West Elm Excels At Taking Your Money, Not At Shipping Your Items

Add West Elm to your list of online retailers who don’t believe shipping should be part of the business plan. It would be one thing if West Elm stated up front that they don’t know when they’ll send you the goods, but we guess it’s just easier to makes sales when you list everything as available for “immediate delivery” on the website, no matter when you plan on shipping it.

The key to making this scheme work: make sure your employees can’t answer any questions about shipping dates, and make sure they can’t cancel orders either—because they might have already shipped!

Terrell writes:

I purchased a few items from West Elm’s website on January 5th. All of the items were marked on their website and on my order page for “immediate delivery”. On January 6th, West Elm charged my bank card and sent an email stating shipping information will arrive by email. On January 10th, I called to inquire when my items would ship. The customer service representative said he wasn’t sure when it would ship. I told him to cancel the order, in which he said he would “try” to cancel the order because he now sees that it is in “process” of being shipped. I replied, that I want it cancelled period. The rep said he would try to cancel it.

I called West Elm today, January 13th, to make sure the order was cancelled and not to my surprise it was not cancelled and still in the “process” of being shipped. Furthermore, the new customer service rep could not give me any timetable for when it would actually ship or any kind of tracking information.

I called my bank to dispute the charges by West Elm and to have the order refunded to me. I have yet to receive any merchandise and West Elm doesn’t even know when they will ship the order!

What else can I do? I know my bank will do their best, but I also want to email or call some executives at West Elm and Williams-Sonoma just to let them know how bad their customer service is. I never had problems with Amazon or any other online retailer.

Terrell, try contacting Williams-Sonoma at this page (their physical mailing address is there as well). As for the rest of you, you might want to think twice about shopping from West Elm’s website unless you’re okay with a know-nothing approach to shipping.

(Photo OwenBlacker)