Category Archives: random

Ordering From Alloy is an Experiment in Frustration (So Don’t Do It)



It’s not me. It’s you.

When I was younger, getting Alloy and Delia’s catalogs in the mail was exciting and fun. Nevermind that I didn’t have the cash to buy all of the trendy (then skater-ish) clothes I wanted. Who cares? It was window shopping via glossy newsprint.

These days, I go to whenever I need affordable pants with a super tall inseam (37″ to be exact). I’ve had hit or miss experiences over the years shopping there, mostly miss, but still, I go back. However, after this last time, I’m pretty sure I’m done.

A week and a half ago, I ordered two pairs of dress pants for a new job. Both were to be the same size and inseam. I had a coupon, a credit card number and an internet connection. Not complicated, right?

When the pants arrived, I tried them on and found Pair 1 was way shorter than Pair 2. When Pair 1 was zipped up, it fell right off my waist to the ground. When I tried to button Pair 2, I couldn’t. Madness. Again, I ordered the same size and inseam for both.

Now, I’m not new. I know not all clothes are exactly the same size they’re supposed to be. Some mediums are smalls and some larges fit like extra larges. But this? At the very least, the inseam should be 37″ on both. It’s not.

I emailed Alloy customer service. I don’t call them when I have a problem because it’s usually unpleasant. They don’t care at all and I get it, the job sucks but damn. Once I called at 9pm EST and it rang for minutes until I decided to hang up, even though their lines were open until midnight. I pictured the representatives standing by, painting their nails and Facebooking things like, “At work. Soooooo bored.” No one there seems to care. It’s unfortunate because I do.

So, I emailed them about the sizing issues and the response I got was a total copy and paste job. It’s like the email customer service reps aren’t even allowed to provide customer service. The first email from Alloy told me I could send the clothes back for free and I had to pay $6.95 to send them back. Proofreading the mass copy pasteness doesn’t happen.

Their second reply to me clarified I didn’t have to pay to send the items back. Still nothing about the sizing problems. So I asked again about the size discrepancies.

The reply:
Dear Kara,

Thank you for contacting regarding order number [my number]. We will be happy to help you today.

Thanks for your feedback. We value your thoughts and ideas and try to respond to all requests. We’ve passed along your comments to all the right people, so your voice will be heard! a312

The a312, which I assume relates to copy paste standard answer 312, is a real vote of confidence that anyone at Alloy will actually give a shit.

I replied:
Okay but the question is how can I buy pants and not go through this all over again when the sizing was so off on both pairs?

A valid question, I think. That was two days ago. No reply yet.

Customer service is everything these days. More and more companies have hired people to respond to tweets about their brand and solve problems on Twitter. Alloy Apparel barely has a Twitter account. They have under 400 followers and just a handful of replies to Twitter users in September. You’d think a brand so geared to the social media generation would try harder to connect through social media.

Just as people remember companies with great customer service, like Zappos, people remember crappy service, too. I do need affordable, tall sized pants but I don’t need to throw my money at a company that can’t be bothered to reply to me like a person.

The best part is Alloy often sends out obnoxious and desperate-sounding “Where did you go? We miss you. Will 25% off bring you back?” emails. Wonder no more, Alloy. And no, it won’t.


The Rise and Fail of My Cookie Kickstarter



Earlier today, I found out about this potato salad Kickstarter. It had a goal of $10 and is at $38,017 in funding as I type this. It was $16,000 an hour ago when I set out on my own Kickstarter adventure.

Okay, so I’m not new to Kickstarter. I’ve backed Amanda Palmer’s project, the Be Here Now documentary, HappyCanes and the Veronica Mars movie. I did a bunch of backing before I got laid off last April and had to move back in with my parents. I’m 30. Now I’m one of those “Oh, you have my support but not my money because all I have is a moth in my wallet” people. (I had two moths but the second one suffered an unfortunate accident. I really don’t want to talk about it.)

I went through emotions about the potato salad venture: That’s hilarious; Wait, he’s making money; This is ridiculous; I’m broke and alone and I’m totally doing this. That last bit led me to my cookie Kickstarter, in which I would ask for funding to make cookies for myself. Chocolate chip, of course.

I filled out all of the information, took the photo above and set backer rewards, all of which brought this bit of light and happiness to my previously scheduled meh programming. What if this takes off? I thought, as I offered tweetlove, cookie cartoon drawings and a cookie itself as rewards. None of them were more than $10, my goal. Hey, if it works, why break it?

I got to the end of the Kickstarter process, where it gets less fun and carefree and becomes unbelievably terrifying. I would need an Amazon Payments business account, it said. Well, okay, I filled out all of this other stuff and went to college so I can do this, too, I told myself.

Thus began the fail of my cookie Kickstarter dreams. I’d need a business name, category, information on how much my business makes, average transaction amount and so on. I tried to keep going but I realized all of this would be hard to explain to H&R Block and/or the government next year. I certainly don’t want to end up in trouble because I owe some sort of taxes on my cookie Kickstarter and make it onto the IRS’ shit list.

And so it was I backed right the hell out of Kickstarter and decided to stay the course with my currently cookieless and jobless life. There are 25 days left to go on Potato Salad and it’s up to $38,673. Godspeed, Zack Danger Brown.