Restoration Hardware - So Disappointing

magsnjSeptember 29, 2013

IPlease indulge my rant. 'm in quite the bind and can't help hate Restoration HARDWARE. I put emphasis on the hardware, b/c it's in their name, so they should probably try to pretend they care.

Once upon a time, Restoration Hardware used to be a go to for american made goods. They've completely changed their business model and have most of their furniture built in China now and shipped here. I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed, there hasn't been a decline in price passed to the customer. Their items are still very expensive.....and they're made in China.

But I digress. I am currently renovating my kitchen. It is very important to me that as much of my kitchen be made in the USA as possible. I went to Restoration HARDWARE and after being assured the hardware was still made in the USA I ordered the Aubrey knobs and pulls.

My cabinets are being installed on Wednesday......I opened the pulls yesterday and there's a sticker on each pull that says MADE IN TAIWAN. I can't even tell you how mad this is making me. I'm not thrilled that the salesperson didn't know something and pretended she did, but the thing that bothers me the most is that Restoration Hardware is making yet another thing overseas that does not need to be made there. I also think most consumers, if asked, would prefer to buy american made products, so I see this as a disinterest in consumer preference.

So, what to do now?

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I feel your pain about RH not making more of their goods in the USA and your disappointment that their sales crew misrepresented where their hardware is made.

Alas, almost everything at Pottery Barn, West Elm (with a few exceptions), Rejuvenation, Crate and Barrel, and most other of the mass retailers is also made outside the USA.

I believe that Horton Brasses still makes their hardware in the USA. They have beautiful, high quality products.

Here is a link that might be useful: Horton Brasses

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 6:33PM
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Thank you francoise47! I have a short list of hardware that's made in the USA, but my real problem is having them here by Wednesday. Getting everything together for he kitchen has been stressful enough already, but I'm going to try to push tomorrow and see what I can do.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 7:27PM
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magsnj -- if being made in USA is a firm requirement, I can't help you, but I do have 34 Aubrey pulls and 15 Aubrey knobs in my kitchen and do think they're very well made and stylish. I have no problems with them in terms of quality.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 7:36PM
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You need to go somewhere like Rocky Mountain Hardware, or Sun Valley Bronze. Will you pay more?... yes. Will you love your hardware, and enjoy the fact that it is made in USA? .....YES!!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 7:48PM
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I've found these that seem to be a good match (Going to look into your suggestions as well, thank you ctycdm!). Hopefully I can overnight them:

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:31PM
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Classic Brass is made in the USA.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:36PM
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Thanks Calumin. I received my aubrey pulls as well and I agree, they seem to be of nice quality. My problem is that I think my money speaks louder than even my vote does in todays world, and it certainly speaks louder than any complaint I can make to Restoration hardware. China's been poisoning our children and animals.....we've caught them exporting tainted goods time and time again, unfortunately usually as a reaction to something going wrong instead of being due to vigilance. I don't want to wonder if the knobs and pulls that I touch everyday have trace amounts of lead in them.

I don't like China's history of human rights violations. I don't like their rampant corruption. I don't like the lack of value and regard they show for human life.

If I can avoid buying items from China, I do. I may spend more per item, but at the end of the day I buy less things that I don't really need.

PS. I'm also a fan of cage free eggs. The best are any you can buy from a local farm

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:51PM
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I understand completely magsnj you go girl. It's horrifying.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 9:04PM
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I agree with you 100%. I try to never buy things made in China. Am I successful 100% of the time, no.
But I never buy food for people or pets made there. My poor daughter gets so upset when I won't buy her canned mandarin oranges. Only Trader Joes carries some made in Spain.
And for what it's worth, my pulls are Richelieu. They are made in Canada.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 9:17PM
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Kudos to you! Imagine what a difference it would make if more of us did that. I try to avoid Chinese products when I can, but so often it seems unavoidable. But I can do better and I admire your conviction. Agreed about the eggs too, and all food for that matter!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 9:18PM
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I ordered them and they're in!! So happy!! Now the only thing in my kitchen not made in america will be the marble (I honestly didn't have the energy to search out Danby, I probably would have if it was my favorite marble.....or if the other marble was made in China). I called the people at White Chapel Ltd and they assured me that NO PART of their hardware is made in China. Specifically, they told me mine are made entirely in Pennsylvania and no component of it comes from the Pacific Rim. They were so helpful on the phone! One of the best parts is that the satin nickel finish on my knobs and pulls match the satin nickel on my light fixtures (also made in USA) much better than Restoration Hardware's satin nickel did.

I'm attaching a picture of the White Chapel Ltd knob and pull next to the MADE IN TAIWAN Restoration hardware knob and pull. You'll know the Restoration hardware ones because I've laid them proudly next to the MADE IN TAIWAN sticker that's on the bag they came in. I thought this might be helpful, since you won't be able to find on their website that it's MADE IN'll note, the majority of Restoration hardwares products now only say "Imported" on their website. Wonder why this company that used to stand for quality doesn't give the fact most of their products are "Made in China" more visibility?

PS.While reviewing other complaints about Restoration hardware, the funniest thing I came across was about their bed linens. When you go to the Bed Linen page on Rh's website, it says "The Finest Linens Are Made in Italy". When the customer got her linens, they had a MADE IN CHINA tag on them. What has happened to this company?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 9:10PM
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Couldn't help myself ;) Maybe they're actually advertising for another company whose linens actually are made in Italy? Note that it's on the main page of the Bed Linens area....To me that would indicate that ALL (not just some as is the case) of their bed linens were made in Italy. But then again, what do I know....I'm just a dumb consumer. I'm sure since their words are wisely chosen (nowhere does it say all of their bed linens are made in just implies it by putting it at the top of on the main bed linen page) that this could not be a case of FALSE ADVERTISING.

This post was edited by magsnj on Tue, Oct 1, 13 at 21:21

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 9:11PM
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To me, RH used to have the most beautiful furniture made out of rich black cherry woods and of the highest quality. Their stores were bright and airy. I used to love to browse their store. A few years ago, they changed the stores to dreary bleached blacks and grays, and their furniture became over-sized. It seems so dark and ominous. Not like PB & C&B.

I never had the $$ to buy their furniture, but I would at least buy some little stuff and the address numbers on my house came from there. Now, it wouldn't occur to me to even buy hardware there, let alone browse the store.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 10:54PM
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What has happened to this company? I'm not exactly sure, but their "vision" has certainly changed. The last time I went by their store window, they had on display a gigantic couch that looked like it was made to seat 20, and an equally huge coffee table on which was displayed a set of freakishly over-sized decorative "books" that only the Jolly Green Giant would be able to pick up and read. It was all to weird for my taste. Everything was very drab and colorless, too ... all shades of gray and brown. It's certainly not the Restoration Hardware that I used to enjoy shopping at, but I guess giants need a place to shop, too.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 10:56PM
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I also prefer to buy US-made.

(But, just in case some folks hadn't realized it, "Made in Taiwan" is not the same as "Made in China." The governments are very different even though both claim to be "China.")

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 11:52PM
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Oaktown -- thank you for saying that! I had been thinking the same thing. Some of the accusations against China in this thread apply more to mainland China, and even in cases where companies are Taiwanese the abuses in question more commonly happen in subsidiaries in mainland China as opposed to Taiwan.

Having said that, I can certainly see the patriotic desire to buy American, although I'm personally not bothered by a "Made in Taiwan" sticker if the product is made with quality.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 12:23AM
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LOL, LindaNew, it looks like we are looking at Restoration Hardware through the same set of eyes!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 12:36AM
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For those of you concerned with Chinese products, I need to mention the question of chicken raised here, sent to China for processing, and then shipped back here for consumption. The USDA has recently approved this plan which is causing concern. (!!) There are a number of online articles which explain it and the one I've attached is fairly straight forward. This one says that the product will not carry a label saying it comes from China, although other articles say the opposite. Another article I read also said that what's likely to come back is "chicken products" like chicken nuggets. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have my chicken wholly handled here or in Canada.

Here is a link that might be useful: article on chicken processing

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 12:45AM
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Jellytoast, "hohoho, Greeeen Giant!" You cracked me up.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 1:50AM
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That chicken article is terrifying.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 7:03AM
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Thanks for the heads-up. I was going to drive to RH over weekend for pulls, now I wonn't bother.

Heidi, which Richilieu pulls did you chose? That is the brand my KD carries. My first sample was from China, and felt flimsy to me. Hard to believe it takes me weeks to find pulls.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 7:51AM
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That is a scary fact about the chicken processing, yikes! How will we know where our food is being processed? Or what the country that poisons our pets and its own citizens will do without FDA oversight for food health and safety?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 7:53AM
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But much of what you eat already comes from China at some point. For instance, around here, the local store brand organic corn may be grown fifty miles away from me in Pahokee, FL, but it goes to Shenzhen to get into the can. Same way your wild caught fish most likely went there to get fileted. This has been going on for a long time now.

I have never understood the economics of this, but I suppose it must work.

Back on topic, I haven't thought much of RH for a long time now. Same poor quality furniture you see everywhere else, with a premium price tag for no color. I certainly wouldn't pay their prices for their hardware anymore.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 11:16AM
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I agree with you, but admit to having purchased Bistro and Aubrey RH knobs on sale. Price was right, brass with satin nickel overlay, known QA, and remodel fatigue yet store right in my town to feel and then purchase. Not sorry.

O/T but on: yesterday my credit card called from India and I deferred, and called them back on the US line. I make a point to CC that I want in the US service since that's where I live.

Secondly, re: food. Smithfield Ham in Virginia just sold out to the Chinese. China is known for tenuous food processing.

"Made in America": something I'm looking for more and more again.

Good for you all!

This post was edited by SparklingWater on Wed, Oct 2, 13 at 17:13

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 11:40AM
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I think there is some faulty logic in this thread in the idea that RH pulls are made in Taiwan (not mainland China), then thinking that Chinese goods have inferior quality, to come to the conclusion that RH pulls are therefore not of high quality.

I agree with other posters about RH in general. In fact, the pulls are the only thing from RH I've bought in 5+ years.

I can understand people wanting to buy American and therefore not buying RH. But they are good pulls

(And on the chicken thing - have you seen the way American processors handle mass-produced chicken? Not a showcase of American-made at its finest. If you're not buying from specific free-range farms that don't participate in mass-industrialization of poultry, I don't see how to highlight "American-made" in that example)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 12:47PM
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So, true, calumin. Anyone with a first-hand look at chicken production in the US would likely give up chicken for good. Hard to believe that China could be any worse.

This thread sure did take a turn away from the subject! :-)

As much as I dislike RH, I do agree that the cabinet hardware appears to be good quality. While there are certainly other factors involved in purchasing products from China, I do not think that "Made in China" automatically equates a product as inferior in materials or workmanship.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 1:03PM
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Interesting - I recently bought a chicken from a local farmer and it was amazing! I plan to buy more.

Glad you found a match quickly.

Baldwin Brass used to be made in West Reading PA - but they are moving production to Mexico - I got mine before they moved.

Rocky Mtn Hardware is hard nosed on returns - be sure to read the fine print - they charge a 20% re-stocking fee.

Most of my kitchen is American made except for my DW (Miele) and fridge(Electrolux- not sure where elux originates) - but if I look around, will probably find some hidden items..

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 1:13PM
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The reality check here is that world economy is being much more tighter knit than people realize. Even if a company is US based and mainly selling to US customers, they still source raw materials or products from others countries including China, India, Malaysia and Africa. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It is just what is.In my work, I deal with supply chains and all companies large or small buy their raw material internationally or use international services. I do try to support my local business when I can but if my local boutique happens to source their pashmina shawls from pakistan, I don't mind it.

Also on Whitechapel hardware --> They have lovely stuff but it is not true that everything they have is made in US. Infact the pulls and knobs we got from whitechapel were a british company called kirkpatrick. And yes, I did find a cheaper online source for them online from a british company. However, they do clearly call it out on their website.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 1:27PM
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Buy your food local from farmers that you can visit and/or grow some or all of your own.

Just about any food (regardless of where it comes from geographically) overseen by the glorious FDA is now a nasty, toxic conglomeration of chemicals and additives. The FDA is not a friend of anyone but big agra, big pharma and big chem. Sorry for my rant but I'm truly and deeply disturbed by what passes for FDA sanctioned 'food' in this country. And increasing numbers of people wonder why they don't feel well....garbage in, garbage out, IMO.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 11:12PM
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I applaud all you Americans supporting your manufacturing companies. Up here in Canada, it is even harder. Food, clothing, furniture is very hard to find in our stores that is truly Canadian. CSA food boxes is the way to go for fresh vegetables.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 12:00AM
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I'd like to reiterate, I said the quality of RH's pulls seemed fine. I don't like being told they're made in America and then find out they're made in Taiwan. Taiwan is not exactly synonymous with high quality products. Many of their products are made in Taiwan, but they source their parts from China (this happens in the US as well, so vigilance is necessary). The crux of my rant was that Rh used to be a store that you could count on for having products that were not made in China. I hate that a company known for that has changed their business model, yet hides behind the word "Imported" so that the change is not widely noted by their clients. The fact that they're hiding it means that they know that american consumers avoid goods made in countries known for shoddy products, so they don't display the country of origin as proudly as they used to. This wreaks of dishonesty to me.

I don't care how good Rh's Quality Assurance is (I actually have no reason in recent years to believe that it's good at all). If they openly said, our products are mainly made in China now, but our QA is unfaltering, that would be one thing. But that's not what they do. Instead they make it very difficult for you to find where it comes from before purchasing.

FYI, the reason that the pet food recall shocked so many pet owners was because some of the highest quality dog food was recalled. Owners thought that since they were paying a premium that they didn't have to worry about low quality food. They assumed a high level of Quality Assurance. Unfortunately, the pet food companies were sourcing grains from China. When grains are bought, the price increases if the crop has a high protein level. So some unscrupulous people in China, who only cared about their own bottom line, added melamine and cyanuric acid to their grains so that when they were tested for protein, it could cheat the test and have a high protein level. Unfortunately, melamine and cyanuric acid can be fatal to animals. In this case it was, to over 13000 pets that we know of and who knows how many pets lives were shortened.

Now lets apply this case to hardware. Lets say, a company decides to degrade their hardware and move it from being made and sourced in the USA to being made in Taiwan. What happens if Taiwan can get really cheap nickel plating from China? What happens if the nickel plating from China has lead in it? What happens if said company was a highly regarded company that hasn't reduced any prices so their customers still think they're a high quality company. What if that leads their customers to assume (as did the pet owners) a high level of Quality Assurance? Then what if those customers buy the hardware, touch them every day, have their children touch them every day, lick their hands after touching, etc, etc, etc. It didn't take that long for the pets to develop issues that were noticed.....lead poisoning can be a slower process.

Keeping both your consumers best interest and your bottom line in mind must be a difficult balancing act. It seems that Rh's greed has made them fall off the tightrope.

I did say that MY White Chapel knobs and pulls were made in the USA. I didn't say all of White Chapel's hardware is made in the USA. However, NONE of them are made in China or Taiwan. They're made in the USA, Great Britain, France, etc. They search out artisans who take pride in their craft. Then they sell it at a reasonable price to consumers. This is a business model that I can support.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pet food scandal

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 12:22AM
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I was thinking about this thread earlier - and the diversion mid-thread regarding outsourcing chicken processing to China.

Given the recent issues with Foster Farms and the reluctance of the USDA to help protect the public from chicken contaminated with antibiotic-resistant salmonella -- I think I might trust Chinese-processed chicken more than American. Better QA procedures.

And on top of it, the message of contaminated chicken isn't getting out to the public because the group is understaffed due to the government shutdown!

News story: Farm Stays Open Despite Salmonella Outbreak

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 9:37PM
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Calumin I completely agree with you about the chicken issue - american made mass produced chicken and other meat is nothing for our country to be proud of. The living conditions for the animals are atrocious. And the way that the food is processed is not something we probably want to know about . There's a book called Eating Animals that discusses this in painful detail. After reading that book I try to go local and organic as much as I can afford. All that said, I also would not feel comfortable eating meat that has the Chinese connection given china's lack of proper regulation and oversight. US oversight isn't great either.

I hadn't thought about the made in china issue for hardware. I bought pulls from lowes and now wonder if we have issues with lead. I can only hope not as I'm in love with the hardware we chose.

As for restoration hardware, I hadn't been there in years and went recently and nothing grabbed me and now I realize it was probably the oversized thing. But its customer service is helpful . I've noticed with pottery barn, too, that while their items are lovely their customer service isn't what I remember from years ago, while crate and barrel customer service has only gotten better.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 6:22AM
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I will put in another vote for Whitechapel. Yes, they do carry lines that are non-US made, predominantly European. But as another poster commented, they're clear about it. I found them to be very helpful and offer very good customer service - quality goods.

I also checked out Horton Brass - another company that understands the value of service. I didn't buy from them simply because the particular style I was looking for wasn't part of their line.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 11:54AM
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Here is a link that might be useful: Classic Brass

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 1:01PM
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