Her Tidewater Workshop order is missing. What happened to it?

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By Christopher Elliott

What happened to the wooden benches Patricia Gray ordered from Tidewater Workshop? It’s been more than three months, and there’s no sign of them.


I recently ordered two 5′ Monet wooden benches online from Tidewater Workshop. The $200 charge to my debit card posted on June 11, but the benches never arrived.

I’ve called Tidewater Workshop numerous times. I spoke to someone to get a confirmation number and delivery date, but no one called back or delivered the benches. I have left messages and emailed the company through its site. It’s been more than three months since I placed the order. Can you help me get my benches, please? — Patricia Gray, Lafayette, Calif.


Tidewater Workshop should have delivered your benches months ago. The company, based in Oceanville, N.J., manufactures and markets white cedar outdoor furniture. It sells Adirondack chairs, handmade outdoor furniture, custom outdoor furniture, classic outdoor benches, and Monet benches. Tidewater promises to deliver “the best value in classically styled outdoor furniture” within three to four weeks. But, it adds, “PLEASE BE ADVISED WE MAY BE TAKING 3-4 WEEKS LONGER THAN THE STATED SHIPPING TIME FOR MANY OF OUR POPULAR ITEMS.” (Sorry about the uppercase, but that’s how the company puts it.)

Even with that generous amount of time, Tidewater is still late.

Tidewater says it is in the midst of rebuilding its customer service department “from the ground up” as it shifts to taking more orders online. “We are creating infrastructure to provide timely tracking and shipping information,” it notes on its site. “But we are not there yet. We have had some difficulty with this transition but please be patient as we should have everything in place shortly.”

It isn’t clear if these warnings were there when you placed your order last summer. Even if they were, I’m pretty sure you didn’t see them.

Where are those Tidewater Workshop benches?

Tidewater offers several ways to contact the business. You can call it or send an email to [email protected]. That also seems to be the best way to reach its CEO, Peter Caporilli, with a question. He also responds to [email protected].

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As I review your case, it seems as if you spent a lot of time on the phone, asking for help and leaving messages. Keeping your correspondence in writing is a far more efficient way of self-advocating your case. If someone ignores your email, you can just keep re-sending to the “help” or “customers” email address, until someone finally responds. But calls are far too easy to ignore. (Here’s our guide to resolving your consumer problem.)

Tidewater looks like a business that’s struggling to process all of its online orders. It gives you ample warning that certain items may ship late. And now you also know that the orders may ship even later than the company suggests, especially orders for 5′ Monet Benches.

I don’t think Tidewater Workshop intentionally dragged its feet on your order. But that’s no excuse. When you contacted the Elliott Advocacy team, I called Tidewater Workshop on your behalf.  It promptly processed your order.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Panamá City.

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