Karen Millen give master class in appalling customer service


I’m kind of sad that I’ve been driven to writing a damning post about what I thought was a quality brand just to try to obtain an answer to a simple question.

I work online and see complaints about websites every day. Often I side with the business as I assume that the customer maybe just doesn’t understand how complicated it can be to operate in e-commerce. Sometimes things go wrong but as long as the company try to put things right then that’s all you can ask for.

Unfortunately my experience with Karen Millen is that they have not made any effort to answer my query which is a shame as it should have been easily resolved…

04/06/12 – I ordered a dress from Karen Millen at a cost of £175. Not just any dress I might add. This is a dress for my bridesmaid, very carefully chosen after weeks of hunting and in just the right shade of purple! The express delivery option promises delivery in 3 working days.

06/06/12 – Email notification from Karen Millen that my parcel is on its way. Hurrah!

12/06/12 – The expected delivery day has been and gone (impatient bridesmaid is stamping her very pretty feet) but I decided to give Karen Millen another day’s grace before asking where the parcel was.

13/06/12 – Rather surprisingly I receive an email from Karen Millen saying “Just to let you know we have received return of your recent order at Karen Millen.” They also informed me in another email that they have refunded my payment. Very nice of them but I don’t want my money back I want the dress!!

I assume we have an issue here with the courier perhaps going to the wrong house so fire off an early morning (6:40am) email to KM asking why the dress has been returned. No answer by 4 pm so I repeat the request.

14/06/12 – I wait patiently (well not very) for an answer. In the evening I give up and post a query on KM’s Facebook page. It is a customer service channel after all. Amazingly I get a response which I’m grateful to receive so I await further news…. and then I waited some more and then I lost more patience. A friend of mine who runs her own business, so understands the value of a client relationship, chipped in to the post.

15/06/12 – Still no further response and I’m getting a bit bored and more than a little irritated with the scenario, not to mention amazed that such a large brand would A, treat customers in such a shabby way and B, not resolve a very public issue on their Facebook page.

Whilst on said Facebook page I discover that rather a lot of ladies are also having problems with a lack of communication from KM and have also resorted to posting on Facebook to try to get a resolution.   You can see a sample of the rather shameful amount of comments that I found from the last few weeks in the image below:

Karen Millen customer services fail

So working online and working for a company that gives great customer service, IMHO, I am a little incensed at so many people being treated so shabbily.  Of course I also would like a reply to my own query so I spent some time trying to track down someone to talk to. This was no easy feat as Karen Millen appear to closely guard their telephone numbers and also the names of anyone that might be able to help.

Eventually I found the details of Karen Millen’s brand communications director, Lynn Ritson, on LinkedIn. After giving customer services one last shot by email on the 15/06 I gave up and sent a direct message to Ms Ritson via LinkedIn.  So by the 16th June I had sent:

– 3 emails to enquiries@karenmillen.com

– 5 or 6 comments on Facebook

– 1 direct mail to Lynn Ritson

Guess what? Still no response from anyone!! To cap it off I tried to login to my Karen Millen account tonight to make sure I’ve not missed any internal messages and I cannot access my account despite two efforts at resetting my password.  This is a fishier tale than those of Captain Birdseye!

The annoying thing is that this was probably a very easy problem to solve:

– Apologise for the mix up on delivery, take another £175 off my card and send me a new dress. Simples…..

So I am left answerless and dressless. If any other lovely fashion brands have a similar outfit to this one please let me know and I will gladly take it off your hands.

I suspect that the previous disgruntled shoppers that have left bad reviews for Karen Millen on Review Centre will also be happy to find somewhere better to shop.

Update 21/06 – Further digging on the Karen Millen Facebook page has uncovered even more complaints from customers like these examples:

Karen Millen complaints

Having had no response from customer services or Lynn Ritson I’m hoping that their head of global marketing, Roberta Travagin might prove more communicative. Such a shame to see a (formerly) British brand in meltdown.

20. June 2012 by Caroline
Categories: Online Branding | 21 comments

Comments (21)

  1. My family and I literally spend a lot of money with Karen Millen but have had numerous bad experiences with Customer Service reps which has recently culuminated in the worst ever experience we have ever had, anywhere and with any retailer! The last 3 pairs of shoes ordered over a few months period were each sent with one or more of the following problems: worn, unwrapped and unprotected inside the boxes and subsequently damaged by chaffing against each other! In spite of photographic evidence, Customer service simply and unhelpfully advised us to return the shoes for a refund!! When we complained about leaving the resolution solely to the customer when the customer is not at fault, a representative emailed an apology suggesting that they would send out vouchers for any disappointment and find replacement items in good, ‘new’ and well packaged condition if we could email the details. We did this that same day and that is when the real problems began! That was on the Friday. We did not hear back until the following Monday in which the same rep re-sent the original request for the details in order to find replacement shoes and send the vouchers! And guess what? In the history of the email she sent to us containing her second and duplicate request, was our reply to her! You know the one she was asking for again, claiming she had not received it!!!! Following this we re-sent the request to her and other reps 3 more times, once to enure it was read and registered we even pasted a copy into a new email, only to get yet another request for the information and being told that if we did not send it the case would be closed!! We then sent yet another complaint and forwarded the email containing the evidence to the rep claiming not to have received it and guess what! We have heard nothing!! We are unlikely now to ever order on-line with Karen Millen again, it is really truly appalling!!

    By the way, we too were ‘locked out’ of our account when we made a complaint!! Sound familiar?

  2. I have tried to ring customer service and I just can’t get through I have recently spent a lot of money in the shops. I am very disappointed in the lack of poor service I will not be ordering anything again or buying from Karen Millen

  3. What’s the point in customer services and having a helpline number if your not taking calls

  4. Paying £6.99 for next day delivery and then awaiting delivery 2 days later is not what I paid for very disappointed

  5. I placed 1 order and received 4 order confirmations which means the item has been ordered 4 times not happy at all

  6. I am also completely fed up after being a loyal lover of the brand for years now my customer query for help is responded to by a short cold response online via an email with no offer of help to find a solution.

    I live overseas but have a UK credit card, hasn’t been a proble in the past now I can’t order online as I live overseas!

  7. I cannot believe how bad the service is from Karen millen. I have had two orders go missing, over a week now and the customer service department still cannot tell me where they delivered the order to and just email me every day to say they are unable to contact the courier but will keep trying,. Going to get the credit card company onto them now as they have taken my money but not delivered anything! Awful.

  8. I have had to chase Karen Millen on 2 occasions for a refund-which was apparently ‘in process.’. By the word ‘chase’, I mean that an online order I returned to a store had not been refunded-a whole week later! I know of no other retailer that handles refunds in this way. I have never had to chase a retailer for a refund before. It is really putting me off ever ordering anything online from them ever again, if they intend to handle their return system like this. This will be to their detriment.

  9. Waited in all day in response to txt for wen delivery was due, received a calling card the nxt day wen I was out, delivery driver’s not obliged to call or txt, also locked out of my account “wrong password”.

  10. order number KM01131846
    only recieved half the order which was IR040 studded belt and CR021 muscluline over red coat. i’m expecting another coat but not recieved it it has been paid for, can you reassure me that its on its way.many thanks.

  11. I am very very disappointed that Karen millen has such poor customer service. I placed an order for 3 items on 19/12/2013. After payment, i received an email staing that only 2 of the items were available, that the rest would follow. I have since returned all items as they didnt fit. First part was returned and received refund on 31/12/2014, but second part which was returned and recived email confirmation on 02/01/2014 is yet to be refunded.

    I have tried several times to get a resolution, but no one wants to help. First time I received a generic email which had nothing to do with my query and second time was for someone to ask for information which I had already provided.

    Despite providing the information again, there has been no further contact. Apalling

  12. Hmm I feel a bit bad that I have such a negative rant about a brand on my site but having just paid a visit to their Facebook and Twitter profiles, I can see that the complaints keep on coming….

  13. Hi,
    I’m still waiting to hear back from KM after sending 3 emails over 3 days. There is no phone number now, so it’s my only method of contact.
    I was in all morning to take delivery of the dress I ordered, which never arrived. When I checked the tracking info the following day, it was apparently signed for by someone I’ve never heard of at my address. This is totally impossible. The delivery company have no more info, so they said I need to contact KM. No response. Rubbish service.

  14. this is still going on i have had 2 text alerts to say that the delivery is on its way , yesterday i was actually hovering by the door as i have to be at a conference and need the clothes for the event. they say they tried to deliver and left a card which they didn’t. the same thing again today. like the above customer i spend a lot of money with Karen Millen i guess they are so rich they don’t need my business

  15. Again found out that km customer service department is none existing, can’t contact by phone, can’t track orders, most annoying thing is we are paying for deliveries, the prices they charge you would think they would be grateful of our custom

  16. Shocking online service, it’s disgusting!

  17. On many occassions received bad experience, lack of communication, took money without my permission. No response. Lovely brand good clothes but the bad customers service takes over everything and sad to say i might not purchase from there again if this continues.

  18. Rubbish customer service & appalling attitude.
    Wait over a week for dispatch & then it’s delayed for yet another two days. Having to arrange for someone to be home for the delivery only to have it postponed further is extremely bad customer service. On top of full price postage costs which only adds to my frultra toon. I have been a customer since KM began & it’s never been this bad.

  19. I worked for KM over a period of 6 years up until 2011 and worked my way up to Assistant Manager. I gave so much to this company over the years and made them an awful lot of money!!! An ex collegue at KM who had also given 5 years loyal service had left the business a week earlier but wanted to buy a jacket. As i had seen it done many many times before by my manager at the time I offered to buy her the jacket on my discount (it was £50). So the girl behind the till put it all through with no questions asked and guess what…They sacked me!
    Just like that. I immediately offered to pay the £50 back but they said no, so I took them to a tribunal with loads of evidence to prove that it was the done thing by other members of staff but I was defending myself and they had lawyers to fight their case. I lost of course but within the year it took for me to take them to court it caused me so much anguish and upset that I was diagnosed with Cancer. I blame them completely for everything… they put me through hell and treated me like a dog! Awful company and I wouldn’t spend a penny in there.

  20. I will no longer buy from KM as it clearly has no respect for its own brand so why would customers? I purchased a dress for Christmas literally 2 weeks ago, the dress was part of the Atelier brand and was beautiful and though priced at £215 I paid it happily as I have a couple of events coming up and knew I would get to wear it more than once. The dress is no lomger on the website which pleased me as I assumed it was no longer available and therefore of limited supply? I have just had my VIP slot for Next sale and perhaps you can imagine my horror to find the dress I have just bought is actually in the Next sale at £100 and available in every size! How on earth can KM think this is acceptable? Another ‘valued’ customer lost.

  21. They are a disgrace. They don’t even give you a customer service number anymore. They take your money and your order disappears. No response via the website. Will not be shopping with them again. A shame as I love their clothes.

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