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I can say with certainty that Williams Sonoma is now responsible for the worst customer service experience I’ve ever had with a retailer and that the company’s gift exchange policy is outdated to the point of being ludicrous and it appears to purposely designed to thwart my efforts to spend my money as I choose. Allow me to explain. On Dec. 27, 2021, I returned a gift I had received for Christmas at the Williams Sonoma at Columbus Circle in New York City. It had been ordered online and then picked up there several days before.
Upon making the return, I was told that the only means for issuing a refund was to have a merchandise card sent to via me the U.S. Postal Service and that one would arrive in my mailbox within 14 business days, which would have been approximately Jan. 14, 2022. This struck me as exceedingly unusual given that Williams Sonoma sells digital gift cards and given how much business the company surely does online, perhaps more than in its physical stores. The gift had been ordered online, so why could the credit not simply be applied digitally so that I could buy the item I wanted online instead?
After 14 business days, the card had not arrived. I contacted customer service and was assured by the person who answered that Williams Sonoma "understood my frustration." Nonetheless, I was not offered a refund or online credit. My only option was to have the card canceled, reissued and remailed. As that would have required potentially waiting for the new card an additional 14 business days, I chose not to do that. At that point, I wrote to the company’s customer service email address and expressed my frustration, noting that the merchandise had been returned and probably sold again.
A short time later, I received an email from a customer service representative who said the card had been shipped to me on Dec. 29. She advised that Williams Sonoma was “unable to send the gift card digitally.” She did not explain why and simply repeated what I had been told over the phone. She said I should “feel free to contact us with any other questions.” Later the same day, after I had registered my concerns with a customer service agent via email, I received a second email from customer service. This one only added to my confusion and frustration and made me question Williams Sonoma’s honesty.
This person said the company’s systems showed that the card had been “invoiced” on Dec. 30 and therefore would not have gone out until Jan. 3, 2022, since that was the next business day according to this person’s calculations. Why had I previously been told the card went out on Dec. 29? That was not explained. This person gave me a new arrival date of Jan. 21, said that no tracking information was available because the card was being shipped via USPS and repeated that if the card had not arrived by then that it could be voided and reissued “to ensure you received it.” Based on my experience to this point, I’m not confident that would “ensure” anything.
This person closed his note by apologizing and saying, “I understand this is a bigger hassle than you originally anticipated.” He was right. This process is obviously a hassle, but I could not have anticipated how big it would be. I replied to this person by recounting my growing frustration and noting the conflicting timelines. The response I received to that email was an incoherent attempt to explain the meaning of the term “invoiced,” which was beyond beside the point.
The bottom line is that nearly three weeks after returning in good faith an item that was purchased as a gift I still have not received my credit and have no good reason to believe I will anytime soon. Williams Sonoma should not make it impossible for their customers to make exchanges. In addition to not buying anything for myself in the future, I am absolutely certain I will not be doing any gift shopping at Williams Sonoma. I would not want to put anyone I care about through a similar experience.
Thank you for contacting Williams-Sonoma.
We are so sorry to hear this has been your experience, can you please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can further assist you?
Thank you,Christi T.
Social Media Lead
The store does NOT put up notices nor do the sales associates inform that the food/candy is not returnable the time of purchase. When I tried to return the overpriced, unopened vanilla extract and 2 tins of the holiday candy (with receipt) I was informed by the sales associate that it was dangerous to take back food items and the store policy do not to accept returns on these items. When I asked where the sign stating that, she said it was on the receipt. That is bad policy and business practices as you only get a receipt AFTER purchasing item, making it immediately non-returnable.
Thank you for contacting Williams-Sonoma.
We are sorry to hear about your store experience. Because your merchandise was purchased at one of our retail stores, we, unfortunately, do not have a record of your purchase through our Catalog and Internet Sales departments. Please email us at email@example.com with a photo of your receipt so we can further assist you.Thank you,
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I have loved this store for years and years. Over the last year or so I have been getting more and more disappointed. Ordered something a year ago that was not in stock and was backorder for a few months. Once that time came their warehouse canceled the order without calling us. When we called into support they said they reordered it. A month later when we did not get it still called again and was told that they were waiting on a call from us. WHAT???? Last item I ordered I received yesterday a beautiful ginger jar. It was on sale half off or a bit more. It was chipped and the jar lid was too small for the base opening. Called support to get a replacement and a return shipping package for the faulty product. Was told that due to it being on sale no refund or return. I want a product I paid for not a defective product. Don't think I will be ordering anything online from them again.
I am so very sorry you were misinformed regarding the return of sale items. Yes, we do have a 30 return window but there are exceptions to the rule always!
Please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your order number and details. Thank you, Tammi
I love Williams Sonoma and have spent thousands of dollars at their store. I tried to return an item with the preprinted return label. UPS could not scan it. I tried to reprint the label on WS website but was not able to do so. I chatted with a rep.
We thank you very much for reaching out. Would you please email us at email@example.com with your order details? We are here to help.Sincerely,
I purchased 2 mirrors in November 2021 and 4 light sconces for a brand new bathroom we were building. In December mirrors arrived but 1 was damaged- they advised me to send it back and issued me a replacement number and assured me the new mirror was being sent. Fast forward to December 23rd no mirror so I call to see where it is as the contractors have installed my other matching mirror - entire bathroom has been built around these mirrors and lights and I am told sorry no mirror was shipped or will be shipped as it is discontinued.
WHAT?? When was someone going to tell me this - I was obviously in trouble but no resolution- They have over $900 of my money and no refund - I had to purchase to new ones in hopes they will fit in this space. I had to pay for shipping charges again and they refused to waive my shipping charges- still no refund for mirrors one that I returned and other I cannot use and they will not send me a return label. A large company and they are stealing from the public.
Thank you very much for reaching out. Would you please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your order details and reference this Consumer Affairs inquiry? Our elevated support team is here to help.Sincerely,
Nothing I have ordered has ever been satisfactory. I am done with Williams Sonoma. Sub par products at overly inflated pricing. One run around after another, all the while saying "they care". There is a term for that, and it involves the backend of a bull.
Thank you for contacting Williams-Sonoma.
We are sincerely sorry to hear of the quality issues you are experiencing with your orders, if you could please email us at email@example.com with your order information we would really like to make this right.Thank you,
Nowhere in the store do they provide notice that the food/candy is not returnable, nor do the sales associates notify before the sale that the food/candy in not returnable. When I tried to return 3 tins of the holiday candy (with receipt) I was informed by the sales associate that it was store policy not to accept returns on these items. When I asked where the sign was stating that, they said it was on the receipt. Problem is, you only get a receipt AFTER purchasing item, making it immediately non-returnable. Bad policy here.
Thank you for contacting Williams-Sonoma.We are sorry to hear of your experience in one of our stores, it should be visible for customers to know that food is non-returnable in the store location. It is listed on our website, our returns policy can be found here: https://www.williams-sonoma.com/customer-service/return/?cm_type=fnav
Can you please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a picture of your receipt so that we can further assist you?
I order the insta Pot with an expected delivery date of 12/17-12/21. I went online to check the tracking of the item and now it states an expected delivery date of 1/6-1/10... no email notification or any communication from WS. I called to cancel the item and literally got the runaround and was told I could not cancel the order because it was in "backorder"...if it has not shipped then why can I not cancel it? My intent was to cancel and pick up at the local store but now I will wait and return it to the store but now I will include the Air Fryer I bought and the Griddle (total of $500 of purchases) and instead go to Sur La Table. I have spent a fortune at WS and after this customer service experience, I will not spend another dime!
Thank you for contacting Williams-Sonoma.
We are so sorry to hear about your experience, can you please email us at email@example.com so that we can further assist you?Thank you,
Ordered frozen egg bites on 12/07, and requested a 12/17 delivery. Called on 12/20 to get an update and waited over an hour to speak to a person. Was told by Ashanti they have an ETA of 12/22 to their distribution center in Ohio, and that they would not give me a refund or expedite shipping so there is zero chance I'll have them for my brunch the morning of 12/24. Why wasn't I informed there was a stock issue prior to 12/17? Why is this item still on the website with "order by 12/21 for Christmas delivery", when they haven't even fulfilled my order from 12/07? I noticed there are no item reviews on the website today. I'm assuming that's because there are a ton of people who won't be getting their Christmas orders in time.
Ordered a prime roast from this company way overpriced on the 7th. With guarantee delivery on the 17th for our Christmas party, got told on the 16th that it wasn't going to arrive until the 21st 5 days past our Christmas party. Tried to get a refund. They refused And they're still going to deliver This $300 piece of meat and leave it on our porch when we're going to be out of state for a week. Worst company ever
I am so sorry to hear of this and I thank you very much for reaching out. Would you please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your order details and reference this Consumer Affairs inquiry? Our elevated support team is here to help.Sincerely,
Williams-Sonoma author review by ConsumerAffairs Research Team
Browse indoor and outdoor home furnishings and décor online or at stores across the United States. Free design services and credit cards rewards are available.
Services: In-store product training and free knife sharpening.
Shipping: Front door delivery and Premium White Glove service delivery options.
Returns: Eligible items can be returned within 30 days. Customized orders are not eligible for returns.
Williams-Sonoma Company Information
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- San Francisco
- United States
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