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Friday, June 22, 2012

An Ann Taylor Update

So, when I received the email from Ann Taylor I first thought that there might have been a mistake. Another situation where there was an honest mistake. It wasn't until I read it the second time when I realized that they were talking about Becky and Cricket. It's about that point where I began to rage. So, after being talked out of sending a new email right away I took a deep breath and thought about what I would say. I decided to go the route that there must have been a misunderstanding in my email and explained to them that I knew in this instance the dog was harnessed. I apologized for any ambiguous language in my first message.

I go this message back yesterday after all of the bad press and the retraction had started:

"As a follow up to our previous response, please see the below statement released to the press by
ANN INC. regarding this concern.

“We at Ann Taylor sincerely apologize to [Becky] for her experience at the City Creek store. Service animals are always welcome in our stores and this incident is not representative of how we approach customer service. In our previous statement we had said that her guide dog was unharnessed. This was not the case. We were misinformed and we are sorry that this incorrect information was released. We strive for 100 percent customer satisfaction. In this case we fell short. We are reaching out to [Becky] and her family to make this situation right.”

Again, we appreciate the efforts you have made to share your feedback with us."

While I think it is great that they are at least admitting to their being wrong to release the information that said Cricket was out of harness, I still wonder if they are admitting that because the sales clerk and manager really gave them false information or because they realised that saying that flat out lie wasn't going to roll smoothly with anyone let alone the people who know Becky and know the training of a Guide Dog. I guess this is just my cynical outlook on life. It doesn't rear it's head often, but sometimes I just can't help but think that the world is a horrible place. (Cheerful sentence huh?)

Anyway, the sentence that most intrigued me was, "We are reaching out to [Becky] and her family to make this situation right." Can a situation like this ever be made "right". In my eyes, the damage is done. Like I said in my last post, I'm not telling you to never shop at Ann Taylor again nor am I saying that I will never walk into an Ann Taylor again. But, the damage is definitely done and I'm wondering what they are doing to make it "right."

I don't think this is something that is so simple that just saying, "Hey, sorry our staff wasn't completely trained and threw you out of the store because you're blind and use a dog to get around. And about that whole 'blaming the situation on you' thing. Yeah...sorry about that too." will really fix anything. I guess it would show that they realize that they were in the wrong. But I just don't see a 'sorry' really going all that far.

Again, this might just be my cynical outlook on life coming up at an inopportune moment. But I know that when I'm told I am not welcome in a store with my Guide Dog puppy I to try to avoid it in the future. There is a Target that I have not been into in almost 4 years...of course, that is more because of how rudely Freya and I were treated. There have been other stores where after a few months I walk in with confidence (only if I have to) and I don't tend to have a problem again. It's not because I don't like this stores or don't respect their decision to not allow a service dog in training, it's more because my confidence is shot.

So much to think about in the next few days. I do enjoy a good moral discussion.


  1. I can certainly be cynical, too, but in this whole scenario, I think it was a series of extremely stupid blunders. Everyone trying to cover their butts rather than admitting, "We seriously messed up."

    I think Becky's goal has always been to educate the public, and that has certainly happened through all this! I don't think any employee of Ann Taylor will ever make this mistake again. I don't know what Becky's going to do going forward, but we all know she's going to do whatever she does with grace and dignity. And hopefully, she'll get a gift certificate from them with at least 3 or 4 zeroes in the number!

    1. Well, Becky has certainly done just that in that past couple of days. :) I'm glad that GDB has her as a representative because she really does handel everything with grace and dignity.

      Haha! A gift card like that might be the thing to start making things 'right.'


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