Banana Republic: …a country that is politically unstable, dependent on limited agriculture (e.g. bananas), and ruled by a small, self-elected, wealthy, and corrupt clique. (Wikipedia)
In my post last Friday, I mentioned a Banana Republic 40% off sale for card holders, and linked to the two items I had my eye on, and planned to buy with the discount code. I was going to be so proactive, I even set an alarm on my cell phone to remind me of the official start of the sale, promptly at 9:01pm PT, so I could snag the sizes I wanted. 9:01pm came, and I happily sat with my laptop, wallet by my side, to get a good discount on the items I wanted.
I clicked….and….nothing. I tried the other link…nothing. The two items I wanted were completely gone from the website!
First, I panicked thinking all the sizes, in both petite and regular sizes had already completely sold out. I even thought for a second, that maybe my post had been linked somewhere, and hoards of shoppers, agreeing I had good taste, had bought all the merchandise I had suggested at exactly 9:01pm, leaving none for me. Of course, this is ridiculous, because I certainly don’t have that kind of influence, so I did the next best thing and called customer service.
Customer service, apparently only has access to the active website, because without an item number, they couldn’t tell me anything. Surely, if I had known BR would eradicate my lovely items from the website, I would have jotted down the item numbers. But alas! I had nothing but a product name, and an empty product page that had been completely wiped clean of any helpful information.
When I asked if it is common policy for BR to take items off a website because they don’t want it be part of a sale, the customer service employee told me that she had heard of BR doing that, but didn’t think it was the case, especially considering such expensive items such as suiting were included in the sale. She also mentioned that maybe there was an issue with the products, or those webpages, which may be a reason as to why they had been taken down.
Hmm…I wasn’t convinced.
The next day, I woke up, checked my email, and thought that perhaps I should check the Banana Republic website to see if my items had magically reappeared. Sure enough, there they were! Conveniently back on the website, the day after a great promo code expired.
My next thought was, maybe there is fine print on the marketing email I received, warning that certain items were to be excluded. Maybe I just didn’t take the time to read the exclusions. So I found the email sent by BR and read the fine print:
*Purchase subject to credit approval. Offer valid on full-priced Banana Republic merchandise only on 6/19/2010 at 12:01 AM ET through 11:59 PM ET in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico) at Banana Republic stores and online. Offer not valid at Banana Republic Factory Stores or Edition by Banana Republic. A Banana Republic, Gap or Old Navy card must be used as pay type. Qualifying amount applies to merchandise only, not to Giftcards purchased, packaging, applicable taxes or shipping and handling charges. No adjustments on previous purchases. Not valid for cash or cash equivalent. Offer can be combined with Reward Cards but cannot be combined with Gap Inc. employee discount or any other offers or discounts. Not responsible for lost or stolen coupons. (original email)
Or maybe I’m just bitter because I couldn’t get the items I was really excited to buy…