Shock exchange

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Don’t worry the title of this post doesn’t indicate a play on words in relation to me rambling on about the Stock Exchange. No siree, something much more exciting than that. Shopping! Or more specifically, exchanging! And clearly for us, everything comes in three’s.

www.brasnthings.com.au

A few weeks ago I finally went to get re-fitted for some new bra’s. After finishing breastfeeding about 4 months ago I figured it was about time to get out of my maternity bras! I went to Bras N Things, got a lovely lady, bought 2 new bras and went off on my merry way. The next day I wore one of new bras out to a dinner we were attending. By the end of the night underneath the bra on the side of my body, my skin was red and I had welts. Clearly the bra was WAY too tight. So I popped it back in the drawer figured it was a waste of money, but would take the other one back.

When I took the 2nd unworn bra back, Katrina (the original girl I had) told me I could bring the other bra back. WHAT?! I said to her, but I’ve worn it! She said that’s fine, their policy was that they wanted their customers to be happy with their purchases and clearly I had the wrong size.

So a few days later when I was Sophie free, I took back the worn bra, no questions, no fuss and exchanged it for a better fitting one. Now that’s good customer service!

And it seems but good customer service experience was about to continue…

www.sheridan.com.au

The other weekend I took the sheets off our bed to wash them. Nothing unusual there. But as I was shaking them out in the laundry trying to find the pillow cases that had gotten caught up in the sheets I was a little shocked to see a great big gaping hole in the fitted sheet.

Now these were no ordinary sheets. They were super dooper expensive luxury Sheridan sheets, and we had ‘treated’ ourselves to them with our wedding money that we received. As the sheets were quite warm we would only use them in Winter. So they had been used last Winter and now this Winter.

I showed hubby and he was as disappointed as I was, that only after 2 seasons of use the sheets had worn through, what appeared to be down near my feet. I just figured we’d have to go and buy another set as I was pretty sure we’d paid cash and the David Jones store in town, which has since closed down and I knew that I didn’t have the receipt.

A few days later I decided to give Sheridan a call and just have a chat to them about the sheets. I called with no expectations, was polite and honest that I had no proof of purchase. I got this very lovely lady named Jane, and after a few questions and checking of the tag thingy on the sheets we established which type of sheets they were.

Jane informed me that they had indeed been having some problems with that particular weave as it was so soft. After a bit of a chat about a new range they had bought out to replace the old range, I asked her where do we go from here. I was honestly expecting her to say that without any proof of purchase I’d probably need to go to a David Jones store. But to my pleasant surprise Jane promptly asked for my full name and address and brand new set of sheets worth $320 in the same colour were in the mail and on their way.

I cannot thank Jane and Sheridan enough for such a lovely customer service experience. More companies could definitely take a leaf out of Sheridan’s book and learn a thing or two about standing by their product and certainly maintaining an excellent reputation.

I think if you go in with an open mind not expecting anything with a pleasant attitude you’ll get a lot further. It may not always be resolved in your favour, but at the end of the day it can’t hurt to ask. And that’s exactly what happened to my hubby as well.

www.arb.com.au

A few weeks ago he was parked on a hill and as he was walking back to his car (Toyota Hilux) he noticed a considerable amount of rust underneath his car on the bullbar. Having never had the car ‘off road’ or on a beach he was a little disappointed that the additions to the car that he had paid for about 5 years ago had failed.

He was out and about a few days later on his way back from a meeting and decided to stop in at the place where he had the bullbar fitted a few years back. John went there expecting to order all new parts and just pay what he had to pay. The man at ARB was just as shocked as John, and even more so when he learnt that the car had never been on a beach. He promptly took numerous photos of the rust and told John he would be in touch within a couple of days.

True to his word the man rang John a few days later. He had contacted the manufacturer who had agreed that the product had indeed failed and they would be replacing everything free of charge. Approximately $5,000 worth. Once again great customer service, and standing by your product from ARB.

We spend so much time focusing on the negative, and whinging about bad experiences of customer service or faulty products. So when something wonderful happens we should applaud those companies, and show our appreciation by spreading the news.

Have you had a similar experience with a great company?

Style me baby!

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For me, visiting a Stylist was something other people did that I always wanted to do. I’d seen the Westfield ad’s, I’d watched Trinny & Susannah for years and desperately wished I was one of those daggy people they jumped on in the Newcastle Mall when they recently visited Oz.

I constantly whinged about having nothing to wear post baby (actually I did it pre baby too) and a couple of weeks ago I blogged about a frustrating shopping experience with hubby. You can read that HERE.

So as I continued to live in my safe mummy outfit of tracksuit pants and a comfy hoodie, a few days after I wrote my whingy no clothes blog, Prue, left a comment about how she’d gone to the Westfield stylist and how great it was. Right, I thought what the heck I’m going to do it! I jumped straight on the phone and booked a Stylist appointment for the following week.

Last week, on Friday I met my Stylist for a 1 hour shopping trip. How funny does that sound! ‘My Stylist!’ I felt like I was Victoria Beckham. You know, minus the gazillion dollar bank account, stick model figure, oh and the already super fashionable wardrobe. Anyway sorry I digress, enough about Posh and more about me and ‘my stylist’. Who by the way has a name, Sam, from Vibrant Concepts.

So last Friday morning I was quite excited about the impending afternoon. Except, except, oh fark what was I going to wear to meet the stylist?! And I had to make sure I straightened my hair. Couldn’t have the stylist thinking I was a total tracky pants wearing unruly hair bogan all the time!

So 4pm finally rolled around and I meet my Stylist at Westfield Kotara. Who by the way anyone can book too she isn’t just mine, I’m happy to share. So Sam starts out by telling me what style pants and tops suit by body. She told me I had great legs. I could have hugged her, handed over the money and gone home a happy girl right then and there. (By the way you fill out a form prior to your appointment re: day to day activities, budget etc).

After the quick style and shape run down, we hit the shops! Sam picked up things I never would have looked at twice, let alone actually tried on!

My requests were pretty simple. I’m a stay at home mum, who goes out on the weekends for maybe a breakfast or lunch with hubby and bub, and did things like groceries, play dates and mother’s group during the week. I’ve still got some baby belly left over and I didn’t know how to dress anymore without looking about 5 months pregnant. I also had a special request outfit, that I literally had nothing to wear too; an upcoming Director’s dinner for hubby’s work.

We ended up spending 1.5 hours together to make sure we nailed the dinner outfit as well as the casual stuff. Without getting into all the boring details of my body shape and why I bought what I bought, I ended up with the following pieces for about $470:

  • 2 jumpers
  • 3 jackets
  • 1 coat
  • 1 tunic dress
  • 1 casual top for under jackets
  • And 1 killer dress for the dinner, from, wait for it, wait for it…. Target! Yep, who woulda thought!

The Shopping Loot

We went to shops like Dotti and Glasson’s (which I’ve NEVER found anything in), SES (great cheap stuff that you can replace each year if it falls apart!) and Target, where I’ve never ventured into the ‘young section’ before. So basically for my shape, tops & comfy jackets are better than jumpers for winter.

Unfortunately we ran out of time, so on Saturday morning when Mum turned up and offered to watch Soph I ushered my lucky hubby into the car and dragged him to the shops to finish off my new wardrobe. I grabbed a few more casual type tops (like the basic ones from Cotton On) and Sam had recommended a pair of black jeans which I eventually found at Jeans West. Comfy non super skinny black jeans were a little harder to find than I expected and there may have been a few bottom lip, foot stamping moments in the process. Isn’t my husband just the luckiest guy!

So anyway, back to Friday. So as Sam and I hugged goodbye like we were old friends, I practically skipped to the car after the most successful shopping trip I’d ever had. I climbed into the car and let out a sigh. It was now time to go back to the reality of being a mum and a housewife. But at least now I was going to look damn good doing it!

P.s. Thank you Sam, if you could just hop into my handbag for every shopping trip now that would be great!

P.p.s I’ll post a the pick of the dinner dress when I’m all dressed up for the dinner!!

For Frock’s Sake

Something I say almost everyday...

Everyone likes to look nice. Even when just heading out to do the groceries you always feel better if you’ve put in a bit of effort to look ok. The problem is these days that my ‘looking ok’ consists of trackies, a t-shirt and, wait for it, a pair of thongs. Yep I fit right in at good old Marketown (the shopping centre in town). It would be safe to say that I’m more than entrenched in ‘Mummy Mode’. Mummy Mode consists of getting up and making sure the baby has had her bottle, breakfast, a clean nappy and a cute outfit on, and I get a shower, wet hair in a pony tail and a tracksuit. Any time I used to have perusing my wardrobe for something to wear is now spent washing up bottles and sterilising them along with pureeing and pureeing and some more pureeing.

I think that like most women, especially Mum’s there’s a gaping big hole in my wardrobe. No my crazy architect husband din’t design some weird wardrobe (although I wouldn’t put it past him), I feel that my range of clothes is lacking a middle ground. I have a gazillion, yes gazillion t-shirts, singlet tops, tracksuit pants, 3/4 cargo pants and more pairs of thongs than you can poke a stick at. I have gorgeous gorgeous cocktail dresses and about 20 maxi dresses. Now the maxi dresses used to be my go to outfit all the time, paired with a little cardi on the cooler days and I thought I was looking a oh k. But now. Well after 6 months of breastfeeding, the girls, puppies, twins, whatever you want to call them, how about boobs, just aren’t what they used to be. Short of walking around with my arms in the air to give them a nice lift, I can’t get away with not wearing a bra anymore. And unfortunately most of maxi’s aren’t bra friendly.

So back to the gaping hole. I feel I lack some casual sophistication in my ensembles, as in, I don’t have any of it. Granted I have some lovely tops that look great with jeans, but they don’t fit me anymore, not across the boobs and definitely not across the tummy. I am so tempted to wear a pair of spanks on a day to day basis even though my husband thinks that’s taking it to a whole other level of ridiculousness.

So on Saturday we went on a little shopping trip. My mum looked after Sophie (she loves any chance to get her all to herself) and about 2pm John and I hit the shops. I wanted a new pair of jeans, and a nice top to wear to my Nonna’s upcoming 80th birthday. The jeans were quite successful and I found a nice pair of Lee jeans that weren’t too low cut, I didn’t want to be that mum with her arse always hanging out, and they were a great colour. The girls in the shops were lovely. Delightful even. I didn’t feel uncomfortable and unfashionable like I usually do and of course I got the obligatory aaaaaawwwww’s when I told them I was a new mum and this was my first pair of non maternity jeans since Soph was born.

Next came tops. I could have cried when a size L shirt didn’t fit me in General Pants Co. I wouldn’t consider myself a big person. Maybe a 12, possibly sometimes a 14 at the moment with the extra boob baggage, but nope, no luck with the Large. We went to several other shops before I hit a wall. Thankfully not literally, although the rate we were going a face smack would have been more fun than trying to find a damn top. The fitted one’s made me look like I was about 5 months pregnant and the more flowing one’s made me look like I was about 7 months pregnant and trying to cover it up. I then became too tired and too cranky to care. “I’ll just wear my pyjama’s” I said to John. By that time he had had enough too!

You see the truth is as a new Mum I don’t know what to wear. Probably not much different to what I wore before I guess. I could go and replace my lovely tops with bigger sizes, but they’re only going to get puked on or have mashed broccoli thrown in their general direction. Plus I don’t think a silk Country Road top is all that appropriate for doing the groceries. I could wear plain tops and accessorise. But these days Sophie will put anything from the dog’s tail to the TV remote in her mouth, so the last thing I need to do is tease her with dangly necklace’s and earrings.

At least winter is only just around the corner and jeans, boots, a jacket and different colour scarves should get me through. Soph will have fun munching on the scarves. And as for the tracksuits; they’ll always be my non-fashionable best friend.

Where’s Trinny and Susannah when you need them…

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