My boyfriend and I were in line to check in for our flight back to Ft. Lauderdale.  There was a nice looking couple ahead of us and one Allegiant  representative behind the counter. She was not tall but I could spy her behind the pens and fake flowers. She did not look up.

After a few minutes of waiting without a word, I asked the couple if they had been acknowledged yet. They said, “Yeah, they said, 'If you're going to Ft. Lauderdale you have to wait.' They won't check you in till 9:20. If you’re flying to Sanford though, that’s different.” 

We waited a bit more. The Allegiant employee never said anything, nor did she look up. The line grew from 4 to 14 quickly, and 2 more Allegiant workers showed up behind the ticket counter. Neither one acknowledged the line. Then came a wave.

The couple ahead of us moved forward. Then, we were waved over. While we were checking in, a man, clearly hurried and harried, came up to the counter. 
“Sanford?” he asked. “Did the flight to Sanford leave?”
“It pushed back,” the attendant said flatly without looking up.
“Can I get on it?”
“No, the flight was closed ½ hour ago.”
“But it doesn’t leave till 9:50,” he contested. It was 9:15ish.
“The flight leaves at 9:30” she replied, still staring down at the computer.
“Is there any way I can get on it?” he asked again.
“What should I do?” he asked, clearly upset.
The attendant still did not look at him. “You can buy a ticket to Ft. Lauderdale or St. Pete,” she offered without the slightest atom of compassion.
“#&*! U” responded the man who succumbed to dickishness.

My BF and I checked in, and got comfortable at the gate. About 20 minutes later I noticed an Allegiant plane just beyond the window. It was stopped just a few feet from our gate's jetway. I asked the BF, "Are they towing that in? Is that our plane?” He was engrossed in something on his iPad and didn't answer. I went back to my work.

A few minutes later, about 30 minutes since checking in, I looked back up. “Hey where’d the plane go?” I asked. From where I was sitting, I couldn’t see it. The BF went to the window. There was no plane! "That wasn’t out plane. That must've been the plane to Sanford," he said.

I understand regulations and duties, but I don't understand unnecessary rudeness. Perhaps airline employees should be trained on handling stressed out passengers who may miss or do miss their flights. Maybe the new fee for carry-on bags could go toward paying an airline concierge who could step up as needed. If airline employees  practice dispensing bad news with a glimmer of humanity maybe passengers wouldn't get so dickish.