Ask and You Shall Receive: My Consumer Victory with The Gap

The Gap and Old Navy are pretty much the only two stores I shop at for clothes. Their clothes generally fit me significantly better than those sold at other stores, plus The Gap has killer sales and Old Navy has killer everyday low prices.

These stores, along with many other retailers, have a price adjustment policy. The way The Gap's policy works is this: If you buy a shirt for $30 and sometime in the next 14 days the price drops, you can ask them to refund the difference to you. Stores do this because they know that most people won't pay attention to the price of an item once they've already bought it, so the store won't end up issuing too many price adjustments. They also know that having people buy things, return them, and instantly rebuy them at a lower price is a major hassle.

I recently asked for a price adjustment on two longsleeved shirts I purchased, but could not get a brick and mortar store nor Gap's customer service phone support to refund the difference, even though I knew I was well within my rights to ask for a price adjustment. I sent a letter to Gap's corporate office, using the correspondence address easily available on The Gap's website. I explained what had happened, said that I had been a customer for twelve years and was also a shareholder (six shares at $20 each, but hey, why not mention it?) and I would really appreciate it if they'd give me my $9.

Within two weeks, I received a positive response and a $15 gift card. My letter was even signed with real ink by a real person. Thank you, Gap! I am a happy customer once again.

If you have a bad experience with a store, it never hurts to write a letter (or make a phone call, but I'm more comfortable writing). Just make sure to keep your tone pleasant but firm--ranting is a big turnoff to the person reading your letter, especially since that particular person probably had nothing to do with your complaint. Of course, you won't always be so lucky on the first try--that's what The Consumerist is for.


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