Here's the meail that I sent to the CEO on 04/11/2016
I hope you are doing well.
I’m a current customer of your company and have bought a number of items from your stores over the past 3 years. I decided to write you an email to report an unacceptable customer service experience / treatment that my husband & I had to go through this past Saturday in your Short Hills Mall location in NJ.
I’m a mom of a 3 year old girl and am expecting another baby girl in July. We currently reside in Jersey City, NJ but will be moving to a new house we bought in Madison, NJ by the end of this month.
A couple of months ago I visited your PBK store in Short Hills Mall for the first time. I had a pleasant interaction with one of the sales associates (Angela) & she offered me the designer service (with a 20% discount on any items purchased). At that time I informed Angela that we would only be moving to the new house at the end of April and thus, would likely need to wait with some of the purchases. She was very understanding and asked me to let her know when I’m ready so she could start to work with me on designing / picking furniture for the rooms of my girls. A few days later, I received a call from her mentioning a big sale in the store. As a result, I visited the store on a Sunday morning and bought several nursery items, rugs, lamps, etc. but not yet the furniture.
A few weeks had passed when my best friend (who is also having a baby & lives in Manhattan) decided to buy her furniture at PBK because I told her about your store and passed on a 20% discount code that I received in my email. As a result, she ended up buying the whole nursery collection Rory and also started a baby registry at PBK. In addition to the 20% discount, she did not have to pay for shipping or delivery surcharges & received excellent customer service. My friend told me about these special conditions (20% off plus no surcharges or delivery fees) and at the same time I coincidentally received a promotional email from Dara (Associate Manager at the Short Hills Mall location):
My name is Dara Greene and I am the Associate Manager at the Pottery Barn Kids in the Mall at Short Hills. I wanted to reach out to you personally to come in and shop some of our Floor Models. I’ve listed the items below that we are currently selling at a deep discount—all items are 40% off and some items are more than 40%! Please don’t hesitate to e-mail me or call the store for anything PBK related—I’d be happy to help!
Grace Bookcase Hutch with Cabinet Base: Now $499.97
Radcliffe Rocker and Ottoman: Now $898.97
Modern Rocker and Ottoman: Now $799.97
Remy Dresser with Topper: Now $697.97
Remy Nightstand: Now $99.97
Owen Dresser: Now $653.97
Cameron 4-Cubby with Drawer Base x 2 (4 pieces total): Now $553.97
Cameron Drawer Base: Now $99.97
Cameron Two-Shelf Bookcase: Now $79.97
Pottery Barn Kids, The Mall at Short Hills
I called Dara to ask if she would be able to offer me the same conditions that my friend had received – she said: "Sure, please stop by". I asked if she would need to be there to help me with that and she responded that I could come by and talk to any associate on the floor.
Finally, this past Saturday (April 9) I visited the store at Short Hills Mall again with my husband. When we arrived at the store I spoke to a gentleman called Devotta (not sure if I’m spelling it right) and asked for Dara. I was told she wasn't working that day. I then proceeded to look around the store & saw a sales associate who looked like the Angela that helped me the very first time I came to the store. I approached her & asked if she remembered me. As it turns out, it was a different associate by the name of Heather. I explained my situation to her (the previous visits & the call with Dara, etc.) and she didn't seem very friendly / understanding and responded: "I just give MY clients 15%".
I explained to her that I understand but that I was an existing customer of the store and just stopped by based on my conversation with Dara. She continued to be non-receptive but finally said that she would ask the manager what could be done. This turned out to be the same gentleman (Devotta) that I had asked about Dara initially. Heather explained the situation to him in front of me & my husband and he told Heather: "It’s up to you". I found this to be a very weird situation to have such an interaction in front of the customer but I chose to remain quiet.
Heather then told me that she could offer the 20% but not remove the other surcharges. Again, I explained my conversation / agreement with Dara to her regarding the surcharges. After I insisted, she then spoke to Devotta again - he in turn, went to the back to call someone via phone to inquire about this. When he returned to the floor, he briefly stopped in front of me and my husband and said: "You guys are all set".
We then proceeded to choose a few different pieces of furniture that we wanted to purchase (e.g. crib extensions, a dresser, and a nightstand). We also made it clear that we were looking to purchase more beyond this in the future, e.g. we asked Heather about the crib mattresses offered by PBK. Unfortunately, she was unsure of the details & differences, so we decided to hold off.
Upon preparing the estimate / invoice for the items that we did want to buy, we noticed that the 20% off was included but the surcharges were still listed. I explained to her that this wasn’t the agreement but she said in an irritated way "That's it". At this point, it wasn’t so much about the surcharges anymore but rather about how we were treated as a customer. I asked her to call the manager again – Devotta came and said "I can’t remove it. I said that I would try but it did not work". At that point, I got increasingly frustrated & upset and told them that I found this very unprofessional & disrespectful. Devotta did not tell us that 'he would try’ – he said: "You guys are all set".
My husband - a usually very calm person - started to also get irritated & discussed the inconsistency of words & actions with Devotta and Heather. While this happened another associate called Diana joined the conversation defending them. At this point, my husband was surrounded by 3 PBK employees, who were talking to him in an aggregated manner. Heather then proceeded to just walk away, which was highly unprofessional given the situation. I then asked Devotta who else I could speak to resolve this & was told to call customer service.
At around 7:45pm I called customer service while still in the store. While I was speaking to customer service, I witnessed associate Diana telling Heather to call mall security to the store. Having been a good PBK customer for the past years & now with 7 months pregnant, I could not believe that we (me and my husband) were being treated like that. We proceeded to leave the store (prior to any security arriving). I stayed on the line with customer service (eventually speaking to a supervisor called Dana that was very polite & understanding) outside the store with 3 security guards looking on. I found this whole experience extremely rude & disappointing - I cannot believe that a premium brand like PBK would treat one of their customers in this disrespectful manner.
I really would like to remedy this situation and am looking forward to receive a decent response and apologies from the management of PBK. I will still need to purchase certain items but being treated like that does not want me stepping foot in a PBK store again. I hope that the necessary actions / follow up is being done with the named employees at the Short Hills Mall location.
I’m looking forward to hearing back from your company regarding this matter.
Product or Service Mentioned: Pottery Barn Kids Customer Care.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Preferred solution: Respect clients.
Pottery Barn Kids Cons: Lack of real solution, Suggested solutions.