Et tu, Williams Sonoma?
During Celiac Awareness Month, I think it's important that we also call out the bad products. Like Williams Sonoma's Gluten Free Artisan French Bread Mix. Not only is it not really gluten free, there are no safeguards in place, like batch testing, and it clearly states that they use the same machine as products that contain wheat flour. On top of everything else, it costs a whopping $15 a loaf and you have to make it yourself. Not only is is highway robbery, but it's dangerous.
- Gluten free, it's clearly cross contaminated
- Batch tested
- Certified Gluten Free
- Whole Grain
- Free of excessive gums
- Easy to use
So I attempted to post a review on their site, explaining all this.
Not gluten free -- Clearly states this product is cross contaminated. Do not buy this if you have Celiac Disease, Gluten Ataxia, EDS, or any other medical reason why you need gluten free food. In addition, According to the Serving size picture, this is one bag = one loaf. Why would I buy a $15 loaf of bread that will activate my disease? I can buy wonder bread and do that for less. Most off the shelf loaves of GF bread require no baking and start at half that price. Stop thinking of me as someone who will pay you anything for something you claim is gluten free. You're wrong. WS should know better than to do this. This is shameful.
... and got this in reply. Their moderation message goes back to a "noreply" email address. I will try to find a customer service address. If I get a customer service reply, I'll post that too.
Our staff has read your review and values your contribution even though it did not meet all our website guidelines. Thanks for sharing, and we hope to publish next time!
Wow, absolutely clueless insensitive and deliberately harmful. What possible website guideline could it be failing to tell them, and warn other customers, that they are making a harmful mistake and that their product is horribly overpriced? What other purpose do reviews have except to share experience and direct people away from products that are misleading, and toward products that are helpful?
Products like this we do not need. They are overpriced and clearly just a troll to see how many people will stupidly buy this, and make it for their "Celiac" friend, and then expect them to eat it. And be all heartbroken if they don't eat it. In addition, if their friend gets sick, well it can't be the product, it was made without gluten. Such weaseling is harmful, and I think there needs to be a moratorium on it.
In addition, products this bad can be used as an emotional weapon in families where the person with Celiac will have to defend their avoidance of the bread, and will probably have to listen to things like "Well some people are never satisfied. I went out and bought you a gluten free food, and made it myself, and you reject all this work. The nerve!" No. The nerve was producing this product in the first place.
This is not a product that should even exist. It has no purpose whatsoever. This is the reality of being Celiac right now. People trying to rip you off while you potentially buy harmful food.
Nearly all the products that satisfy the search, Gluten Free Bread Mix on WS's site are contaminated junk products. A few are from a different safer facility and have the NSF Certification. If you choose to buy gluten free mixes from Williams Sonoma, be extremely careful of which product you choose.
This was my follow up when I found their Customer Service Feedback Form:
I reviewed one of your products to warn people with a valid medical illness not to buy the "made without gluten" item. The review was rejected. This is irresponsible and harmful and you should not call that item "Gluten Free" at all. This is Celiac awareness month, so I'm making you aware of your failures in this category. We can't just be all clapping and joy. Celiac is a serious disease as is Gluten Ataxia and EDS, all of those require strict adherence to a GF diet. Your product is misleading and furthermore, it's overpriced.
Please rethink your gluten free section and take out the products that aren't Certified Gluten free or those that aren't at least made in a GF facility AND batch tested. Even a Certified GF bread company recently had a problem with contamination and they take every precaution. They had to have a recall.
This is not a game. It's not a fad diet. When you say gluten free, you're providing a medical treatment food. To do anything less is harmful.
Not sure if I will get a reply. This is what we have to deal with all the time. I'm tired of being silent about it. Use GF, mean GF. No more misleading statements.