What’s your problem? A few small problems with Casual Male XL

Question: I have two small problems with Casual Male XL that I was hoping you could help me with.

Problem 1: My husband and I went to Casual Male XL’s website and tried to use a coupon that offered $75 off of a purchase of $100 or more. It didn’t work.

I contacted the customer service line and was advised that they could give me 20 percent off but that was the best they would do. My husband and I are very loyal customers to this company. We spend a lot of money each year in your stores. To be denied use of a perfectly valid coupon code is ridiculous.

Problem 2: My husband was able to use the coupon to buy a gift certificate worth $102. He decided to do that in order to take his time with the purchase. But when Casual Male XL discovered it, they not only canceled his order, but also charged him the full $102.

We contacted the company and first the agent said that it was a gift card and was not refundable. I demanded a supervisor who finally and reluctantly agreed to refund the money once they received the gift card back. He told us to return it to the nearest store. We still have not received this gift card, and we just want our money back. — Jeni Wilson, Indianapolis

Answer: Casual Male XL should have honored a valid coupon and it shouldn’t have charged you for a purchase you didn’t make.

This is a real comedy of errors: An invalid coupon that you were allowed to use and an arbitrary cancellation and then a forcible re-purchase of a gift card. My head is spinning!

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In order to fix this, let me separate these two issues. At my suggestion, you sent a brief, polite email to Casual Male XL, asking about the coupon.

It responded in writing, saying the coupon was valid for a “very specific customer group” and not the entire big and tall customer base. It was illegally distributed by coupon websites and therefore, the coupon was canceled.

“There were many individuals who fraudulent attempted to use the coupon multiple times,” the company said in a statement.

In other words, Casual Male was targeting a specific group of customers with the coupon — perhaps a single ZIP code or mailing list — but somehow, the coupon code got released into the wild for anyone to use. So he company simply canceled it. Sorta.

Is that fair? I don’t know. I can tell you that $75 off a purchase of $100 or more is ridiculously good, and if enough customers take advantage of it, the company would have to declare bankruptcy. The 20-percent-off offer makes up for it a little.

As to your second problem, that kind of clerical error should get fixed right away. I don’t understand why the company would withdraw $102 from your account for a card it hasn’t even sent you yet. They should put the money back.

I contacted Casual Male XL on your behalf, and it refunded the $102 immediately.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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