Listen Up Pottery Barn, the bar has been raised!

By Amber Hudson

 One of life’s simple pleasures is sitting on your couch browsing a website for something you want need and having it delivered to your door a few days later.  

Back in the early days of online shopping the experience was a bit of a crapshoot.  But these days most major brands have the basics nailed:  easy navigation, clear images of the products plus consumer feedback, secure and easy check out and speedy delivery. 

Most, except Pottery Barn. 

I recently visited their site to order a number of things for my daughter’s new room; comforter, sheets, pillows, curtains. The total was high for an 8 year old but I’m willing to pay for a good product.   All was good until I got to the checkout and saw they were going to charge me over $150 to ship it.  Um. What?!?!  [closes iPad for the evening] 

The next day I received a “Free Shipping!” email.  What luck!  I quickly logged back on only to find out this didn’t apply to Canadians.  Total lunch bag let down.  Let us remember it was Pottery Barn who sent the “Free Shipping!” email to me

I emailed Customer Service saying I’d so love to buy these items but the shipping fees are unreasonable.  And that I had received, by now several, “Free Shipping!” emails (each one rekindling hope only to have that hope crushed).  Their response:  I can log into my account to change my settings so that I won’t get so many emails.   Point missed.  Or ignored.  Another email back to them saying no, no, no, I want the “Free Shipping!”  offered in all these emails.  Their reply:  sorry, the company used for cross-border shipping doesn’t offer free shipping to Canada.  

Oh come on now.  In a world of “Spend $X and get Free Shipping!” this is unacceptable.  Amazon has set the pace for superior shipping.  Banana Republic and Gap…free shipping.  Even smaller websites like ThinkGeek.com….free shipping.

It’s a simple equation:  I buy lots of stuff, you give me “Free Shipping!”  It’s the cost of doing business.  Today’s online shoppers are smarter, more demanding and tighter with their wallets meaning brands have to work harder to win.  Pottery Barn needs to get out of the dark ages. 

Maybe I’m being unfair singling out Pottery Barn as they aren’t alone in this challenge; many ecommerce brands have yet to be fully enlightened on the new expectations in online shopping.  But suffice it to say, I’m not going to order from them.  I’ve since discovered Wayfair.com – even better selection and yup, “Free Shipping!”