When we broke the news of Chanel’s new refurbishment policy last week, we knew it would incite a lot of conversations among our readers about customer service, luxury goods and the expectations we have when we spend a premium. You guys met that expectation and then some, and because we often get questions about customer service and requests for our advice on the topic from friends, family and readers alike, we wanted to keep the conversation going.

Unfortunately, I don’t have many stories of incredible in-person customer service; my treatment at department stores in Manhattan is usually adequate, but perhaps because of the crowds or the brusque nature of the city, it rarely excels beyond that. Fortunately, I’ve never tried to get a brand to repair any of my bags, so my experience beyond line-level service is very limited.

My memories of online shopping are more memorable, but that might be because they rarely require interacting with another living, breathing human being, which generally makes anything more fraught. Quicker-than-expected shipping and nice packaging feel like genuine luxuries in a way that shopping in a store just doesn’t for me, and Net-a-Porter, among others, consistently provides that. Then again, I’m 29 years old, so my views on what constitutes a luxury experience probably differ greatly from women older than I am who grew inured to high-end shopping before the Internet made everything so dang convenient.

So let’s hear it: if we’re looking for stellar customer service, where should we be shopping?

P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Katie Kamenetsky

    Hermes is absolutely exceptional. Louis Vuitton is notoriously known for being superbly rude in my city. Thats why I refuse to do any of my shopping there.

  • guy22

    22, biracial male here.
    I’ve had better service from Hermes on days I just browsed around then I ever have from Chanel on days I purchased things, constantly being treated like I should be thankful they let me through the front door. Tiffany’s also has been great service. Burberry exceptional every time. Holt Renfrew has been touch and go depending on the day and the department I’m in, ladies shoes have been the worse. David’s on bloor street has lost my business completely due to how they treated me when I was trying to buy my mom loub’s for christmas. They flat out told me they had no shoes of any kind in my mothers size (size 8) and wouldn’t be getting any more in (jokes on them I marched right over to Holt’s grabbed the same shoes then went back and told the manager if anyone else needed that size where they could send them)
    Gucci was also quite rude the couple times I was in store

    • guy22

      The worst chanel experience I can recall was when I went in to purchase my mom a purfume as a mid-week gift and the woman was just going to hand me the box and I asked if it could be wrapped and she responded with “…really?” it was traumatizing in front of the other customers.

      • Jerri R

        I bet! How rude.

      • l_az

        Chanel @ Yorkdale has got to be the WORST. I’ve been there twice and made purchases both times but not without being treated like I wasn’t worthy to enter the store up until I flagged someone down to make a purchase and then they changed their tune. Gucci on Bloor was great, though. Hands down best experience would be Dior on Rodeo where my mum sent me to track down a specific hue of green Diorissimo and the SA was extremely patient with me vid conferencing my mum and even took comparison photos for me!

      • Guy22

        Haven’t been at the Chanel at Yorkdale. The Chanel in holts wasn’t much better though, I was in there browsing around with a friend and had a SA point at me and a security guard came over and stood awfully close to me and proceeded to obviously follow me around for the duration of my visit, I was carrying Dior for goodness sakes

  • Cara M

    For department stores I love Nordstrom. I have never had a bad experience with them. Their customer service is amazing and their return policy is the best. If I’m looking to buy something I always go straight to Nordstrom first to see if I can buy it there.

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    • Jennifer

      i LOVE the customer service at Nordstrom!!!

  • BabyDietrich

    I prefer to shop at boutiques rather than department stores. Boutiques tend to have much better service!

  • Zezza

    Louis Vuitton. Excellent customer service always. You pay for the quality and receive the service. Always feel welcome in the store which makes you want to spend.

  • Sandy

    I cannot say enough about my SA at Nordstrom. Nordstrom in general usually has the best service, and the return policy is second to none. If I can, I purchase from them. Occasionally they do not have what I am looking for and am forced to look elsewhere.., but when that happens I know I am at risk of an unhappy shopping experience.

  • Lily

    My shopping experiences have been hit or miss, as it really depends on the sales associate. I tend to receive great service at Bloomingdales, on 3rd Ave in Manhattan.

    Although my all-time worst experience was at Saks Fifth Ave, in the cosmetics section. My sisters and I were shopping with our father, when one of sisters wandered off. We eventually found her at one of the stands, but cannot remember which brand it was. The woman doing my sister’s makeup, made the rudest comment about the rest of us. She said that she knew we were all related, because we inherited our father’s dark undereye circles. My father was mortified, and contacted Saks’ HR department to make a complaint. HR told him that they got several complaints about her, and she was promptly fired. A few years later, I saw her working at the Guerlain stand in Bergdorfs. She did not recognize me, but tried to get me buy an cream for my eyes.

    • BabyDietrich

      At least she’s consistent!

  • T Tara Bagnista

    I can identify with how one’s shopping experience is somewhat based on certain characteristics such as age and race. I recall shopping at Gucci on Fifth Avenue in NY during college (late 1970s) and finding the salespeople haughty. It could have been my youth or race (black). Plus, I was probably a bit intimidated by the luxury experience at age 18. Contrary to guy22’s experience, I had an exceptional customer service experience in Toronto a couple years ago. I forget which store I was in (probably Holt Renfrew); however, I had asked a salesperson for directions. She actually walked me to where I needed to go and then handed me off to another SA to show me to the second location I needed. In August, I had an attentive salesperson at Tiffany in NY, which made it easier to buy something on impulse. Today most of my shopping experiences are done online (hopefully without human interaction) because I live in a small town. Most in-person shopping experiences are just moyen (average); however, at 55 I have no problem complaining (including writing to the CEO), if I’m treated poorly.

  • Tina

    I’ve had exceptional costumer service in Fendi, since the frist time I’ve had a made to order selleria bag,and also in the second bag pre ordered ,they were just the same.
    I’ve also had exceptional service in Hermès , when I’ve took down there 2 bracelets CDC very used and full of scratches ones , I’ve had them both polished and torn as new ones…
    Great marks…They honored their names.

  • Sherre Ann Wallace

    Neiman Marcus’ Louis Vuitton and Nordstrom. With Nordstrom beings hands down the most consistently pleasant experience.

  • Anonymous

    http://lexception.com/en/ is a great site. I asked several questions about a handbag and I got speedy replies and multiple photos (like exactly what I asked for) within only a few hours every time, even despite the time difference. It was shipped out IMMEDIATELY and came well-protected and wrapped in tissue paper. I’d absolutely buy from them again!

  • Jerri R

    Whenever I go shopping I tell myself that I will be OK no matter how they treat me, but later hate myself for letting it bother me if I get treated rudely. I wish I had thicker skin.

  • KloeF

    Net-a-porter and Ferragamo (Detroit store) have been really great. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve had very ordinary experiences at Bottega Veneta (Chicago), although fantastic service and SA at the Paris BV store on St. Honore. I suppose the rest was perfectly fine, although nothing memorable.

  • AAAA

    I always receive exceptional service from my local Saks. It isn’t a high traffic store/mall, which I’m sure helps. I used to have great service at Nordstrom, but it has been subpar as of late. I now shop in-store more at Saks and much less from Nordstrom. The quality of CS has made a huge impact on my shopping habits (online I shop at both equally though).

  • Irene

    I believe it depends solely on the SA who is working. There are truly great people, then there are the ones who slipped through the cracks in the hiring process and make a bad impression on the whole store. Nordstroms philosophy is the best when carried out. I have had some outrageously rude experiences. The worst was when I went to pay for a pair of slacks for my husband and the SA was busy in the dressing room trying on pants for himself while on the clock!! He told me to hang on for a few minutes because he was waiting for alterations to come down and hem his pants…
    I made sure he wish he hadn’t. That’s usually how I handle it and they change their tune real quick. Customer is always right.

  • anon

    It really depends on the place doesn’t it? For example, here in Las Vegas they’re generally really nice cause its a pretty chill city and no one’s expecting anyone to be very posh and dressed. However, I bet that situation is completely different in a very fashionable and prideful city like NY or LA.

  • Sara

    Great Service:Louis Vuitton store, Longchamp store, Net-a-porter, Another Love (online store) and Alexander Wang (online store).
    Worst service: Hermes!

  • kris

    Honestly the best service ive had is either from Tiffany’s, Dior, Tom Ford, and most Neiman Marcus stores. Tiffany’s and Tom Ford being the most exceptional experiences I ever had. The worst was either at Tourbillon or Cartier.

  • Veronica

    Louis Vuitton…always. I’m a 21 year old college student and save for my bags for months but every once in awhile love to just go in the store and look around. No matter what the SA’s are always nice and genuine, even if it’s clear I’m not purchasing anything!

  • Abby Hall

    Barney’s on Madison Ave. I walked in to Bergdorf’s looking to purchase a bag and no one even offered to help. I went over to Barney’s and bought the bag with the help of the sweetest SA. He even sold me a pair of shoes I hadn’t planned on buying. Good customer service is so important, even something as small as just being acknowledged. I am much more apt to spend a lot of money if I’m being treated well.

  • Vicky

    Aside from the crappy policy, the manager at my Chanel boutique is the best. She remember my name since the first time I stepped into the boutique and I bought nothing (I’m not celebrity, if you wonder. I’m just a nobody with average looking girl.). I bought more from her later and she’s always graciously greet me every time we meet.

    Overall, I’d say Dior. I’ve been to many boutique in many country and they’ve been spectacular. And I don’t always buy something.

    • Jennifer

      What has changed about the policy at Chanel?

  • buffmom33

    I am agreement with pretty much everyone Nordstrom hands down in store and online! They even informed me that an item I purchased had been lowered to another price and refunded me the difference without me saying anything. On another occasion they told me they did not give me all my reward points during one of their sales so they added to my account! Love #nordstrom!

  • Yoshi1296

    Nowhere…they just assume I’m broke when I can probably buy THEM along with the bags I buy lol

  • crescent

    Best experience I’ve had was at the Gucci flagship store in Florence. Got to chat with an old gentleman who has worked there for years. I also enjoyed my experience when I shopped at the Venice branch of Bottega Veneta.

  • Meg

    Had a very pleasant experience at the Prads store in burjuman mall,Dubai. Wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy anything but because the SA was so sweet and showed me everything I ended up buying a nancy trick robot key charm.
    Just shows how the experience means a lot if treated nicely ????

  • Sparky

    I find slight differences depending on which bag I carry!
    I find Nordstrom consistently good.

    Overall there are so many variables: store policy, city, country, SA attitude, etc. Lets not forget OUR attitude. I’ve seen pushy customers be very rude to SA’s. Act like they’re in a fish market. Be pleasant and people will be pleasant back. Just be yourself and don’t put on aires.

  • Joyce

    I’m posting from Taiwan, and in my experience, the level of service you receive really depends on how you’re dressed. Burberry generally has really great service regardless, but SAs from stores like LV and Chloe, among others, won’t give you the time of the day if they don’t think they’re going to make commission off of you, which really isn’t a great policy for their stores. I’ve often spent way more than planned just because of great customer service from a SA.

  • Passerine

    Agree with all the kudos for Nordstrom. On several occasions, they’ve gone the extra mile and they’ve never let me down. In addition, we’ve had great service at La Rinascente in Milan, at Louis Vuitton in Lugano and at Bottega Veneta in Zurich. Most recent disappointment was at Neiman Marcus in King of Prussia, PA — I was shopping for a new foundation and mascara. The SA strongly recommended the Chantecaille cream foundation and the Kevin Aucoin volume mascara. She applied both, I waited an hour to see how they wore, liked them, and went back to purchase. Oh, a different SA said, we’ve been out of the foundation for two weeks, and she then had to scrounge around to find the last remaining tube of the mascara. Don’t push products that your customers can’t buy!

  • Chrissy

    I agree with everyone, Nordstrom always consistently has great customer service at all their stores. But the only time I ever received really bad customer service was at a Nordstrom, it was the one in Fashion Island in Newport Beach. I had horrible service from the shoe department there.

  • lavinia

    To me it’s not the store, the brand, it’s people. It depends on people. I use to wander very often inside designer store here in Milan (via Montenapoleone, via della Spiga, or at la Rinascente: there is a big corner for designer bags) and found good and bad SA. I remember me talking for some time with a very young boy (SA) at Louis Vuitton and having a great time and I remember the same place with my mother just asking to look at a bag and the SA girl very rudely answered “the bag costs…” as to say “you cannot afford it”. I was very irritated and answered with a very cold tone “I’m not asking you the price at
    all, I want to see the bag” and she promptly took the bag (which I did not buy that day…) without saying a word. You must be very determined you are the customer who deserve the best service and they have to afford it. It’s a brand responsibility to put the right SA in the right place and remove the people who cannot properly do their work. It’s not easy to have to do with different people the whole day every day I know but being nice make the difference. Always

  • Alex R

    I’m in love with the Mulberry customer service. Whether online or in their flagship store in Hamburg, they are very nice and helpful every time. Love them.

  • Michelle Lim

    Bergdorf’s in NY. Very personal and friendly service.

  • Grace

    Great experience:
    – Holt Renfrew in Toronto – the SA really took the time to show me lots of different bags
    – Hermes in Toronto – the SA let me try a Victoria bag and explained just about anything about it, eveb though I’d told her immediately that I wasn’t intending to buy it there and then. I’ve had a similar experience at Hermes in Amsterdam.
    – Bottega Veneta in Rome – the SA actually had a pair of gloves send from Venice the same day, right in time for me not to miss my flight back home)
    – Dolce & Gabbana in Amsterdam
    – Mulberry in Amsterdam is just perfect, I have only been there for repairs in the past few years, and the service is excellent.
    – Bally in Amsterdam, my go-to place to buy shoes. Very friendly and helpful.

    Online: net-a-porter and theoutnet, and annsfabulousfinds.com are great, but I cannot praise npnbags.co.uk enough – ferfect in every way.

    Not so nice/rude:

    – Hermes in Amsterdam – unfortunately, the store manager is foul. The other SA’s are fine though.
    – Mulberry Bond Street in London, have been multiple times and have been ignored a couple of times (whilst carrying Mulberry)
    – Sermoneta gloves (not bags, but accessories count too right?) in Milan – last august when their regular staff must have been on holiday. The SA only came out from the back of the store after what must have been 5 mjnutes, didn’t greet us and hardly spoke English (he wasn’t Italian either as my BF is fluent in Italian)
    – Harrods in London! Not so nice last time.

    Mostly though, I feel I’m treated adequately in luxury/high end stores.

  • Everyone I’ve made purchases from have been very nice, helpful, and accommodating at Harrod’s. The SA at Tod’s made calls to find me my size in London, the SAs at Jo Malone helped me choose between two perfumes I could not decide between and very quickly processed the exchange when I changed my mind, everyone was very helpful in giving directions (I always get lost in Harrod’s), etc.

    The Paris designer boutiques generally have good customer service as well. They’re very quick to take out bags you’d like to see, to check their other stores for availability, offer a beverage, and offer advice and insight.

    Now, I don’t know if they quality of service I get is because of the fact that I am sometimes mistaken as Japanese/Chinese (I’m not). But I did notice that stores with Asian SAs usually “allocate” that SA to me. Haha.

  • kemilia

    Great service at Tiffanys–and I was only having a silver bracelet fixed. I was offered bottled water or a paper Tiffany cup with a lemon slice, super nice SA too. My LV and NM stores treat me very well too, I think they realize a happy customer will come back.

  • Amanda L.

    Kate Spade was amazing – I bought a pale pink saffiano Maise bag in April or May, on sale, but didn’t use it until July. The first time I used it, it had such bad color transfer – I tried cleaning it, but the staining wouldn’t come out. I was so upset and figured they wouldn’t do anything about it. But they not only took it back, they let me exchange it for a color that was full price and not even on sale yet. It definitely made me feel better that they would stand behind their products like that.

  • Maya

    Selfridges in London ranks nr. 1 on my list! Bon Genie in Geneva depending on the sales associate (some are great, others aweful!!) and Nordstrom in Seattle.

  • J Green

    last month – Hermes at the Crystals Mall in Vegas – had the most amazing SA! he was patient, kind, informative, friendly and just plain ole awesome. I’ve never been in Hermes before & have hesitated in the past bc i just guessed the SAs would be mean & snotty. Totally not the case here. Every SA I encountered was so pleasant. While I didnt leave w/ my HG Kelly bag, I hope to one day purchase it from there.

    • Lori

      I just posted about this Hermes store above. I could not agree more, they are great there!

    • Goober

      Yes. I cannot speak highly enough about my experiences at Hermes Crystals.

  • laura

    Definitely Nordstrom. Always get great customer service. I have purchased at several Balenciaga boutiques in different cities and I always get great service. Louis Vuitton is definitely the worst, any city any time, that’s why I now purchase LV online.

  • Lori

    My best customer service recently was at Van Cleef and Arpels in Beverly Hills. They were so friendly the moment we walked in. All the SA’s talked to us and we had a fun time. LV in Paris (Champs Elysses/George V) was the worst! I felt like there must be another store behind the one we visited that you could actually shop at. I was in the market for a wallet and didn’t get to look at even one. And the store seemed oddly empty. Seriously, what is up with that store??? Also, Chanel in Paris (hit 3 stores) was awful too. As I posted previously, they just don’t have enough SA’s. LV in Beverly Hills is fine…they have always been very nice. Hermes in Beverly Hills is terrible IMO. They simply won’t give you the time of day. But Hermes in Las Vegas is great. And like one of the other posters stated, the crowd is different there, so all the SA’s at all the shops are really friendly. If you are a first time buyer of an expensive handbag and feel intimidated, go to Las Vegas! You will feel right at home.

  • twirler

    I had a terrible experience with the Chanel boutique in mid-town NY. I walked in knowing exactly which boy bag I wanted, and was promptly told it was sold out everywhere. I asked the SA if she could check their system to see if other stores still had it, and she dismissed me, repeating that it was sold out. 2 weeks later I bought the exact bag at Neiman Marcus in Short Hills, NJ. I guess some SA’s make so much $ off of repeat customers, they don’t even bother to put the effort in to make commission off of a single bag purchase? Really left a bad taste in my mouth regarding Chanel.

    • Mimi

      The Chanel boutique and Chanel inside any of the department stores (Neimans, Saks, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales) are unrelated. If an item is sold out at one (boutique), it might still be available at another (Neimans). I learned this when searching for an elusive mini black backpack and finally found one at Chanel-Nordstrom. I now have an SA at each of the Chanel in the different department store as well as one in the regular boutique just in case of a hard to get item.

    • BabyDietrich

      Madison Ave boutique is so much nicer and better shopping experience anyway!

  • Bir

    Chanel can not understand the new policies but Chanel service has always been wonderful to me

  • Kathyjazz

    Consistently, Roger Vivier in Bal Harbour! The S.A.’s email photos, make suggestions, reserve shoes and bags upon request way in advance, keep my credit/ship info on file, and even send items on consignment. They seem genuinely thrilled when they find that shoe in my size, or that bag that I sent a photo of. They’ll arrange shipping from another store if they don’t have it. I am devoted to the brand and to that store in particular. ??

  • Lisa

    I’m twice your age and completely agree with you!! Nordstrom is my hands-down favorite for department store shopping — and Net-a-Porter definitely offers a luxury experience with beautiful packaging and well-curated choices at any price level.

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  • Neoprepppychic

    It’s odd but I have shopped in many high-end and mid-end stores and generally, I have received adequate service. Post-online shopping customer service with Bloomingdales and JCrew have been exceptional. I would have to agree that Nordstrom’s return policy is the best. I was in Chanel in Canton Road, Hong Kong recently and I had a very odd experience. I was looking for accessories and had no specific style in mind so I wanted to look through a lot of styles. I guess they got tired of assisting me because I got passed through 3 different SA’s. After about 30 or so minutes with the first, I was told he had to go and his colleague will assist me. After some time, the same thing happened and I was passed onto a 3rd SA. In the end, I bought sunglasses, cardholder, and a necklace. I was drained but baffled by the experience. I also went in the LV store nearby and as soon as I entered, one of the SA’s immediately introduced herself and basically followed me through the whole store. I’m guessing it was the effect of my Hermes bag but that was the first time I used it while shopping. On previous occasions, SAs have not been overly attached to me. My husband was quite annoyed with the SA at Cartier in The Peninsula, Hong Kong. He was buying me a Love bracelet and when he wanted to see the model with diamonds, he was told it was more expensive! He was so insulted that he bought it immediately. Lucky for me.

  • Nicole McIntyre

    In mid-July my husband placed a pre-order for Mansur Gavriel’s Crossbody bag in Flamma with Bergdorf Goodman’s (BG) online store. The invoice advised the bag wouldn’t get shipped until 22 October 2015, this day would for me will forever be Mansur Gavriel Day. The 22nd rolled around, sad but true, the bag never showed. So we called BG and were told “the bag shipped back in July, which was much earlier than anticipated.” Say what?! To boot, BG purged the tracking number attached to the bag in question, thus giving us no recourse with FedEx. Long story short, (and four Skype calls later), Denise (the very lovely CS rep at BG) put my husband on hold to retrieve the Crossbody bag in Flamma herself and express shipped the bag, free of charge, to our US postal address for forwarding to Australia. Denise also told us there was some sort of glitch with the original order placed in July, and somehow the order was marked as “shipped”. We’ll never know how or why that happened, but I’m here to say that Denise deserves some major good karma points, she is a purse guardian angel.

  • Tinsley Proust

    Rag and Bone. My Pilot bag was looking extremely worn so I contacted them to get it conditioned. They told me to send it in – they covered shipping – so I did. A few weeks later, I was told that the cost of the service would be around $100. For some reason, I had assumed the service would be complimentary. Nobody had mentioned service fees when I initially emailed. I was told that since they hadn’t told me about the service charge and since the bag was an older style, they would send me a new bag. I was immediately sent a brand new bag, free of charge.

    That’s not something I’ve ever experienced. I’m definitely going to keep buying from Rag + Bone. If you’re ever at the flagship, ask for Chanel.

  • Jamie

    Victoria from Neiman Marcus in San Francisco. Incredibly patient and friendly.