THE RKGBLOG

JCPenny’s Mike Ullman on Customers And Change

Yesterday morning, Mike Ullman gave the keynote at Shop.org FirstLook in Orlando. Mike is the Chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney. He described JC Penny’s efforts to integrate their stores, web, and catalog efforts, and how they’re using their $1B+ annual media spend.

Ullman on the Penny’s customer:

She has too little time, too little money, and two little kids.

(Can you describe your target customer as well in 12 words?)

Ullman on organizational change:

Until the CEO says something 100 times, no one believes it.

  • Alan Rimm-Kaufman
    Alan Rimm-Kaufman founded the Rimm-Kaufman Group...
  • Comments
    25 Responses to “JCPenny’s Mike Ullman on Customers And Change”
    1. hi-

      I frequently put in orders to Penny’s. Yet I have been having extreme difficulty with the returns. This time, I ordered a oxford shirt (women’s size 14-white) that was defective. I also ordered a women’s pair of shoes (size 8 1/2 wide) that was too big and I sent both back. I noted (I highlighted) on the back of the paper that I only wanted an exchange. I wanted a new white shirt ( please undefective) and I wanted a smaller size pair of shoes (black size 8 wide). I just got off the phone with “kicki” who said that everything is always credited. I told her that on the back of the paper, that I was very clear of what I wanted done. I’m tired of the foul ups of Penny’s.

      LuAnn Kachelein

    2. I ordered a chest on line from J.C. Penny. Today I receive letter welcoming to J.C. Penny Family Rewards, plus a $10 rebate voucher. I am automatically enroled in this club for $9.95 monthly unless I call in to cancel. They have my credit card number!! It states I authorized this by phone WHICH I DID NOT. Watch out senior citizens!!

    3. Victor Joris says:

      Dear Sir ,
      On November 11th I opened an account at the J.C.Penney store in the Regal Court Shopping Center on Youree Drive, Shreveport ,LA. On November the 27th I received my bill. Imagine my surprise when I opened it ,I could not read one word .It was all in Spanish,a language I do not speak, read ,write or understand . I spoke to the sales ladies in English, opened my accout in English and received my receipts in English.I do not undersatnd why I would receive a bill printed totally in Spanish.
      I wrote the store manager and asked if they would accept pesos as payment.
      Not only did I receive an additional bill with DUPLICATE stamped across the face the letter implied I had asked for an additional copy .
      Needless to say after that I sent another letter with my new crdit card in pieces back to the Youree Drive store manager.
      Not that it matters much to J.C.Penney’s but I shop at all the other fine Department Stores and Specialty Shops in Shreveport and Dallas, receive my bills in English and pay in dollars.

      Victor Joris
      P.S. I did pay my bill in ample time and closed out the account.

    4. Hi LuAnn, Hi Constance, Hi Victor –

      I sent Mike a letter referencing your complaints.

      Cheers –

      Alan

    5. Bernard Bartels says:

      Dear Mr. Ullman:

      On January 18, 2008 I stopped into the JC Penney’s Optical Center at the Millcreek Mall in Erie Pa. to take advantage of the ongoing sale on eyeglasses and lens.
      I informed Denise the representative who waited on me that I wanted the same lens I had on my existing glasses, which were progressive lens. This would be the only way I could do a comparison of there prices and my Optical Center prices. The price given me was within the range I was looking for. The only discussion by Denise on the eyeglasses and the lens was that progressive lens would be supplied. I also asked for the scratch resistant to be applied to the lens which Denise stated the extra cost of this item which was ok. I also ordered a pair of sunglasses that were on sale with progressive lens. This was the only help Denise discussed on the eyeglasses and lens.
      When I was contacted to come in for a fitting I informed Denise that the sunglasses were causing my eyes to see somewhat like a double vision. She went into the back room and tried fixing them. The second time was not much better but I told her I would wear them for awhile in the sunlight and see if it was any better. Then I had a fitting for my regular glasses, which I informed Denise that I could see very well with them.
      About a week later I stopped to see Denise about some of the problems I was having with the glasses. The sunglasses were still a little off, so she adjusted them again. I said I would try another week with them. Then I informed Denise that the regular glasses were way to heavy and was giving me headaches. She put larger nose rests on the glasses, but they were still too heavy. Denise informed me that she could send them back in and have polycarbonate lenses installed for an extra $60.00. I informed Denise that I had polycarbonate lenses in my original glasses and I was under the impression that I would receive the same in the new glasses. Denise never went over the different lens material or the different progressive lenses that were available. I depend on the sales person to inform me of all the aspects of ordering glasses.
      If Denise would have advised me that she was selling me the least expensive lenses but charging me a top dollar I would not have placed my order. I was basing my decision to order on a comparable match to my existing glasses.
      I’m hoping that JCPenney’s can help on this misunderstanding and live up to there reputation they have on customer satisfaction. I realize Penney’s Optical has a no refund policy even though the sales receipt states different. At this time I have a pair of glasses I can’t wear. I believe this was possibly, a bate and switch.
      Thank You
      Bernard Bartels
      608 Venango Ave.
      Cambridge Springs, Pa. 16403
      814-398-4786
      Pennbart@hotmail.com

    6. Gary Price says:

      Hi I don’t know if this is the right place to come to but heres my problem My 61 year old widowed sister is having trouble with Penny’s credit dept. They put a bankrupcy on her credit report Its not her. When she contacted them they told her its her problem to take care of their mistake I remind you that she is a 61 year old widow with until this perfect credit Is this really the corect way to treat older people. You make a mistake and tell them to bad. Fix it yourself. This has her very upset.
      Thanks
      Gary

    7. Anna Sievert says:

      I wish to cancel this thing “Fun Family Rewards”. I have no recollection of having joined it.

      Thanks
      anna

    8. Viktoria May says:

      I recently went into a newly opened JCP store at The Regal Court Shopping Center on Youree Drive, Shreveport ,LA. I thought that since they were new and had the Sephora counter where the fragrance and skin care items are sold that they would have the hair care line “Carol’s Daughter”, which caters to women of color and carries all natural products. To my surprise after walking into the store and into the sephora area, that I would be snubbed by an associate there as well as the products that the web site advertises as sold there wasn’t. I feel that JCP should offer products and services for every walk of life instead of catering to one. I stopped being a jcp customer long ago and it seems I made the right decision. only now I will be more vocal to friends and family about my experiance.

    9. Antoinette Davenport says:

      I have been a long time customer of JCPenny and am also a cardholder. I never shop online as I hate paying shipping costs, however I received a coupon in the mail offering me $10 off a purchase of $10 or more. The coupon was only good until November 1st so I decided to shop online for a Christmas present as I didn’t have time to go to the store before the coupon expired. I selected a cookbook which was not on the exclusions list. The promotional code would not apply. After speaking with customer service they said a cookbook is considered cookware (who knew?) and that was on the exclusion list. I said that I don’t think that’s technically cookware and as a long time JCPenny customer and cardholder I would ask that they apply the discount. Both the rep and her manager both refused. The manager went as far as to tell me that losing a customer is worth saving $10 to JCPenny. I worked in customer service for many years during college and worked for very high end stores. We would never turn a valued customer away over such a petty amount. I have tried to find the direct contact information for the Customer Service Manager but have not been able to locate it yet. I hope others read this and realize what you are really worth to this company.

    10. Pamel A. Knowles says:

      I wish to cancel the FUN FAMILY REWARDS as of today November 17, 2008. I am unable to continue monthly payment for it. However I will pay the curent bill of $9.95.

      Thank you.

      Pamela A. Knowles

    11. Ellaine Angelo says:

      I am being hounded by credit collections because
      JCPenney sold my acct to them. They say I owe 100.00
      and can give me no explanation of when and what was
      charged. I always pay my bills on time but I never received
      a bill from JCPenney’s.
      Now there is a black mark on my credit report from
      JCPenney and the credit collection company.

    12. I wish to cancel this membership. It is of no use to me. I have had no benefit from this membership and I’m throwing my money away. I would appricaiate this matter taken care of imediatly so I do not have to contact my credit card company
      Thank you

    13. Rosalie Bradburn says:

      I paid my JC Penny account on line March 2, 2009 and it was returned. No information was sent to me on this. Then I got my next statement and I saw that my Payment of #350.oo was returned and I had late fees etc.

      I went to the JC Penny Store in Evansville IN and gave them my cut up credit card paid my account in full and asked that my account be closed.

      I applied for a loan at my bank only to find out my credit score had dropped. Because JC Penny had claimed me as deliquent in payments. I have had this account since 1996 and had never been late, and paid my bills in full the following month.

      I called five (5) different numbers in Texas on 30, 2009 before I talked to anyone familar with this problem. I was treated with disrespect, and was told ” You should have known you could not pay on line with a debit card.”

      All I am asking is that my account is removed from my credit report as deliquant and my credit score restored.

      Like I told the manager at Evansville IN, JC Penny does not sell anything I can’t buy in another store locally.

      Please respond as soon sa possible.

      Rosalie Bradburn

    14. Barbara D'Antoni for William Eaton says:

      My father, Williiam Eaton, recently passed away, and I received a letter from Asset Acceptance saying he owes$925.65. Is there any way I can get a copy of these itemized charges to see if he did indeed purchase them? I searched his credit cards and cannot find a JC Penney card. Please help me.

    15. Nancy Maiewski says:

      Another charge on my J.C.Penney statement for $9.95 for Family Fun Rewards! This isn’t the first time I have opened my bill to find this charge that I DID NOT sign up for! From reading the complaints on this frequent charge to many people’s statement, it seems JC.Penney is ALLOWING this to happen…how many people just let this charge slide, thinking this is something they purchased or just plain did not notice on their bill? Another sucker “signed up” and another $9.95 in their pocket. The last time I had this charge, I called J.C.Penney and they told me that I AGREED to this program and charge…took more time and energy than it should have to have this charge removed from my bill. Here I am again…another charge and more time and energy to have a charge that I did not agree to , removed from my JC.Penney account!

    16. TAMMY LANGWORTHY says:

      I WISH TO CANCEL MY FUN FAMILY REWARDS AS I DON’T USE IT VERY MUCH. THANK YOU TAMMY LANGWORTHY

    17. Kathleen Raines says:

      CEO Mike Ullman III, On January 26, 2010 I order a sofa, love seat and chair. I was told it would take 6-8 weeks since it was a special order. On March 11, 2010 I called to see when the furniture would be delivery. I was told it was shipped on February 26, 2010, that I should receive it soon. She also stated she wss checking with the vendor. I did not hear back by 1:30 PM the next day, I called again March 12, 2010 and was told it takes 8-10 weeks for special orders. Then today March 13, 2010 I get a courtesy call informing me that the furniture will not be delivery until the first week in April. Joy said that if I canlled before Monday I would get a refund. I called back and cancelled the order. Another woman answer the phone (I wish I would have gotten her name she was not very nice)said we did give you a courtesy call. I said yes, after I made 3 calls. No one should have to wait from January 26, 2010 until May for furniture. I think someone got my furnitue or the order get lost. If you count from March 13, 2010 to May 2010 you will have your 6-8 weeks. I made a payment of $179.78 on Feburary 11, 2010. I cancelled today and asked for a refund. This is no way to run a business. I am very upset over this matter.

    18. Kathleen Raines says:

      In my letter I did put the wrong month. I said April it should have been May.

    19. stephanie says:

      WOW!!! Treated so bad!!! Before leaving the mall, through JC PENNYS we bought a drink. My son dropped the drink by the bathrooms. While I was trying to clean it up, a worker said to me so ugly, DID U CALL ANYONE TO CLEAN THIS UP, as I was on my hands and knees, with 4 children, she walked over me and said on the speakers, ugly again, that someone needed to come clean up a spill. Then a “manager”, said while I was on my hands and knees, I guess here is the spill………allowed to me clean it up while people where literally walking over me, even when I said that person just kicked me……….Then when I said something about the lady being so rude to me, he shrugged his shoulders at me. I will NEVER go shopping here again!!!!!

    20. Bob Knupp says:

      My wife and I purchased our glasses at JCP because we were about to move out of state, and they said the warranty would apply at all stores. We purchased the $99 special that came to over $300 per pair of single vision glasses. We ordered them in June, mine came in around July 4th, hers came in Aug. 1, right before we moved.

      We told them when we picked them up they weren’t right, but they said to give a few weeks, so we did. In the mean time, we moved, and my wife’s anti-glare glaze flaked like crazy.
      After we moved, we both had to pay the new JCP store doc to “recheck” our eyes because it had been almost 5 months since the last exam. Both of us had our glasses remade, and neither was right. My wife returned the glasses 4 times and she told them they still weren’t right, they told her to go somewhere else it was her eyes. We went and had 2 eye docs check the glasses, and they were both wrong. Mine had center of vision off, and hers had the right eye script in the left, and the right was made way off of the script and center of vision was wrong.

      We tried to get our money back to go get glasses elsewhere, but they tell us they can’t do that. The Altamonte Springs store said they can only refund their warrenty of $56 for two pair of $300+ glasses. We called their helpline 1 800-help111. It was a waste. They offered to remake them with a co-pay because it has been so long since they were originally ordered. My wife asked how many times they need to make it right, and they had no answer. She also asked why we should have to pay a copay for them, since they have never been right?

      Each time they have been remade, she has been a without glasses a month. In the last 10 months (Since she got her first pair 6 weeks after ordered) she has had glasses in hand only 5 months, and they have been useless to her. She can’t drive without these, so forget work, or being able to go anywhere.

      I used to work retail. If I had told a customer what she was told, I would have been fired, the customer would have got their money back, and would have been given a $100 gift certificate. We would just settle for our money back for defective glasses.

    21. Sharon Davis says:

      i did not order fun family rewards i want it off my bill.

    22. Daniel Riordan says:

      Personnel in your customer care are not answering phone and/or avoiding calls. I was told that Mr. Bevines would call be about an issue I am having with an order I placed over the internet and no one seems to want to help. All I get from the people that do answer the phone is “he/she is in a meeting/training/not in office’ etc…..” What is the sense of having all these people if they do not respond to customer’s needs???? You have a very unprofessional staff working for you in Plano.

      Daniel Riordan, CPO, USN, Ret
      San Antonio, TX

      gnv919@my.utsa.edu

    23. Clyde says:

      I was over at my Brother’s house. And had my check book by his Computer in his bedroom, helping him pay some bill. I stepped out to get us lunch. A deliver came for my Brother James while I was gone. Also while I was gone, the Deliver people stole my checks, stamps, and pens. JC Penny didn’t do anything about it. JC Penny is now on my don’t buy list and everyone in my family and friends. They do not value their cutomers at all, only your money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    24. Mary Masillo says:

      I had not one but 3 positive customer service people help me and go way above and beyond theirm call of duty. I was so overwhelmed I wrote Mr. Ullman about these people and asked that they be commended for being great customer service role models. I did get a couch and love seat which was defective and after 2 mos of having this set it ripped in a spot that could not be repaired. Had customer service rep in Wauweautosa Wis by name of Joy help me thru the process od reselection. Gotm my new couch and once again there is a defect in manufacturing and again I called them and for the very last time I hope I will get a defect free couch and loveseat. And thanksm to Mr. Ullmans office and Blanine Billingly for handling my letter and making sure final price on my bill is adjusted. You see I paid cash for first couch and they stood behind their merchandise. To me 3 axcts of great customer service is no accident or either I am a very lucky person and should play Lottery tonght. Ha

    Trackbacks
    Check out what others are saying...
    1. [...] story starts almost two years ago, in February 2007, when I blogged on your Shop.org [...]