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CreoleCook Dec 7, 2013 12:01 PM

I just have to vent because I just experience the worst customer service I have experienced in a long time.

I ordered a product from William-Sonoma as a shower gift for my child. They promised the product in time for the shower which had more than 10 days lead time. It did not get sent when promised. We called and complained. Then spoke to a supervisor, who promised to overnight the product AND give a full refund so that it would be there the next day in time for the shower. Also, they promised to have a manager call back. The product STILL did not arrive as promised. The manager never called back. We were embarrassed not to have a gift at our own child's shower.

When we called them again about it. They then refused to honor the full credit they previously promised and told us that it would be another 3 days for the product to arrive. So, after over 15 days, we still do not have the product, they lied about the credit, the manager has never called back and we have no idea if we will ever receive the product.

W-S is way overpriced and their customer service is absolutely atrocious.

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  1. sandiasingh RE: CreoleCook Dec 7, 2013 12:09 PM

    That's outrageous. I've never had a problem with W-S but given the trail of errors here, I would try to take it further up the chain. Taking it viral is also a good idea :-)

    1. juliejulez RE: CreoleCook Dec 7, 2013 12:35 PM

      I agree that they are way overpriced. A friend of mine bought me a lovely gift from there, and I feel bad, because she could have gotten it cheaper on Amazon. I also saved the same friend from buying a cookbook there, and directed her to Amazon where she bought it for half the price.

      5 Replies
      1. re: juliejulez
        Chemicalkinetics RE: juliejulez Dec 7, 2013 01:29 PM

        But Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table should be overpriced. Amazon and most online stores (Cutlery and More....etc) are for people who pretty much know what they want to get. WS and SLT are for people who don't know exactly what they want, and these stores are to provide "expert" service.

        WS and SLT will never beat online stores for prices.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
          Cam14 RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 7, 2013 09:42 PM

          Agreed, their display costs are high and they offer the benefit of being able to examine the product . They also hire local employees and pay local taxes which benefit your community.

          1. re: Cam14
            sandiasingh RE: Cam14 Dec 8, 2013 06:39 AM

            I agree too, and their employees are always very helpful and informed. I believe W-S was the very first mail order cooking catalog I ever received way back in the late 60's-70's, just as I was coming of age as a cook. I was enchanted and inspired by all the cool gadgets that could help me become a good cook and they did.

            I used to shop at the W-S factory outlet outside of Boston. Boy was that fun!

            I think the OP's experience is completely unacceptable and I would definitely follow up on it with a higher level manager, but I can see how this would spoil it for you. Please let us know how it turns out, CreoleCook.

          2. re: Chemicalkinetics
            mikie RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 8, 2013 06:27 PM

            If it weren't for the brick and mortar stores like WS and SLT it would sure be difficult to tell what a pan felt like in your hand or a knife. Your choice would be to purchase sight and touch unseen and then pay to ship it back if you didn't like it.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
              Sid Post RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 10, 2013 05:17 PM

              Chem makes a great point. I generally know what I want or, I can buy different items for the price of one somewhere else and test them myself and pass on the less item to someone else.

              However, sometimes W-S and Crate and Barrel get my money. Superior service is worth a higher price at times when you really need the advice and experience of their staff. And sometimes, it is just more convenient to handle the wares and walk out with the one you need for dinner that night.

          3. f
            filtered RE: CreoleCook Dec 8, 2013 07:43 AM

            that is horrible service

            1. c
              CreoleCook RE: CreoleCook Dec 8, 2013 03:59 PM

              I used to love W-S years ago. But for ordering online with the high cost and extremely poor service I received, never again. I'll update when (and if) I receive the product I ordered.

              1. c
                Cynic2701 RE: CreoleCook Dec 8, 2013 06:29 PM

                I've got to be honest and say that my one and only customer service interaction was great. I returned a gift for a couple hundred of dollars worth of credit. They didn't even open up the box--they just credited it to me.

                The saleswoman even gave me a discount so that I wouldn't have to pay the couple of dollars and cents I went over the credit with. Walked out in under 30 minutes with a pan and an immersion blender.

                On the other hand, I do hate that when I go in a store they always hound me about stuff and take a really long time trying to explain things to me. I always go in already knowing exactly what I want to purchase, so I'm probably not the typical customer though.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Cynic2701
                  Chemicalkinetics RE: Cynic2701 Dec 8, 2013 07:11 PM

                  Despite that I have made fun of these two stores before, my customer-service experience from Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table have been great.

                  Like you, most of the time I knew exactly what I wanted, and I didn't need additional explanations. In fact, I have often found their product descriptions to be not entirely accurate. Regardless, they were polite and they were helpful.

                  1. re: Cynic2701
                    breadchick RE: Cynic2701 Dec 9, 2013 03:58 PM

                    Same here with the gift scenario. Someone gave me a Staub pot and I didn't need that size. (Already had it in L/C.) So I went in and they credited it, as long as I had the WS packing slip, and I walked out with some stuff I could use.

                    The folks working in this particular store are always helpful and super nice.

                  2. c
                    CreoleCook RE: CreoleCook Dec 8, 2013 06:50 PM

                    Perhaps their store service is better than the online service.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: CreoleCook
                      blueways RE: CreoleCook Dec 9, 2013 05:04 AM

                      Some customers use WS and SLT as a revolving home store. when they are bored with a product/purchase/item after using it for several months or for that special event or you need quick cash to pay rent, mortgage or for your vacation....you return it to the store. (deep sigh) And you can't do that with amazon.

                      1. re: blueways
                        DuffyH RE: blueways Dec 9, 2013 07:10 AM

                        That kind of generous return policy is why I'll be ordering most or all of my new cookware from BB&B. Now they're carrying some of the more luxe brands like deBuyer, Demeyere and such.

                        With 20% coupons I'm finding the prices are the same as online stores like cutleryandmore. I'll pay sales taxes, but that's a small price to pay for the security of knowing I can exchange a defective pan locally.

                    2. t
                      thimes RE: CreoleCook Dec 9, 2013 07:15 AM

                      That sucks - no doubt about it.

                      WS's customer service used to be impeccable but it has changed a lot over the years - which is sad.

                      Did you order this online or through a store? I've found the stores are better than their online service but still not as good as they used to be.

                      I'm sorry, even if they aren't.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: thimes
                        CreoleCook RE: thimes Dec 9, 2013 11:46 AM

                        It was an online order and all the interactions have been over the phone.

                      2. f
                        foiegras RE: CreoleCook Dec 9, 2013 02:57 PM

                        If you're dealing with a store, can you start dealing with corporate instead? Or a different store? Sounds like you need the name/number of your regional manager from corporate.

                        I've had really good experiences with my local stores. When I've had a problem, they've made it right. I was pretty disappointed to get home after braving the Christmas rush, I think last year, to find that the Le Creuset I'd bought was not just a second but a total reject. Got it straightened out.

                        Agree that being able to see things & pick them up is so important. When something's going to last a lifetime, and I expect my cookware to do that, I don't mind paying a little more to ensure I'm really happy with what I got.

                        1. c
                          cornedhash RE: CreoleCook Dec 10, 2013 06:46 PM

                          Are you not able to cancel the order online since it hasn't shipped yet? I've never ordered or bought anything from W-S so I'm genuinely asking. If not, take it to your credit card company to get a refund. In the meantime, post on their FB page as that most likely has a different chain of command that will be more active about resolving issues.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: cornedhash
                            CreoleCook RE: cornedhash Dec 11, 2013 12:22 PM

                            By the time we got to that point, the shipment was already allegedly in route. However, we're at that point now. See most recent post.

                          2. c
                            CreoleCook RE: CreoleCook Dec 11, 2013 12:26 PM

                            As promised, here's the latest. The sage continues. We ordered 3 Staub specialized pot "tops" at $30 each. Well, the package finally arrived 2 days ago with only 1 of the 3 there. After another 20 minute phone call, the best they could say was that it was in route with a promised delivery of today. Also, the person on the phone was not the least bit courteous. If the other 2 do not arrive today, we are canceling the order and asking for a full refund.

                            We do not have a W-S store anywhere close to us. If we did, I would not go in it after this. But one thing is for sure, we will NEVER order online from them again. Do so at your peril.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: CreoleCook
                              DuffyH RE: CreoleCook Dec 11, 2013 06:26 PM

                              <We do not have a W-S store anywhere close to us. If we did, I would not go in it after this. But one thing is for sure, we will NEVER order online from them again. >

                              I agree with your decision wholeheartedly. After being treated shabbily by the salespeople, one of them the dept. manager, at 2 different Macy's, on 3 different occasions, I had had enough. I have not set foot in Macy's since 2000. And you know what? I don't miss it one bit. I get terrific service at other stores.

                              Registering our opinions and then backing them up with our actions is sometimes a lonely thing, but it is important. Kudos.

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