What is Customer Service Like at Fogal Hosiery in Vancouver?

May 8, 2012 under Fogal


Yesterday was a bit of a frustrating experience for me.  You see, I never actually owned a pair of Fogal hosiery.  I decided to send my guy to buy me some from the local Fogal boutique that recently opened in Vancouver.  He went there, but returned empty-handed.

What happened?

“I didn’t get any customer service”, he said.  Turned out that when he came to the store, there was only one person working (the manager) and she was talking to a female customer.  He picked out something that he liked from the sample display and asked the manager three times for that specific item in size Medium.  All that needed to be done was to run the purchase through the cash register, that’s it!  After being in that store for some time (15 minutes according to his estimation), he walked out.

I was surprised, last time I was there I got really good service.  So I picked up the phone and called up the boutique.  The explanation I got was that the staff is trained to stay with the customer that they started working with until the end.   She explained that the other customer seemed to be very needy and required assistance.  That’s why the manager could not interrupt her conversation with the other customer and go to the cash register to process a sale.  I agree to an extent here, but if you are the only staff in the store, sometimes you need to multi-task.  She was polite and of course she apoligized, but there was no offer extended to compensate for that unfortunate experience.

I wonder if his gender made any difference.  Could it be different if it would be a woman coming in to make a purchase?  I find that sometimes in high end stores staff only watch out for their “target market”.  They may not even greet a customer if for some reason they don’t think that this person is going to buy much because of their youth or simple clothing.  I really hope that’s not the case since my first experience with Fogal was quite positive.

I am sad that it didn’t work out.  Maybe some day I’ll order it online or buy it in Toronto’s store.  This time, instead of Fogal, I went to the Wolford boutique that is literally across the corner from them and purchased another pair of Neon 40 in Cosmetic shade (skin tone).  You see, my guy was too upset to go back to the Fogal store.

I am still open-minded about the Fogal brand and I judge people favourable.  At least for now I prefer to think that it was simply inexperience of the staff  person to multi-task while working alone with multiple clients.

Note Added Later: I heard from some of my fans that they went to Fogal and got good customer service.  So maybe it was just a day of bad luck.  I would also like to say that I had AMAZING customer service at Fogal in Toronto. What is customer service like at Fogal for you?  Would love to hear.

 

Fogal in Vancouver (I’ve been asked about the location – so far listed in Yellow pages only)

1012 Alberni Street

Vancouver, British Columbia

1 604 685 6722

(also goes under Fogal Legwear Canada Ltd)

 

*Friends, the only funding for this blog is from the shop section.  Please indulge your pantyhose obsession and show some support for my work!  Your purchases make this blog possible.*

18 Responses to "What is Customer Service Like at Fogal Hosiery in Vancouver?"

  • Jackie N. says:

    Bad service! Definitely should have multi-tasked. Had I been the customer being attended to, I would have been more comfortable if the second customer had been taken care of with brief interruptions from my service. Standards are important, but common sense also is critical.

    • Olivia says:

      Let me get this straight…the experience at Fogal was upsetting because he waited for service? Sounds like he was in a hurry. If I was the first customer being helped I would be pissed off if a second customer interrupted my service experience. I am just saying….if you want no service and just cashiers perhaps try The Bay. I have visited the store twice and both ladies who worked there were gracious & attentive even though I could only afford to purchase their cheapest $29 pantyhose.

      • admin says:

        Hi, Olivia, thank you for the input. I was upset because he came back without Fogal, I really wanted to buy it and my budget was not limited. My first experience at Fogal was also really nice, so I really don’t know what went so wrong.

        I remember working when I was a student at a bowling alley and we had customer service training on multi-tasking. That training was actually tailored to retail stores. They addressed similar issues and their solution was to acknowledge the second customer and juggle both.

        Let’s say, customer #1 goes to the change room to try something on, customer #2 in the meanwhile goes to the cash register.

        Well, I won’t give away my sales techniqiues here, but there are ways to actually use such situations as a way to compell the first customer to purchase even more then what they came in for. If you have one person seriously demanding the red tablecloth, for example, it very much increases the chances of those who witness this to go on and start asking for that same tablecloth too. But this kind of sales momentum in group dynamics only works if the sales person is in control, not the customer. That’s something that is an art of its own.

      • Cherry says:

        Hi Olivia,
        I agree with you. I am from Europe and Fogal is considered to be
        the Rolls Royce of Hoisery. Their clients expect a certain level of
        expertise and indulgent service. The salesperson wasn’t rude nor
        was she ignoring him. Customer Service in a luxury boutique is all
        about quality not quantity.

  • I looked for Fogal, and could not find it. I think that you must be exaggerating when you say across the corner.

    Are you talking about Holt Renfrew?

    My search says that Fogal is on/near Granville.

    Wolford is near the corner of Burrard and another street.

    • admin says:

      Eugene, come out to the city and see it. Looks like they opened instead of Calvin Klein underwear.

      No, I am not crazy. 1 minute walk from Wolford.

      Yellow Pages
      http://www.yellowpages.ca/bus/British-Columbia/Vancouver/Fogal-Legwear-Canada-Ltd/7896211.html

      Fogal Legwear Canada Ltd (address from the catalog and you can find it on Google maps too)

      1012 Alberni Street

      Vancouver, British Columbia

      1 604 685 6722

      Call them. They exist.

      • Brian says:

        Lol… I drove by there just the other night and failed to find Fogal as well (was just curious to see where it’s at).

        As for customer service… well I’d say it was poor service indeed by the person on shift. I find being a male entering a typical female domain usually attracts instant attention from staff as they know the male whomever they’re purchasing for is going to be an ‘easy’ sale as generally speaking if they’re there then they know what they want and are usually determined shoppers.

        On another note, I’ve heard that the space formerly HMV formerly Virgin Records is slated to become a Victoria’s Secret.

        • admin says:

          Brian, that Fogal store seems very grey from the outside. I’d never notice it! Just google Fogal Legwear Canada Ltd and you’ll find the address online on yellow pages.

          I was across from it at the Betsey Johnson boutique and I didn’t see it. Then someone said “Fogal just opened across” and I turned around to look at it and couldn’t believe my eyes.

          I walked in and I was like “Aaaah! Fogal!”. The staff right away told me that I must be European if I know the brand.

          Victoria Secret already opened in Toronto at the Eaton’s Centre. I’ve been there with my photographer buddy. We were talking about garter belts and I took him there to show him some.

        • Brian and Jessica, it is *around the corner*, not “across the corner” as Jessica says.

          Jessica, I realize that I already posted this in the other Fogal blog post, and I don’t mean to post this too many times, but I figured that it might be hard for people to find the updated information.

          Regarding customer service, I met the assistant manager, and she seems to know you, Jessica. I mentioned that I heard about their store from a blogger friend, and she asked about you, by name, and description. The assistant manager was very happy to have met you.

          I think that their customer service style must be cultural, because I don’t know of any businesses that make people wait on purpose. That sounds very unusual.

          I think that they are very accepting of men. The assistant manager asked me if I want to work there. She was not offering, though. She was just wondering about it, and encouraging me to apply.

  • admin says:

    Eugene, thanks for the correction.
    Yes, I introduced myself to the manager of course as a blogger. You know, I don’t try to make them look good or bad, I just try to describe my experience the way it really was. Overall I have a good impression of them.

    But hey, culture… who’s culture? I have a culture too. In Canada this shouldn’t be an issue since there is some training provided to staff on how to handle multiple customers.

  • Robert Safko says:

    Jessica,

    Sorry to hear about your guy’s bad experience at Fogal. If you want to try it again, we can certainly send you a pair at no shipping charge to you. We have been selling Fogal for 10 years now and we are located in Canada just outside Toronto. We were actually the first online store in the world to offer Fogal.

    http://www.shapings.com/fogal.html

    If anyone else is reading this post and want to try a pair of Fogal pantyhose. Just mention this blog in the notes of your order, choose our “pick up at store location” and we will give you free shipping on your Fogal purchase.

    Robert Safko
    http://www.shapings.com

  • Robert Safko says:

    Hello Jessica,

    I am happy you like our store, it has been here for 10 years now. I am surprised you had not seen it before seeing that you are Canadian and love hosiery.

    Robert

  • Alan says:

    I can understand your guy’s frustration. Few things drive me more crazy than unreasonably being forced to wait to spend money at a store. I think part of the problem is that these smaller stores have fewer staff and as Jessica points out some staff struggle to handle difficult customers. I have not been to the Vancouver Fogal yet but have had the same type of neglected experience at Vancouver Wolford, around the corner. But on other occasions at Wolford they could have spent all day with me. It’s hit or miss.

    I will have to make the trip in from suburbia to check out the Fogal shop for myself. Our last Fogal experience was in New York at the Madison Avenue location. Once the staff person finished sending her text and helped us all she was able to display was her complete lack of knowledge of the product. And she was bare legged. My wife loved the Fogal shop in London (it has since closed) where on our annual visit the two ladies who ran it would greet us like old friends as they knew my wife was good for a healthy sale.

  • admin says:

    I brought up the subject recently at the Wolford boutique and they say that for sure they have to multi-task and serve all the people there.



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