What Happens in Retail Stays on Dropbox – #gaspfail

When you live in a city you get used to poor retail service. You get used to attitude.

But what happens when your retail experience becomes big news in social media – for all the wrong reasons? Retailer GASP Jeans is finding out.

Shopping over the weekend with friends, Keara O’Neil experienced the style of “customer service” that is all too common in many of our retail spaces. She then emailed the GASP Jeans customer service team to describe her experience to which she received a response which has since “gone viral”.

Here is the “complaint” email:


And here is the response: 


Now – this is clearly not good customer or brand management from GASP Jeans. But these emails have been quickly transformed not just into links or stories, but “social objects”. So even if websites are modified or Facebook pages closed off, screen captures such as these can be taken shared and promoted via many other types of social media – for example, this copy of the email was passed on via Twitter with a link to dropbox.

And the “conversation” on Twitter is spurning a completely different style of brand engagement.

But while #GASPfail continues on its merry way, the question really is – where is the follow-on response from GASP Jeans? One small incident has been amplified across the web and the PR and management team are nowhere to be seen.

Could this happen to your brand? What would you do? Do you have some crisis planning in place? Maybe you should.

3 thoughts on “What Happens in Retail Stays on Dropbox – #gaspfail

  1. It might be good to have crisis planning in place…but I wonder if the question is when should you back away from your plan? They have only offended people who won’t buy their clothes and in the meantime their sales appear to have had a big boost from all of the exposure. Their email made the papers for all the reasons they probably hoped for. It all smells a bit fishy to me.

  2. My guess is that they are in so deep with this that they had no real option but to run with it.
    Of course, the funny thing is, that the real people involved here on the GASP side of things, Chris and Matt, will have their names associated with this fiasco for some time. Twitter may be transient, but Google lasts forever.
    And as for a boost in sales … I’d hardly believe it. Actually, I’m waiting for an Anon style backlash.

  3. Gasp is one disgusting company that trains their staff to exploit and degrade their customers. AND BELIEVE ME IT IS NOT A STUNT!I know someone that worked there and she told me they are encouraged to do whatever cost to get the sale. Some of the tactics are:
    Lying about dress sizes: for e.g if they ran out of sizes they will give you the next size up and say it’s tailored made smaller so it’s the correct size for you.
    Or they will lie and say they have sizes left from other stores when there’s none. Once you paid, you will be on a waiting period and then eventually will be notified that there are no sizes left! You will then be told to pick another dress in the store. If you are not happy with it you will have to threaten them with consumer affairs to get your money back. Otherwise no chance of getting a refund!
    They also love using flattery even when you can’t zip up the dress properly or the dress is draping you like a doona.
    Lie that the dress is already discounted, that it’s only on sale for certain hours, and that you can get a discount for as much as 50 percent off if you buy it now! But sometimes if they know you are sincere and really like the dress they will increase the price instead. If the price tag is 250 it will go to 350. It’s illegal to do that but not enough people know this! Especially high school students who are looking for formal dresses. The excuse is “the price tag was discounted and now the original price is back on the shelf” If you refuse to buy it they will still give it to you for $250 along with some attitude.
    And last but not least they like saying it’s the last and only dress left available. And when everything fails the insults will commence!
    Check out : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gasp-Sux-share-your-bad-experiences-here/222917424434363
    This page is made from Gasp ex-employees. Support them and encourage them to expose Gasp!

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