V Mc B

An Open Letter to T.J. Maxx

Dear T.J. Maxx,

For your consideration, I submit this evidentiary photo of a (formerly) lovely handbag that I purchased at your (formerly) beloved establishment on Friday, April 2, 2010.

Infamous Blue Handbag

You’re probably wondering what happened to it. Did I break a pen on it? Fingerpaint with it? Or use it to clean up a makeup accident backstage at Blue Man Group?

Amazingly, T.J. Maxx, all I did was wear it. Twice. First with a two-year-old leather jacket, and then with a pair of jeans that have been washed several times (and at this point I’m sorry that I haven’t kept track of how often). Oh, and I also used leather cleaner on it, but you probably can’t see that.

Because I have never had this happen to any of the ten bajillion other handbags I own, I deemed it a flaw with your merchandise. I know, I know, silly me. My stupidity was made plain by one “Mr. Butler” when I attempted to exchange the bag—receipt in hand—at your 350 Washington St. location in Boston. (6 p.m., Tuesday, April 6. Give him a raise.) He advised me that the problem was not with the bag, but with my clothing. And then he turned his back on me and walked away.

I am sorry to have wasted his time.

Now, I suppose I could see his point if the bag had come with a warning of some sort: “ATTENTION: Do not purchase this item if you are prone to wearing jeans, dark leather, or any other clothing with pigment. Suitable for angelic hippie types ONLY.” And, to be fair, my wardrobe could be at fault. I’m sure I’m the only idiot who fell for that whole dark denim legging craze a few months back. Most people would probably be fine.

I, on the other hand, am stuck with a non-returnable, non-cleanable $60 mistake.

What do I want from you? Well, short of getting my $60 back (which is obviously what I really want), I would like you to know that I will think long and hard before purchasing anything at T.J. Maxx ever again. And, with that in mind, I’d like you to tell me how important my $60 is to you in the long run. If you are that concerned about your bottom line, then please accept my condolences. Even after this fiasco, I’ll be sad to see you go. My mother (who, by the way, saw the evidence and swore you’d take it back) will be absolutely devastated.

If, however, this small sum is nothing more than a flash in the pan for you, please consider empowering your associates to do the right thing for an honest, unhappy customer.

(Not that Mr. Butler would have exercised this power had it been given to him—so I hope he sees that $60 profit reflected in his next paycheck. You are lucky to have him on your side!)

Thank you for listening.

All the best,

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