West Elm / customer service, overall experience

Ry Mar 20, 2019

I am writing to express some concerns regarding an experience at the downtown Milwaukee store and the subsequent events afterward. On February 10, I called the store on water street in Milwaukee to ask if a new table was in stock because I was in the area and would pick it up, if so. She put me on hold for about 3 minutes to check. She gets back on the phone and says they do, so I ask her to have it ready for me as I am on my way to pick it up. She asked if I would like to pay for it over the phone and I said I would, but I have a reward to use, so she said I would need to do that in store. I arrive at the store 5 or so minutes later and let them know I am there for the table. She (an older lady-mid to late 40s/early 50s, tall and slender with glasses) calls back to ask for status and they say they are still looking for it. About 5 minutes pass and another lady (shorter with a southern sounding accent, if memory serves, mid 30/early 40 with dark hair) who I assume is the manager, comes up and says they are sold out. I say well I just called and was told there was one in stock. She matter of factly states, well we don't have any more. A little frustrated, I say, well can you order one and have it shipped to me? She says they can and tells the original lady I was dealing with and spoke to on the phone (tall, slender with glasses) to place the order. Never once have they apologized for the inconvenience of telling me it is in stock or having me make a trip to the store, but I proceeded with the order. When it comes to pay, I give her my reward card for $25 and she asks if I will be using my west elm card. I told her I do not have one. She then replies accusingly, well how did you get the rewards? I say it is my husbands card, as he does most of the shopping for our homes. She says, well you can't get the rewards without the credit card. I say, Does it say that on the reward? To which she replies, I don't know. Unbeknownst to me, she continues to run the order without the discount. She then asks me to sign for it. And I told her to cancel the order. She says she cannot because it has already processed and that I would need to call customer service to cancel. She was kind enough to provide that number, but again no apology for any of the inconvenience. The next night, Monday February 11, I call customer service to cancel my order. I worked with a wonderful woman (louella or louellen) and she was able to waive the shipping and told me if I could get my husband on the phone (due to work, during the week he is at our Chicago home) she could process it using his card. We did a 3 way call and everything was supposed to be worked out. While I knew the item was on back order, I kept checking on the shipping status. At one time it was March 9, then March 12, then March 15. I worked at home on these days to make sure I was there for delivery (I know it was estimated delivery, but figured one of the days had to be right). Occasionally it would show as in process. Finally this morning I call customer service and they tell me there is a hold on the order. The lady tells me to call fraud protection or something like that [protected]) to get it resolved. I call and the man on the phone tells me he just needed permission to rerun the card. I approved that and now I wait. I am not sure why no one reached out before then. This is not a life or death matter so I am very patient and I worked retail during college and know how stressful and unfulfilling it can be at times, but I just felt this overall experience deserved to be shared. I can usually let small indiscretions go, but the way I was treated in This store was unacceptable. I typically go to Crate and barrel for my shopping needs, but made a few purchases at west elm over the holidays and got on the mailing list. I thumbed through the new catalog when it arrived and immediately knew this table fit a look we want. After this experience, I really do not see myself shopping at west elm again. Those 2 ladies in the store were not very professional or friendly and have likely lost me as a customer and today we cancelled the order AND our west elm account. Shame to lose loyal customers over $25 and shipping costs.

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