This is a dumb story. A dumb, annoying story. A dumb, annoying, longer-than-it-should-have-been story. A dumb, annoying, longer-than-it-should-have-been-story about a chair. You ready for this rollercoaster ride of excitement?
I’m a simple man with simple desires. I want to eat cool foods, watch great movies, and for my puppy to grow out of his puppy phase pronto so he can be a chill lil chili dog. I also like to relax in comfort and style, which is why I decided a few months back that I wanted to get a chair and ottoman for my office. I wanted a place I could sit and do some work or writing while feeling a bit more relaxed than sitting at my desk.
I started the search for a chair at West Elm, where I found a sweet little chair called Theo. I sat in it and it felt super great, plus there was a matching ottoman! The problem was, with most things at West Elm, that it was pretty damn expensive and I couldn’t convince myself to spend that much money on a chair and ottoman.
I spent time looking around any place I could think of to find a chair that felt as good as that one without much luck. I found a couple of chairs I liked at local vintage furniture stores, but none of them actually had a matching ottoman which was a bummer. I wanted to lounge, damn it! So, the search continued fruitlessly all the while the Theo chair sticking in the back of my head. We actually went back to West Elm a couple of times to scope out the clearance section and each time I’d check out the Theo again and complain about how comfortable and perfect it was. But still, the price!
At some point along the way I decided to expand my search online to see what the internet could offer. I wasn’t really sold on buying a chair unseen and un-sat-upon because a chair could look great but feel like Hell. Then I recalled a store we discovered when we first moved to Austin – World Market! We actually have two chairs in our living room from them and they’re pretty good, plus not too pricey. The catch? We bought them in person where we were able to load them into our car and bring them home on our own terms. You know, the way normal shopping works.
Turns out, though, that World Market had a strikingly similar chair to the Theo at a fraction of the price. While the Theo chair and ottoman were separate items at West Elm, at World Market they are sold as a combo and like… a third of the price. Knowing we’d already purchased and liked chairs from World Market, I figured it’d be a safe bet to order the chair and save some cash!
I decided to pull the trigger on November 26 and was super stoked to see that the delivery would be in 3-8 days. Nice! World Market provided a FedEx tracking number so I could stay on top of the shipment… or so I thought. I know tracking numbers can sometimes take a few days to start providing information, and with it being right after Thanksgiving I wasn’t hyper vigilant about tracking the chair. Not at first, at least. After about 5 days with the tracking number yielding a “no information available” message on the FedEx site I stopped caring about tracking it. The delivery time was 3-8 days anyway, so it’d be here soon enough!
I called FedEx first to inquire about the tracking number and was informed that the tracking number I had wasn’t actually a FedEx tracking number at all, and they had no idea what service was providing said tracking number. Generally you can just Google a tracking number and you’ll be prompted to track your item via USPS, UPS, etc. That didn’t work with this bizzaro tracking number.
So, on December 4 I contacted World Market to ask about this mystery tracking number. Three days later they responded letting me know that the package was being shipped through something called SEKO Harmony and would arrive on or before December 20. If you’re doing the math, yes – December 20 is more than 3-8 days from the initial purchased date of November 26. World Market also informed me that I would be receiving a call from SEKO to setup a delivery date and time.
I called SEKO to ask about the package and asked them why it was taking almost a month to receive my item when the initial shipping time was listed as 3-8 days. A super confrontational person at SEKO started their response with, “Listen, we didn’t lie” which obviously set me at ease and made it clear that I was in for a fun conversation! On this call I was informed that the 3-8 delivery time I was shown when checking out at World Market is the time it’s going to take for my item to get from World Market to SEKO, not the amount of time it’s going to take to get to me. They informed me that the item would be delivered December 21 and that someone would contact me to setup an exact time.
December 21 rolled around and I had received no call from anyone a SEKO to setup a delivery time. At 6pm on December 21, I fired off another email to World Market and SEKO to find out just what the Hell was actually going on. They responded in about an hour with an excuse that the driver of the truck had a mechanical failure and had to move their freight to another truck which was causing delays (nevermind the part about nobody ever contacting me to setup delivery). We hammered out some details and figured out that the driver was still out making deliveries and would be at my house around 8:30pm.
To my surprise, the package actually did arrive just around 8:30! The driver was nice enough and seemed stressed about his day, and obviously none of the above has anything to do with him so I couldn’t be angry with him at all. He was just doing his job working as a delivery driver for a terrible company. We got the package in the garage (since it wouldn’t fit through the front door) and I was content to leave it down there for a bit before opening it, just happy to finally have a chair almost a month after ordering it.
After about an hour and a half I decided to open up up the package and get the chair setup in my office so I could use it the next day. To my great joy, I found the chair in the following shape when I pulled it out of the box:
Ahh, a lovely busted chair just for me! At this point, I was full of rage. I emailed SEKO and World Market again that night with photos of the broken chair seeking resolution. I wanted nothing to do with an exchange, because I wasn’t going to wait another month just to get a broken chair again. To my utter joy, I heard back from World Market who told me that SEKO would contact me in 3-5 business days to setup a pickup date. Of course, more waiting!
After a series of extremely frustrating emails with World Market, I was finally (for the first time) contacted by SEKO with a pickup date… of January 4. Woo. I packaged up the stupid, broken chair and waited.
Once the chair was picked up, I emailed World Market again to let them know it was on the way and I wanted to know when to expect a refund and how to track the item. They ignored my question about tracking completely, at which point I emailed again to force a tracking number out of them. The even better part? They couldn’t process my refund until the chair was actually back in their own warehouse, at which point it could take up to 10 business days to fully process!
Estimated delivery date of the stupid, broken chair was January 12. On January 17, my refund was finally processed – though it was actually less than the amount I paid for initially. How cool! I once again emailed World Market to let them know about the discrepancy, and they eventually processed an additional refund for the missing amount.
So there we go. From ordering the chair on November 26; being sold a 3-8 delivery time; receiving a stupid, broken chair on December 21; finally getting the stupid, broken chair out of my house and life on January 4; and eventually getting my refund on January 17. 53 total days to wind up where I was at the beginning.
But rest your weary heads, if you’ve stayed with me this long – I waited until the day after Christmas when I figured West Elm would be having a sale and wound up getting a super-double discount with an additional $100 saved on shipping to order the Theo chair I wanted in the first place. West Elm gave me real dates, tracking numbers that worked, and got me the chair on the day they told me it would be here – all in about two weeks.
If you’re thinking of ordering anything online from World Market, think again. Just don’t do it. They blatantly lie about their delivery time with no mention of a weirdo third-party delivery service who has piss-poor communication and customer service skills, and by the time you receive your item it’s been bounced around so much that it’s busted at every joint. If you can find a World Market near you, you’re probably in good shape – as I mentioned before, we’ve got two chairs in our living room that we bought in-person from World Market and we like ’em a whole bunch. Just, if it’s within your power, do everything you can to avoid ordering anything for delivery from these doofuses.
Thanks for reading more words about a chair than I ever wanted to type! I hope you have better luck finding a nice chair for your butt then I had.