“But he has nothing at all on!” at last cried out all the people. The Emperor was vexed, for he knew that the people were right; but he thought the procession must go on now! The Emperor’s New Clothes, Hans Christian Anderson

When you were a kid did you ever have that nightmare about showing up to school naked? This might become a reality for your kid if you are still waiting on uniforms you ordered from one of the largest school uniform suppliers in the U.S., Parker School Uniforms (Parker).

Okay, not really. I’m sure one of the other moms would help you out.

Parker, the exclusive uniform provider to thousands of private and charter schools across the country (including my girls’ school), abruptly closed its corporate headquarters, shuttered its stores, and fired all of its employees (and apparently stiffed them on their December paychecks).

Buying uniforms from Parker has never been easy, but their customer service this past summer was cataclysmic. I waited for several weeks for my order and didn’t get it until I went into two separate stores and used what my girls call “mommy’s mean lawyer voice.” The uniform blue shirts I ordered? Not so uniform. Each of the four shirts was a different shade of blue and a different cut, depending on what country the shirt was manufactured in (according to the store manager).

Lots of things don’t make sense about the fall of the House of Parker. They were in business for almost a 100 years, they could charge whatever they wanted, and they had a guaranteed income stream and thousands of exclusive customer contracts, many of them decades old. How the heck do you screw that up? And if anyone is still left in their corporate office, someone should tell them you are supposed to file for bankruptcy before you shut everything down.

I guess the “F” Better Business Bureau rating finally caught up with them.

Okay, you are probably not reading this post to get my Monday morning quarterback analysis of why Parker failed.

What you really want to know is, what are your options if you are waiting to receive an online order or you have a store credit to use?

You used a credit card? Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!

If you paid for your order with a credit card, contact your credit card company immediately and request a refund (chargeback) for the items you didn’t receive.

Whether or not you will be able to get a refund will depend on you being able to prove you didn’t get the items and whether you are in the allowable timeframe for chargebacks, usually 120 days from the date the transaction was processed.

Check the back of your credit card statement for chargeback details.

You paid with a check? Ding?

If you paid for your order with a check, say a prayer that it hasn’t been cashed yet.

If it hasn’t been cashed yet, call your bank to find out their requirements for stopping payment on a check. Don’t forget to ask whether the bank has a time limit on how long the stop order lasts and also ask about the fee.

If the check has already been paid, you are out of luck.

You paid with cash or can’t get a refund from your credit card company or bank? You have a store credit to use? Crickets chirping.

If you paid cash or can’t get a refund from your credit card company or bank, or have a store credit, you really only have two options.

Monitor the news to see if there is a liquidation sale. Usually when a retail store goes under, there is a liquidation sale to get rid of the main asset, the inventory.

If Parker does eventually file for bankruptcy, you can file a proof of claim with the bankruptcy court. But you will need to get in line behind their lenders, suppliers, landlords, and employees. I really hope your outstanding order with Parker wasn’t large enough to make this a real option for you.

Need to vent your frustrations about Parker? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

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Copyright © 2018 by Siobhán Fitzpatrick Kratovil. All Rights Reserved.