Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Social Media Fail: Roberto Cavalli “Luxury” Brand

Part III Of The Trilogy:
Nightmare at Roberto Cavalli Paris

A Great Distaste and Social Media Lesson For The So-called Luxury Brand

Part II of The Trilogy: Nightmare at Roberto Cavalli Paris

In that instant, I realised to my horror why the level of customer service standards at Roberto Cavalli was so appalling. It was because they employed cocky, racist staff who are full of themselves and clearly do not want to serve tourists and know they can get away with their lousy attitude and bad behaviour because their bosses are not around or are clearly ill-fitting for their responsibilities  Mr Denis Merlo clearly did not speak English well and could not understand what I wanted or he was just being wilful as he was probably a first-time manager who did not deserve the position.

It is extremely unfortunate that I and many other Asian tourists and/ or loyal fans of Roberto Cavalli would have to experience such low standards of customer service and mistreatment at the hands of people who clearly do not deserve jobs at all. They should switch positions with one of the many beggars or poor street artists on the streets and subway stations (Metro) of Paris.

I love the Roberto Cavalli and Just Cavalli brands and have numerous items from the beautiful, one-of-a-kind collection from this lovely Italian label which I have been admiring and reviewing their runway shows and fashion collection on my blog for many years. However, all this will now have to come to a stop until a representative from Roberto Cavalli would step forward to address my problem and for the greater good of long term success, the management should take a look at the bigger picture of their long-term objectives for the company and review the corporate structure and staff member selection and training process on a whole which desperately in need of a re-examination and urgent review.

Social Media Fail for A "Luxury" Brand
There is no point for a brand like Roberto Cavalli to be on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels if a brand cannot even be bothered to interact and/ or respond to their customer service issues online. There is either an inadequately trained staff who is not monitoring the Twitter or Facebook social media channels or foolish and ignorant staff who prefer ignoring a customer's complaint.

To date, not a single person from the Roberto Cavalli has contacted me regarding the comment I had posted on the wall of their official Facebook page. (Please note that no representative has responded to my private message on Facebook which I have sent 6 days ago) 

See screenshot of the comment I had posted on Roberto Cavalli's wall last Friday below.

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I have also sent a message directly via the web contact form on the Roberto Cavalli Official website ( to the HQ on 26 Feb around 12 noon (Rome time CET) and have since not heard from them at all.

Having an empty social presence will not only hurt a brand's reputation in the long term but also ensure that actual, buying customers are left out in the cold. The number of aspirational customers who do not actually purchase Roberto Cavalli's items will dwindle away once they realize that there are far better, engaging brands online who truly care about their customer's feedback, opinion and suggestions.

Loyal customers like myself will have to move on to finer brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Fendi, Lanvin, Prada, Chloe and many more. In the long run, it clear who would be left out in the hotly contested luxury goods competition.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tragedy At Roberto Cavalli with Mr Denis Merlo

"Even Jesus would not be able to guarantee how long the bag will last." 
- Mr Denis Merlo, Floor Manager Woman at Roberto Cavalli Rue St Honore, Paris, France

Part II Of The Trilogy:
Nightmare at Roberto Cavalli Paris

(...continued) Part I of The Trilogy: Nightmare at Roberto Cavalli Paris

After some thought, I decided to send a message directly to the Roberto Cavalli Facebook page as they were very active on their page, posting news and previews of the upcoming Fall Winter 2013 - 2014 Fashion Show.

I sent a message documenting my dissatisfaction with the customer service at the Rue St Honore boutique as per the screenshot below:

Please note the message was recorded as Singapore Time (SGT) although I was in Paris at that point of time which was 8 hours behind Singapore Time so it was Thursday evening.

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I did not receive any response the next morning - it snowed that Friday morning in Paris. I went down to the shop, determined to get the handbag even if the end result would be to walk away without a fair deal and my rights turned down.

Before I walked into the Roberto Cavalli store at Rue St Honore, I hesitated a bit. I did not want to go in again and face the extremely unpleasant atmosphere inside and even worse - the ridiculous customer service attendants at Roberto Cavalli who do not understand what customer service and compromise are.

Finally, I decided to just head into the store and buy the bag. I entered the boutique (3rd time) and the same sales attendant - young lady who spoke in American English who was obviously in charge of the handbags department was there. I requested to speak to the store manager - whom I hoped would possess more common sense. She swiftly picked up the yellow python bag on display and disappeared to the back of the counter, reappearing with the store manager just seconds later.

Mr Denis Merlo was the Roberto Cavalli store manager whom I spoke to and completely destroyed my feelings for the Roberto Cavalli brand and image.

He asked me what was wrong with the handbag and I told him the same details I told the store attendants the day before - python scale sticking out of the bag corner, creases on the interior leather flap of the bag and thread sticking out of the bag strap handle!

Mr Denis Merlo then said there were no problems with the handbag even after I told him all about the defects. I told him I wanted to buy the handbag because I really liked it so much. However, I would be unhappy to purchase it at the full retail price as it was unfair to me.

He then proceeded to make a rude and totally uncalled for statement, 
"Do you want the bag at 50% discount off?"

I said "No, I want a token discount off as the bag is not brand new and it is defective."

Exasperated, with the store manager who refused to see a customer's valid point and acknowledge the facts, I then told him once again earnestly without flinching - "I like this bag very much and I want to buy it. In your professional opinion, would this bag be able to last a few months or at least a year so I can bring it back to repair in a year's time as I travel to Europe at least once every year."

He said the most terrible thing one could say - let alone a customer service store manager from a prestigious luxury goods retailer - Roberto Cavalli! "Even Jesus would not be able to guarantee how long the bag will last". Mr Denis Merlo then continued to say, "It would not last for 1000 to 2000 years!" sarcastically.

Finally, he proceeded to say that he refuse to sell us the handbag as he claimed we would ask for a refund a few months later. I was astounded at  his nonsensical allegations (it would cost us more than the price of the bag to fly back to Paris from where we live which is 10,000 km away!) how utterly rubbish this store manager was and all the terrible things he had said to us and now he proudly declared he did not want to sell me the handbag - because I wanted it.

Mr Denis Merlo would send the handbag back to Italy for checks which he said would take up to 2 weeks and if there is no "problem", he would put it back on the display shelf and sell it again. He said he rather not deal with us and send the bag back to Italy as a standard procedure.

(to be continued)

Nightmare at Roberto Cavalli Paris ~ A Trilogy

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Part 1: The Nightmare Unfolds At Roberto Cavalli

It has been 5 days since I have been left in the cold with no response whatsoever after sending both a message and comment to and on the Roberto Cavalli Official Facebook Page since my harrowing experience at the Rue St Honore Boutique where Roberto Cavalli's flagship store in Paris, France was located. (The Roberto Cavalli boutique on Avenue Montaigne and at Galeries LaFayette are both franchises.)

It all started when I had spotted a lovely bright yellow python chain handbag from Roberto Cavalli's Diva collection on Wednesday, 20 Feb. The leather collection was rather dull. However, the pieces in exotic skins and last year's metallic silver and gold range which were a sure hit were spectacular pieces one surely could not miss out.

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I did not purchase the bag immediately as I was in a "bag hunting" mode and had previously been charmed by an excellent sales attendant at the Lanvin Boutique on the same street - Slyvain. He was completely professional and very helpful.

The next day, I went into the Roberto Cavalli boutique with the intention of purchasing the handbag. I picked up the handbag and examined it carefully this time. To my horror, I found a python scale sticking out of one of the corners of the handbag. When I opened the flap of the handbag, I discovered creases on the middle of the handbag which meant the bag had been on display for a long period of time and many people had carelessly mishandled the handbag. The sales attendant then told me that the handbag was brand new and had only been on the shelf for a week - which was an outright lie! The handbag looked like it had been on display for at least a good few months in that poor condition.

When I requested for a brand new piece, they told me that there was only the display piece. However, they could check with the Roberto Cavalli Rome outlet to see if there was another piece. The sales attendant - a young girl who spoke in American English, told me that she would however not be able to check if the handbag in Rome was a brand new piece or not. I found her answer quite ridiculous.

Upon examining the handbag further, I discovered that a thread was sticking out of the handbag chain strap! That was the last straw. I love the beautifully designed Roberto Cavalli python bag. However, there were obviously too many defects on the handbag and I was not not going to buy a brand new piece at all.

So I asked her if I could get a discount off the defective handbag and she asked the store manager - a much older lady who spoke in French - which I don't understand. The female store manager was quick to say no with her hand gestures and said there were no problems at all with the handbag even after I showed them all the problems - python scale sticking out, creases on the inside flap of the bag and thread sticking out of the bag strap handle!

I told her that there were no Roberto Cavalli stores in Singapore - where I permanently reside. Hence, I would not be able to get access to after-sales service if the bag needed repair. The young lady who spoke in American English then told me that I could visit the nearest Roberto Cavalli store in Hong Kong or Japan to have it repaired. When I told her that it was 6 to 7 hours away by plane! She had no idea where Singapore or any part of Asia was - not a smart sales attendant to serve tourists from Asia at all! She then said I could mail the bag to Italy. What a stupid and completely ridiculous response it was so much that I was shocked speechless. Just put an expensive, exotic skin python handbag in the mail and hope it would not disappear? 

I was very upset and left the store with a quick goodbye. I could not continue shopping in my bad mood and settled myself down in a cafe to clear my head and think about what I could do to resolve this bad situation regarding the Roberto Cavalli store.

( be continued)

Image source: Roberto Cavalli Diva Bag - Butterboom, Header image:

Friday, February 1, 2013

Unlikely You - Nordic & French Fashion Escapade

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Image sources: ILTWMT - Daily Wallpapers: Northern Lights, Nordic Fashion Biennale featuring Scandinavian Designers - Henrik Vibskov (Denmark) and Sandra Backlund (Sweden) participating in Nordic Fashion Biennale 2011, - Eiffel Tower sketch by potterfisk0177 and YSL ~ Yves Saint Laurent Art & Cultural Exhibition in Brussels, Belgium.