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An online retailer of fashionable women's clothing.

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How Bebe.com ruined a simple gift sent to my best friend, on Mother's Day of all Holidays

  • May 18, 2009
  • by

This review may seem a bit outdated, seeing as though Mother's Day 2009 has past. Unfortunately, my "gift" just recently arrived…

After debating through a list of mother's day gift ideas for my best friend Jess of 25 years, I decided to skip the chocolate covered strawberries and go for something she would really appreciate. As a full time working mom with all her spare time and money dedicated to her baby boy and family, I wanted to get her something special. It's then that I decided on a gift card from Bebe.com, giving her the opportunity to pick out something nice, just for her. On their website, I chose a cute black and pink gift card (see photo in review) and spent time crafting a really well written mother's day message to go along with the gift card (all part of the gift service options on bebe's website)

After finishing, I was brought to the check out cart which showed I owed 100.00 for the gift card and $10.95 for shipping. Seeing as the website said shipping on gift cards was free, I couldn't image giving them an extra 11 bucks to ship a simple gift card. After calling customer service to resolve the issue, I was then forced to spend over 30 minutes on the phone with them to re-do my order, spelling out the extra long message I had previously typed for Jess, one painfully long word at a time, as if the customer service rep had never used a keyboard.

After at least an hour of completing a task that should have been 10 minutes, I was done, and the gift card would be shipped out next day.

This was on May 4th…which I assumed was more than enough time to have it arrive by Mother's day on the 10th.

Mother's Day passed with no word from my friend.

It wasn't until May 13th that my gift had completed its journey from just a few states away, somehow taking nearly 10 days.

After a half thank you/half confused call from my friend, I found out that the cute gift card I had selected had been swapped out on Bebe's end for a white piece of cardboard (see above), bearing nothing but a bar code and $100 – not a single thing about it being a gift. Jess said if I hadn't let her know to expect something in the mail from me, she wouldn't have known what is was or who it was from. It's not until she took the time to call Bebe that she realized it was in fact a gift card, and I had sent it.

Oooooh… and that message I had not only carefully thought out, typed on the bebe.com order form and later repeated word for word to the customer service rep… Well, they didn't bother to include a word of it.

For a website that claims all gift cards "arrive gift ready, packaged in a signature bebe logo box", a crappy cardboard "gift card" + no message + super late delivery, seems quite the contrary.

For a store I've always enjoyed, I'm extremely shocked and disappointed at the lack of service put into this order. Had I known they would put so little care into completing it correctly, I would have gladly opted for those chocolate covered strawberries, or ever a nice meaningful card…

Let's at least hope that white cardboard they call a gift card, actually works…

Update 1:

Bebe responded with an apology, telling me they would give me a "complimentary promotion on my account", but needed my account information.

I began to respond to give them my account info & ask what this "promotion" would be, soon realizing that the e-mail from Tyron B., bebe's customer service rep, was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming e-mail.

After visiting their site to find further contact info for the customer service department, I contacted customer service 2 more times and received NO APOLOGY, not even a response.

Update 2:

My friend happened to be in town this weekend and we headed over to Bebe in Santa Monica to do some shopping and redeem the gift card. After picking out some shoes, we headed up the register to pay. After handing them the cardboard "gift card" that bebe had claimed would work as a gift card, the manager was unable to scan it and told us it wouldn't work. HEATED, we told him to call someone and figure it out. 30 minutes later he still had no luck (see image above of manager Jose on the phone). With attitude, he told us that they sent us the wrong type of card and there is nothing he could do about it, that we needed to go home and call Bebe customer support ONCE AGAIN. Our response - "No, actually YOU will call Bebe support right now because we aren't leaving until you figure this out". After another 15 minutes waiting for Jose on the phone with Bebe, I was issued a refund of my $100.

It was supposed to be simple gift for my friend, who would have ever imagined going through so much trouble. It's great that I got my money back, because I couldn't stand the thought of spending money there ever again... but what I would really love back is the 5 hours of my life they took.

I'm floored at Bebe's lack of customer service and once a loyal customer, will never return.

What I ordered on bebe.com the Jose - Manager at Bebe Santa Monica

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May 18, 2009
I hope you called and complained about that becuase that sounds like they dropped the ball bigtime!!!
May 18, 2009
That is a total bummer...I am surprised that a "high end" store would mess up so badly.
May 18, 2009
Exactly... and for a company that prides themselves on great in-store customer service, it's amazing how careless there online customer service proved to be
May 18, 2009
WOW! I can't even believe it- I love Bebe too. That is HORRIBLE. That really makes me not want to shop there ever again...yes, I'm being a bit dramatic but, what if I'm too busy to go shopping? If this is how they treated you and your gift card, imagine what they would do if you actually ordered clothes?!?
May 18, 2009
I know... if a gift card takes 10 days and the quality is so poor, I wouldn't want to take a chance ordering some cute clothes. With my luck, they would come out of a box, soaked in mud =/
More bebe.com reviews
Quick Tip by . September 06, 2009
posted in Culture of Cute
Hello bling, sequins, and risque apparel. The word tacky is synonomous with Bebe.
About the reviewer
Lisa Nativo ()
Ranked #122
Inspired by her two rescued kitties Maxwell & Oliver, Lisa has spent the last 5 years devoted to animal welfare; volunteering for LA based animal rescue organizations, fostering dogs & cats in … more
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