Customer frustrated after purchase doesn't match online product description

Online shopping is convenient, but it can also be harder to find information about the product you're buying.

A Marin County woman got a rude surprise and came to 7 On Your Side for help.

Betsey Herdman of Mill Valley wanted an elegant faucet for her guest bathroom.

She went to eFaucets.com and found an arched brass fixture for $671.

"The finish said polished brass," Herdsman said.

It wasn't cheap but it was exactly what she wanted and she got a discount, so she ordered one.

"It came and it looked beautiful in the box," she said.

The faucet had that perfect golden sheen, that is until she turned it on.

"And the second water hit it, I noticed that little brown spots appeared on it," Herdman said.

Right away, water droplets created dark spots on her golden faucet. Betsey tried rubbing them off with a soft cloth. They didn't go away. She tried a special cleaner


"That had absolutely no effect either, so then I thought this must be defective because you know it looks horrible," she said.

Every time they used the faucet, more spots came. She contacted the manufacturer, asking why. The answer surprised her.

"They ordered you the wrong faucet because basically if you wanted polished brass, this is uncoated," she said.

Turns out this particular model has no protective coating. It is designed that way, to turn a deeper color with age, called a living finish. However, Herdsman says that's not what she wanted. And the eFaucet website never said it was uncoated.

"I would never have ordered this faucet if you had said that it was uncoated and it is uncoated," Herdsman said. "So I don't feel like this is my fault."

eFaucets said she had already installed it so she could not return it. The company did offer to sell her another faucet at a discount. Instead, she contacted 7 On Your side. After contacting eFaucets, the company agreed to give her a new faucet for free.

The company said: "We believe we have come to a resolution on this matter that satisfies our mutual customer. While the manufacturer warranty usually picks up after installation of the product, we have agreed to pick up the installed faucet and replace it with another faucet."

The eFaucets website has a new description of that model now says it is uncoated brass

"This is great, thank god this finally worked," Herdsman said. "Thank you it was wonderful."

This incident underscores how important it is to research a product when purchasing it online. It's good to look up the manufacturer's description and read reviews before you buy, especially when it's an expensive purchase.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.