Author Topic: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag  (Read 12997 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

veronaz

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1970
Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #45 on: August 16, 2013, 01:23:01 PM »
Oprah didn't say she wouldn't buy a purse that expensive; she said after finding out the price (of that purse) she wouldn't have bought it.

Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8704
Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #46 on: August 16, 2013, 01:24:59 PM »
That is the question and that might be where the language barrier comes in on both sides.  There are probably ways to indicate that you are a serious buyer and to weed out lookie-lous.  It sounds like the store needs to train better but it also seems possible that because of the language barrier there was some nuance that was missed on Oprah's part as well.  (Of course if she is now saying she wouldn't buy a purse that expensive maybe she was giving those indications in the first place?)

I doubt there is a secret code for "I really am rich, so let me put my rich hands on that purse!", though I've never been rich, so I don't suppose I'd know.  ;D Some of our busiest threads at ehell have been the ones about salespeople making assumptions (even without a language barrier) and turning out to be wrong when the guy in dirty overalls is a millionaire or whatever.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21351
Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #47 on: August 16, 2013, 01:32:34 PM »
That is the question and that might be where the language barrier comes in on both sides.  There are probably ways to indicate that you are a serious buyer and to weed out lookie-lous.  It sounds like the store needs to train better but it also seems possible that because of the language barrier there was some nuance that was missed on Oprah's part as well.  (Of course if she is now saying she wouldn't buy a purse that expensive maybe she was giving those indications in the first place?)

I doubt there is a secret code for "I really am rich, so let me put my rich hands on that purse!", though I've never been rich, so I don't suppose I'd know.  ;D Some of our busiest threads at ehell have been the ones about salespeople making assumptions (even without a language barrier) and turning out to be wrong when the guy in dirty overalls is a millionaire or whatever.

There are all sorts of things written about "code switching" so I think that while it might not be "secret" it probably is subtle and rare enough that only certain people need to know what you say when you want to look at an accessory that costs as much as the gross income many people might make in an average year. 

turnip

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 507
Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #48 on: August 16, 2013, 01:37:46 PM »
That is the question and that might be where the language barrier comes in on both sides.  There are probably ways to indicate that you are a serious buyer and to weed out lookie-lous.  It sounds like the store needs to train better but it also seems possible that because of the language barrier there was some nuance that was missed on Oprah's part as well.  (Of course if she is now saying she wouldn't buy a purse that expensive maybe she was giving those indications in the first place?)

If a language barrier is preventing your clerk from selling handbags to rich Americans, you have a serious business problem.   Where does the clerk imagine most of the wealth in the world is concentrated?

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21351
Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #49 on: August 16, 2013, 01:45:46 PM »
I don't think Americans are the only people who buy really expensive handbags.

Magnet

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 155
Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #50 on: August 16, 2013, 01:47:15 PM »
Meh, much ado about nothing.

I agree with Mommy Penguin that this whole story sounds like a contrived re-make of a Pretty Woman scene.

I understand that high end stores don't want their merchandise pawed by people who have no intention of buying it.  Skin oils can mar exotics.  I also understand that high end stores always employ sales clerks who speak English and are trained to be overly solicitous.  I also don't think that everyone in the universe has to recognize Oprah.  I'm sure this sales person believes she was doing her job.  Her job is to sell and protect the merchandise. 

Nothing wrong with being an elite.  If there is, then why strive to be better? What if you actually make it to the top?  I don't begrudge Oprah a dime she has made.

Speaking of which, couldn't Oprah have sent an assistant who speaks fluent Hermes?

Back to the original statement, much ado about nothing. 

 


KenveeB

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8352
Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #51 on: August 16, 2013, 01:56:05 PM »
I'd be more inclined to see the situation as one where a salesperson was simpling offering options if she'd included the bag Oprah had asked for (more than once, according to Oprah's version).

Except she did. (If you believe the clerk's version over Oprah's, at least, which I whole-heartedly do.) She said that she showed her that bag and offered options of other similar ones. Sounds like what you're supposed to do. At least at a high-priced store where I'd expect a high level of customer service. I go to Target, I don't expect anything other than "here's what you asked for". But at high-priced stores, I'd expect more attention and offering of options. I'd actually think that someone who responded to "can I see that" with nothing more than "here" as trying to shoo me away instead of bothering to spend time on me.

turnip

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 507
Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #52 on: August 16, 2013, 01:58:45 PM »
I don't think Americans are the only people who buy really expensive handbags.

I never said or implied that they are the only people who do.

veronaz

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1970
Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #53 on: August 16, 2013, 02:05:44 PM »
I see no reason to automatically believe the clerk (anymore than to automatically believe Oprah).

But there is no way that clerk was going to admit snobby treatment of a customer, especially a customer of a different race. 

turnip

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 507
Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #54 on: August 16, 2013, 02:19:46 PM »
I'd be more inclined to see the situation as one where a salesperson was simpling offering options if she'd included the bag Oprah had asked for (more than once, according to Oprah's version).

Except she did. (If you believe the clerk's version over Oprah's, at least, which I whole-heartedly do.) She said that she showed her that bag and offered options of other similar ones. Sounds like what you're supposed to do. At least at a high-priced store where I'd expect a high level of customer service. I go to Target, I don't expect anything other than "here's what you asked for". But at high-priced stores, I'd expect more attention and offering of options. I'd actually think that someone who responded to "can I see that" with nothing more than "here" as trying to shoo me away instead of bothering to spend time on me.

From the article

Quote
suggested the bag which Winfrey was so interested in was "like the one I held in my hand, only much more expensive, and that I could show her similar bags."

The clerk admits that she initially suggested other bags to Oprah when asked about the bag in question.   IMO, at this point the clerk has already failed at her job.

KenveeB

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8352
Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #55 on: August 16, 2013, 02:39:07 PM »
But she never says that's ALL she did. She also said at another point that she did offer to show Oprah the bag she asked about.

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28254
Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #56 on: August 16, 2013, 06:13:11 PM »
I don't quite see the point of saying, "I am not judging your ability to pay, but instead of looking at that Maserati, perhaps you'd prefer to test-drive this lovely Ford Focus?"
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21351
Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #57 on: August 16, 2013, 07:11:37 PM »
No idea but it might very well work this way - you call and indicate you want an appointment to test drive a Mazerati. If you are not recognized as one of the elite they promise to call back about you appointment, they check on you to make sure you can afford the car and then they call you back with an appointment time - or not. They really don't want thoysands of people who can only afford a Focus coming in to test drive their Mazeratis so they can say they have driven one.

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4137
Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #58 on: August 16, 2013, 07:18:17 PM »
It's just an amazing coincidence that many are talking about this right as her new movie is coming out.

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28254
Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #59 on: August 16, 2013, 08:03:27 PM »
No idea but it might very well work this way - you call and indicate you want an appointment to test drive a Mazerati. If you are not recognized as one of the elite they promise to call back about you appointment, they check on you to make sure you can afford the car and then they call you back with an appointment time - or not. They really don't want thoysands of people who can only afford a Focus coming in to test drive their Mazeratis so they can say they have driven one.
[/i]
What about Oprah would say, "not wealthy enough to afford a $38000 purse, but cool for a $20000 one?"
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."