Monday, March 06, 2006

Corporation Don't Care

I used to absolutely love Restoration Hardware. Sure they were over-priced (that's why God invented clearance shelves), but I liked the look of their furniture (even though I never bought any), their assorted bath fixtures, and their basic color palatte. They often had some fun little knick-knacks too, like little alabaster vases, or old-school baking powder powered submarines. Lately however, they seem to be shifting their product mix to wares that are more soft than hard. Lots of sheets and towels and pillows. It seems like nice stuff, but it's not really what I want from Resto.

However, that's not actually what I'm writing about. A couple years ago, I started to slowly make over my master bathroom with both hardware and textiles from Resto. I've accumulated a shower curtain, shower curtain rings, two rugs, too many matching towels, a "train rack" and a towel bar. (Hmm, more textile than hardware even in that list . . . ) I bought some of their paint to use on the walls, and the one final item I wanted to bring it all together was a mirror to match the other hardware. January is usually when they have their bathroom stuff on sale, and in their catalog, they showed a mirror from the "Bistro" line, which I'd selected the other hardware from. Since I had some gift cards to use, I headed right on over to the store. Oddly enough, the display mirror didn't look at all like the one in the catalog. The clerk brought one out from the back and I asked to see what was in the box before paying. Even though the numbers on the box matched the catalog, the mirror inside didn't match the picture.

The people at the store called into the order department for me, but ultimately found out that the if I ordered using the number in the catalog, I wouldn't get the item pictured. That being the case, I thought that I'd go ahead with a slightly different choice, choosing an oval mirror instead of rectangular. Of course that was on back-order; I was told it would ship sometime in February, but I was also given ten percent off for the delay. I figured that was fair enough.

At least I figured that while in the store. I guess I had my buying hat on, and I felt like I needed something. After a day or two though, I realized I wasn't really happy with that choice, and I went to their website, found the inquiry form and tried to ask about the mystery mirror. I waited about a week, and didn't get any response, so I tried again. Nada.

Come February, a new catalog arrived in the mail. Once again, there was my mirror. Interestingly enough, there was no item number this time, it was evidently just a prop in among all the other items. I tried another web inquiry, met with resounding silence yet again. So I looked up the corporate information and fired off a letter to the president of the company. Right after mailing the letter, I got an email telling me that the mirror I had ordered was now not going to be available until April. April! Sure, that's "next month" now, but I had placed the original order in January! The day after getting the backorder notice, I called and cancelled.

Of course I've not received any response to my letter. I know that it will have to find it's way from the corporate office to somebody who is paid to deal with annoying customers like me, but it's been almost a month. I don't expect they're going to actually help me out anyway. I still have a $35 gift certificate to use, but after that, it'll be "So Long, It's Been Good To Know Ya."

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