Saturday, September 15, 2012
I just finished sending this email to the president of a sporting store that I visited this afternoon
I just purchased a pair of shoes from your Kanata location. I was helped by a young man. He brought out three pairs of shoes and stayed with me as I tried the first pair on. As I was trying on the second pair, he took a phone call. I carried on as he assisted the person on the phone.
I took off the second pair and tried the third. When I finished, he was still on the phone. So I tried the first two pairs on again (each time I tried them on I walked around the store).
Then I sat and waited. He continued talking and I finally said "perhaps you can tell them you will call back that you are with a customer". He did not do so but in another 30 seconds or so the conversation ended naturally.
When he hung up the phone, he provided an off the cuff, automatic apology that ended with "but I was just helping this woman with. . ." I interrupted him and said but I am in front of you and she is on the phone. Had the conversation been 1 minute I would have no problem with it. I am an extremely patient person. I understand that there is the necessity for balance in meeting the needs of all customers including those on the telephone.
I am a highly successful, professional woman who weighs 290 pounds. I have lost 22 pounds in the last 8 weeks by walking. I completed 5k charity walk last weekend which was a significant milestone for me. I was feeling good. I can't help but wonder if a fit, regularly sized person would have been treated in the same way. I don't know, but at the very least, your employees should be coached on having some understanding and sensitivity about how challenging it is for an obese individual to shop in a sports store.
I was starting to put my own shoes back on to leave. I wish I had. To further my frustration, I wanted to buy a sports bra. You had only one model for me to try on only. They didn't fit. 4 pieces of plus sized clothes in the whole store!
So leaving your store, I felt pretty discouraged. Your employee gave me a clear message that I was not important and by virtue of the fact that you only had available 4 pieces of clothing in the store that I could consider buying, the same message was given again.
I have bought my last 4 pairs of athletic shoes at your store. Your willingness to address my concerns will help me determine if I will buy my next there.