Service of Five Star Surprises at Bloomingdale’s

September 27th, 2021

Categories: Uncategorized

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

I’ve not had much luck with service in department stores over decades. In search of an evening gown years ago, I was left to fend for myself in a dressing room at a top Fifth Avenue store with appropriately stratospheric price tags, a memorably unpleasant experience. I had no help closing hard-to-reach zippers and had to get dressed to go to the racks to find a gown in the right size. I could have been at Loehman’s [in the day] or T J Maxx today. I can share a stack of similar disappointments and have heard others from friends as recently as this summer.

Subpar service at full price will take the fun out of something I love to do and is only one of many reasons I favor discount shopping. My husband used to tell me I’d continue to buy at discount stores even if I had $millions. I’m also a sucker for a great craft fair.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

As a result I’ve become used to picking and choosing gifts and clothing by myself–which obviously I also do when shopping on the Internet. So when I came across someone who added tremendous value to my experience I was grateful–and surprised.

My objective: to buy a gift–monogrammed bath towels. Once I’d chosen the towel among a generous choice at Bloomingdale’s in Manhattan, I spoke with Joyce who is the star in the story and in the towel department.

She was knowledgeable–gently suggesting which size towel usually gets the monogram, explaining the reason without making me feel stupid when I’d picked a different one–and quietly, through conversation, doubling the size of the order which created a far better, more practical gift. She was so good that I happily paid almost twice what I’d intended to spend. She was the least aggressive yet most effective salesperson I’ve met in recent memory.

Joyce wanted to shepherd the monogram process and recommended that the embroidery company send the towels to her for inspection rather than ship them to the recipient. Meanwhile she had put aside the rest of the towels which she planned to join with the monogrammed ones.

She called me to report she’d refused the towels because they’d been damaged and asked the embroidery company for a rush order to redo them. Soon after she called again to tell me the work was good and she sent me a photo! There was another surprise. I’d ordered two monogrammed hand towels and suddenly there were four. She said the extras were in thanks for my patience. She promised that she was not out of pocket.

I’m so happy to share an exemplary example of customer service. Do you have similar ones?

6 Responses to “Service of Five Star Surprises at Bloomingdale’s”

  1. Anonymous Said:

    What a delightful shopping experience. And of Bloomingdales!

    While I can’t recall a like experience, but it’s been along time.

    The photo of the towels show what handsome monograms. Glad to search out Joyce if I ever need monogrammed towels.

  2. Martha Takayama Said:

    I don’t shop in any stores these days except the supermarket occasionally and quickly and pharmacies. Walgreen’s is my pharmacy of choice for medicines and where I got my Pfizer vaccine. Occasionally I have to go to a CVS for a non-prescription item.

    The best examples I have of star service are the pharmacists and customer service managers of the pharmacy department and the general sales staff at the Walgreen’s I go to on Harvard St. in Brookline. The Pharmacists and other staff members are invariably knowledgeable, courteous, helpful thoughtful and a resource for information regarding questions that arise about medications. the general staff for sundries is always courteous and helpful.
    I cannot overemphasize how much a difference their assistance makes in the shopping experience.

    CVS stores have perfunctory service at best and are short on staff and pushing self-check-out with no visible benefits to the consumer.

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Joyce’s expertise, manner and sales approach were so unusual these days that I had to recognize and celebrate the details.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Unfortunately for the store, because of the pandemic, the day I visited Bloomingdale’s it was empty enough that I felt no pressure of crowds.

    I shop at CVS as they offer generous coupons and buy my prescriptions from Duane Reade which is part of the Walgreen’s family as my RX insurance is with them. In my experience staff at both store are all nice to me though I visit for OTC meds, shampoo and such most of the time.

  5. EAM Said:

    I recently splurged on a new sofa at West Elm. The store offers exceptional service to its customers and helps with the many choices that go along with a purchase. I went back to the store three times before making a decision. I felt well taken care of by the sales associate, Meg, and actually grabbed her hand and she pushed the order button on her computer.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Patience is key for any sales job which, when you come down to it, is what most of us do whether selling ourselves to get a job or a raise or promotion or persuading a client to try a new approach even if “sales” isn’t in our job title. People like Meg who sell big ticket items may need more patience than others–you’re not the only person to return three times while deciding what–and if– to buy.

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