Not long ago, my mother and I embarked upon a shopping trip. Because most malls lack individuality--no, there does not need to be two Sunglass Huts under one roof--we explored the usual suspects. We perused the stores for worthwhile buys and great deals, but to no avail. It was not until we entered Gap that my mother finally found something that hit her eye.Ultimately in search of comfortable summer clothing, my mother discovered a maxi dress that was just her size. (Note: It's extremely difficult to find a maxi dress that doesn't drag across the floor when you're only 5-feet tall. The average woman isn't the tall, leggy model these dresses were clearly made for so, designers, you might want to capitalize on that.) In a seemingly wonderful twist of fate, this very dress was hanging on a rack adorned with a sign indicating 30 percent off dresses.
We made our way to the register, excited by the thought of finding the perfect item at an ideal price. However, when the cashier scanned the barcode, the dress rang up at full price. My mother and I immediately noted the mistake, catching the cashier off guard. He seemed perplexed, so my mother walked him back to the rack to show him the sign. Upon his investigation, he noted that the small print indicated only "select styles" were on sale, despite the fact that not a single dress on that rack was marked to signal any particular reduction.
Typically, when such confusion comes to light, the cashier willingly offers to process the sale, honoring the reduction because of the gaping void in clarity. In this instance, the cashier was adamant in making us feel as if we were fools who could not read. Had I been the one with the wallet, I would've given up this fabulous find out of principle. If the store plans to put a sale sign on a rack with three similar dress styles when the discount only applies to one, they should be prepared to handle such confusion by admitting the oversight and acknowledging how misleading this practice may seem. This lack of transparency and willingness to please almost seems like a sort of trap, luring shoppers to fall in love with items that are inevitably full price. From now on, I will be wary of all items sold at Gap, and I will not hesitate to ask the final price before completing the purchase, as this experience has certainly cast a shadow on my trust in the brand.