Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dining Room Chair Saga Part II: Ordering Chairs

Yesterday I shared with you our process of finding new dining room chairs. In the fuzzy pic below you can see our Ikea chairs on the outside and our Restoration hardware chairs on the inside. 

It turned out that for the Restoration Hardware chairs, finding the chairs was not nearly as hard as getting the chairs... at least 6 undamaged chairs. We initially ordered the chairs in September. This was the first time we had ever ordered furniture sight unseen but I figured it was a good company and they were pretty basic chairs so not much could go wrong. 

Well, I was wrong. We were initially sent 6 chairs, 2 to a box. There wasn't any padding between the chairs so all of the bottom chairs were damaged by the screws on the bottom of the top chairs. I was pretty disappointed but RH was great about us sending them back and sending new ones. This time we had 3 chairs sent, 2 of which were not damaged (1 in a box alone and the top one of the other box but the bottom one was damaged the same way as before). We sent that one back and got another one which had major chips out of it so we sent that one back. At this point I had talked to customer service sooo many times that they had to take about 10 min every time I called to read over the transcripts. They had run out of chairs at the local distribution center a few chairs back so they thought that the long trip from CA was the reason for the damage so for this last chair they promised an extra inspection and extra packaging to insure that it arrive in good condition. 

I was so excited when the last chair arrived, thinking this whole ordeal would be over. We ripped the package open and the entire front of the chair had splintered paint like it had gotten wet ... whomp whomp. At this point Nate got on the phone and after a very lengthy conversation, we found out that they were officially out of chairs so we had the option of sending the whole set back for a refund, living with the (worst of the damaged) chair, or sending the one chair back for a refund and getting a $50 gift certificate. We decided to go with option 3 since it was the only option that gave us anything for the months of dealing with this. We thought everything was resolved but after a week of the chair sitting on the front stoop waiting to get picked up, we called once again  to customer service to see what was going on. It turns out the previous person we talked to never put the ticket through to have it picked up. 

Finally, the last chair was picked up and a few weeks later we got the gift certificate in the mail. You know what the kicker was? You can't use gift certificates online with Restoration Hardware. I had exactly what I wanted picked out so we headed over to the only RH store near us (in Tampa) to pick it up. But, what I wanted was from the baby section which is not carried at that store. The fact that I had not yelled at anyone up to this point was a miracle in of itself and it was a really good thing that Nate was with me at the store so he could deal with the sales woman. They ended up having to cash in the gift certificate in the store and then use it to order it online (in the store)... and we had to pay for shipping :( for another piece of furniture sight unseen. 

Well, as of yesterday, the last chair arrived. It is not damaged and we're hoping it makes Will's Christmas morning a little brighter.

Granted, this chair is the cutest of them all but the thing that makes it so awesome is that I will not have to call RH customer service again. I think I'll be a little more wary of buying furniture unseen again and while all the customer service representatives were nice, I'm not sure if RH will be seeing us again anytime soon.

Update: Restoration Hardware totally came through and found me another chair. Read about it here.

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