CHICAGO (CBS) — An Instagram-savvy fashion designer is now vowing to fix the problems exposed in a recent CBS 2 Morning Insiders story.
We reported last month on his customers’ struggles to get refunds after they didn’t get the clothes they bought.READ MORE: MISSING: Kianna Smith, 19, Last Seen April 6
At first, the designer blew us off too. But then, he told CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas he wanted to do an interview.
Rodnell Harris is the head of Chicago Playground, a custom clothing company with more than 20,000 followers and even some celebrity connections.
“We’ve had the pleasure of doing New York fashion week, Atlanta fashion week,” Harris said.
But this story is not about runways. Last month, we reported on customers who couldn’t get a clear explanation for delayed orders – including a woman who paid $400 for a jacket in early November 2020.
Nyasa Henry ordered the jacket, which was supposed to be a Christmas gift for her sister, Africa Brown. The jacket cost $400, which Henry sent via Cash App.
Henry and Brown said it all seemed legitimate, because Chicago Playground boasts online of their supposed celebrity connections and didn’t appear to have any negative reviews.
“He’s hawking these pages to where if you say anything negative, it’s like you’re deleted so fast,” Henry said. “It’s just a runaround. I’ve recently sent another message to him as of two or three days ago, and still nothing.”
McNicholas asked Harris about it.
McNicholas: “She said she didn’t get the refund till after the story aired.”
Harris: “Well yeah, because that’s when we got notice – I got notice – because I’m focused on the design and getting it out. and once my team told us about, ‘Hey, where’s this order at,’ that’s when I really got on it.”
Harris blamed the delays we uncovered on malfunctioning equipment and manufacturing hurdles due to COVID.
But then, we told him we had two other customers waiting on a Zoom who wanted to share their stories. Harris consented to opening up a chat with them all.READ MORE: Electrical Fire At O'Hare International Airport Closes Pedestrian Tunnel
Tika Harris said she has been waiting four months for her clothes or a refund, Kenny Harrell more than a year.
“And then when I started getting pushy about it, I was blocked – first on Facebook and two Instagram pages,” Harrell said.
“U definitely would like to apologize by that, brother,” Rodnell Harris said. “Like I was explaining to the reporter here, a lot of times, we have interns working with us and they was definitely being in form of communication with a lot of our clients, and also us going through that covid season – we got hit with a real big shutdown.”
Rodnell Harris said he’d get Harrell a refund within 24 hours. But Tika Harris didn’t like that timeline.
“You can send me my $400 right now, because I don’t trust that I’ll get it 24 to 48 hours,” she said, “because hear it is six months later and I don’t have a jacket, and I’m blocked. And it’s a year later, and this young man Kenny doesn’t have a jacket – and he’s blocked as well. So do you need my Cash App, sir?”
“Yes, yes, and I apologize by that,” Rodnell Harris said.
And just like that, he sent her the money.
“I just received my $400,” Tika Harris said. “Thank you, Mr. Rodnell Harris – thank you CBS Chicago, I really appreciate it.”
As for Harrell, he said., “I would rather mine right now too then if it’s that easy.”
So Rodnell Harris also sent him his $700 with our camera rolling.
McNicholas: “Why couldn’t this just happen before when everybody asked for a refund? Why can’t it just happen right away like that?”
Rodnell Harris: “I was unbeknownst about the Kenny situation, so now that I know hey, they want refunds; hey here go ahead, it’s nothing to do that – because again, hopefully, I could satisfy that and maybe he’ll give us another shot.”MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Update: Indiana Reports 1,263 New Cases, 5 Additional Deaths
Rodnell Harris acknowledged he may still have just a few outstanding refunds to process but he says he’s on top of it. He said with the changes he is making, he doesn’t expect any more significant problems going forward.