#GASPFAIL Gasp Chapel St Customer Service




If this is legitimate which social media and PR channels are saying it is… it is the worse PR Retail disaster I’ve seen!

This has gone viral over email, Twitter, Facebook… and word of mouth.

Refer also to @loupardi post

Am very keen to see Gasp’s response. And I would suggest they respond quickly.


Dear friends, family and colleagues,


For your enjoyment I have decided to forward an email from a lovely employee at GASP Clothing, one who funnily enough chose to remain nameless.  In quoting the company I have been advised to do them a favour and “not waste their retail staff’s time, as there are plenty of other shops that would appease to my taste”.  To quote the gutless employee, I am what they consider to be a “broad customer”, if you too fit into this category then I suggest you also “side step” their store, as they have so bluntly asked.

Replying to the below email would be pointless, therefore I ask instead that you forward this email onto friends, family and colleagues, and by all means feel free to post on facebook or twitter, after all we would be doing GASP a favour by forwarding the below response on.

As my boss Alex has kindly reminded me, the internet is a very powerful tool and one in which a customer like myself would be silly not to utilise.

As shocking as it is, this email is real!! Happy Reading.



From: GASP Online Enquiries [mailto:enquiries@gaspjeans.com.au]
Sent: Wednesday, 28 September 2011 11:58 AM
To: Keara O’Neil
Subject: customer complaint-Chapel St store
Importance: High

Dear Keara O’Neil,

Having now had the privilege of having both version of events, I am now in a position to respond to your complaint.

From the very outset, one thing that you should be mindful of is; Our product offerings are very, very carefully selected, so to ensure that we do not appeal to a broad customer base. This is something which is always at the forefront of our minds when undertaking buying duties. The reason for this is to ensure that we only carry products which appeal to a very fashion forward consumer. This by default means that the customer whom is acclimatised to buying from “clothing for the masses” type retailers, is almost frightened by our range, sometimes we have found that this type of customer, almost finds our dresses funny, and on occasion noted comments such as ‘it looks like a dead flamingo’. When we receive comments like this, we like to give ourselves and our buyers, a big pat on the back, because we know we are doing our job right, and modus operandi is being upheld.

Our range is worn by A list celebrities to the likes of Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez and Katy Perry to name only a few. Now, as one might appreciate, the style counsel for these types of celebrities are not ones to pick “run of the mill” type clothing, and they do so on the basis to ensure that the styles are cutting edge, and only worn by a select few. Similarly these items are priced such that they remain inaccessible to the undesirable.
Insofar as our employee goes; Similar to our product offerings, our employees are selected with a similar approach. Chris whom served you is a qualified stylist whom has a sixth sense for fashion, and Chris’s only problem is that he is too good at what he does, and as I am sure you are aware, people whom are talented, generally do not tolerate having their time wasted, which is the reason you were provoked to leave the store.

Whilst I concede that you work for chain retailer, unfortunately that does not make us like for like. It is probably fair to assume, a lot of what I have said in this email, either doesn’t make sense to you, or you totally disagree with it all, which is what I would expect (unless of course I have you totally wrong –which I doubt). Let me guess, you would never, ever hire Chris in the course of your duty, would you? This is the very reason, why your comment “from one retailer to another” is so disproportionate, it’s almost as though we are in a totally different industries. Chris is a retail superstar, who possess unparalleled  ability, and I am sorry you feel upset by him, but he knew you were not going to buy anything before you even left your house.

So if you would like to do us any favours, please do not waste our retail staff’s time, because as you have already seen, they will not tolerate it. I am sure there are plenty of shops that appease your taste, so I respectfully ask that you side step our store during future window shopping expeditions.

Thank you for your enquiry.


GASP Online Customer Care

P: (03) 9421 6812 | F: (03) 9421 1720 | W:  www.gaspjeans.com.au

From: Keara O’Neil
Sent: Monday, 26 September 2011 3:14 PM
To: matt@gaspjeans.com.au
Subject: customer complaint-Chapel St store

Hi Chad,

I had the privilege of shopping at your brand new Chapel St store on Saturday 24th September with my three bridesmaids in tow.  On the hunt for bridesmaids dresses and a hens dress for myself we walked into the store and were automatically pounced on by a male staff member, I understand that this is protocol for many retail outlets and ours is no different. The staff member was initially funny and extremely helpful with sizes etc.  I chose a bright pink dress to try on but was unable to do the zip up so asked for the size up, when I eventually got the correct size and came out of the change room I was unable to discuss the likes or dislikes of the dress with my bridesmaids as the sales assistant kept saying “you should just get it”, when I told him I would think about it, he pulled me aside and whispered “Is it the price your worried about”. By now I was extremely frustrated, and again told him I’d think about it, I walked back into the change room and closed the door behind me, only to have it pushed open with the sales assistant half standing in my change room, again whispering “I think you should just get it”, when I gave him attitude and said rudely, “I already told you I would think about it”, he then replied, “With your figure I really think you should buy it”.  I’m not sure exactly what he meant by that, but considering the attitude used to deliver such a statement I can only imagine that it was an immature dig in relation to my healthy size 12 frame.  I got changed in a hurry and walked right out of the change rooms and out of the store, I could hear the sales assistant yelling out to me, but I just ignored him and continued to leave, assuming my bridesmaids would follow.  After waiting down the road for my bridesmaids to come out of the store I was told by one of them that the sales assistant yelled out “Have fun finding something at Supre”, when one of them approached him in regards to his comments, he replied “I knew you girls were a joke the minute you walked in”.  When my bridesmaids walked out of the store another two customers walked out with them, they too could not believe the immaturity of the sales assistant.

I have worked in retail for 12 years and have come across an array of customer complaints over the years, none of which come even close to what I encountered on Saturday at your store, I wish I was exaggerating but unfortunately for your company this person actually exists and is working in one of your stores.  I am pretty laid back and was quite happy just leaving your store, it was my bridesmaids who felt the need to say something to him………I dread to think how many customers he has not only offended but how many customers have left your store due to the pressure placed on getting the sale, and then to be harassed when that sale hasn’t taken place.

Ring me, don’t ring, not fussed………I’m just one retailer notifying another of an extremely inappropriate sales assistant.

Keara O’Neill


44 thoughts on “#GASPFAIL Gasp Chapel St Customer Service

  1. Utter elitist crap. Completely inexcusable. These people work in the retail profession (not to indicate that their behavior in this matter was anything ‘professional’, of course), but their job is to serve you, to find dresses that would suit your figure and price range. They are supposed to be at your service the second you walk in that door.

    They don’t get paid to harass, intimidate, or entertain their false delusions of grandeur merely because they work in a mid-range fashion store. This is the kind of behavior you would expect from a 16 year-old girl, not a so-called “retail superstar”.

    The fact that they believe it some sort of talent to judge people on their appearance and then come to an assumption of both their financial means or fashion taste is reminiscent of that scene in Pretty Woman when the bitchy sales girls tell Julia Roberts “You couldn’t afford it. We have nothing for you” when in reality her handbag is filled with cash and ready to be spent. In the end, they are the ones who lose business and also their dignity by being exposed as the rude, condescending morons that they are– it is of course unfortunate that they have the ability to also ruin someone’s day by being so hostile.

    I am sorry for your bad experience.

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  3. I had an awful experience at the Chadstone Gasp where one of the staff members was extremely rude and abrupt. She was very arrogant and pushy for sales, so we also left the store, and told family and friends not to shop at Gasp

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  5. To those who commented on the appalling grammar and pretentious mangling of the English language, I salute you. I have never seen the word “whom” misused so many times! Fortunately I am far too old, fat, ugly, un-fashionable and impecunious to suffer the dubious sales skills of Chris. If I owned Gasp, I would have sacked him on the spot. What a shallow bottom- feeder! (Is that a tautology?) Also, I would never dare to aspire to the dizzying heights of fashion and talent of those shining beacons to the pinnacle of humanity and the milk of human kindness, Katy Perry and the Kardashians! Sigh! I guess I’ll just keep shopping at the local op-shop, at least they value me as a customer.

    There is so much more I’d like to say but I don’t think Gasp is worth the time and effort I’ve already spent on this reply. If there is any justice, they will go the way of the “News Of The World”!

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  7. I had a similar experience at the same store. I tried on a dress and the salesperson said ‘All you have to do is lose the gut’! Of course after that I did not feel like shopping anymore!

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  9. Pingback: Rude Aus retailer’s catty letter goes global, #GASPfail | artres.com.au australia

  10. what a twat.why would anyone what to shop their now.although

    remember that scene with julia roberts, in pretty woman,when she buys

    up big in another store,then shoves it up their proverbial. go keara

  11. I just sent the Chapel St store the following email: “I am writing to say how appalled I was to read the recent online correspondence between someone at your Chapel Street store and a dissatisfied customer named Keara. The arrogant and poisonous tone of your employee beggars belief. I realise that this unfortunate conversation has already ‘gone viral’ over the Internet, but I will make it my personal duty to spread it further, over as many social network sites as I have access to. Unfortunately, we live in a vacuous, mindless time, where everyone believes themselves to be a star. This has been clearly demonstrated by the person who responded to Keara. They should probably remember that, really, they just work in a shop – it’s not that fabulous.

  12. What a jumped-up, ignorant moron this person must be! And the grammar and syntax are appalling! My ten year old daughter has a better grasp of the English language!

  13. I have just emailed Gasp Jeans advising that as a measure of protest, my daughter and I will not shop at their store this Saturday as planned, or ever again for that matter and that we have decided to place our custom elsewhere.

  14. Pingback: #Gasp goes viral. Or should I say #GASPFAIL. « house of turtle

  15. Tard. You should have called. Let me give you the first law of Social Media… DONT PUT ANYTHING IN WRITING! You couldn’t help it could you… just wanting to show how clever you are. Tard.

  16. I am a writer, and I was falling about the floor reading the APPALLING grammar and misuse of words in this missive. It sounds as though it were written by a year 8 student (and not a terribly good one at that). I have the desire to correct the bloody thing and send it back to them. They are being all la-di-da and they are writing like trailer trash…ahhhh the truth shall set you free!!!!

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  18. I think GASP has ‘done a Ratners’. Gerald Ratner almost detroyed his jewellery empire in the UK by describing his products as ‘cheap crap’ to the city which got a good ‘cheap laugh’ as the expense of his customers. The customers stopped coming and ……….. business died.

    I can’t believe that in such awful trading conditions a business can behave like this. Best to say nothing sometimes. 7pm Project worked well for 7pm but not GASP.

    GASP indeed!

  19. Well done Keara!! The ‘Gasp’ PR guy interviewed on the 7PM Project looked as if he’d had a very bad day & his responses were not awfully convincing.

    So often customers take this type of treatment quietly & imagine it is a ‘one off’ experience, it takes this sort of publicity to help them remember ‘the customer is always right’ or should be, if the salesperson has an understanding of what client service is.


  20. This is a classic chapel st expirence, And often, with sales, make them laugh to gain acceptance, and then subtle digs, to gain authority and then the classic, how will you pay for that, its the oldest sales trick in the book. delivered well the customer leaves with your logo and you get paid at the end of the week

  21. Wow this kinda behavior is absolutely appalling
    I’m not terribly surprised though
    I had such a rude experience In the Collins street gasp store a few months ago when as a business owner I was asked to go give them a quote to have their chandeliers cleaned.
    I arrived at the store and went to the counter where a store assistant was standing, she was on the phone at the time, so I waited… And waited. Almost 5 minutes past and still she was chatting up a storm. From what I could hear it was a personal call too.
    I was beginning to get rather annoyed as she hadn’t even made eye contact.
    Eventually she got off the phone and looking my way she said “what’s up” with such an attitude. To which I replied what’s up? Is that how you generally greet Someone who enters your store? and asked to speak to the manager as I’m here to quote the chandeliers. “I am the manager” she snapped at me. I said to her well your behavior as a manager is totally unacceptable
    And as a business owner I would expect a little bit more respect, I suggest you go clean your own chandeliers and I walked off
    On leaving the store I called the head office and spoke with the person who had contacted me in the first place and gave him the story and details of the incident. To which he replied that the girl who I spoke to was merely a part time casual staff member and he would deal with the situation personally and would call me personally with a resolution
    As yet I’m still waiting on that so called phone call
    They still have filthy chandeliers and as such will always as I am the only one in Melbourne willing to clean stores in the Cbd

  22. Jump onto their website and leave an email about how applauding you find their attitude.
    They may think they don’t care about losing one customer, but they will care if they lose many more.

  23. I expressed my disgust on their website along with good luck keeping stores in Melbourne. The fact those idiots still work their is beyond belief and shows that their head office obviously backs this completely horrendous service… Take your tacky clothes back to LA where they belong until you learn some basic concepts like customer service, people, business skills, marketing and PR. What a bunch of tossers!

  24. my cousin sent a complaint in to the same store a few weeks ago after trying on dresses for her 21st. she’s a size 8 and was told by a male customer service member of staff “you may want to consider losing some weight before your birthday if you want to fit into that dress”. she never got a repsonse to her complaint.

  25. Awful… spread the word people and give them the bad PR they deserve.

    What a pack of narrow minded idiots, they should be shut down… Not only are their clothes terrible but the personalities of the staff are much worse!

  26. Wow.. I am appalled. I can’t say I would ever shop there again after my similar complaint four years ago, and not even receiving a response. I also experienced the salesperson barging into the changeroom whilst I was getting dressed, and being extremely forceful about me purchasing their clothing, to the point that they wrapped the dress up and put it on the counter, without me even agreeing to purchase. During my encounter with the GASP store I also
    watched as the staff pushed my friend into buying a dress, that was simply 2 sizes too small and looked absolutely shocking, as clearly their priority was making that sale regardless of the customers satisfaction. I am glad that someone else has complained about this pathetic excuse of a clothing store, and their lack of customer service.

    • Hi @bobearth – totally agree with you about poor Keara. Happy to remove the details but also want to maintain the integrity of the viral email going around – which has the same details on it. 🙂

  27. I just received this email from a colleague. After reading it all i found it very hard to believ it was true…. What person on this planet would treat a someone like that????

    So being a smart ass, i decided to call the store and ask for ‘Chris the retail superstar’ thinking that the person on the line would just hang up on me….but to my suprise, the lady who answered told me (in a very serious voice) that Chris actually had a day off today. So i was in shock to find out that a Chris does work in that shop!.

  28. Crazy and Facebook commenting shut down. complaint comments have been deleted.

    Have kept details on the above to maintain integrity of what is actually being sent around via email and on other channels. Did not want to alter it.

  29. This makes me so mad. I work in entertainment retail and if I said that to a customer, I would be fired. Our standards aren’t even as high as clothing retail!
    Would sending a nasty email myself be a bad idea? D<

  30. My colleague and I had a very similar experience at the Flinders Lane store however our including witnessing a racial attack on a customer, being insulted and told I was stupid, told we had no taste and were fat among many other insults and general disgusting behavior!

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