After waiting 3 days, I got the following email from West Elm last night.
We sincerely regret that we are unable to fulfill your order. Our supply of the following has completely sold out and will not be available again within the foreseeable future.
SHIP TO NAME AND ADDRESS
Pressed Leaf Duvet Kg Bl Sprc
Item # 29-2348605
No longer available
Because we could not provide you with the above, we have not charged your credit card account. If you paid by check, you will receive a refund by mail within 7 to 10 business days.
We value your business as a west elm customer, and apologize for any disappointment or inconvenience this may have caused. If you would like further assistance or wish to order another item as a substitute, please call 1.888.922.4119.
west elm Customer Service
7 days a week, 4:00 am - 9:00 pm (PST)
WHAAATTTT!!! I'm pretty sure West Elm just pulled a fast one on me.
So, not to be discouraged, I called my store directly (promptly at 10am when they opened), asked them if they had the item in stock, and they did, and ordered the item to be shipped to my house (not before sharing my ordeal with the order dude the answered the phone). Therefore, the shipping charge was waived. Yay!
Let me get this straight:
I order a product on your website and give you my credit card number.
I agree to wait an extra 5 days before the item can be shipped because you say its on backorder.
Then, 3 DAYS LATER you send me an email telling me that the item is sold out and I will not be receiving it.... It's sold out??? Would that be before or after you sent me a confirmation email saying the item I ordered would be send out to me on 1/8?
Then, in desperation, I call my local store and Ta Da!!!! The item is indeed in stock!
My conclusion: The West Elm Store dude told me that West Elm catalog does not communicate with West Elm stores, and they are treated separately, which explains why the email I received said the item is "no longer available". Clarification - the item is no longer available online. So it sounds to me as West Elm the company (because I'm pretty sure the catalog and the stores earnings are pooled together at the end of they year under the company called Williams Sonoma Inc) would rather terminate an order from a customer rather than pick up the phone and communicate with a store that might have that product available for the customer.
Below is my complaint to customer service.
On 1/3, I placed an order for a duvet online. The item was backordered until 1/8. However on 1/5, I received an email saying the item was no longer available so I would not be receiving the item. In an effort to purchase the item, I called my local store and luckily the duvet was in stock. It is now being shipped to me from my local store. My concern lies with the lack of communication between West Elm catalog and West Elm stores. It seems as West Elm would rather lose a customer by failing to fulfill a promised order than communicate with it's retailers in order to get fill the order. Indeed the email I received from West Elm saying my order would not be filled said the item is no longer available, which is not a true statement. It is no longer available from the catalog, but still is for sale in stores. I would like to have seen West Elm coordinate with the stores in an effort to get this item to me rather than terminating my order._____________________________________________________________
Now we wait. I will return with the results.