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Woman banned from buying too much Abercrombie

August 5, 2011 9:42:55 AM PDT
You would think being loyal to a company would bring in a reward, but one woman was banned from her favorite Abercrombie & Fitch store for being too loyal, and it can happen to just about anyone.

One look at Kim Navarra's closet tells you where she loves to shop. The closet is filled with trendy ripped jeans and trademark sweats branded with the retailer's name.

Navarra said she's tried to shop at other stores, but she keeps coming back to her favorite.

"All their clothes seem to fit and last over the years," Navarra said.

Her husband, Brian, has a closet full of Abercrombie & Fitch clothing as well. Navarra said she spends at least $1,000 a year at the upscale retailer.

However, for all her loyalty, Navarra received a slap in the face this summer when she went online to spend her $200 Abercrombie & Fitch gift card.

"When I put my number in, it said my whole order was canceled," said Navarra.

Abercrombie & Fitch canceled her order and said it would no longer accept any orders from her. She couldn't even use her gift card.

The reason?

Abercrombie & Fitch suspected she was re-selling clothing she was purchasing. In an email obtained by ABC7 News, the company said resale of their merchandise is strictly prohibited.

"I'm not reselling them," Navarra said. "As you can see, I have the clothes on. I wear them to work. I've worn every single pair of jeans."

Her husband said he feels attacked.

"They're accusing us of doing something that we have never, ever would dream of doing," Brian Navarra said.

The company didn't let her explain, but did point out the portion of their policy which states, "Any orders found to have characteristics of reselling will be canceled. We serve the right to cancel all subsequent orders from such customers."

"If they're buying multiples of the same items, they are going to get flagged," said Golden Gate University Professor Kit Yarrow, who adds that retailers that fall victim to counterfeiting lose up to $300 billion yearly.

However, Yarrow says Abercrombie & Fitch should have inquired before banishing a longtime customer.

"There's a difference between understanding why they would want to protect their brand, and feeling the way they reacted was understandable. It's not," said Yarrow. "At this point, I think Abercrombie should probably send them a new wardrobe."

Navarra contacted 7 On Your Side and we called Abercrombie & Fitch. The company declined an interview, but did say that they "have policies in place to protect our brands against customers that buy and re-sell product on websites or ship large quantities to other countries... these policies are sometimes triggered based on order history."

However, after ABC7 got involved, Abercrombie & Fitch did listen to Navarra's side of things and agreed to let her order clothes again, and that included use of the gift card.

"Now I'm just waiting again for them to have good sales," Navarra said.

Abercrombie & Fitch tells us Navarra was only banned from making online orders and could have shopped inside a store. Navarra said there isn't a store nearby.


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