Alex is done with Restoration Hardware.

"Status: Solved"

That's where my problems are according to Restoration Hardware, a company I LOVE. I actually sent the message I blogged about on September 3rd to Restoration Hardware on the same date. Today, September 17th, I received a response:

Dear Mr. Porter,

Thank you for contacting Restoration Hardware. Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to your email.

I have forwarded your letter on to the appropriate department for consideration.

We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused you.


Jennifer Bogan
Restoration Hardware Email Associate

Question Reference #080903-000560
Date Created: 09/03/2008 11:44 PM
Last Updated: 09/17/2008 05:14 PM
Status: Solved

Now, in truth, I didn't ask for anything in my lovely letter to Restoration Hardware. I'm sure they have dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of complaints to deal with and that they're happy to forward them on to the "appropriate department for consideration" and call them Solved when the customer doesn't actually ask for anything. It's good to know that if I had actually asked for something, they would have responded to my email in 14 days.

Here's something they don't know though: in those 14 days, my actual issues weren't solved. Here's what has transpired during the days subsequent to my first post:

Day 15 - Monday, September 8th
As promised by UPS, a company that keeps its promises, I received my original order on Thursday September 8th, just 15 days after I placed it at a Restoration Hardware store and 5 days after the 7-10 days of promised delivery.

As expected, the shipment included a bathroom light fixture, a front porch light fixture, and a house number. As expected, that house number was a one rather than the necessary zero. It was a lovely one, but I only needed one one. I planned to return this one as soon as my zero arrived a couple days.

Here's the thought process I went through as I opened the front porch light fixture. (You can safely skip this next paragraph.)

"Wow, this is bigger than I expected! How deceiving a picture with nothing to scale it against in a catalog is. Ooh, and it's pretty bronze looking...a lot shinier than the black-looking one in the photo.'s still nice looking though so let's go for it. that I pulled this support cardboard out, all of the glass panes are lose. Hmm...the glue holding them in is all cracked and falling apart and the metal clasps holding them in aren't bent properly to hold the glass. Hmm...I guess I can deal with that if I just bend these...ok, there. Oh, interesting, there's a sticker on here that says 5/16/2007. I guess this was manufactured a long time vintage. Oh no! It's missing an ornamental screw cap, one that will hold the main part of the lamp to the part attached to the ceiling but when unscrewed allow me to pull off the lamp and replace the bulb...I don't think it will stay up without that part. Well, let's see how installation goes...maybe I'll find that missing screw cap. Hmm...this is tricky to install...oops, let's drill a couple more holes in the ceiling, ok, there goes, that's lined up...ok, looking good, wires attached....hmm...why isn't this thing flush with the ceiling. It's called the Madera Flushmount, but it's not mounting flush with the ceiling...grrr!...these screws are too long, what a piece of crap! And I checked everywhere and didn't find that damn screw cap. Well, I still like the look of the thing, and with a few extra parts I can make it work, so I'm off to Lowe's.

Day 22 - Monday, September 15th
Over the weekend I realized that I haven't even received a shipping confirmation for that zero I re-ordered on day 3, confirmed on day 4. Needing to resolve the missing zero and request a replacement screw cap, I took the dreadful step of contacting Restoration Hardware customer service.

Call 1 - Asked for help with my second order, the one for the house number, the one I had to place because they messed up my first order. Where is my order? I haven't received a shipping conversation. Placed on hold 5 minutes for research. Hold music ends. We're sorry, your call cannot be completed as dialed.

Call 2 - Described how I was being helped when I was disconnected. No apology. Gave my order number and problem. Placed on hold for 5 minutes for research.
RH: "I'm sorry to tell you this, but that 0 is no longer in stock for the color you ordered."
AP: "You're kidding me."
RH: "No, unfortunately, we can't send you one."
AP: "So what, my order is canceled? I placed this order weeks ago. I have heard nothing, why wasn't I notified? Why did the person I talked to place the order and why was it confirmed??"
RH: Silence
AP: "I'm not happy."
AP: "Well if there's nothing you can do, I have another question for you. It's with another order number. See the third item? It's missing a part. Part E. It's a screw cap that holds the light up."
RH: "Ok, please hold for a minute while I see what we can do."
10 minutes
RH: "Sorry for the wait, I'm on hold waiting for someone else."
AP: "Ok, thanks for the update."
10 minutes
RH: "I'm still on hold, but once I get them they should be able to send you the part."
5 minutes
RH: "Unfortunately, that item is no longer in stock, so we can't send a replacement or the part."
AP: "You've got to be kidding me. It's still for sale on your website."
RH: "I know, but if you type in the item number from your order nothing comes up."
AP: "So there's seriously nothing you can do. I'm really not happy."
RH: "If there's another item with the same part you could order that."
AP: "Do you know of such an item? What am I saying, I'm sure you don't know all the items and what screws they use. Well thanks a lot."

After stewing for a while, I started to think I should have asked for something for my troubles. I also played with the website and was able to add my same exact light to the shopping cart and begin the checkout process. I decided to try one more time.

Call 3
AP: "Something I ordered was missing a part and I just talked with someone who told me there was no way to get the part because the item is out of stock, but I can see the item on your website and begin to check out an order with the item. I could order the whole thing again, but I don't want to pay shipping and deal with returns. Can you help me get this replacement part?"
RH: "Let me look into this."
RH: "I'm sorry you were told that is out of stock, it's definately not."
RH: "Just a minute while I work on this."
5 minutes
RH: "Ok, I just processed a request--someone should be calling you later today."
AP: "Really?"
RH: "Yeah, they'll call to confirm that they're shipping the part."
AP: "What number are they going to call."
RH: "555-5554"
AP: "That's not my number is 555-5556."
RH: "Ok, I updated it."
AP: "Thanks, is there some kind of reference number for this?"
RH: "No, just the order number. Do you have that?"
AP: "Oh, I have it....thanks a lot."

Later that day, I received no call. I don't know that I expect that I ever will receive that call or a replacement part. Once I return the four numbers that don't make up my house number, the bathroom fixture that's not quite right, and come to grips with my imperfectly expensive front porch light fixture, I think I'll be ready to accept that fact and move on. I'm looking forward to it.

Day 24 - Wednesday, September 17th
I received the response I showed you above. Status: Solved. So glad everything's ok.

Here's another thing they don't know: Alex is done with Restoration Hardware. For good.


JulieAnn said...

My current job is with customer service (Yeah, I swore I would never do that...but not many jobs allow you to speak Swedish and Norwegian). You should call back, ask for a supervisor, and demand a complete refund (If minus shipping) for all your troubles and their general overall lameness. I would.

Alex Porter said...

Thanks for the advice, I may do that! What company do you do customer service with?

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