Hey, Restoration Hardware, Come Restore The Crappy Finish Of My $18K Patio Set

I was always under the–apparently incorrect–impression that when you pay the prices that places like Restoration Hardware command for their furniture, you get some kind of guarantee along with that. Say, that if you drop eighteen grand on some beautiful weathered-finish patio furniture, that beautiful finish isn’t going to just weather itself right off the furniture in under a year. Dennis has learned that this isn’t the case.

I purchased an extensive collection very high end patio furniture from Restoration Hardware. The patio furniture is from the Antibes Collection and is the weathered zinc finish. I also purchased all of the associated furniture cushions in Sunbrella fabric (canvas fabric in mocha). Within 1 year of purchasing this furniture, I started having problems with the finish. The finish is coming off in pieces. The finish started chipping off on the legs of most of the furniture pieces, and then moved upwards to the arms and frames of the chairs, tables, ottomans, chaises, sofas, etc.


All pieces have been well taken care of, covered and stored indoors during winter. No harsh chemicals or cleaning products have been used. The finish is now coming off in large pieces with large chunks peeling off on the arms of the sofas and lounge chairs, leaving the white powder coat residue exposed.

After spending in excess of eighteen thousand dollars on patio furniture with Restoration Hardware, I expected more from the quality and durability. This is completely unacceptable.

This furniture is now a liability and an embarrassment. I cannot entertain using the furniture in this condition. I am including a sample photograph taken on May 28, 2012 as a sample of what is happening to the finish of each piece of furniture. The peeling finish is clearly a product defect and is happening on all pieces.

I contacted Restoration Hardware. They asked me for photographs which I sent and never heard back from them.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Blueskylaw says:

    I believe that Restoration Hardware delivered the “ACCELERATED” weathered-finish patio furniture and not just the plain weathered-finish patio furniture that the OP originally ordered.

    • dush says:

      Why would furniture that expensive even have a finish? It should just be weathered with no need for a fake finish to make it look that way.

  2. gttim says:

    “I cannot entertain using the furniture in this condition.”

    First World Problem.

    • Marlin says:

      No, 1% first world problem.

      • ferozadh says:

        There you go. If you can afford to pay 18k for a patio set, you can stfu and afford to buy another set.

        • shepd says:

          Yes, the more disposable money you have the less deserving you are of the right thing happening to you.

          Wait a minute… that doesn’t sound right.

        • wackydan says:

          The bedroom set I bought was $10k… Was high quality… was more than what I wanted to spend, but was less than some other examples I looked at… will be the last set I ever buy…

          And I’m not rich, but make a good living. Viewed it as an investment that would last me a lifetime.

          So.. 18k on patio furniture? Yes, a lot, but that doesn’t mean they can afford to buy another set so soon when this set is failing/quality.

    • SkokieGuy says:

      Yes, and both you and the OP are members of the first world, so this is an appropriate forum and venue to discuss his issue.

      When one pays an extremely high price for a product, one expects quality. Hell, I expect even bargain-basement crap patio furniture to not have its finish flake off in less than a year.

      • gttim says:

        Reading is fundamental. Having gotten crappy furniture is a Consumerist problem. Not being able to entertain because their patio set is chipped is just ludicrous and a FWP. But thanks for playing! I think you miss the point of many posts. That would not be a First World Problem, BTW.

        • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

          Yeah, I’ll give you a point for persistence, but you lost it for reading comprehension.

          Definition of ENTERTAIN

          2: to show hospitality to
          3a : to keep, hold, or maintain in the mind

          Besides, saying that the manufacturing defects they’re seeing are OK with you because they like to have visitors use that furniture is just ludicrous, even if that is what they meant.

          • gttim says:

            WTF? You mention reading comprehension in that comment? Really? Please explain clearly. Also, if you are going to print out a definition from a website, copy and paste it all. (The numbers gave you away.)

            • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

              Sorry, I’m not including definitions that are irrelevant to our discussion, but I’ll explain again and try to use smaller words:

              There are two definitions of “entertain”. The part you got all excited about, “I cannot entertain using the furniture in this condition.”, could have meant two fairly different things based on two of the definitions. The OP may have meant they can’t have guests over for a nice time, which you seem to think means their problem is not a big deal, or they may have meant they can’t imagine using the damaged stuff. Either way, you’re obviously just trolling. People who overpay for stuff have just as much of a right to expect their stuff won’t break as people who pay much, much less.

        • Sarahlara says:

          The point of the OP is that Restoration Hardware doesn’t have quality despite high pricing and also doesn’t have great customer service. Together, those mean he can’t use the item as he planned. So now even we who can’t afford an $18K set know that the lamp or whatever else we’ve been eyeing at that store may not be a good idea. It’s as good of complaint as any other on this site. I’m not rich, but I really don’t get the whole “first world problem” dismissals.

          • CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

            For 18K it would be coated in gold.
            The OP got ripped off by scammers and was easily tricked into spending 18K on a $2K furniture set.
            Hopefully he was smart enough to use a credit card for the purchase and will do a chargeback.

            • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

              I would cost less than that at Lowe’s. When we had a house, we paid $500 for a huge very nice set on sale at Lowe’s with all the bells and whistles. We have our 8-year-old smaller $50 set on our patio now and it is still going strong.

        • ovalseven says:

          In all fairness, getting agitated over a Consumerist post and its comments is also a FWP.

        • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

          So what’s your point?

        • Conformist138 says:

          I honestly read it along with the embarrassment. He doesn’t want to use the furniture in that condition because he’s embarrassed by how uncared for and trashed it looks. Yes, first world problem, but I don’t think he means it’s non-functional, just that he’s not proud of it being a part of his home and he notices how much it stands out (assuming the rest of his home matches the price level and have lived up to his quality expectations). Also, he could want to avoid ridicule for buying what amounts to a major rip-off.

          Haven’t you ever been embarrassed about something, even if you knew your friends and family wouldn’t actually care?

          • Clyde Barrow says:

            Whenever my highbrow friends arrive, on time, in their saintly black tuxes and lovely even gowns, I only serve chilled (38f) mountain spring water from the French Alps, fois gras with a creamy raspberry sauce and a lightly sauteed Salmon with lemon herbs. Anything else and I would die of embarrassement. I understand how the OP feels. =(

            • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

              How appallingly crude! I serve my highbrow guests desserts of the finest chocolate, glazed with edible gold leaf, topped with the best Macadamia nuts, and garnished with a 24-carat diamonds. And of course, refreshements come with a cup of freshly brewed kopi luwak. For guests who opt for tea, I serve the rarest Da Hong Pao tea, in delicate porcelain cups.

        • WB987 says:

          Well, what function do you think the patio furniture holds. I would assume it’s to entertain people, and now he cannot without feeling embarrassment. It makes sense.

    • Rebecca K-S says:

      If you don’t want to hear about “first world problems,” you’re on the wrong website.

    • George4478 says:

      I was shocked. I came to a 1st World website and read a story about a 1st World citizen only to find out it’s about a 1st World problem.

      I thought for sure the story, like almost every story here, would be about how he was being held hostage by his local warlord or a goat he bought was not giving milk.

    • That guy. says:

      Does he mean he can’t “entertain” as in having guests over, or “entertain” as in consider using the furniture?

    • backbroken says:

      Posted from your iPhone?

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      Mitt, is that you?

    • Charmander says:

      Please, do let us know when you come across a 2nd or 3rd world problem here at Consumerist.

    • spamtasticus says:

      Hell no. When RH delivered the $16,000 worth of furniture to my Ecuadorian Hacienda and one of the dinner tables had a scratch on it I sent that shit right back.

  3. Sorta Kinda Lucky Soul says:

    18K for a patio set? Sounds like he has other problems than just the finish wearing off his metal. I mean, 18 K? Seriously?

    • FatLynn says:

      It sounds like it was a lot of pieces, so it may not be a totally ridiculous price.

    • VintageLydia says:

      Eh, if they have the money to spend on that sort of thing, then they will, and the last thing I’m going to do is begrudge them their wealth (unless I know it was received unethically.) Either way, when you spend as much money on patio furniture as one might on a car, the finish coming off within a year is completely unacceptable.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Just to clarify, is it just people who pay more than you can afford who deserve crappy merchandise that falls apart, or all consumers?

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Sounds like he has other problems than just the finish wearing off his metal

      Like what? Counting his money? Keeping current on his harem of high priced hookers with hearts of gold? Making sure the gardener trims the topiary garden into the right animals?

      If you’re going to hate on someone do it because they are actually an asshole, not just because they have money.

      • Sorta Kinda Lucky Soul says:

        No, dear Sir, it’s the irresponsible spending of money that I hate on. And, as evidenced by the finish wearing off the furniture, high price does not necessarily equate to quality.

        • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

          Oh. Okay. I’ll be sure to run any purchases by you so I can make sure I’m not spending irresponsibly.

          Oh wait, no I won’t, because it’s my goddamn money and I can set fire to it if that’s how I want to dispose of it, and there’s nothing you or anyone can do to stop me.

          Good day, sir.

          • Sorta Kinda Lucky Soul says:

            Nope, it’s ma’am, and I would respond with another Consumerist’s quote: “Smart consumers don’t waste money, even if they have a lot of it.” I’ve often found people who overpay for items are compensating for something…something perhaps they feel inadequate about but can’t change, like intelligence, or body part size -I’m overspending so therefore I’m relevant. But you carry on however you see fit and we’ll just look on, and perhaps chuckle.

        • ChuckLez says:

          actually, no you can’t. destroying money is illegal :)

          • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

            You’re the guy that ruins the joke by pointing out the punchline’s factual inaccuracies, aren’t you?

        • ChuckLez says:

          damn, hit the wrong reply button -_-;

        • crispyduck13 says:

          …high price does not necessarily equate to quality.

          Yes, that is the entire point of this post, the guy spend a bunch of money on something he assumed would last him a good long time. Now the company is giving him the cold shoulder when the product falls apart. It does not make the core complaint any less valid whether the product cost $1,800 or $18,000, the point is the company is being very anti-consumer here.

          And by the way, it’s ma’am thank you very much.

          • JennQPublic says:

            Whether or not the OP is an idiot does have some bearing on the complaint.

            A lot of us think spending ten times as much for “high end” as what you would pay for “good quality” is idiotic. I could get a decent used set for 1% of what he paid for this. Smart consumers don’t waste money, even if they have a lot of it.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        My issue is that these are the same kinds of people who hate on anyone receiving public assistance, even in this awful economy. Yet they aren’t willing to give to charity to feed the hungry (all the while crying that feeding the hungry is the job of charities), or give an honest hard working person a job with the patio set money so they don’t need public assistance. If I had that much money for patio furniture, I would buy some at Lowe’s and give the rest to a food pantry.

        I know I don’t get to decide what people do with their money, but I can say that I think it’s horrible that people find more value in an expensive patio set than in human beings. I can’t fathom spending that much when there are children going hungry.

        • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

          How do you know any of that about the OP?

          Stereotype much?

    • Gorbachev says:

      Maybe the person bought a 30-piece set?

      • Sorta Kinda Lucky Soul says:

        Using Home Depot/Lowes prices you can buy six very nice cushioned chairs and a good table for less than 1K. So, if we do that math, 18×6 = 108 chairs. But, if you feel you’re so special you need a $500.00 chair to sit your tuckus on, then why worry; you got a year’s use out of them so you need new ones anyhow.

        • Sorta Kinda Lucky Soul says:

          After all, we can’t be seen with last year’s furniture in our yard! What will Buffy and Muffy and Kent think.

          • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

            So, your HD set price is probably about $400 for the table and $600 for the chairs, which is $100 a chair. Is that the threshold for who is worthy, then? I’m looking at a set that’s $110 a chair, but I’m just so worried about what you would think of me if I paid what you think is too much for my furniture. Is $110 OK? What about tax? Does that count?

            • Sorta Kinda Lucky Soul says:

              Depends, do you want it to? As someone else here posted, and I most respectfully quote, “Smart consumers don’t waste money, even if they have a lot of it. “

  4. FatLynn says:

    I think the color/fabric of the cushions was an important detail. I’m glad he included that.

  5. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Assuming that’s part of the set in the photo at the top of the article, I cannot imagine spending eighteen grand on a set of those.

    That said, if the thing starts falling apart in less than a year, Restoration Hardware needs to be held accountable, particularly when a customer puts down that kind of scratch.

    • Whtthfgg says:
      • Mike Zeidler says:

        Interestingly, if you bought every piece on that page, you’d still be around $3500 below $18K.

        Now I kind-of want an accounting of exactly what he bought.

        • crispyduck13 says:

          *Cushions sold seperately*

        • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

          Right – those prices are higher than what I’d spend on outdoor furniture, but not by a ton, and it wouldn’t be an unreasonable purchase in a year-round warm weather area.

          He’s either lying about the total cost or needed enough furniture to cover a resort’s pool deck.

          We also know nothing about the extent – he says “most” but we see one extreme close-up of one piece.

          Finally, “stored indoors” means a lot of things.

        • kerry says:

          Cushions are separate, there’s tax and there was probably a delivery charge, which can get pretty steep if you’re buying a lot of furniture. Also, the cost of the upholstery on the cushions can vary, the OP may have opted for a more expensive material.

  6. outsmartbullet says:

    Notwithstanding this person’s reasonable problem they’ve gone through the exhaustive trouble of contacting customer support what looks like once via e-mail;

    A fool and their money are soon parted.

    • George4478 says:

      I was expecting to see a litany of phone calls and emails. Instead, it’s one email and ‘Alert the media!’ time.

      Was there any kind of warranty/guarantee? What did their district manager (or whatever they call them) say? How far did you get your numerous phone calls escalated? Did any of the senior management respond to your emails/phone calls?

    • That guy. says:

      Good point. I’ve seen (on here) consumers who were out just $20 be far more agressive in contacting companies.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        No kidding. For $18,000 I would be at the national headquarters with Michael Moore and the furniture in tow screaming through a bull horn.

  7. mattyb says:

    Funny. I bought some chairs for $40 each at Bed Bath and Beyond about 6 years ago and the finish is still perfect. Overpriced shit is still shit.

    • Almighty Peanut says:

      you can polish a turd (mythbusters did it!), but it’s still a piece of shit :)

      • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

        Wait, you can? Beavis will be disappointed to hear that.

    • That guy. says:

      What does it say about my shopping habits when I feel Bed Bath and Beyond is pricey for what they sell?

      • mattyb says:

        I think they’re a little pricy too, but I get those 20% off coupons all the time in the mail, which brings thier prices down to a more normal level.

        • That guy. says:

          That reminds me, I have one of those in my car! I need a new storage container for my oatmeal, so I’ll hit them up after work.

          • JennQPublic says:

            They frequently have some tucked behind the counter. If you’re extra friendly, sometimes the employees will find one for you.

      • Laura Northrup says:

        Depends on what you’re buying.

  8. Rebecca K-S says:

    I think Dennis’s complaint is completely legitimate, and I don’t think the amount he spent in any way decreases the validity of his problem, but…

    holy shit. Eighteen grand? I can’t even comprehend that.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      This was my thought. I can’t even fathom spending that much money on outside furniture. Knowing my luck, a tornado would come along and blow them away :)

      • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

        Srsly. I have a lightly used set craigslisted from a bar for $100 instead of a big comfy set with upholstery and glass. Why? To’nadas, that’s why.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      If you can afford 18 grand on patio furniture you can afford professional legal advice instead of asking the Consumerist hive mind. Narf.

  9. BelleSade says:

    I don’t know, if you’re wealthy enough to spend so much money on patio furniture, you should be wealthy enough to buy a different set because you’re sick of it after a year anyway.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Or perhaps he’s only wealthy enough to buy a high-quality, lasts-forever set just once, realizing that buying for longevity saves you money in the long run and that buying the cheapest thing possible often costs you more over the long term.

      That said, Restoration Hardware appears not to be the choice in long-term investment furniture.

      • longfeltwant says:

        Nice try, but no. That can be true in some cases, but it is not true in the case of $18,000 lawn chairs. A lawn chair costs tens of dollars. A set of them, hundreds of dollars. So even if you replace hundred-of-dollars sets of lawn chairs every single year, you will die before ever spending $18,000 on lawn chairs. Therefore, no, there is no way to save money by spending $18,000 on law chairs.

        • Blueskylaw says:

          Law chairs usually cost several million dollars due to the bribes
          involved and for the naming rights to one of your law school buildings.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        My $500 on clearance from Lowe’s set has been around 6 years (my parents have it) and it looks new. Let’s say it lasts 4 more years before it looks bad. If you keep buying similar sets, over 50 years, you would have spent $2,500 for very nice looking patio furniture.

        He still spent too much.

  10. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    Restoration Hardware, as far as I know, has a pretty sterling rep for quality stuff. I’m surprised at this guy’s problem and even more surprised at RH’s lack of attention to the matter.

    We can all agree that $18k for lawn furniture is quite ridiculous. I believe the OP’s point is that at that price it should probably not falling apart and RH’s customer service should probably be more attentive.

    • sparc says:

      this is what happens when real money is involved. if it was $100, they would have paid him off.

      It’s now an $18k problem, so it’s no longer Restoration Hardware’s problem.

    • who? says:

      I stopped shopping at Restoration Hardware years ago because of problems similar to what this guy was having. The stuff I was buying was cheaper than $18k, but still more expensive than similar stuff from, say, Target. The stuff looked spiff when I first brought it home, but it was poorly make and fell apart quickly.

      The last straw was about 10 years ago when I bought a really nice looking mailbox from RH. The bottom fell out of within 6 months. After that, I bought a less pretty mailbox from Target that still looks brand new today.

  11. sirwired says:

    Even if the workmanship was flawless, what makes a set of patio furniture worth $18k vs. the $1-2k you’d pay for a really nice set from Home Depot?

    • Daggertrout says:

      $16,000 worth of smug?

      • JennQPublic says:

        How much do you want to bet that every single person he’s ever entertained on that furniture knows that he paid $18,000 for it?

        That’s why he’s embarrassed- he spent all last summer bragging about furniture that turned out to be crap.

  12. SkokieGuy says:

    Interesting that I can find no warranty info on Restoration Hardware’s website. Search the site for warranty and ‘0 results found’

    • Marlin says:

      Yea I found this but it was in a PDF…


      Restoration Hardware Trade warrants to you, the original purchaser, that our products are free of material defects in material and workmanship for three years from delivery
      if properly stored, handled, assembled, maintained and used under normal conditions. “Defects” are defined as imperfection in material or workmanship that will impair the
      use of the product. Our product warranty does not cover: 1) defects caused by improper product storage, handling, assembly, maintenance and use, 2) defects occurring to
      the product after purchase due to product modification, intentional damage, accident, misuse, abuse or negligence, 3) normal product wear and tear due to age, 4) labor or
      assembly costs, or 5) variations of color or texture in products made of natural materials.

      If you find a material defect in material or workmanship in any product, part or component, you must report such defect during the relevant warranty period to the
      Restoration Hardware Trade team by e-mail (trade@restorationhardware.com), phone (877-733-6200) or fax (415-507-1901). ….”

      • keepher says:

        And this from their site: At Restoration Hardware, we take pride in the exceptional quality and craftsmanship of our furniture. Our attention to detail in design, material and construction is unyielding. And so is our commitment to customer satisfaction.

        Returning Merchandise

        Please note that proof of purchase is required for a refund. Upon return, your item will be inspected, and exchanges, credits and refunds will be issued for the purchase price only Any taxes charged will be refunded in accordance with state and local laws. Shipping charges are non-refundable with the exception of damaged or defective merchandise. Return shipping and re-stocking fees may apply. We offer a one-time price adjustment when an original sales receipt or proof of purchase is presented within 30 days of order delivery or purchase from a store.

        When returning an item, please complete the information on the back of your packing slip, and use the return address label we provide. Pack your return securely and be sure to ship it via insured US Mail or UPS Ground. Retain your shipping receipt for your records.

        Canadian Orders

        Please note that when you purchase from Restoration Hardware, you authorize our licensed customs broker to act as your agent with the Canada Border Services Agency. Our customs broker will clear merchandise through customs and process related duties and taxes on your behalf. By waiving and transferring your right to receive any refund of duties and taxes to our customs broker, you enable Restoration Hardware to refund duties and taxes directly to you.

        Stocked Furniture

        We carefully inspect each item prior to shipment, and also require your inspection and signature upon delivery. Should you discover a defect in your furniture, however, please contact us at 800.910.9836 immediately. Furniture that is refused because it does not fit through an entryway will be refunded in merchandise or store credit only.

        Stocked Non-Furniture Items

        We accept returns for Non-Furniture Items within 30 days, with proof of purchase.

        Custom Orders

        Custom orders are custom-made upon order and are non-cancellable, non-returnable and non-refundable with the exception of manufacturer defects or damages. Customers will have 24 hours from placement of custom orders to cancel. After 24 hours, a 50% deposit will be retained by Restoration Hardware and cannot be refunded.

        Monogrammed/Personalized Items

        These items are considered custom order items and are non-cancellable, non-returnable and non-refundable.

        Final Sale & Clearance Items

        Clearance items, as well as any items purchased at Restoration Hardware Outlet stores, are considered final-sale items and cannot be returned. See “Outlet Stores” for more details on our return policies at these locations.

        Outlet Stores

        Restoration Hardware Outlet Stores carry discontinued, returned and not-quite-perfect furniture and home accessories.

        Outlet Store Policies
        •All merchandise sold as-is; all sales are final
        •Discounts are calculated from original retail store prices or current retail store prices, whichever is higher
        •Quantities are limited to stock on hand; shop early for best selection
        •Outlet Store pricing and/or discounts cannot be combined with any other discounts, other promotional coupons or other offers
        •Merchandise may be priced according to quality
        •Cash, credit cards and personal checks are accepted with valid identification
        •Any missing parts, pieces, or materials will not be available through Restoration Hardware
        •Please measure all merchandise carefully before purchasing to ensure the products will fit through your entryways and in your home
        •Customers must come prepared to pick up merchandise, or arrange for delivery on the day of purchase; if you need suggestions for delivery service providers, please ask any associate
        •Due to insurance requirements we can only assist in loading customer’s vehicles with a signed waiver
        •Customers must come prepared with tie-downs, blankets and other supplies to load and secure the merchandise as none will be available on site

        If you take the time to read the whole thing there are several caveats there on whether its covered or not.

  13. That guy. says:

    For that price, he could have bought a 2012 Hyundai Elantra.

  14. TuxMan says:

    $18,000? Bumper to Bumper warranty?

  15. chiieddy says:

    It must be leftover miasma from the former stake Sears had in the company.

  16. mikedt says:

    And this is why cheap crap is taking over the market. Expensive crap isn’t much better and the companies in a lot of cases don’t stand behind it any better either. You’re better off buying the $500 set from Home Depot and tossing it or giving it away on craigslist every few years.

    • who? says:

      The last time I went furniture shopping I realized the same thing. The expensive stuff looked more expensive from the front, but if you walked around it and looked at the back or the underside, it was the same poor construction as the cheap crap.

  17. brandyk says:

    obviously he failed to protect them with RH’s custom-fit furniture covers. (http://images.restorationhardware.com/content/catalog/tearsheets//Furniture_Antibes.pdf)

    • brandyk says:

      in all seriousness, this guy should’ve at least used his amex to purchase the furniture. and next time, buy it at costco.

  18. mattyb says:

    From the restoration hardware website:

    Durable finish stands up to weather and UV rays

    lolz. And by the way, just that one chair in the photo has a listed price of $695-$770 ($485 – $695 currently on sale). CUSHIONS SOLD SEPARATELY.

  19. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    For the uninformed, a wood finish should last a minimum of 10 years when done right. A good finish can last longer than you.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Upon closer inspection, the furniture is metal. The sentiment still applies.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        Metal should last even longer.

        • Clyde Barrow says:

          Metal will last longer, but the finish will not. That is the crux of this situation. What I think happened is sometime during the treatment of this metal. the metal is put into the dip tanks to remove any oils, etc, and some residue or oil may remain. When the metal is painted, the residure will ehlp to separate the paint from the metal. This happens faster when things such as outdoor furniture is left outside (and this happens regardless if you cover the furniture). Extreme weather ruins everything and if there are flaws, you can bet old mother nature will help you see it faster.

  20. Slow-talking Walter, the fire-engine guy. says:

    The leather seats in my airplane are cracked. I have to put sheepskin covers on them.

  21. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    My wife and I looked at furniture at a local specialty retailer thinking we might get something in the $2500-$3000 range. Everything we liked was closer to $5k. Sure it MIGHT last a long time, but we were still worried that it might not.

    We ended up getting a very comfortable LaZBoy set from Sears for $850. One of the pieces was drilled really poorly (Huge hole with really jagged edges. Like you would get if you had a medium hole and came through with a slightly larger bit and let it pull the drill through and didn’t use a press). The manufacturer promptly replaced the part (other identical pieces were fine) and we have a great set. Of course 1 week doesn’t tell us how long it will last.

    But $18k? I guess some people want to spend that much. I have been in a Restoration Hardware once. The prices were outright terrifying and I don’t see how there is a large enough customer base to support their rather large stores.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      …and I don’t see how there is a large enough customer base to support their rather large stores…

      Well now you know why they have to sell cheap Chinese crap at Fuck You Money prices, those grand opening parties don’t pay for themselves you know!

      • Starrion says:

        Yes, obtaining Epic Profit Margin from the people who do make a purchase is their plan:

        1. Charge enormously high prices
        2. Remind your sales associates “You get what you pay for” should be mentioned twice per sentence
        3. Get really cheap stuff from china to actually sell.
        4. Set the customer service line to auto-disconnect
        5. profit.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      @AustinTXProgrammer; Save your money and buy cheap. From someone that’s work in engineering and manufacturing for 20+ years from plastics, zinc, aluminum, metal stampings, etc you name it I’ve done it, it just isn’t worth it. These days there are much better materials that are being used on everything from cars, to furniture, to pretty much anything. However, anyone that guarantees or states a a life-time warranty is lying. And that life-time warranty based on mild weather conditions which rarely occur. The wear and tear all depends on your area’s weather conditions. Conditions in Michigan are extreme but then you have hot, humid, sunny days in Florida. The testing parameters and COST of certifying a life-time warranty or guarantee outweighs the actual cost. Most companies don’t do it. I doubt the company that made this furniture is using any special type of manufacturing process or chemical that are different than the patio furniture sold at Costco for a fraction. Most metals are formed, dipped, and treated with an anti-corrosive coating and then painted. Boom, done. This ain’t rocket science but they love to make it sound like it is in their sales brochures. Just buy cheap. From the picture it looks like the metal had some oil or dirt on it before it was painted. This happens unfortunately even after the metal is treated.

      Look at it this way, if you had $18k in the bank and you bought a $200 patio set every year, you’d have enough cash to buy a new set every year for 90 years. Buy cheap. My ex bought us a patio set from Kroger in 2004 and I just threw it out this Spring. It cost her about $100.00. Not one person that came over ever said, “OMG, you bought this from Kroger? Well then we have to leave”.

      • JennQPublic says:

        “My ex bought us a patio set from Kroger in 2004 and I just threw it out this Spring. It cost her about $100.00. Not one person that came over ever said, ‘OMG, you bought this from Kroger? Well then we have to leave’.”

        Perhaps the OP’s problem isn’t the quality of his patio furniture, but the quality of the people he entertains on it.

  22. crispyduck13 says:

    I personally could not afford, nor would want to spend 18k on patio furniture, but I don’t hold it against the OP for doing so. Some day I would like to be able to spend money like that, and it bothers me that even then the shit would fall apart after 1 season just like my crappy $180 set from Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. If it’s all the same crappy Chinese shit then really there’s nothing to strive for in life!

    The fact that RH isn’t contacting him about speaks volumes about their brand quality, which is to say there isn’t any.

    • Jane_Gage says:

      To properly enjoy wealth in this country you have to exploit the service economy. Two hour massages by Swedes in bikinis, hotel living, traveling, and fine dining. Also on anything made before 1930.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I was just talking to my wife about that.

        If we were rich, the differences wouldn’t be about the stuff, which would just be more expensive versions of things we already have. The true difference would be in lifestyle and the freedom from having the money. It would all be about luxury services and traveling.

        • suez says:

          It would be more about just being able to live without the fear of that one medical event that will ruin you financially. That’s priceless.

  23. jc says:

    WOW for that amount of money I expect RH to fully replace the defective pieces. I would sue them period. Designer high end furniture is not worth it anymore, most are made in China with astronomical profit margins – they have become style over substance.

  24. The Cupcake Nazi says:

    I am having a distinctly hard time feeling sympathetic with someone who can and does spend EIGHTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS on patio furniture.

    That aside, I find it funny that his eighteen thousand dollars of “highnquality” furniture is actually about the same quality as Marth Stewart at K-Mart.

  25. jc says:

    WOW for that amount of money I expect RH to fully replace the defective pieces. I would sue them period. Designer high end furniture is not worth it anymore, most are made in China with astronomical profit margins – they have become style over substance.

  26. u1itn0w2day says:

    Sounds like the store is selling something based on the name and style and not quality.

    You charge 18k for something you better be willing to stand behind as the store let alone the manufacturer.

  27. OMG_BECKY says:

    $18k patio furniture?? Tax the rich!

  28. mediaseth says:

    That store is for suckers. If you want an “antique” look, you can get the real deal for much less out of some rural barn, or even legit antique shop.

    If you like overpaying for fake-looking re-imagined faux-vintage nonsense, I guess it’s the place to go.

  29. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    There is no timeline in the post so we don’t know how long ago the OP sent in the photos or how many times the OP has called. Call again, keep a log of conversations, and always get the person’s name. We has helped us with disputes in the past – we can be specific with ‘Peggy told us this on the 12th and Flo told us that on the 14th’.

  30. Pagan wants a +1 button says:

    I don’t get the remarks about how much the OP spent on it, as though he somehow deserves to have the furniture fall apart simply because he paid 18k for it.

    I would be livid if I spent even 1k on patio furniture and it started to peel within 5 years, much less one! Especially if I’d made a point to keep it covered and bring it inside in the winter. RH is now off my “When We Win The Lottery Shopping List”.

  31. polishhillbilly says:

    I spent $135 on steel stock and made my own patio furniture.
    A little me time with the welder, and the wife made the cushions from clearance grill covers.
    I spent another $100 having everything rhino sprayed.

    This is what is wrong with America, afraid to build something by hand. just buy something disposable, and then throw it away.

    Roll your sleeves, up dust off that geometry and trig you learned in school.

    My 7 year old even helped weld.

  32. 3fingerbrown says:

    $18 or $18K, you need to know the facts about the warranty before you finalize the sale.

  33. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    1: if I paid 18k for furniture I would be very upset by this. a simple example would be a home bed and breakfast.

    2: prove to me this isnt lead paint.

  34. GoPadge says:

    “The finish started chipping off on the legs of most of the furniture pieces, and then moved upwards….

    The finish is now coming off in large pieces with large chunks peeling off on the arms of the sofas and lounge chairs, leaving the white powder coat residue exposed.”

    That white residue may very well be aluminum oxide (aluminum’s version of rust), and not a primer coat. Since the issue started on the legs, it could be that the finish was damaged by a weed eater or rough treatment on concrete. If Restoration Hardware fails to replace the furniture under the warranty, the OP could have it sandblasted and powder coated. A quick Google search found several locations that could to the work for under a $1000.

    • webweazel says:

      After working in the automotive painting field for many years– some metals can be tough to put a finish on. There are regular primers for steel. For aluminum, galvanized, and other special metals, they require special primers, AKA “etching” primers, specifically developed for each type of metal to be put directly against the metal itself, or this is the exact result you can expect. Aluminum is a particular booger because of the oxide you mention. Regular primers will not prevent this from happening and will peel off very quickly. One tiny pinhole in the finish and it spreads like a weed under the paint and it falls right off. I bet the (Chinese) factory used some other type of cheaper primer not realizing this fact.

  35. Elara says:

    Oh, yes, let’s bash the guy for spending money. He’s probably one of that horrible 1% that is screwing everyone over, right?

    This is exactly why I’ve been hesitant to ask Consumerist to help with my own personal Restoration Hardware hell. Unless you are a poor, out-of-work, down-on-your-luck sob story, according to most commenters here, you deserve to be crapped on by companies (and you should only shop at Walmart).

    To Dennis: I’m doing what I can to get their (RH’s) attention right now. If it works, I’ll send Consumerist a note with the info to pass on to you as well. I didn’t spend as much as you did, but I spent enough that I’m not going to back down until they fix the situation.

  36. Fishnoise says:

    Did anyone else hear the voice of Thurston Howell, III as they read this?

    Anyway, the OP should be glad — the furniture as it is now would actually peg him as being in a higher class than if it were in a pristine condition. If he doesn’t understand why, he should read the 1983 book “Class: A Guide Through the American Status System” by Paul Fussell (who sadly died just a few days ago).

    • Jane_Gage says:

      I used his “balls: large and small” as a reference in my term paper mill the other day.

  37. elephant says:

    Let’s quit ragging on the OP for having $18K to drop on patio furniture – I love the set the OP is talking about and wanted to buy it myself. Someone posted a really helpful warranty link – hopefully that will help and if not the OPs credit card will hopefully give warranty coverage (usually extends manufacturers warranty by a year, so well within the time period).

    I’ve heard RH’s customer service is poor – and I wish they had reviews on their site – I want to drop a bundle of cash on a beautiful crib they have, but stories like this make me really wary…

    • failurate says:

      All their baby room pictures show chandeliers hanging right over the cribs. Do people actually do that?

      • elephant says:

        Crazy people do that :)
        I’m going with something more simple… no chandeliers in my nursery!

  38. timwoj says:

    I have a bed that I bought at Restoration Hardware a number of years ago. If I remember correctly, it took them three or four attempts to deliver one that wasn’t damaged in some way. The first two had very obvious cracks in the headboard, to the point that I’m surprised they even bothered to ship it.

  39. Moniker Preferred says:

    I don’t see anything on the Restoration Hardware site that says it is powder coat finish. The “weathered zinc” is applied over cast aluminum. It looks like some type of conventional coating (paint), rather than powder coat.

    Nevertheless, Restoration Hardware offers the stuff for outdoor use. Even if it’s paint, it should be good to go for more than one year.

  40. AlfredaCosta says:

    I’m actually surprised they haven’t responded. I worked there for a while and although that was some time ago, they are unusually dedicated to making sure the customer is happy. It was one of the few retail chains I’d worked at that actually empowered front-line staff to fix customer issues.

    I’d recommend that the OP: Visit a local store, even if they bought the product online. Have pictures and show them to the store manager. Having the order info (date, order number) would be helpful but not necessary. Unless they’ve changed things considerably, they will work to make the customer happy. Ask for a date when they expect to have a response.

    Good luck.

  41. cspschofield says:

    In my experience, there are two types of high end consumer businesses. First are those that provide top level products and services, have carved out a niche for themselves by doing so, and work hard on keeping their top level reputation (L.L. Bean springs to mind). Second are the ones that spring up, like toadstools, during boom times, to mimic type one firms and make a mint selling expensive crap to trendoids who don’t know any better. My personal impression of Restoration Hardware has been that they fit the bill almost perfectly (although I would be delighted to be proven wrong).

    The problem is that a firm can switch from one to the other over time. My Lady wife has been using Apple products since the Apple II didn’t come with a shift key standard (we did the modification ourselves). In that time Apple has been both Type 1 and Type 2 and shifted more than once. I have no idea which they are now; I haven’t had a service issue in a year.

    The shift from Type 1 to Type 2 is much more common than the converse, of course. For one thing, firms that forget to maintain good customer relations tend to end up on the ashcan of history (can you HEAR me, Circuit City?).

    If anyone from Restoration Hardware is reading this, please take note; a reputation for stiffing customers is like the stink from a skunk – it takes a long time to wear off.

  42. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    I have a really cute outdoor bistro set that I got on clearance for $50. I do use chemicals to clean it and don’t cover it or store it indoors. After 8 years, it looks as good as the day I bought it. Looks like you could have saved yourself about $17,950 there and gotten way better quality.

  43. Tardis78 says:

    Buying from Restoration Hardware was their first mistake. If they had the money they could have gotten something better from Room and Board because at least they guarantee there furniture.

  44. centurion says:

    I’m not sure which I find more humorus; that somebody spends 18 thousand dollars on outdoor furniture, or the image of the guy with an ice pack on his head worried about how he cna’t entertain with his stupidly overpriced crap.

  45. KFW says:

    Restoration Hardware = we’ll convince you you’re buying heirloom-quality items by re-branding cheap imported crap and selling it in lovely boutique-like shops. Americans will fall for anything.

  46. dush says:

    If you can afford 18k on patio furniture why can’t you just buy a new chair?

  47. IGetsAnOpinion says:

    They can’t afford to replace your furniture because they are building a brand new warehouse facility here in Cecil County, MD. With those prices, I can see why they can afford to. Ouch.

    I never heard of them before until I heard about the warehouses they were building. What state are they popular in?

    • Jane_Gage says:

      Pennington/Princeton area one is always full of breeders buying knob pulls shaped like anchors or overstuffed chairs.

  48. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Restoration Hardware is EXPENSIVE. They sell unfinished wood furniture that is priced as high as finished, high-end stuff. It’s ridiculous. I used to get the catalog because I was interested in the historical hardware. I never bought any because it was too much money.

    No matter how much I paid for patio furniture, I would still be very pissed if it started looking like that in less than a year. I don’t blame him for that.

    • AlfredaCosta says:

      They don’t sell unfinished wood furniture. They do have a line that isn’t glossy stained, but all of their furniture is finished.

    • Laura Northrup says:

      If I have that kind of cash, I’m going to Stickley. Heck, I’m going to the Stickey outlet and spending the rest on ice cream.

  49. Clyde Barrow says:

    I’ve notice that the more disposable income folks have the less ability for them to think clearly and have industrious skills. Why doesn’t he fix this problem himself? Because he’s lazy.

  50. suez says:

    So you spent $18k on a set of “weathered” outdoor furniture and now you’re complaining that they look…weathered? Shall I start playing my little violin now or do you have more sob stories?

    • Sorta Kinda Lucky Soul says:

      Please, please play the hell out of that little violin for all our enjoyment….and post pictures!

  51. kent909 says:

    Let me see if I get this right. A company, who’s senior management is in the 1%, exploits Chinese labor to make poor quality outdoor furniture dirt cheap. This company then sells it at an obscene profit to RH, who’s senior management is also in the 1%. RH marks this cheap Chinese crap up again to create another obscene profit for them. Then along comes another 1 percenter who pays way too much for this cheap Chinese crap. Within a year it is clear that he is the proud owner of cheap Chinese crap. RH not willing to give up their obscene profit tells this 1 percenter we are in business to make money and giving yours back interferes with that objective. Sorry. So all in all I have to say Boohoo to the 1%.

  52. mopman64 says:

    “After spending in excess of eighteen thousand dollars on patio furniture” your joking right?

    I have often had the same problem with my eighteen thousand dollars on patio furniture, so I now buy from Wal Mart.

  53. baristabrawl says:

    I cannot entertain spending that much on outdoor furniture. Have you seen what’s at CostCo? ‘cuz…it looks the same.

  54. wellfleet says:

    I came for the “only an idiot would spend 18K on lawn furniture” and I wasn’t disappointed.

    I hope all of your proletariats feel the same next time someone complains about their BMW, their $6000 ultra-super-mega HDTV, etc.

    The OP paid top-dollar for something with a good reputation from a great company. This amount of money, RH should be all over this with a repair or replacement. If you own the type of home that includes 18K worth of furniture, you probably entertain (as in, have people over) some big fish. I wouldn’t invite people over to sit in peeling furniture. It’s tacky and gross.

  55. SkyGuy79 says:

    I have purchased “zinc finish” items from R.H. before. It took 3x to get an item that didn’t have defects. If I were you I’d avoid anything from them that has that finish on it. Also, I have a brand-new linen bedroom set and one of the duvet cover buttons just came off. I called them and my very nice salesperson that sold me my stuff told me to “sew it back on” myself. :-P

  56. blueman says:

    Folks, this is more than four chairs and a table from Lowe’s. The letter refers to “chairs, tables, ottomans, chaises, sofas, etc.” — in other words, a suite of outdoor furniture. Sure, RH is overpriced, but they do sell quality stuff, and he wanted something that would look good and last.

    It wouldn’t take long to reach $18k buying from this page: http://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/category/products.jsp?link=KlismosWeatherdZinc&categoryId=cat1696021

  57. Andy says:

    Putting aside the fact that I can’t even fathom paying $18k on patio furniture, I don’t understand how this is yet a problem worthy of posting on Consumerist. Dennis has sent an email, gotten a response, and sent a response with photos. He says that he hasn’t heard back from the company, but doesn’t specify how long it’s been since that last email.

    Where’s the phone call where the customer service rep hangs up on him? Where’s the EECB that gets a snarky and/or dismissive response from the VP of Customer Relations?

    For a guy who has a cosmetic problem with a furniture set that costs as much as a car, Dennis sure hasn’t tried very hard to get satisfaction before whining to Consumerist.

  58. backinpgh says:

    Do I have, or would I spend $18k on furniture if I had the money? I don’t know. But if I did, it sure as hell better last for-fucking-EVER.

  59. Samuel H. Dighan says:

    Flipped through a Restoration Hardware catalog recently. Serious furniture porn.

  60. Elara says:

    For Dennis: With a little bit of work, I seem to have my RH problem solved. Maybe it will help you too. I bought a new light for my foyer from RH just over a month ago, and it came with the wrong hardware. We didn’t discover this till the electrician showed up to install it, lucky us. But, should be a simple fix, right? Just have them send new hardware. Well, after 3 weeks of going around and around in circles with a sales associate at the local RH store, I finally gave up and send a long, detailed message to their customer care email at webcs@restorationhardware.com, including the date I bought it, when it was delivered, the issue with the hardware, and then included the date and a synopsis of every time we had spoken with anyone (and the names of each person) at RH over the past 3 weeks.

    I was polite, but I also asked for a specific resolution (new hardware) as soon as possible, explaining how frustrated I was that my first RH purchase had gone so badly. And magically, I received a call last night that new hardware was being overnighted to me, and a email confirming the same arrived this morning. Now, until I have my new hardware in hand tomorrow, I can’t say for any certainty that it is all taken care of, but I definitely got a better response from the Customer Care address than I did from the web contact form on the page.

    My next step would have been to find all the executive emails and numbers, and create an executive email carpet bomb, which I learned from Consumerist. Good luck!

  61. mxjohnson says:

    It’s not that he spent $18k on a set of patio furniture. It’s that he spent $18k without making sure he wasn’t buying crap.

    My patio chairs I bought from Target when they were 75% off. A year later when the fabric was faded I had the cushions reupholstered in Sunbrella. The cushions cost a lot more than the original set, but that was five years ago and they still look good.

    If the OP doesn’t hear back from RH, he should have somebody sandblast the old paint off, prep it and paint with something that’ll hold up, send RH the bill and then take them to court if necessary.

  62. loueloui says:

    I think the obvious problem here is subby didn’t purchase the furniture covers for $65-$450. I mean really how pedestrian!

    Also, I think it’s absolutely hysterical that the furniture covers have a 3 year warranty, but apparently the furniture itself has no warranty whatsoever, at least not any that I can see. Additionally, it doesn’t show the country of manufacture, which I’m assuming is good ol’ pals in Communist China. It’s probably much easier to do metal coating in a country where nobody gives a damn about the incredibly toxic waste that is created.

  63. HungryHippo says:

    Do some investigation to find who heads product Quality Assurance within the company and complain directly to them. These are they guys that are supposed to be doing thurough product testing of this stuff, I cant imagine paint chipping within one year passing any sort of standardized compliance of products in this category. Also, patio furniture could mean a family which may have dumb children eating these flaking paint chips cant be good.