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Shopping in malls these days is becoming a major struggle, just ask the young woman who tried on underwear at a Victoria’s Secret store in San Diego earlier this week and got the shock of her life. She shared her story about trying on swimsuit bottoms at the location with Jezebel, and we had to pass it on because it was quite gross (and a wake-up call to be attentive):

[The bikini bottoms] all had the plasticky sanitary strips in them, which I could feel when I was pulling them on. Obviously I left my underwear on, but as I was pulling off a pair of bikini bottoms, I noticed dried blood in the crotch! Not even a small drop – a quarter-sized amount, plus smears, all around the “sanitary strip”! It was awful. Somehow that garment had been picked up from the fitting room, PUT BACK ON ITS HANGER, and re-racked where I grabbed it to try on.

According to the folks at Jezebel, the woman, who wanted to be called “Pauline” for the story, asked to speak to a manager, who gave her some hand sanitizer and a 30% off coupon. That was about it. Still feeling very disturbed by everything, Pauline decided to call the company’s customer care line to see what steps the stores were taking to ensure things like this wouldn’t happen again. She was told that there’s no standard protocol for dealing with this type of situation because it “never happens.” But when Jezebel reached out to the particular San Diego location where Pauline had this incident at, the site was told that there was “very strict protocol” regarding “that type of thing.”  So yeah, the protocol, from my retail experience in the past, which includes working at Victoria’s Secrets after college, is to damage the bottoms, say sorry, and offer some kind of discount (I’m actually surprised she wasn’t given a gift card, as the percent off means she still has to buy something with her own money after such a harrowing experience). But I guess this woman be using that 30% off, because Pauline says she’s done with VS…or that particular location at least…

I won’t shop there again, and the fact that they take my business so for-granted that they offered me a 30% off coupon for my NEXT visit (I couldn’t have even used it that day if I’d been willing to) is insulting.

Yeah, it’s super gross, but it’s not the first time things like this have happened. A colleague just told me when I shared this story with her that during a visit, she bought a pair of panties (5 for $25 anyone?), took them home, only to see that there was discharge in the undergarments. She quickly returned them of course. She actually received a $50 gift card, but felt, as Pauline did, that Victoria’s Secret should have done more. But more like what? If nasty people try on clothes, mess them up, put them back and the customer doesn’t even notice the “damages” of the good when they take them off the rack, chances are, an employee putting back and hanging up hundreds of drawls in a day might miss it too.

If you’re looking to not have a similar experience, I’d recommend checking the things you try on thoroughly (or stick to buying panties in packs), or make online shopping your friend so you don’t have to worry about whose deodorant, discharge or friggin’ blood is on what.

But hey, what can I say? People are gross. Check out this full crazy story over at Jezebel and share your thoughts (or similar experiences).

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