Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Reviewing the "Vendors"

The reason "Mrs. Gracious" began was for me to have a way to hold companies accountable for their customer service.  I also love affordable design and weddings so the company has taken a turn more towards those, however, I still feel superior service is very important!  I decided to share my experiences with the "vendors" I worked with on my nursery, and will continue to do so for any further posts.

Ikea, Atlanta, GA:  The items I purchased here were in store and both times on a Saturday which I would not recommend - the store is packed!  However, the service people I talked to were very helpful and we were able to check out quickly despite this hiccup.  One thing to remember if you have never been in: record the items you plan on purchasing as you walk through the design room! I didn't realize this was necessary on my first visit and ended up having to go back through the whole store to find the item numbers.  Otherwise, definitely would recommend them and especially their prices!
Hobby Lobby, Franklin, TN: I am probably this store's biggest customer.  Seriously.  While returns are kind of a pain, they are improving and will even give you store credit without a receipt.  I also recommend bringing a coupon and checking out their sales - most stuff is 50% off at least once a month.  Otherwise, the store is clean and has the best selection of crafts of anywhere I have found.

Babies R Us, Nolensville, TN:  Not the most helpful experience here but we did get what we needed.  I ordered a lot of items online but for my custom chair we had to go in store.  The man who helped us was very nice but he clearly had some training issues as we were in there for nearly an hour trying to help him figure out how to custom order the fabric for the chair.  Definitely worth it in the end though as I think the chair ended up making the room!  For everything else I would recommend ordering online.  They have free shipping with certain minimum orders, send coupons in the mail if you're on their loyalty program, and the shipping is very fast.
Amazon:  Oh how I love my Amazon Prime.  My husband and I split an account which is fabulous because we still get free 2 day shipping but can have different logins since he invited me to join his.  I did have an issue with dealing with their customer service - it seems the online people do not have a lot of authority to do anything.  I was supposed to receive a $50 account credit for spending over $250 for their baby promotion, but it took 3 online chats, and an email to finally get this taken care of.  Their returns process is relatively painless though and you can't beat the shipping and selection.
ATG Stores:  One word: terrible.  I have never had such a bad online experience.  I know they are owned by Lowes and personally I prefer Home Depot - their personnel are so much more helpful.  I ordered only a couple items from them but never received confirmation emails - they said my email address was too long, however, I got promotion emails from them.  The worst part was when I tried to return an item.  I had to chat with someone online to get the RMA number to send back some wooden boxes that were too small.  I got the information, sent back the item (thankfully with tracking) and then a week later got an email that the manufacturer had not received the return yet.  I went to USPS and checked the item had been marked undeliverable.  Come to find out through another excruciatingly long online chat that they had given me the wrong address information because the manufacturer had moved.  I didn't have my own return address on the package so it had been routed to Atlanta.  I explained that this was their issue but the customer service representative told me I would have to write a letter to USPS to have the package re-routed to the new manufacturer location before I would get a refund.  I told them that was ridiculous because I had followed all instructions and it was now their problem but they wouldn't budge.  Thank goodness for American Express.  Their customer service is SUPERB and they removed the charge from my credit card when I called and told them what happened.  Would definitely not order from this place again!

Craft Cuts:  Not much to say about them because this was an online order but they shipped exactly what I needed quickly and affordably.  If I need some more letters I would use them again.

The Honest Company:  Their phone personnel are very nice.  I ordered a free sample online of their products and got signed up for a monthly subscription, however when I called they were very helpful and cancelled it without a problem.  I like their products but they are on the more expensive side so I probably won't continue using them, but it's worth it if you have the extra cash!
TargetAlways love them and their return policy.  The staff are always efficient and the store is very clean.  The curtains I ordered were online but their site is great and you always have hassle free online returns in store as long as you have a receipt or credit card.  

Big Lots:  My husband makes fun of me for going to this place but I think it's amazing.  I have gotten a number of cute items for the house (posts to come later), and they have great deals on beauty/health products, food, even baby accessories.  I swear I'm in here once a day and the staff is always so nice.  Only downside is I've noticed the trend is catching on (I've been coming in here for 12 years) so they're starting to get busier.  Bad for me but good for them!
Kirklands: I love this place.  Every time I visit they have a new selection of fabulous decor pieces.  And Christmas?  Don't even get me started.  The best part is the prices!  So much more affordable than Pottery Barn and with similar items.  The staff are always very knowledgeable and seem happy to be working in there (who wouldn't be - they probably get an employee discount).  Don't forget to sign up for their rewards program to get coupons for even better savings.  I'll be posting some of my most recent fabulous finds there soon.  Stay tuned =)

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