Pottery Barn FUBARs, Does The Right Thing

Selena R. ordered a custom martini shaker for her mother’s birthday from Pottery Barn. Selena writes: ” I waited 6 weeks before I got pissed.” You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din. However, despite the fact that Selena had to wait over two months for her martini shaker, she’s actually walked away from Pottery Barn’s fubar a loyal customer.

Make the jump to see exactly how easy Pottery Barn made doing the right thing seem:

So I read the site everyday and the moaning and groaning about companies is for the most part well deserved. I, however, have a story about exceptional after the fact customer service.

In early December 2005, I placed an internet order with Pottery Barn for a glass martini shaker engraved with my mother’s intials. This site indicated the ship time to be one week. A couple of weeks passed as did her birthday for which the shaker was meant for. Poor mom, no customized shaker for her afterwork martini. I assumed it would arrive in time for Christmas as I checked the site and they had shortened the ship time for engraved gifts but alas it did not.

I let it slide thinking it would eventually come and there was no rush as the key dates I needed it for had passed and I had told my mother to watch for the package so she could start shaking her cocktails. 6 weeks. I waited 6 weeks before I got pissed. I thought about sending an email to customer service but decided to vent via the phone.

I called and the answer I got was. “There was a production error and we were just about to call everyone and notify them and….AND they had a good run of them and were about to send those out.” I cancelled my order. They knew back in December and held my order for 6 weeks.

I then proceeded to send an email to customer service rehashing the unsatisfactory answer I had just received from customer service. Pottern Barn replied. They were sorry. They will write my mother an apology note. They will waive shipping on another gift item at a discount. They have sent a $25 gift certificate to my home. I was still unsatisfied. I let the issue drop.

A couple of days later the manufacturer called to apologize and offered up the shaker at a super discount. I rejected the offer.

A week later the shaker showed up with a note that there was no charge. With that gesture, they officially won back my business. I will shop there again.

Have you had a particularly laudable customer service experience? Want to call attention to an excellent company that treated you right? Mail us at tips@consumerist.com.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Papercutninja says:

    Hmm. Wasnt there a post on West Elm and their Customer Service suckitude? They’re the same parent company, no? But it is good to know that they’re at least trying.

  2. officedrone4 says:

    I also had an issue with Pottery Barn – a jewelry box I ordered arrived chipped. The woman sent me out a replacement, no questions asked and sent it rush so I would get it more quickly.

    They were apologetic and kind. So while I was initially irritated that it arrived damaged (especially since I had ordered my sister a different jewelry box from PB Teen that ALSO arrived damaged) they corrected the problem promptly and courteously.

  3. AppTechie says:

    Wow…what a way to correct the problem! I wish all companies thought this way!

  4. djwoodyphl says:

    Williams-Sonoma Inc. (Parent company of Pottery Barn, and also of West Elm as papercutninja duely noted) prides itself on being a very people first organization, and I actually found myself delighted but not surprised at the way this customer’s experience was handled.

    It has to be said, though, that good customer service (as well as bad) can come from any organization, any time, from any person. Just because one customer in one division had a bad experience, doesn’t mean 10 others didn’t … and vice versa.

  5. ilovews says:

    I work for a Williams Sonoma brand as a manager, and I can say that the last comment is accurate in that depending on which call center you get a hold of or which store, you will get a slightly different interpretation of what world class service means to that certain individual. For instance, as a store, we receive our guest’s catalog order returns quite frequently, but because we are separate entities, we have to call the return in and are at the mercy of the customer service associate on the other end of the line. It is easier to say “no” to a customer hundreds of miles away that you are not having to look at. If it wasn’t for me requesting a supervisor, I would not get anywhere a lot of times. However, with that said, WMS is the best company I have ever worked for. I have personally and have seen others bend over backwards to resolve issues. What’s hard too, is that we contract UPS out to send our guests their items, and when they reach our guests they are damaged. I know that our store stays in contact with our UPS liaison on a regular basis to resolve issues, but we can’t control their drivers. They deliver furniture to us (before it even reaches the guest) damaged every day.

    With all that said, I can commit to my customers the best service they’ve ever had, and the company equips us to deliver that! Whether each associate chooses to utilize that freedom is another story.