Have you ever heard of latex decay? Apparently, it’s a problem that plagues area rugs from Pottery Barn manufactured during a certain period. It happened to Victoria, and a simple call to the company got her a replacement rug costing $100 more than the one she already had. Not only was there no charge to her, but since Victoria doesn’t have a car, Pottery Barn paid for UPS pickup of the old rug and delivery of the new one. Lovely.
I bought an area rug from Pottery Barn in the winter of 2005. My living room subsequently had something of a rubber smell to it, but I blamed the cheap (not Pottery Barn) pad that I had under the rug rather than the rug itself. My sister apparently had the same problem with her PB Kids rug that was purchased around the same time, and blamed other new stuff in her daughter’s room — until she had a rug cleaner come in and he recognized the odor immediately and pointed out that older PB rugs have a latex decay issue. She brought the rug back to her PB kids store and they exchanged it without issue.
I had bought my rug online (and live in a city without a car, so bringing it back to the store wouldn’t be easy). So I called PB customer service. The very nice rep that I talked to, Robin, had definitely heard of the problem before. She said that the defect was not harmful, just annoying, and she offered to replace the rug. She was able to look up my original order and purchase price. I called back the next day and told her what rug I would like in exchange. It cost $100 more than my original rug. She put through the order immediately with no charges or shipping fee, and told me to call when it arrived so she could arrange for UPS to pick up the defective rug.
The new rug arrived a few days later, and unfortunately it wasn’t the color I thought it was and didn’t match our furniture. I figured I’d be in charge of paying shipping for the return, so I stopped by the local PB store to see if they could take it back. If they could, I figure I could somehow make the trek rather than paying shipping. I emailed Robin to see if this would work with my order — I received an email in reply that UPS could come tomorrow to pick up both rugs, and the new new one (that *was* more along my color scheme) would be shipped shortly.
I’m incredibly pleased. Not only was the original exchange process harmless, but it was above and beyond for PB to exchange the rug I’ve had for several years for one of greater value, and to pay for the exchange shipping of the rug that just didn’t work in my living room. They’ve definitely earned my loyalty!