Friday, March 30, 2012

Pottery Barn Hates Me

How come all of my neighbors get Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma catalogues every month — and I don't? I often sort the mail; there they are, like clockwork: two fat booklets for each of my neighbors, usually advertising some tempting offer, too, like 15% off any purchase with a one-time-use code.

It's lucky for my neighbors that I paid attention to everything the nuns said, so I would never take anyone's mail. I'm also aware that stealing mail is a federal offense as well as a violation of the Eighth Commandment. Unfortunately, one of our local mailmen didn't know that this on Wednesday.

Let it be known that I've signed up to receive both catalogues at least 10 or 12 times over the years. For a while, a few years back, I filled out a card every time I shopped in each store, which was often; it got to be a routine. But it didn't work. I signed up online every time I placed an order and sometimes when I was just bored, cranky, and/or in the mood for an exercise in futility. I've also called customer service and begged to be put on the mailing lists of both stores. (I'm scrupulous about stopping catalogues I don't want, so this is bizarre.) I also place orders — usually a guaranteed way to get catalogues for life plus tons of unwanted stuff from "affiliates." Doesn't work for me.

Pottery Barn has some excellent merchandise (some, not all) and their catalogues are always inspiring and fun to browse. Last month, after I received an order (a hefty marble cheese board, via a gift card), I realized that, yet again, everybody got catalogues except me.

I got annoyed. I sent an email to PB customer service, detailing my request, mentioning what I wrote above in some detail. Among other things, I said:
...  I've bought lighting, kitchen things, bedding, towels, accessories, holiday items, and a complete set of bathroom hardware from you. I request and receive gift cards as presents, and I really enjoy browsing the catalogues. But usually I have to find them in someone's trash.....

For a while, I was filling out catalogue request cards every single time I went into a store; I tried that maybe 8 or 10 times. No luck. I have also called PB's customer service MANY times over the years to make sure my preferences to receive monthly catalogs are noted. I was always assured that everything was all set.

For a while, it did work. I was getting Pottery Barn catalogues, although I'm lucky if I get a Williams-Sonoma catalogue once every two years. More than a year ago, I noticed that my neighbors in this building were all getting their PB catalogs while I got nothing. I did get one at Christmas, which inspired me to trek to the store in the suburbs, where I bought stuff and then I ordered something recently online.

See, if I don't get catalogues, I forget to shop. But if you send them to me, it's actually going to be profitable for you.
.... So, please, tell me: what more do I have to do to receive your catalogs? Is there some secret that other people know that I don't? If shopping often, ordering items, and begging by mail, phone, and email can't do it, what will???

I received this response, with weird fonts:

Thank you for contacting Pottery Barn.

We appreciate your interest in our Pottery Barn  and Williams Sonoma catalogs. However, at this time we do not have enough information to process your request.

You may add your name to our catalog mailing list by selecting the "Catalog Request" icon at the bottom of our home page at, or you may reply to this email with your mailing address and we will be happy to enter the information for you. Please be advised we currently mail catalogs only to the United States, U.S. Territories and APO/FPO addresses.

Once the requested information is complete, you should receive a copy of the most current Pottery Barn catalog in approximately 7-10 business days.

We look forward to having you receive our catalog.

If we may be of any further assistance, please contact us via email.  Alternately, you may contact our Customer Service Department directly at 1-800-922-9934 from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm (PST), seven days a week.

Kind regards,

L___ S____
Pottery Barn
Customer Service
I wrote back:
Hi L--,

I've probably added my info to that catalogue request form more than a dozen times over the past few years. I did it again tonight, for laughs, but I have ZERO faith that it will work.

If you had actually read my letter, I think you would have known better than to suggest such a simple thing. Believe me, it doesn't work. My request is not only to be added to your mailing list in some ironclad way, but to find out why dozens of attempts to get onto it permanently have inevitably failed, particularly for Williams-Sonoma.

My address, which I'm sorry I forgot to include (but which you could have found by looking up my email address in your system) is:

[my info]

Is there any chance you can get me a March catalogue like all my neighbors have, with my very own discount code, like they have, sometime very SOON, so I can order a few things??

I received this is response:
Hello Ms.  ___,

Thank you for contacting Pottery Barn.

We have not received an answer yet as to why you are not receiving our catalogs.  Please allow us 3-5 business days to get an answer.  However, we have requested a Pottery Barn catalog be sent out to you.

We are sorry to hear that you have been going through recycling bins to get our catalogs.   In hope of you getting a new catalog in the next 7-10 business days via postal service, a request to send you one has been made.

If we may be of any further assistance, please contact us via email.  Alternately, you may contact our Customer Service Department directly at 1-800-922-9934 from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm (PST), seven days a week.

Kind regards,

D___ A_____
Pottery Barn
Customer Service
A few days after that, I received a manilla envelope containing a PB catalogue that someone had three-hole punched. There was no savings code, of course. And I never learned why they can't get it together to send me monthly catalogs.

Because they just effing can't, I guess.

I surrender. It will probably take less time to prowl the alley on the next recycling day than to keep up correspondence with Pottery Barn. If you have a spare PB catalogue you don't want, preferably with a discount code, please let me know when it's your trash pick-up day. We need new pillow shams.

1 comment:

  1. There is a foolproof easy to receive every catalog they produce in multiples. Simply inform them that you no longer wish to receive them.

    Problem solved.


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