Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Thank you, JC Penney!

Dear JC Penney,

It isn’t every day that a big corporation makes things right with a disgruntled consumer. It’s probably even rarer to have a couple of problems brought to their attention and then resolved within just over 24 hours.

You did just that and then some!
Robert and his favorite stylist, Salita
I take care of my disabled brother, Robert, and he likes to look sharp. His hair can get pretty wild from wearing a helmet most of the time and with his curls (yeah, no one in the family knows where they came from).  He also has a mustache that I’ve only seen shaved when he’s going in for brain surgery.

He shaves himself (thankfully, I recently was able to convince him to use an electric razor instead of a disposable – those were a deadly weapon in his hands!) but he likes to go in for a haircut and mustache trim every now and then.  He makes it clear, though, he only wants “a trim.”

He is very specific about his look (at least he isn’t a shoe hoarder like an unnamed older sister . . .)

I have always liked shopping at JC Penney and thought the salon would be a good place to take Robert.  We lucked out when we found Salita, Robert’s favorite hair stylist!  She treats him like a king which does not go unnoticed by me or Robert. When Robert and Salita first met, Robert told her his story of how he has had epilepsy his whole life and how he almost drown when he was a teenager.  I just watched as they bonded during the shampooing and conditioning and cutting and trimming.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to take Robert to any other stylist – Salita was meant for Robert.

We try to see her every six to eight weeks or so and Robert was recently due for a visit. He usually uses his walker but has been extra wobbly lately and I wanted to see if I could add to my shoe collection after his hair appointment. I decided to use the wheelchair for this visit.

Once we got to the store and up to the door, I pressed the handicap button only to find it was not working. There are two sets of doors leading into the store so this was no small feat opening a door and getting Robert in (thankfully, a stranger held the second door open for us). 

We made it to the appointment and Salita gave us a warm greeting, big hug and even bigger smile. She took us back to her station and went to work on Robert. She even noticed how “healthy” Robert was looking since he moved in with us (note to self: cut back on the Rocky Road ice cream). No one but Salita could say that and really mean it in a kind way. 

After the appointment, I wanted to shop a bit and pushed Robert around the store picking up a top or two (no shoes this time). I wanted to make the trip quick because the last time we were here, Robert needed to use the restroom and I had to take him into the ladies room (after scoping it out and making sure we were the only ones in there). 

Side rant: I wish more stores would have family-style restrooms!

Once I was done shopping, we left through the same non-working doors and again relied on the kindness of other customers.  I was frustrated though and was determined to let you know my frustration.

I have been known to write a letter or two to corporations when service or products were shoddy. Once when I was in college, I even wrote about a Pop-Tart that exploded in my toaster and requested a new toaster. Instead, I got a coupon for more pop-tarts which was just fine for this poor, starving college student. 

On the drive home, I composed my letter in my head while Robert worked his word search puzzle.  Once home, I sent an email through your website and also (because I love Twitter), sent a tweet.

Never in a million years did I expect a reply to my tweet.

Not only did I receive a reply to my tweet by the next morning but we had a conversation about my issues (the door and the bathrooms) and I also mentioned how much we love Salita. Whoever was tweeting was kind, considerate and solution-oriented – I couldn’t have been happier with this sort of response!

Next, I received a response to my email only slightly later than the tweet.  Within a few hours of the electronic correspondence, the salon manager called to tell me the door would be fixed within two hours that day and Salita would be recognized with a card and a gift.

Not only that but he told me there was a family-style bathroom on the other side of the salon that I didn't know about!

What a win! I was thrilled Salita was being recognized for going above and beyond and was very happy the doors were going to be fixed immediately.  Plus, I feel much more comfortable knowing there is a family-style bathroom available!

What terrific and quick solutions! Thank you so much!

I mean, really, the only thing that would have made this even better would be a new pair of shoes but I’m assuming they’re with my toaster . . .

[UPDATE: JC Penney keeps getting more amazing. They reached out and offered me a gift card for a pair of shoes! I thought about declining the generous offer for about 2 seconds but, hey, it's shoes! Thank you, JC Penney, not only for the shoes but this whole experience.] 


Jane said...


How awesome is this? This is why I admire you so much. I am going to do a blog about trying to get a wheelchair into some of the stores in the mall... latest Hot Topic.

I'm glad it was resolved. I like JCPenney too and at least I have an easier time getting through the store with Nicole in a wheelchair than some others.


Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Jane, I understand what you mean about the struggle to push a wheelchair into some of those stores. They're so jam packed with merchandise, it is hard to maneuver the wheelchair (and with my poor driving skills, Robert can easily end up in the clothing racks - not that I'm admitting to anything). :-)

I can't wait to read about your efforts to change those stores for Nicole and others. If anyone can do it, you can!

You are one I admire, Jane, so I think we have a mutual admiration society going on. :-)

Kathy Lowrey said...


This is awesome!
Fast courteous action!!

You rock!!

I wish more stores and restaurants would actually make themselves handicapped accessible and have a family style bathroom. Since Hubby has to be wheeled around I am learning that sometimes handicapped accessible only means they have a ramp into the building but no room to move around.

This makes me think, I need to call our WM and ask them about a family bathroom since they have decided to remodel top to bottom!

It's also kind of you not to call out the shoe hoarding sister. Wait, aren't you the only sister? ;-)

I love that Robert has such a wonderful relationship with Salita.
She sounds wonderful and he is definitely a sharp dressed man.

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Kathy, It's no surprise your comment made me laugh out loud! :-) I so agree about the family style restrooms! Oh my gosh, I could rant about that for days. With as many caregivers as there are, and many taking care of a spouse, these are necessary. How many people don't go out because of the possibility of needing a bathroom and not being confident one will be available?

Enough of that rant (for now).

I love JCP and love that Robert and Salita have such a special bond. I never would have suspected it but am so happy to see Robert enjoy her and the experience so much.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jane said...


You have to much faith in me that I can move mountains!!!!

I have a blog about trying to get into some of these stores with a wheelchair (especially the smaller ones in the mall).

I may even write an email to Hot Topic and just let them know my displeasure at this issue. Nicole loves the store and the employees were nice but they have so much in there.