Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Retail Heros

You may remember my love affair with Burleigh and how I found an incredible blue and white Burleigh platter for the most amazing price!  If you missed it you can check it out here.

I went back to Williams Sonoma Home online just a few days after I bought my platter, to buy some matching dishes, and was so proud of myself for snagging some of those at a great price as well!  I watched and waited for them to arrive in the mail and then one day the unthinkable happened.  After waiting several weeks and even receiving information from one of their customer service agents that my plates were due to be delivered just a few days later, I got an email saying they were sold out and wouldn't be coming back in to stock!  What?!

I get the whole thing about this not being a national crisis or anything, but I was so bummed!  You know how you see something and think it's wonderful, but then you find out it's not available and suddenly it becomes the one and only thing you've ever wanted in your whole life?!  Ok, well it wasn't quite as bad as that, but it was close!

I called WS Home almost immediately after getting that email, I was determined to find a set, or maybe 3, of those dang dishes!  I got a lovely woman as a customer service rep who patiently listened to me drone on and on about how my life would be ruined without those dishes and she was even kind enough to see if she could find some, hiding somewhere in the deep dark recesses of their inventory.  Nope...no luck...completely sold out she said!

Not one to be easily defeated I looked on their website and found their list of brick and mortar stores.  Now bear in mind this was at almost 11:00 pm EST on a Friday night, so the only stores still open were in California.  So I called their Palo Alto location and a wonderful woman by the name of Kathleen (I hope it's spelled with a K!) answered the phone.  It was nearly closing time for them but she too patiently listened to me blather on about these plates and then went to see if they had any in their store.

And after just a few moments on hold she came back to say that they had some!  Are you feeling the highs and lows of this roller coaster ride I'm taking you on yet?!  I excitedly said "Oh wonderful I need 3 sets of them!"  And then the bottom dropped out as the gleeful ride to the top of the coaster just moments earlier when I found out they had plates, became a downward spiral screaming headlong to the bottom of the hill.  She proceeded to tell me that they were sold separately in the store, and for way more than what I had originally paid with my online order!

Kathleen was very sweet and so incredibly helpful, I mean it was only a 1/2 hour or so before they were due to close, and she said she would put the plates on hold for me so that I could then go back and talk to the online folks to see if they would price match them!  She also put her wonderful sales manager, Pam, online who gave me more info about how to have the plates shipped to me directly if the catalog folks would contact them and authorize it.

So back I went to their online service reps to plead my case about how I had ordered these online, and paid a certain price, and how my son would likely not get in to the college of his choice if I couldn't get these matching Burleigh dishes at an affordable price!  Dale was the rep who had the unenviable task of taking my call, but she was wonderful and told me she would speak to her supervisor Lori to see if they could work it all out!

After another few minutes on hold they had worked some sort of internet magic and assured me that they would contact Pam or Kathleen the next day to seal the deal and get me my beautiful Burleigh plates and at the price I was originally quoted in my online order!

With a little bit of patience, some fortitude, and with a lot of help from some great WS Home retail heroes, I got my blue and white beauties from UPS yesterday!   So if you live near their Palo Alto store, please pop in and say hi to Pam and Kathleen, and tell them that Kat is loving her new dishes.  I already phoned to tell them that, but you can tell them again!  And one more thing, since we all know that the President and CEO of Williams Sonoma Home frequently reads my blog *eye roll* here's a little message for ya!  Give those girls a raise, they made me a customer for life!

Don't forget to stop back by on Thursday when I will be using my new dishes for Tablescape Thursday!


  1. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for your nice comments! I have enjoyed visiting yours, too- I love the kitchen remodel photos! Looking forward to reading more!

  2. OMGoodness Kat! I adore Burleigh ware, especially their calico ware pattern and have it on my mantle in our kitchen! Oh you lucky lucky lady!! If I lived in the US, I would definitely shop at Williams Sonoma Home!! Enjoy those plates Kat:) ~ Tina x

  3. Your plates are just gorgeous, so I see why you were so relentless in getting them! LOL. What a great group of sales people, that really impresses me, when today there are so many who really don't care about customer satisfaction. I know you will be enjoying having them!!

  4. They certainly are beautiful to "pitch a fit" over! So good to see there are still stores who value their customers!

  5. Oh how pretty. I am so glad you got them. Just gorgeous. What a blessing to have a store that goes the extra mile. Also, I am really enjoying my book. I love it so far. Hugs, Marty

  6. Looks like persistence paid off!! Glad you were able to get your pretty dishes!!

  7. Okay, that didn't take a little patience and persistence - that took A LOT!!! Way to go. I can't believe they had actually emailed you to say the plates would arrive in a day or so when they obviously hadn't even left the warehouse. Good for you.

  8. How resourceful you are to think to call a CA store to check! I'm so happy for you that you were able to get them at that great on-line price too. Your photography shows them off so well, you are very good with that macro setting! ~Lili


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