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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. 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. 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

        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

          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

            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

            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

              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. that is horrible service

            1. 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. 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

                  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

                    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.