To clarify, I like the Pampered Chef party part a lot. (I think I’ll say “party part” again, because it made me giggle.) It’s just the actual ordering part that is awful.
As background, I got an email from my college friend Tijen letting me know that she was having a Pampered Chef party, and giving me a link to the Web site, so that if I wanted to order anything, she would get credit for it. Having hosted a Pampered Chef party before, I know that the hostess prizes are quite nice, so I wanted to help her out. Plus, my Pampered Chef salesperson “retired” a few years ago, so I had a lot of pent-up demand.
I surfed the site, and decided what I wanted:
(This was a challenge in itself, as it’s impossible to figure out how the products are classified. Why is a family-sized pitcher that you put in the refrigerator classified as “Outdoor”? Why is the egg slicer in “Cutting Edge” instead of “Kitchenware?”)
So anyway, after much confusion about what to do, how to order, how to navigate the site, I placed my order. Only to find out that apparently I didn’t navigate the site “correctly”, because it never asked me for Tijen’s name, so she wouldn’t get credit for it. Teresa, the very nice and helpful independent rep that Tijen is working with, told me that the only solution was to cancel the order. So I went to the Web site, and THERE’S NO WAY TO DO THAT. So I took the next step and called customer service, and the very nice recorded message told me that “the wait time exceeds 30 minutes.” No problem, it was evening, I figured I’d just call back today. Good thinking, because today the message told me that the wait time to speak with a customer service rep exceeded two hours. Yes, two hours.
So I finally talked to Teresa, the helpful independent rep, and she told me that even if I got through to a customer service rep, there is NO WAY for them to credit Tijen with the order after it’s been placed. So I had to place another order with Teresa, and when the first order arrives on Monday, I have to call Pampered Chef and tell them I don’t want the order, and to come and pick it up. So guess what I’ll be doing Monday afternoon? That’s right, sitting on hold (easy to do with a speakerphone, but still.)
Hello, Pampered Chef? I love your products. And I love cooking. But I can go to a very nice specialty cooking store a mile from my house and get very similar products at very similar prices. So you’d better get your systems and your customer service into the 21st Century, or I’m afraid you’re going to be SOL.
P.S. Tijen, if you’re reading this, I’m not trying to make you feel bad. It’s still worth it for you get the credit.