Letter to Bergdorf Goodman

No one at Bergdorf Goodman responded to this letter.  Once synonymous with elegance, Bergdorf Goodman’s current ethos undermines their longstanding reputation as an institution of NYC storybook magic…

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Dear Customer Service,

Once through the revolving doors, Bergdorf Goodman magic penetrates women’s imaginations and we become devotees for life.  Two years ago, my love for the McQueen Union Jack clutch became a need.  Though I live in Greenwich, CT, 57th street and 5th avenue was the only acceptable location for the acquisition.  Both the anticipation that accompanied my arrival at your beaux-arts landmark and the subsequent lunch nestled in my favorite yellow domed chair with a view of Central Park, imbued my clutch with BG magic powers that come with wonderful memories.  Also recently, my siblings and I took as much pleasure escorting my mother when she chose her Bottega Veneta clutch at Bergdorfs.  On following trips, her salesperson continued to greet her.  I hosted her 60th birthday at BG’s and about a year ago, I hosted a luncheon for about 9 thirteen year old girls at BG’s.  Over the years I have thrown other events in one of the prettiest restaurants in Manhattan.

This evening, I left Bergdorf Goodman feeling insecure about myself and upset with your saleswomen for the way she treated me.  After attending the Picasso exhibit at MoMA, I went to Bergdorfs specifically in search of Tom Ford Nina sunglasses, which I discovered you do not carry.  In a state of exhaustion, I took the elevator directly from the basement up to the seventh floor, remembering that long ago I purchased individual truffles in an alcove near BG’s. Upstairs, the saleswoman asked if she could help, though I immediately sensed her judgement.  She showed me Kelly Wearstler chocolate bars and a display of chocolate gift boxes.  I explained that buying a box was problematic because I would eat every chocolate.  The woman didn’t seem to understand or to be amused.  She suggested that I try to find my chocolate at a corner Duane Reed or perhaps the Plaza food court.  I let the comment slide, even though I was struck by the rudeness of the Duane Read suggestion.  A few minutes later, I returned to her, ready to buy a small box of truffles.  Joking, I followed up my earlier comment with, “So be it, I’ve changed my mind, but I’ll end up eating the whole box.”  She took the box and accusingly demanded, “you didn’t open them, did you?”  I was absolutely affronted and denied the accusation, as she opened the lid to inspect the plastic to make sure I hadn’t punctured it.  As she rang me out, with a completely condescending smile and tone, she asked if I’d like a Bergdorf Goodman gift bag, as if the purple sack was something she was sure I had never held.  I imagined whacking her with it.  Then, I walked to Grand Central Station wondering what about my Longchamps shoulder bag, cashmere sweater and floral pants called for such unrestrained disdain.  Ok, I did look a little sloppy.  The proportions of my shirt and sweater weren’t quite right and I was wearing FitFlops, so I could walk comfortably throughout the museum.  However, I concluded that the saleswoman had no justification for her behavior.  I shouldn’t need to dress in Chanel for her to treat me as she would every other customer.
I did make an attempt to write directly to the saleswoman, albeit a cursory attempt.  I wrote to your online chat support, asking how to draw a name and email address from a sales receipt.  They couldn’t help and said I’d have to contact the company.
On a positive note, many years ago, while having lunch with my mother at BG’s, the adorable maitre’d, in his too-small-on-purpose jacket gushed over my orange dress.  Of all the dresses to gush over, he chose mine.  Happiness!  I completely understand the joy in dressing for a trip to your store, but it shouldn’t be required for respectful service.
Kim Tamalonis
PS  I have included my receipt, because somewhere on there, I’m sure the saleswoman is identified.  She should know that we were both tired, but it’s still not an excuse to treat people badly.  Thank you for reading. – Kim



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