I ordered eight deck planters from the PatioLover.com website based on the photo that appeared with the product. The available colors were green, "terra cotta" (which looked red in the picture), bone, and a taupe color which the text called "mocha." As our house and deck are also a taupe color, I ordered that color and my eight planters arrived very promptly. However, I was taken aback to discover that the planters were not at all the color of the photo on the website, but were instead a medium/dark brown.
I called the customer service line for the company to report the discrepancy and was appalled at the response I received. I was apparently supposed to know that the color in the photo was not "mocha" and that the actual color of the item would not be the color pictured (there was apparently no photo available of the mocha-colored planter, so they substituted this taupe colored photo). There was no indication on the website that the photo was illustrative only and that the actual items would look different. In ten minutes of discussion I was unable to persuade the representative that a consumer using their website should be able to expect the item ordered to be consistent with the image shown.
The company actually has a lighter-colored planter (at least based on the other photo on the website), and could easily have resolved this by offering to ship the replacement items at no additional cost. But the only recourse I was given was to return the brown planters I did not order at my own expense, and order new ones if I wanted to pay for the shipping on those.
This is the worst customer service I have ever experienced in many years of online shopping. I would not do business with this company again and would recommend extreme caution to anyone else considering it.On March 30th, 2008, marciaawalsh changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
During my unsatisfactory call with the customer service line I requested a callback from a more senior person. The next day the VP for Customer Service called and has been very reasonable about resolving this problem. I have now received the planters I thought I was ordering (turns out they did have the taupe color after all) and the company will pay for return shipping on the brown ones. I would still hesitate to business there again as it should not be necessary to speak to a VP of Customer Relations to receive proper treatment, but in the interest of fairness I have to say the VP did all she could to address the problem.