West Elm

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West Elm Has Terrible Customer Service
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I placed an order for a round dining table with cutout legs, in white, last July, at westelm.com. When I placed the order, I was informed that the table was on backorder but would be shipping in four weeks. Every two weeks I would receive another email notification saying that the ship date had been pushed back. Finally, I stopped receiving these notices and figured that the table would finally ship in mid-October, as promised.

October arrives and my husband receives a call from his bank- West Elm was trying to push through three large charges all at once, and it had been flagged as suspicious. My husband was also suspicious considering we had only placed one order, not three. He placed a hold on his account and called West Elm, who had no idea what was going on because the table wasn't shipping. After a few days, the charges "dropped off". At that same time I received another email from West Elm stating that the delivery date had been pushed back until December.

It's at that point I should have cancelled my order, but it's very difficult to find a white table in that price point ($399), so I figured I'd wait it out.

The first week in December arrives and we receive another call from our bank. You guessed it, West Elm was once again trying to push a series of charges through my husband's bank account. My husband called West Elm once again, and it was the same story as before. They had no idea why multiple charges were going through because the table wasn't in stock, and wasn't shipping. My husband demanded to talk to a supervisor, who also couldn't help him. She stated that the issue stemmed from our bank, not from them.

Coincidentally, we received a shipping notification that evening. For a table that supposedly wasn't in stock.

Two days later, the table was dropped off by UPS and left on our front lawn in the snow, even though I was required to pay an extra $60 for "white glove deliver" at the time of my order. There was obviously no signature required because no one was at home when UPS dropped it off. We live on a busy street and are thankful that no one stole the table.

The table assembled easily but two months later is full of dings and scratches, even with keeping it covered by place mats. (I should add that it's just me and my husband (we have no kids) touching the table).

I contacted West Elm to express my displeasure and received a form letter back stating that my letter would be forwarded to the correct department but I wouldn't be receiving a personal response back. Nice.

Our bank ended up investigating the extra charges, and I just received a letter yesterday (two months later) saying that the conflict had finally be resolved.

Long story short: West Elm caters to people like me and my husband. We want an afford ably stylish home. However, we will never buy another thing from them again. Their customer service is clueless and inept and it's obvious that their inventory system is completely out of whack. Their products are cheap and do not withstand even the lightest use. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
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User Replies:
Anonymous on 02/01/2008:
"it's very difficult to find a white table in that price point ($399)"

And now you know why it is so difficult.
puggo63 on 03/25/2008:
I took a seasonal part time job at West Elm and as an ex-employee, I can tell you that West Elm has a primitive inventory system. Their system consists of taking a eye-ball count of what items they have in the backroom/warehouse and entering them manually in the computer system. There is no inventory/quality control period. Almost 90% of the time, popular items are over-sold due to their extremely inaccurate inventory counting or lack of.
In addition, while their pieces look nice, their quality is poor. The furniture they sell is all made in China and of very poor quality with poor durability. Almost all their furniture is "build-it-yourself" but a premium prices. I loved their catalogs and their " West Elm look" until I worked there and saw what crap it all was. Their construction is all poor quality particle board, way below IKEA's!
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