Back in May, my search for a small, navy sofa wasn't going very well. I wasn't finding the style I wanted (I won't bore you with all of my requirements...there were so many!) in a size that would work for my space (it had to be 70 inches or less) and a navy fabric that I loved. On a whim, I looked at Pottery Barn's website and saw the perfect sofa, but I talked myself out of the order because I knew PB ended their relationship with Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams years ago and moved production abroad. Some poking around landed me on this video (which won't embed, I'm sorry) and I changed my mind.
The gist of the video is that Williams-Sonoma (which includes Pottery Barn and West Elm) opened a division called Sutter Street Manufacturing to make upholstered pieces. That work is back to being done in America! Their facility is in Hickory, where I happen to have family. I was so excited. After a few days of thinking about a purchase, an email arrived from PB announcing a sale and I went into our local Charlottesville store to place my order.
My confirmation said that my May 31st order would arrive between July 28th and August 11th. I had already made plans to paint the living room in June, so a late July delivery wasn't the end of the world. I couldn't really make other decisions in the living room until that piece arrived, so progress on the living room came to a stop.
Yesterday, I decided to take a peek at my order because I wondered if there was an update on the delivery window since the 28th was the first day slated for delivery. I was pretty shocked when I saw this:
The delivery window is now between August 31st and September 14th! Pottery Barn never emailed or called about this change. They listing on their website shows a 12 week lead time for the fabric I picked. I called customer service because my new window was beyond that and I was told the same three things multiple times:
1. Pottery Barn doesn't know why there is a delay, but they are working with "the manufacturer" to catch up.
Wait...Sutter Street Manufacturing is a division of Pottery Barn/Williams-Sonoma. Why wouldn't Pottery Barn customer service be aware of why there was a delay in their own factory?
2. Pottery Barn usually beat their estimated delivery dates, so my situation is unusual.
That actually made me feel more frustrated. The second time the guy said it, I was starting to get mad. Why would you try to make me feel better about waiting an extra month or more for my item by telling me that other people get their items more quickly?
3. Pottery Barn will give me a gift card as an apology after delivery is made and the amount will be determined after delivery.
This one blew my mind. He basically told me that the amount of the gift card depended on just how badly this whole thing goes and how inconvenienced I am.
I guess what upset me most was that I wouldn't have known any of this if I hadn't reached out to Pottery Barn first. The representative apologized and said they usually email people with an update when there is a delay. He must have flagged me for one of those emails because I got it within a few hours. It didn't provide any information.
I'm kicking myself today. After I placed that order, I started shopping at Pottery Barn again. I was so proud that they brought upholstery work back to North Carolina that I wanted to support them. I feel duped. I wish I had held off and searched a little longer for a sofa from one of the long-time North Carolina companies.