Thursday

Rant: My Fab.com Disappointment - Updated & Resolved

Update (12/11): I waned to wait to update until I knew my situation had reached some sort of closure/resolution. This is the last email I received from Fab.com:

According to Gibson, they should be oven safe up to 350 degrees, even if they're not marked as such.
Does that help? Is there any other information you need? Feel free to write back or call me at 877-XXX-XXXX.
Best,
Katie



At this point I'm glad that Fab.com has followed up with me on looking into these plates. I'm still a bit thrown off by the fact they came under one of Gibson's re-branded branches (George) and that they do not include a stamp or information on the packaging labeling them as oven-safe, but there's really very little Fab.com can do about that. I'm planning to keep the plates, but I personally prefer to be safe rather than sorry, so I won't be using them in the oven since they're not marked. Admittedly, my customer service experience with Fab.com was pretty disappointing until my blog post was noticed, but aside from relaying this experience to the fullest, I can't judge what their customer service is outside of my experience as this is my only experience dealing with them on something like this. Regardless, Fab.com has some really unique and interesting products and I have purchased twice since ordering these plates.

If you've never seen what Fab.com has to offer you can view their members-only site HERE (affiliate link).

Update (12/1 10:50 am):  I just received the following email from Fab.com CEO, Jason Goldberg:


I just read your blog post and I can only express my deepest apologies for this screwup. I'm terribly sorry that we messed up your order and that it impacted your Thanksgiving plans. I'm also sorry that I was not personally faster at responding to you.

I've just gone ahead and credited your account $50 as a monetary apology.

Our team will do our best to make your Fab experience nothing but exceptional going forward.

best and again, sorry,

jason


I appreciate the quick response after my blog post and the credit was appreciated. I responded to this email by thanking Jason and stating that I assumed someone else would provide an explanation for what happened. He emailed back saying they were already looking into it. I'm not sure if this is the only resolution I'll see, but I'm cautiously hopeful that perhaps my issue just slipped through the cracks and that my experience isn't indicative of Fab.com's typical customer experience. Time will tell! I'll continue to post if/when things change. Fingers crossed!

Original Post:
I purchased 2 sets of dishes from Fab.com over a month ago in anticipation of the large number of guests we planned to have on Thanksgiving. The dishes arrived almost exactly 1 month after I ordered them (Fab.com is a flash sale style site), which happened to be the day before Thanksgiving. I chose what was described as blue stoneware that was microwave safe, dishwasher safe, and most importantly oven safe. I grew up with stoneware and one of the fabulous things about it is that if it's good quality it's often oven-safe!

Hubs and I began unpacking the dishes and getting ready to put them through the dishwasher since they'd be used the next day. I noticed as soon as we opened the first box that the box within that held the plates had the company name "George" on them instead of Gibson--which was what was originally stated in the product details on the Fab.com page for these. I assumed that George must have been either owned by Gibson or perhaps one of their special lines. After unpacking one entire box I began loading the dishwasher and flipped one of the plates over. I immediately noticed that while it was stamped with microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe, oven-safe was nowhere to be found. I checked every plate and bowl, but they were all the same--all missing "oven-safe" on the bottom. It then occurred to me that perhaps George wasn't owned by Gibson at all, perhaps it was an entirely different company and perhaps the plates had been misrepresented when posted on Fab.com. I when back on Fab to make sure I wasn't nuts and that the plates had been listed as both oven-safe and by Gibson. Sure enough, I wasn't wrong. I immediately called customer service and spoke with one of their reps. It took a few minutes to explain exactly what the issue was, unfortunately she wasn't able to provide an explanation. She then asked me to take pictures of the box, plates, and stamp on the bottom, suggesting perhaps I'd received the wrong product. I reiterated that they were identical to the picture that had been posted, the only differences were the company name and lack of being oven-safe. She asked me to forward the pictures and said she'd forward it on to the appropriate branch.

In the midst of cooking for a large group, there I was trying to take pictures of plates and boxes. I didn't know whether I should risk using the plates and having one accidentally damaged (lots of people always means possible accidents to me) or end up using some paper plates for the additional ones we needed, keeping the plates to the side while waiting for a response. I was pretty stressed and unhappy! I sent off the pictures and waited. Shortly after I received an email from Fab.com (unrelated to my sent email) talking about Thanksgiving and their holiday guarantee. At the bottom had the following paragraph:

Our CEO, Jason Goldberg, is also personally at your disposal if you ever want to bend his ear, offer advice, gripe, or just reach out to the CEO. Your delight is our mission. Just email him atjg@fab.com anytime.

It seemed like providence that the email happened to pop up right then and there, so I emailed Jason Goldberg. I was optimistic that any CEO willing to put his personal contact info on a mass email to customers must really care about them. I sent that email on November 23rd and to date, have not received a response to it.

I did receive a response from the original rep I spoke to on the 26th which said:

"I'm so sorry you received the wrong item! I went ahead and contacted our design partner about this to get corrected as quickly as we can. It usually takes a couple days to get a new piece out to you, but I'll be sure to follow up with an update within 2-3 business days.

So sorry about this - we'll get you the right item."


Then on the 28th I received this:


"Just wanted to let you know I've reached out to the design partner on this and will be sure to keep you updated along the way. If there's anything I can do for you in the meantime, please let me know."

I responded to the email immediately after asking the rep what the proposed resolution would be. No response. I emailed the same rep again this morning asking again what would be done about this issue as it's now been a week and I've seen no shred of resolution. No response as of yet. Here's a tip for any other companies out there, don't put the canned line "If you need anything else please let me know..." in your email unless you plan to actually follow up with customers. Two emails from me and no responses? Not great customer service in my opinion.

I am disappointed on so many levels. Disappointed we didn't get the dishes we paid for, disappointed the CEO went so far as to list his email in a mass email and never responded to a serious concern of mine, and disappointed that a week later I'm still dealing with something that put a bit of a damper on Thanksgiving for Hubs and I.

Fab.com seemed so great when I first became acquainted with them and they carry some of the most interesting companies and products in their flash sales, but is it really too much to ask that when they misrepresent a product (which clearly seems to be the case in my situation) they provide a quick, adequate resolution? This issue has already caused enough stress (the eve before Thanksgiving is not the right time to have dish-dilemmas) and taken up enough of my time. I rarely post "rants", but unfortunately I  feel it's important that I do as I've tweeted about them over the last month, suggesting them to some of you.

I can't judge as to how they handle the rest of the issues they've come across with other customers, but for me and in this situation, they have severely disappointed me. I'll make sure to update this post as things progress. Hopefully this will all be over and done with soon, maybe Fab.com can still turn this around ... but doubtful if they wait much longer.

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