THEY SCAM YOUR DEPOSIT
JAMESTOWN, NORTH CAROLINA -- This store requires a one-third CASH deposit, and then they charge you a one-third "restocking fee" if anything goes wrong. Spending $3,000? You may just be "donating" $1,000 to Furnitureland South.
I ordered a desk for my home office from Furnitureland South (FLS) on November 10, 2007. I was assisted by the salesperson Betty, who has since left the company “for mutual reasons,” according to her supervisor.
When the desk was delivered on 1/12/08, it came fully assembled and the deliverymen were unable to fit it through the entrance of the room. The driver had no choice but to return the item to the warehouse. He told me: This happens all the time because people are using a spare bedroom for their office these days, and the opening isn’t large enough for a desk to fit through.
When I later spoke with FLS, they said that they would be keeping my $300 deposit as a cancellation fee.
During the six hours I spent in the store on 11/10/07, Betty never once asked us where in our home this desk would be located. If desks are returned “all the time” for not fitting into a room, I believe it is a salesperson’s responsibility to ask questions to make sure the purchase will work. Furniture is not my area of expertise; our salesperson was the furniture specialist—and she worked for several years at FLS. Yet she failed to ask a simple question that would have cancelled the sale. I therefore believe she was more interested in making a commission than in providing quality customer service. In fact, Coleman knew she would shortly be leaving the company, so she did not need to be concerned about losing her commission if an item were returned.
Between 1/12/08 and 2/4/08, I made several attempts to rectify this situation. FLS initially did not return my call; it took until 1/17/08 to speak with Laura, my salespersons’ supervisor. She argued that it was my fault for not making sure the desk would fit, and refused to refund my $300. Eventually Laura agreed that Betty was “partially” in error for not asking what room the desk would be going into, but she would refund only half of my deposit ($150).
I asked for her supervisor (said to be Ken) to call me back, as I was not satisfied with this offer. He never called me, and my calls placed to his office on 1/22/08 and 1/25/08 were not returned.
On 1/26/08, I e-mailed Holly, FLS’s customer relations person. She increased my refund amount by just $20 and sent me a check for $170. She stated that FLS offered me a store credit, but that since I was not appeased by this offer, there was nothing more they could do. I was never offered a store credit, as I would have accepted this compromise. She responded back that FLS considers the case closed.
When I realized FLS had no intention of returning my deposit, I started shopping around for a new desk. In two furniture stores I visited (Haverty’s and Boyles), almost the first question the salespeople asked was: What room is this going into? When we asked why they inquired, they said they wanted to make sure it could fit into the entry. When we told them it was going into an upstairs spare bedroom, they directed us to desks that would be shipped partially assembled so they would work.
**UPDATE**: Holly Gray from Furnitureland South called me on March 5, 2008. I thought it was in response to my complaint against them with the Better Business Bureau, but it was in response to my postings on this and other consumer websites.
Holly offered to give me a $130 store credit as a BRIBE FOR MY SILENCE. She said she was “trying to work with” me and would give me this credit if I would retract my internet postings that share my experience with her company. I will never shop at Furnitureland South again, so a store credit is meaningless. But what really is telling is that they didn’t want to do the right thing because it’s the right thing; instead, they only responded to me after I shared my experiences with the public. This is further proof that this company cares only about itself and not about its customers.