Cabinet Door Sales, Floating Shelves, Decorative Hardware Sales
Duarte, Monrovia, Palm Springs, New York City, Minneapolis
2015 Inc. Magazine 500, Pittsburgh Magazine Home of the Year 2014, Best Kitchen/Bath ICFF 2013, Country Living Magazine House of the Year 2013, Dwell Magazine Showcase Home Venice 2013, This Old House Best New Products 2013, "One to Watch" Interior Design Magazine 2013, NKBA member
Apologies that it's been a frustrating experience, on top of the stress that comes with any kitchen remodel. Looks like our Customer Service team is working with you on the issue currently. Would love to circle back with you after this, to see how we could improve our processes.
Hi (name removed),
I'm John McDonald. I started Semihandmade seven years ago. Sorry for the delay getting back to you; I got called away unexpectedly last weekend.
As our Associate told you on the phone Friday, I take customer service seriously. I also take seriously how public perception affects our company.
We are very sorry you're unhappy with the bathroom fronts and apologize for any inconvenience. I was listening from my office when Customer Service called. We had serious issues with our phones last week which explains why she called multiple times. We also wanted to address your concerns as quickly as possible. Either way, I would definitely not characterize the conversation as her "yelling at you" as I believe you did in a follow-up email. If anything, I'd call the exchange amicable.
I understand that you think your fronts have a darker tone than normal, but I can assure you that is not the case. We always let customers know color and grain variation is common and should be expected with all our real wood products. We also encourage people to purchase samples before ordering, which it looks like you did not do. Every Wine Barrel project (and every Walnut, Mahogany and Barn Lumber project) is different than another. Online photos can also be deceiving; certainly, lighting plays a factor in finished shots that are sent to us. A wide color range is also much more common in a large project like a kitchen or island than in a 31” bathroom vanity like yours.
What surprised me - and frankly it is something I’ve never seen in my time at Semihandmade, let alone in the 3000 Ikea projects we shipped last year - is the fact that you were unwilling to give us the opportunity to address your perceived issue before publicly airing your dissatisfaction.
Yours is not even a complaint really, more a subjective opinion since - as you stated - the quality of the product is exceptional and the pieces arrived undamaged. Normally photos are sent in conjunction with a customer service issue. That did not happen in your case. According to UPS tracking, the Godmorgon fronts arrived at your house at 12 o'clock Friday. By 12:15, during our lunch hour, you wrote us an email saying you were unhappy with a product. Before we had a chance to do any research at all on the issue, within about 90 minutes - and again without sending any photos or providing any documentation whatsoever to support your complaint - you posted a negative review on Houzz.
While every consumer has a right to voice unhappiness with a purchase, I also have a right as a business owner - assuming a "good faith" mistake - to be allowed to properly address a perceived issue with a customer before that consumer goes to Social Media or any other forum with a complaint.
Additionally, I believe I have an obligation as an employer to protect our company. As mentioned, I started Semihandmade 7 years ago. In that time we have grown to over fifty employees with showrooms in multiple cities, and we work regularly with the biggest and most influential bloggers and DIY experts in the Design Industry. We are not perfect, but we are proud of our sterling reputation. We've earned it by busting our asses every single day.
I realize I am in the minority when I say the customer is not always right. My partner definitely does not agree with that point. Regardless, I think what you did was unfair and unfounded. I also don’t think you had much interest in anything other than taking a shot at us publicly, evidenced by the fact that when Custmer Service voiced the possibility of replacing the fronts your response was, "No, I'd never consider sending them back since they were so carefully packed.”
While negative reviews are never fun, I view this as an opportunity to shine a light on what I think is a fundamental problem with websites like Houzz and Yelp: not all reviews are accurate and valid. And in those instances - where livelihoods can be negatively impacted - business owners are afforded limited if any resources to remedy unfounded slights. As an example, we had a homeowner last year post a bad Houzz review because they found the price of our Reclaimed Snow doors too high. This was despite the fact that we make it clear Snow fronts are our most expensive offerings, and we also carry multiple Ikea-priced doors. When we confronted Houzz, I explained to them this wasn't even an actual paying customer, simply someone pricing our product. They told us that just asking for a price enabled that person to write a review.
Your case is clearly different, and we sincerely do regret your displeasure with the fronts, but the potential negative impact to our business is the same.
I won't take up any more of your time (name removed). If you’d like to discuss a fair and reasonable resolution to the issue, please let us know. In the meantime, I will be posting this email as a response on Houzz.