Montreal designer Chantal Levesque founded this label in 1985, and now stocks locations in more than 25 countries with her creative couture swimwear, swimwear accessories and wraps. There's a separate collection for men.
Dec 25, 2012
Full disclosure: my suit is 4 years old, and was worn less than one dozen times. After each wear I rinsed the suit thoroughly. I rarely return clothes. Imagine my surprise when I donned my suit a few months ago only to find myself covered in oil stains. Upon removal of the suit, I noticed that the oil came from the hardware (clasps) found on the top of the suit. The surrounding fabric was caked in oil, and the clasps themselves were faded due
to deterioration of the metal. The staff at Shan (Avenue Road, Toronto) tsk tsked, and it was up to me to suggest that at the very least they should attempt to have the suit professionally cleaned. The suit was sent to Montreal for examination, and then returned with a ‘sorry we can’t do anything’ response. I took the time to write a letter to Shan’s president, Ms. Chantal Levesque, but good luck getting a response from her directly if you don’t speak French – Ms. Leveque only speaks French and instead I received a call from a customer service rep. Apparently, as I had previously suggested (note that all the suggestions to address this issue came from me), the clasps couldn’t be replaced as the suit was discontinued. Fascinating that nowhere on this planet can similar clasps be found. The rep did say that she wanted me to have a positive experience with Shan, however her ‘positive experience’ suggestion was for me to return to the store and buy another suit at full price. I’ll presume that the irony of this suggestion will not be lost on anyone reading this review. As I continued to insist that this suggestion was not satisfactory (“How can you say that this would be a positive experience when you are choosing to do nothing about this issue?” - question met with silence), the rep said that ‘it would not be fair to our other customers if we gave you a discount or replaced your suit at no additional cost’. More irony… You should know that I was asking to have the suit replaced with another suit of equal or lesser value, or at a minimum a 50% discount towards the purchase of another suit (yes, despite all this I was willing to return to the store and spend more money on another suit). The last suggestion the rep made was to offer me an invitation normally sent to their ‘best clients’ for a 40-50% discount towards last year’s swimwear. And if I didn’t like last year’s swimwear? Again, no further suggestions made and a reiteration that ‘it wouldn’t be fair to our other customers’ if a discount or replacement of the ruined suit was offered. I confess that I started to think that perhaps I was asking too much, but to everyone I spoke with regarding this terrible lack of service, I was met with incredulity at: a) the high price of the suit and b) the fact that Shan chose to do very little to address my concerns. What a wonderful opportunity they had to address the concerns of a customer who would have shopped there again and again had my concerns been properly addressed. Instead, I will obviously never shop there again and will strongly encourage anyone I know to also take their business elsewhere.