Retail business rises and falls on selling products as many as the manufacturer can produce right.
That's what Shirley thought until the designer purse maker Coach showed her what she calls the painful lesson of selective selling.
In the process she says Coach lost a loyal customer.
"I could not buy another Coach purse ever in life! Ever in life!," she said.
You may see a woman surrounded by scores of the popular Coach brand purses. But once you listen to Shirley, the bags seem more like former friends who saw her being jilted.
The love affair with the purses broke after a series of email messages from Coach. Aug. 8, Coach Online Customer Service Agent Cheri wrote in part: "We believe you are a reseller of Coach merchandise. Coach prohibits the sale of its products to individuals whom Coach has reason to believe are reselling."
The e-mail goes on to spell out why they suspected her: "The volume and pattern of your purchases, along with your habit of buying duplicate items suggests, you are purchasing Coach products for resale."
Shocked and insulted to get that kind of accusatory letter Shirley, a nurse for 37 years, wrote them back.
"I notified them that I was insulted and that I was going to contact the Better Business Bureau," she said. "I would send them pictures to let them know I had every purse I had ever purchased."
There are many purchases, including duplicates. But Shirley had an explanation.
"Okay, right here, one's my daughter's, one's my grand daughter's. My daughter wanted it and when my grand daughter saw it, she wanted one too. So I ordered one for her," she said.
FOX13 News counted 30 Coach items from cross body bags, Coach totes, Coach wallets, weekenders, Coach laptop covers, browns, blues, green, black, silver, orange. She said they range in price from $70-$300.
A picture showing Coach that the purses she purchased, mostly online, were not resold as they suspected. Surely that would clear up the confusion and she would be invited to shop Coach online factory events once again.
Not even close.
Aug. 19, Coach Consumer Service Agent Michelle responded to the proof in the pictures this way. In part she wrote: "We have researched your query. We must limit the units of products that each customer purchases. While we appreciate your enthusiasm for the brand, we have a finite quantity of goods and wish to offer them to all customers in a fair manner."
A finite number of products, you've purchased too many. A designer purse maker says - to a customer, you've purchased too many. Log onto CoachFactory.com and read the FAQs, or frequently asked questions.
"I am the reason that Coach is around now," Shirley said. "Customers like me that support them. All I've gotten is insult after insult."
Shirley said she gets that there is a limit, but says 30 purses over several years doesn't seem to have violated the limit. That's not what broke her bond with Coach. It's being accused of doing something wrong.
"They actually accused me of being a booster in essence," Shirley said.
But a funny thing happened after that finite products, limit your purchase email. She got something in the mail.
"$100 off the purchase of a $300 dollar purse," Shirley said. "It is from Mike Tucci. He is president of Coach! A gift card to buy more Coach products!"
But wait, Tucci must have forgotten to tell customer service agent Virlynda, who wrote an email message Sept. 4, a week after his gift card arrived, basically repeating what agent Michelle said Aug. 19, in part: "You will no longer be receiving invitations to shop our online Coach factory events. We have a finite quantity of goods and wish to offer them in a fair manner."
Shirley said she won't be using the $100 Coach gift card. Ask her if she's sure about that, the soft spoken nurse speaks from the voice of the woman scorned.
"I will go any place," she said. "I will go to Walmart before I go to Coach."
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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