OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City store is receiving backlash after “rude” service and a subsequent comment on their Facebook page.
Caitlin Esparza reviewed Nearly New on Saturday evening, giving it only a one-star:
“The owners (or workers I’m not sure) of this store are absolutely hateful. They were extremely rude to me because my two year old daughter kept knocking a pillow off of their pleather sofa. I kept asking my daughter not to do it, but she’s two years old and there is only so much she can handle. She wasn’t touching the merchandise or breaking things…. she was knocking a pillow off the couch (not even onto the floor because it was attached to the sofa). They accused me of not parenting my child and when I told them I was going to give them a bad review, they said good because it would keep people like me out of the store. And then when I left with my daughter while my friend was checking out, they tried to speak badly about me to my best friend. If you don’t want children in your store, you should post a sign stating such. Also, half the dresses my friend tried on were stained or torn. I purchased a dress there earlier in the day, but of course they have a no returns policy, so I can’t even take it back. They were rude to me and they have my money!!! Overall, a terrible experience and I would not recommend this store, especially if you have children.”
The store later replied:
“It is our responsibility to keep every shopper at our store safe. Even kids who want to walk on furniture and run wildly unattended. If her child would have hurt herself I’m sure we would have been blamed as well. We’re sorry your kid has you as a mother. We sincerely hope she doesn’t suffer because of your inabilities as act as a parent.”
The reply has stirred controversy, with many parents siding with Esparza and some with the store.
“How unprofessional!” commented Sidney Renae Bruce. “You should have stopped after your second sentence, because that was a completely ridiculous statement to make. Shame on you.”
“Bravo, Nearly New!” commented Jen Heller Meservey. “Good for you for standing up to entitled parents who think their kids should be allowed to mess around and do whatever they want in a store! We need more stores like you around.”
Nate Esparza, the 2-year-old’s father and Caitlin’s husband, said he is up for a “conversation” about their parenting:
wow, I’m said kids father, and if your gonna talk like that to someone especially my wife and be a big bad keyboard warrior, I’m more than happy to swing into your store and we can have a “conversation” about my wife’s and my parenting. my daughter is a handful not going to lie about that, but she’s 2, and shes living those “terrible 2s” to the fullest. Sound like you don’t have any, and if this is the way your going to treat em please do everyone a favor and keep it that way.
Caitlin added being a mother is the hardest of jobs, praying for the store and thanking her supporters:
“I’m sorry that you do not have an open heart to children and cannot see that I was trying to look after her while also trying to help you make a sale as my friend did purchase a dress from your store. God gave the world two year olds to help people learn patience and realize that the world is a place to explore. They are frustrating a lot of the time, but they bring so much joy. I pray that God will help you to open your heart and realize motherhood is the hardest thing we as women do.”
“I want to thank you all for your support and I hope you all never have to endure something like this. Being a mom is by far the hardest job I’ve ever had. We’re all just trying to make it in this crazy world, and it makes it so much better when you have support from people who are not judgmental. Spread love people!!!”
NewsChannel 4 has been in contact with Caitlin, who said, while she appreciates all the backup, she did not expect this to go viral.
She has since deleted the Facebook thread.
NewsChannel 4 has also been in contact with Nearly New, which released the following statement Tuesday:
“As the owners of a retail business, we interact with customers on a daily basis, and we strive to give every one of them a safe and enjoyable shopping experience. When any customer’s behavior endangers either themselves or other customers, it is our responsibility to try restore order.
Earlier this week, we had a situation in our store with a two-year-old behaving in a way that we were concerned would lead to her hurting herself. We spoke with the child’s mother several times to try to get the child to quit jumping on the furniture. By the time they left the store, tempers on both sides were frayed.
Later the customer posted a lengthy review on Facebook detailing her negative experience. The online conversation has been extensive, and included many positive comments from our customers. However, at one point, negative comments were issued against us, and we, in turn, made a comment about the customer’s parenting skills, which we regret.
While we are sorry for our part in the negative online discussion, our primary focus has to be maintaining a safe and enjoyable shopping experience. Our customers can trust us to continue that, as we’ve done for 52 years.”