Maureen Turner: We Are Family


Not Pleased With Please Mum

How Can a Company Treat Their Customers and Employees Like This?

Back in April, Siobhan and Rebecca had birthdays. Tom’s mom gave each of them a gift card for Please Mum totalling $75. Since they had just had birthdays and received plenty of clothing, I held on to the cards.

The other day, I walked up to our local mall with the girls to see what we could get with their gift cards. I was shocked to see that the store was closed. Later I found out that I wasn’t the only person that didn’t see it coming. I found out that the employees were notified only the day before... by voicemail!

So, I went online and checked the store locator only to find out that all but two stores had closed in Ontario. I decided I would make the trek to a store about an hour away to make sure that the gift cards didn’t go to waste.

When I got to the store, I sifted through what stock was left and found some things I knew the kids would like. It took a while, but the deals were great. I thought I was going to be very happy with my purchases until the lady working at the store told me she couldn’t accept my gift cards.


I informed her that it was illegal to sell gift cards and then not allow people to use them. The sales clerk told me there was nothing she could do about it.

That’s when I got a lot frustrated! I may have flown off the handle a little bit. I asked for the lady to get customer service on the phone but, of course, it’s just an answering machine. I decided I wasn’t going to leave the store until she got someone for me to talk to.

So, I stood there in my little hissy fit as she served other customers, and I watched how polite she was with them and I thought about how she must feel. I was there for 20 minutes thinking about my situation and hers, and when the line was gone and she was free, I went over and apologized.

I never blamed the sales clerk, but I was definitely not as nice as I could have been to her.

After I said sorry, she told me that she was completely in the dark as to what was going on. She confirmed that people just got phone calls without any warning, that they weren’t getting their pay or their vacation pay, and she was worried about her job.

Man, I felt like an asshole. I apologized again, wished her well in whatever may come and thanked her for her patience.

I wish I knew her name, but I’m almost certain she didn’t have a name tag on...I wouldn’t wear one either if half the customers were going to scream at me. Then again, maybe she was wearing one and I didn’t see it through my anger.

I would love to be able to recommend her to any retailer. She may be the most patient person I have ever dealt with.

Now, as much as I appreciate her customer service, I cannot say the same for Please Mum... I’m angry! You can’t take people’s money and not honour a gift card. If the stores were closed, I wouldn’t be happy about it, but at least I could understand why the cards were no good. If your store is open, and I have already spent money, you kinda owe me some product whether you are going bankrupt or not.

I am so disappointed that a Canadian company could treat their customers and their employees in such a manner.

Please Mum, don’t rip me off.