Torrid Customer Service, a Hot Mess

I try not to get upset about material things if I can help it. I’m such an anti-stuff person it’s rare I get invested in anything that takes up space in the real world. My recent customer service fiasco with Torrid reminded me why: disappointment sucks.

Torrid TARDIS coat

Is it not gorgeous?

I have had my eye on the TARDIS coat from Hot Topic/Torrid ever since they first announced their line of Doctor Who clothing. And by “had my eye on” I mean “coveted the hell out of”. But I’ve been trying not to spend too much, so I’ve resisted.

A while back, Steven declared he’d buy the coat for me as a gift if it ever came back in stock. (It had gone out of stock almost immediately, which surprised no one who pays attention to Doctor Who fandom.) I was DELIGHTED. We did scour several Hot Topic stores to see if there was a rogue one left in a corner somewhere. No luck. (We did find a Small when we were in Phoenix, but I couldn’t even get my arms into that thing.) Unfortunately, when it came back in stock, we missed it. It disappeared almost instantly again.

Then a few weeks back my podcast pal Aleen pointed out Torrid still had some DW goodies available online. Lo and behold, The Coat was still in stock! And in a size that’s likely to fit me! I ordered it so fast my keyboard was smoking when I finished. Success! Victory! Dancing! Confetti!

Crash cut to the next day, when Torrid’s “Customer Service” Department sent me an email.

Message text: ** DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. ** Dear ERIKA ENSIGN, Thank you for your recent online order DT0001934580 . Unfortunately, we couldn’t process your order and your order has been canceled. Please contact us with any questions using the phone #s and email address provided below. Thanks, Customer Service Email us at: Phone us at: 1-866-TORRID1 (1.866.867.7431) Internationally, please phone us at 1.626.603.3190 Monday through Friday, 6am - 7pm PST Saturday 7am - 7pm PST Sunday 7am – 6pm PST

Thanks for the explanation, guys.

Seriously? They just up and cancelled my order with no explanation, then put the onus on me to contact them to find out what happened? Not cool. I was SO disappointed. And I still am. I thought my long quest was over. Well, I guess it is, but not successfully.

I emailed them immediately, but two weeks later I haven’t gotten a response. I also tweeted at them. Nothing.

In fact, the only communication I’ve received was an automated email saying they hope I’m enjoying my purchase and would I please write a review? Oh I wrote a review alright. I notice it hasn’t appeared on the Torrid website yet. Perhaps someone at Torrid will finally respond and let me know what happened. At this point I don’t have a lot of hope though. ETA: Moments after publishing this I got an email saying my one-star review didn’t meet all their website guidelines, so it won’t appear on the site.

I suspect the website was wrong, and the size I ordered is no longer in stock. That, I would understand completely. I have no beef with a popular item selling out. (Though it’s worth noting the website still shows size 0 as in stock.) Or perhaps there was an issue with the coupon code I used. I’d be cool with that if they’d tell me so I can address it. I want to give them my money. I have no problem with a hiccup in the ordering process.

What I do have a problem with:

  • A cold-to-the-point-of-rude automated cancellation message that doesn’t even apologize for the inconvenience.
  • A complete lack of response when contacting customer service as directed.
  • A lack of response to tweets.
  • A follow-up email that adds insult to injury.

So yeah. I’m just plain bummed. And it’s about a thing, which makes me feel vaguely guilty for feeling bummed, which makes it even worse.

Hot Topic (and by extension, Torrid) get a lot of flack for being a haven for teenyboppers and hipsters and people who try too hard to be cool, and that’s all a load of hogwash. I’ve been a defender of these stores since day one. They’re filled with nifty stuff for people who are passionate about their fandoms. This is something I fully support, so I’ve always enjoyed shopping with them. Sadly, my unwavering support is now wavering mightily. That’s what a shitty customer service experience will do.

At least the weather is getting nice so I won’t be needing a coat much anyway. I bet those golden tickets make the chocolate taste terrible.






6 thoughts on “Torrid Customer Service, a Hot Mess

  1. Tanya says:

    Publish your review here

    • Erika Ensign says:

      My review was simply this:

      No coat, no explanation
      I’d been wanting this coat for SO long and was unbelievably excited to find it in stock! But the day after I placed my order, I got an email saying the order had been cancelled. No explanation. It put the onus on me to contact them to find out what happened. I immediately contacted them via the instructions in the email. I never heard back. That was 12 days ago. This coat looks amazing, but if you order it, don’t get your hopes up too much.

  2. Vila42 says:

    Hi Erika,
    I too have had SNAFUs with Hot Topic/Torrid, but mine were minor by comparison. Were you aware that Hot Topic/Torrid have a presence on Amazon and that as of today, 5/14/2016, the TARDIS coat is still available (although it’s about $100 US not including shipping). It comes in 4 sizes 0 large, 1 XL, 2 XXL, and 4 XXXXL (what happened to 3 XXXL is beyond me.) Here’s the link to the page. (it may need to be parred down, however.)

    I hope you find this information helpful!

    Patti (AKA Vila42)

    • Erika Ensign says:

      Thanks for the tip! I did check that out, but at this point, it’s too late to get it shipped to the US in time for my next visit, and shipping to Canada is over $40! I think I’m gonna just wait and hope I find one in stock at some point when they bring it back to a Hot Topic (assuming they do). That way I can try it on to make sure it fits in the first place. And if I never get one, that’s okay. It’s just a thing. :) I do appreciate the heads-up though! <3

  3. Paige rae says:

    Torrid actually has amazing customer service. Be a human being and pick up the phone. I have recieved so many cupons and perks being a platinum member and I call in every order. Just cashed in my hault cash and got $575 merchandise for free after spending $575. Go be petty elsewhere.

    • Erika Ensign says:

      What do you mean, elsewhere? This is *my* blog. If you read it regularly, you’d know I suffer from pretty serious anxiety. Part of that manifests as difficulty making phone calls. I don’t think that makes me less human, and I’m kinda brokenhearted that it seems like you do. I don’t think expecting any kind of response at all via email is too much to ask, nor do I think it qualifies as petty. Obviously your definition varies. That’s fine. As this is my space, I’ll ask you to take that definition elsewhere.

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