Ugh, Pottery barn Refund policy

acdesignskyJune 16, 2008

I am so annoyed right now. As many of you know, we're moving into our new house next week. I have no patience, so I'm already shopping, LOL.

I went to PB and bought 4 linen drapes and some hardware. It was on sale, so I scored all of it for under $250. I pay cash. I get it home and DH nixes the idea of curtains. We're doing plantation shutters instead. Fine, I didn't even take the things out of the trunk of my car. I go take them back today and after they're finished processing the refund, they tell me they'll send me a check in 7-10 business days for the refund. I explain I paid with cash, not a check. Well, turns out they don't do cash refunds for over $100. It's not on the receipt, I checked. Let's ignore the fact that they have the merchandise and my money, I explain we're moving, so getting the mail could be an issue. I asked if she could break it into 3 transactions to stay below the $100 limit. Nope, won't do that either.

Doesn't matter, no cash even with a receipt.

Merchants keep complaining about the costs of accepting credit and debit cards, but then you're penalized for paying with cash.

Lesson learned, no more PB for me! Unfortunately, that means no WS home or Williams Sonoma, Inc either.


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I'm not surprised and that's a fairly standard return policy here in So. Cal. when one has paid with cash for their purchase. Shoot, Burlington Coat Factory just gives store credit for ALL returns (cash or credit purchases) that are not just for exchange because of size, color, etc.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 6:45PM
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That stinks! I can understand a waiting period if you pay by check. But cash is cash. Why wouldn't they break up the transaction? I mean what if you only wanted to return one of the drapes? That doesn't make sense to me.
Now that so many stores can look up your receipt if you pay by credit card, I usually do that. It does make returns much easier.
Sorry you had to deal with that and thanks for the warning.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 6:48PM
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I've worked in retail since I was 18 and I've never heard of that policy before. I called and spoke to the manager. I was really nice about it since they have no control over company policy, but it's nonsense. I'm calling their Home office now. If that's the policy, it should be on the receipts, at the register, and the associate should tell you during the initial purchase.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 6:53PM
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They should have let you split the returns. Because in reality you could have returned one part, gotten your cash, then said "Oh, I think I'll return this part, too". Gotten that cash and done it a third time if necessary.
One time I tried to get a price adjustment in a store. I had just bought a bunch of stuff and it went on sale the next day. They said 'no adjustments'. So I said "ok, I want to return all of this stuff." They took it back and credited my account. Then I said "Now, I want to buy it again". The clerk was not happy but I got the stuff for the sale price. The store has a better policy now.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 7:08PM
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Hey angc, that is a bummer. I hate crap like that...I got so tired of weird (and unfair) refund practices that I just use my debit card now. At some places they can even look up your purchase w/ no receipt.

And suzieca, I've done that before too. :)


    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 7:25PM
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The Burlington stores near me refund by method of purchase (I returned a skirt there in February and got my money back).

Maybe each store region decides for itself? Or have you been in a store recently--maybe they've changed the policy and you haven't noticed?

(My February purchase was the first in more than about 12 years being back at the store because I despised the chain's store-credit-only rule.)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 8:37PM
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Another thing about PB. I ordered lamp shades thru the catalog a few months ago. They didn't work for me, so I returned them to the store, and they almost didn't take them back. They said they are in the process of changing their policy so that catalog orders can't be returned to the store! Ack!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 7:33AM
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I work at a different catalog/retail store with the same (or similar) policy. From what I was told at training, it's because they don't keep cash on the premises. 90% of our customers pay with credit cards. They probably didn't have the cash to give you.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 7:53AM
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Thanks for the warning. I agree, for a cash transaction, that policy is ridiculous!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 11:19AM
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If that's the policy, it should be on the receipts, at the register, and the associate should tell you during the initial purchase.

I completely agree. What a crap "policy" that is. I hope you get some satisfaction when you call the home office.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 11:24AM
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I can understand if they didn't have enough cash available to return cash, but that is the ONLY reason.

Otherwise this policy is HORRIBLE & it should be on their receipts.

When Bombay filed for bankruptcy they overnighted new receipt tape w/ the new return policy on it to our stores. When they decided to close the stores they overnighted new tape to us again.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 11:41AM
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I definitely would have returned part of the order right there; at least you only have to wait for part of your refund. Then I would wait til the evening and return the rest of it. You can never win trying to argue with a salesclerk.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 12:08PM
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Argh! Too bad you didn't think to return each one separately! I wouldn't have thought of it either, but if my husband were with me, I'm sure he would have figured out that trick in a flash. I'll be prepared...

Than again, I never have cash on me...

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 1:06PM
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Lesson learned, no more PB for me! Unfortunately, that means no WS home or Williams Sonoma, Inc either

You would think with sales down at stores, that they would start improving their policies to make customers happy. Unfortunately thats not the case. After getting crappy service or dealing with ridiculous policies, the list of stores that I will no longer patronize is growing. Will they notice or care that they lost sales, probibly not. Thanks for the heads-up on PB's return policy.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 1:07PM
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Another thing to note about PBarn and PBKids (at least the ones by me) is that they recently shortened the length of their return period. It was a generous 90 days, but now if you want to return anything you have to do so within 30 days of your purchase date.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 3:55PM
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I ordered a computer bag online and it came today. Ordered a size larger than my computer screen and it was still too small. I called the company about a return and was told there would be a restocking fee. Why- because I had opened the Fedex box! I asked the girl how I was supposed to see the product if I didn't open the box! No answer other than once you open it there is a fee. If the bag had been damaged there would be no fee. But if the shipping box has been opened there is a fee to return the product. Fee is 5% of the cost of the item. Not much $, but I've never run into this before and I shop a lot online.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 11:00PM
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Patty, that's just nuts! How could one be expected to even assess the condition of the bag (i.e., is it damaged?) without opening the shipping box? I hate to say this, but I think I'd be tempted to damage the freakin' bag myself. Just out of spite. >;-D

On a positive note: Last fall I placed an order for something for my brother, it was going to be his Christmas gift. (OK, so it was a pair of "collector's action figurines" from the movie, The Big Lebowski. Not that my brother plays with dolls, but he's a huge fan of that movie.) Anyway, I received an email a few days after I placed my order, advising that the products were on backorder. I waited and waited, and finally received another email, telling me that the products would not ship until February 2008. Uh, no good. I needed them before December 25th. I emailed the company, and they kindly agreed to just cancel my order.

In January of this year, I received an unexpected parcel, and lo and behold - it's the Lebowski figurines. $50 worth of Lebowski figurines, to be exact - and I know I had canceled. I immediately contacted the company's customer support department, informed them that there had been a mistake and asked them how they wanted me to handle returning the items (they'd already refunded my credit card for the $50 plus shipping on my original order), and they told me: "So sorry for the confusion. Please just accept the figurines with our compliments and we hope you'll shop with us again." I was completely blown away! Now, I'm not sure when I'll have a need for more "toys" like this, but if I ever do, I'll definitely shop with those guys again. I couldn't believe that they didn't want to inconvenience me so much that they'd just give me $50 in merchandise, but that's exactly what they did. Pretty cool, eh?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 11:21PM
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RNmomof2 zone 5

Auntjen, I believe the real issue is that the cost of the items you ordered was less than the price the company put on what it costs them to return and restock an item. We had this happen with a cell phone company. We ordered two phones for our kids. One came in and was the wrong color. The company told us to keep it and sent us one in the correct color My husband was a cellular dealer when they first came out and told me about the cost to return vs/. the cost of the item. Pretty interesting huh?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 9:09PM
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