Sunday, August 26, 2007 disappoints with Wusthof purchase

This past Christmas, I decided I would like to get my sister-in-law a set of Wusthof knives. I have done a fair amount of research and came to the conclusion that these were the best knives available in the price range, and since she had terrible knives, I knew they would be welcome.

Since my sister-in-law is also a huge fan of good deals, I went online the Monday after Thanksgiving to see what was available. I came across a five-piece set on that looked very promising. It said it had a block, a paring, bread, chef’s knife, and a sharpening steel. It was 35% off the already reduced price and the shipping was free that day, so I ordered it. When the set arrived, I opened it to look at the knives, and instead of a chef's knife, I received a sandwich knife! Anyone who has done even the most modest amount of research about good-quality knives knows what a chef's knife is. (It is much wider and better balance for chopping than a sandwich knife, which is thin and made for slicing.)

I immediately tried to call to report the error and was placed on hold. After twenty minutes, I decided to e-mail their customer service department. I then had a lengthy e-mail conversation with Werner, who appeared from his use of the language to be from a foreign country. He had no idea what a chef's knife was and showed me pictures of ten or twelve completely unsuitable, off-brand, unmatching knives, several of which had white plastic handles. I thanked him for his time and repeatedly told him I wanted a WUSTHOF knife and asked him if they had any. He did not say so directly, but since he did not ever show me one, I presumed they did not.

After my unsatisfying e-mail experience, I called again, and after another thirty minutes on hold, finally spoke to a woman about the issue. She also was unaware of the difference between a chef's knife and a sandwich knife. I asked her if it would be possible for me to get the correct knife, and she told me they no longer had the product and since they just dealt in overstocks, they may or may not get any more of that product. Since the rest of the set was acceptable, she offered to discount the set a further 15%, which I decided to do, because (a) the customer (me) has to pay for the shipping to return the product, and (b) with the additional discount, I could buy the correct knife to augment the set and still get a pretty good deal.

Although did eventually "fix" the problem, I would have liked to have actually received the correct product. I asked to be removed from their mailing list and no longer shop there. I have also told everyone I know about my experience and have recommended they do not shop there either.

-Anonymous Shopper