So last night, I decided to pounce on a 50% off Brooks Brothers trench - lined in breathable bemberg, complete with water-resistant finish and zip-out liner... but I had to wait until morning to order. I was using both a $10-off promo code (for signing up with their website) and Shoprunner (a company that provides free 2-day shipping and free 2-day returns on various web retailers), and I could not get both to apply. Customer service for both were closed at night. I had been watching this item for days and no sizes had sold out.
This morning, I woke early to try and contact BB, and my size was sold out! Every size but 8 and 10 was sold out! (Did I cause the ordering flurry with my little YLF post??) I then called BB customer service and explained what happened. They gave me the number for four stores that still had my size, and thankfully I was able to order from the first store I tried.
Nicole of the Saint Louis store was super nice, polite, patient, and easy to work with - she found the coat, re-verified all the materials for me, agreed to honor the $10 code, and took my information in scant minutes. She would have also matched the web shipping fee, but without Shoprunner it was $12, and store shipping on sale items 40%-off or more is only $9. Additionally, when I called back to ask about tax, it turned out tax was $17 instead of the $19 they would have charged online. In the end, if Shoprunner is taken out of the equation, I actually came out $5 ahead by ordering from the store vs. the website. Thanks, BB and Nicole!
Now on Shoprunner's end, this is the second time I've had trouble using the service. Considering that they only have partnerships with 73 stores, and that I've only ordered through three of them, that is a dismal percentage of success. BB told me the issue was with Shoprunner login, and Shoprunner has told me that the issue is likely with BB checkout. Shoprunner will not honor the $9 in shipping that I was charged due to not being able to use their service, but they are having a tech look into the glitch.
I am using a free trial membership, but after 6/2014 it would be a $79 annual membership. I will continue to use the free membership, but I will definitely be watching to see if they can iron out these kinks and provide a smooth-running service. Many of the retailers they partner with already offer free shipping and returns, so the benefit is only speed, with the occasional savings on returns. At $9-$12 a pop, mistakes like this would add up quickly over a year and leave me spending that same $79 in shipping fees after all.
Big thumbs up for Brooks Brothers for standing behind their promise and letting me have that $10 in exchange for registering my info with their website. Thumbs are sideways and shaky for Shoprunner, awaiting a future decision. I realize they are a new company, and the concept is solid, but my opinion is that they need better testing of the system on the user end.