It should come as no shock that I love online shopping. I love the convenience and the speed and I love window shopping from the comfort of my own couch. I have had wonderful shopping experiences with virtually all of my favorites, like Nordstrom (who are notoriously great), Banana Republic, ShopBop, eLuxury, Basic Boutique, Gap, Piperlime, J. Crew, Target, Bloomingdale's, Saks…you get the idea. So you can imagine my dismay when Neiman Marcus really dropped the ball when it came to their customer service for their online shoppers. You may recall that I was lusting after the Marc Jacobs convertible clutch (pictured) a few months back. Well my savvy husband decided that the best way to decide what to get me for my birthday was to check out my blog and pick from any one of my posts. God love him, he chose the Marc Jacobs bag and opted to use my link to the Neiman Marcus Web site. Without boring you with the sordid details, Neiman Marcus, while offering lovely and stylish items for purchasing, fails miserably to provide helpful customer service when it comes to exchanges. I shipped the bag back to Neiman, requesting a different color on May 16th. Every time I attempted to get information on my exchange I was given the same canned (but polite) response “your Smart Label was activated on May 23rd, 2008. Please allow two to three weeks from this date for your return to process and your exchange to be sent. We do apologize for any inconvenience.” Once three weeks had passed and I began to worry that they would sell out of the bag, I checked in again to assuage those fears. And unfortunately it was like I had stepped into a time machine to hear the same message I heard weeks ago “my return would be processed and the exchanged should be shipped. Thank you for visiting Neiman Marcus Online. Please feel free to contact us at anytime.” Seriously? Contact you for what exactly since details aren’t a currency you deal in. In my (extensive) dealings with online shopping purchases, returns, and exchanges, most organizations provide a tracking number, reasonable time tables for processing/shipping, and alert you when you attempt to purchase something that is out of stock. Unfortunately, Neiman Marcus only wants you to purchase an item as they have no formal detailed process for checking on the status of a return/exchange. In retrospect, I would have been better off returning the item and purchasing my replacement at the same time. I bet you can predict how this story ends. Today, I learn that my account was mysteriously credited the $300 from Neiman Marcus and I HAD TO CALL THEM TO FIND OUT WHY I RECEIVED A REFUND. They didn’t reach out to me ahead of time via email or telephone or even the U.S. Postal Service. And, you guessed it, THEY NO LONGER HAVE MY HANDBAG. How incredibly disappointing to me and it should be to Neiman Marcus. I, for one, doubt I will be shopping with them anytime in the near future and I hope they have plans to upgrade their customer service procedures and processes and help their valued customers avoid disappointments like mine.