The worst customer service ever?

Over a week ago I got ridiculously excited about the arrival of American fashion store Forever 21 launching an online UK store.

The brand has opened their first store in the UK in Birmingham (which I was hoping to visit tomorrow if I ever manage to make it to Birmingham). Although I wouldn’t travel that far simply for a shop, I was prepared to take the risk and buy online from the shop.

This risk I speak of is not necessarily delivery related, but more in terms of size. It seems that their sizes in Forever 21 land are quite strange – a ‘small’ is a size UK 4 – 6 according to their site (rather than an ‘extra small’ as you’d expect) whilst some skirts in a size ‘small’ have a 27″ waist, which doesn’t quite correlate for me.

To ‘play it safe’ I decided to order some Christmas presents from the site. I’m on a budget and Forever 21 are known stateside for their fashionable bargains (like a more upmarket Primark, you might say). I found a few things I thought my friends would love (and I quite fancied myself too!) and headed to the virtual checkout. I popped in my billing address, set my delivery address to my work (in case the postman couldn’t deliver to an empty house during the day) and paid via Paypal.

What happened next was the most confusing part. I received an instant notification from Paypal about my payment, but did not receive the expected email from the online store. After a few hours I was concerned and tried to find a contact for customer services.

The customer services section of the site was confusing and unhelpful. I looked at the ‘order’ section of the contact area and it had a contact form. This form required a customer order ID, but as I hadn’t been send one, I couldn’t actually use it! I tried to use a form that did not require an ID but it refused to actually send.

I couldn’t find an email but eventually managed to find a number for the site… however when I rang this there was no recorded messages or an answer – just rings that rang empty and answered.

The next day I logged back onto the site to find that my cart had been refilled with the products from the day before. I checked my Paypal account and noticed that the money had been authorized to leave and I couldn’t cancel the transaction. Wondering if I’d ever get the items, I tried to complete the order (as the items were still in my ‘basket’). As I tried to change my delivery address to my work address the browser refused to respond to my request. After a few attempts I noticed that I’d just received an email from the store. It was an order confirmation dated for that morning claiming that I’d paid by card and requested my delivery to my billing address.

This new email was confusing. I hadn’t entered card details and I had not confirmed this second attempt at an order so why was it delivering items to an address I had not wanted in my previous attempt at ordering and why was it saying I’d paid by card? It felt like a totally different transaction that had no even been ordered.

Again I tried the phone but received no response. I managed to find an email after rooting through the site and send an email detailing my problems and requesting a phone call with an explanation of where exactly my goods would be heading.

I got the following response:

Dear Valued Customer,
Thank you for emailing us with your concern.
According to our records we received your order today, Nov 23rd and it has been shipped out today.
The following items have been ordered:

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you experienced while using our website.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us at

Thank you for choosing Forever 21.

I received this email on November 24th, something they acknowledged in a second email:

Dear Valued Customer,
Correction to the previous e-mail: Your order was received yesterday, Nov 23rd and shipped out yesterday, Nov 23rd.

Contrary to this email, I do not feel like a ‘Valued Customer’ – I feel ignored and very, very pissed off. My items have still not arrived, despite paying nearly £4 for postage. It was been over a week and although there has been snow, there has also been post so I do not see the weather as a reasonable excuse.

I have sent another email to Forever 21 informing them that the items have no arrived but still have received no response. I desire a personal service, not someone imitating a robot. How can an apology be sincere when no effort is made to address the customer and their concerns directly?

Has anyone else had any issues with Forever 21 or another online store?

10 thoughts on “The worst customer service ever?

  1. I have had issues with F21 up the wazoo. If you think their online customer service is terrible, don’t even bother going into the store. I have a love/hate relationship with F21, as I’m sure many others do as well. The only advice I can give is to make that shopping trip and try EVERYTHING on, inspect it to make sure there are no ripping seams/broken zippers, etc. Best of luck, hope you get some answers!

  2. Are you from America Kate? It’s a bit like that with Primark and H&M over here – it’s the old ‘you get what you pay for’ – although H&M are pretty good.

  3. I am from America. And yea, F21 really is “you get what you pay for” although a lot of it is really cute. Like I said love/hate relationship…. doesn’t stop me from shopping there tho! Again, good luck!

  4. I have the same issues with F21, it’s really a HIT-OR-MISS in terms of online shopping here in Canada. I agree with the other poster that the stores are just as bad. I also noticed that a lot of stuff are dry clean only (even casual wear)

    (random reader after clicking on Bad Customer Service)


  5. Hey! I ordered 3 items on 13/11/10 and they still haven’t arrived. I have been phoning them for all of the month, in the first week I got through to a boy saying he’d sort it out for me no problem – still nothing arrived. When I tried to call again they had replaced it with a ‘look at the FAQ on our website’, nobody to speak to. So I chased and chased, have sent 10+ emails…got a reply 2 weeks ago saying it would take 3 – 5 business days to reply to my email. So disapointed, they took the money out immediately but my items still haven’t arrived and I havent recieved a reply to the email saying they’d contact me!
    Not sure what to do … it’s in their hands. :@ though!!!
    hope you recieve your items soon…
    jules x x x

  6. Forever21 have AWFUL customer service! I got quite excited that they were opening a UK store at last! However the order I made on the 28th November still hasn’t shown up. I emailed their customer services and it took them a few days to respond- they said I’d get my package on the 10th December…and there’s still no sign of it! The order status on the website is completely useless and tells you nothing about your order. I’m never ordering their stuff online again!

  7. Well said. I never thought I would agree with this opinion, but I’m starting to see things from a different point of view. I have to research more on this as it looks very interesting. One thing I don’t understand though is how everything is related together.

  8. The exact same thing has happenned to me, it was yesterday I placed my order. Paypal has emailed me saying I will be charged, but I’ve seen no email from Forever21 and also have no orders at all on my Forever21 account. This was the first time I have ordered anything with them and am a bit worried that I won’t be getting my clothes! Did any of you actually receive what you had ordered?

  9. Hi Savanna,

    They arrived in Jan/Feb – I did get a refund eventually and the items turned up afterwards.

    Nightmare I know! I’m a big fan of the stores but clearly online hasn’t got any better…

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