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Pottery Barn / Williams-Sonoma / furniture order - attempt to cancel

San Francisco, CA, United States Review updated:
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Order #[protected]. I placed an order online for a leather chair & ottoman. The total including shipping was nearly $2, 000. I read online right after placing the order that the dimensions of the inside seating area of the chair were only 18". This is much narrower than any other chair in my home so I called to cancel (since this is the ONLY way Pottery Barn supposedly allows you to cancel an order). I was on hold for an inordinate amount of time after I placed the order on Sunday, 11/12/17 (around 2:30p). I tried to call again Monday morning, 11/13/17 and was on hold for over 30 minutes. I finally spoke with Arianna. She said she could not cancel the order but would submit a ticket to the warehouse to cancel the order. The online request to the warehouse was #9263294. This request was made at approximately 9:30a on 11/13/17. Arianna said I would receive an email back from the warehouse. After two days passed, on 11/15/17, after having received no emails from PB on this order, we inquired with a local Pottery Barn store. We spoke to Mirandala who is a designer at the store and she said she looked up the order and that it was already shipped, (This is odd since I've received no email saying my order has shipped which is typical for Pottery Barn and other online vendors). She said our only choice was to refuse the product when delivery is attempted and that we would not be refunded the nearly $500 in shipping costs. There was nothing in the ordering process that said this order could not be cancelled. I read another complaint that is very similar to mine. It appears PB is ignoring cancellation requests from customers and claiming product has "already been shipped". Very poor customer service, ordering experience and behavior by this company. I will also be complaining to the Better Business Bureau relative to Pottery Barn's practices.

Ki
Nov 15, 2017
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Comments

  • Po
      Nov 15, 2017

    When it comes to the purchasing and shipment of furniture, this is fairly common. Cancellations are not guaranteed and once an order has started the processing phase, they are usually unable to stop shipment. Typically what happens then is that the customer is given the option to get a refund once the product is returned less the costs of shipping. It is best to complete your researching of the product before placing an order in the future.

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  • Sh
      Nov 16, 2017

    I appreciate your frustration. I don't know that I'd feel much different. The issue your complaining about is the assumption that you should be allowed to cancel an order; this is not necessarily the case. Unless Pottery Barn advertises the ability to cancel an order, offering a full refund from their website, there's nothing that would entitle a buyer to such a refund.

    Is there such an ability that I may not be aware of?

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  • Po
      Nov 16, 2017

    @Shaun R. I checked their customer service FAQ and it states: "Once your order has been placed, it cannot be cancelled for UPS deliveries because your order has been processed for a timely delivery."

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  • Sp
      Nov 29, 2017

    Pottery Barn does state a policy regarding purchases. They make it well known that orders ending in .99 or .97 may not be returned. That part of the policy speaks to the other part of the policy, --that you may return other products. I too have an order on back order from early November. The potential delivery date keeps getting pushed back. They don't have the product, -that happens, but they won't let me cancel. Neither would they match the current sale price. They offered a partial adjustment which came at the expense of my rewards points. The clerk I had is just following training and policies, but it felt like an unseemly, negotiation. I buy at PB a lot, and I wasn't sure of the amount of rewards dollars I used. -I used $150 dollars in rewards on that purchase. Nor was I sure what other sale/discounts I had for that purchase so I couldn’t compare apples to apples. I had to twist her arm to give me the info that was on the screen right in front of her. --My impression/info is that they do not have the product I ordered, and it appears that someone along the line declared it "in fulfillment, " and plugged in a delivery date as per procedure. Yet, a significant time since that happened they don't have the item located in their system. So if their policy freezes the sale, and if there are incentives for employees along the line for various roles down the line; it gives the appearance of some gaming on their part. Someone declared it in fulfillment, which blocks my cancellation, yet I am pretty much on the eve of delivery and they don't yet appear to have it in their fulfillment system –at least the part that is able to physically identify that they actually have it. Even the clerk had to admit that was a bit "optimistic, " on their part. -Awkward moment, in the call when she denied my ability to cancel.
    There is another issue with PB. They offer rewards dollars with a face value to be applied to purchases, but they apply it in a way that reduces the face value of the reward. They apply it along with a sale to your credit card account, and that approach adds state sales tax before they subtract the rewards dollars. The policy begs other questions too. -It's too bad. They have great products, but I'm not pleased with their policies and practices with customers. It’s starting to wear me down.
    In my case they did not spend a dime on shipping or fulfillment. They do not have the product and they won't let me cancel the order. That's ridiculous and unfortunate because I am so tempted to stop shopping there. The problem is that I really like their products. I would not buy their stock at this time because of these policies. I don't write these complaints, but my experience made me feel like I could google “PB and fraud” and find people complaining about experiences similar to mine. Sure enough, I did. Hopefully their policies toward and treatment of customers will be commensurate to their products.

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