Friday, April 3, 2009

Say WHAT?!

This afternoon I received an email from Williams-Sonoma advertising an Easter sale. Saw a couple of cute items I liked and drove over to the local store for a closer look. When the clerk asked if she could help, I told her I had seen some sale items online, but they were still full price in the store. She said they would match the price. I didn't ask -- she offered.

I also was there to buy a wedding gift. Printed out the wedding registration list, worked my way through it. Decided I needed to check with Writer about the gift purchase, so I took the item I'd seen on sale online to the clerk at the register. She turned to Jorg, told him that I'd received an email about the sale. I told them the price. He said he'd have to verify it. Pulled up their website, typed in the item number, said it was sold out so he couldn't sell it at the web sale price. The first clerk wandered away. I tried to talk to him about but he wasn't in a talking mood.

Rather than telling him what I really thought, I thanked him, told him I didn't want them at that price, and left the store. Went home. Checked online. Item still showed on the W-S website at the sale price but showed that it was out of stock.

So, I emailed Williams-Sonoma's customer service. This is my note:
I received an email advertising Easter items for sale. Checked the website, saw the sale items I wanted and drove to the local store to purchase them. Because the items were no longer in stock online, the store clerk said he could not sell them at the sale price! Needless to say, I didn't purchase them at the regular price. I'm shocked. I've never heard of a store advertising an item then refusing to sell it at the advertised price merely because the warehouse no longer has them in stock.
This is their reply:
Hello Joy,

Thank you for contacting Williams-Sonoma.

The Catalog/Internet division and our retail stores typically offer the same merchandise at the same price. However, certain items may be offered at different promotional price points through either our Catalog/Internet Division or our retail stores. This decision is a direct relation between our inventory levels and customer buying trends.

Unfortunately, the Catalog/Internet division does not honor store sale prices at this time. In addition, the retail stores are not required to honor Catalog/Internet sales prices. We encourage you to contact your local Williams-Sonoma store for further assistance. You may locate a store near you online at
for further assistance.

If we may be of any further assistance, please contact us via email. Alternately, you may contact our Customer Service Department directly at 1(800) 541-1262 from 7:00am to 11:00pm (CST), seven days a week.

Kind regards,

Erika Hall
Customer Service

Umm, Erika, why would I possibly want to contact the local store? I just came from there. I tried to talk to your employee about it and he couldn't be bothered. He decided that he'd rather keep his basket full of bunny kitchen towels than satisfy a customer.

Erika, dear, I think your store policy is ridiculous. The even more ridiculous part is that the original item was only $8.00. The sale price was $5.99. So, for $2.01 (or $4.02 because I was going to buy 2), your guy Jorg made a pretty big gamble that I would return to shop in your store. What do you think the odds are that I'll return for the $529.95 cookware set, the $42 wooden candleholder or even the $2.99 fish spatula from the bride's registry?

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