Bait and Switch
WOODINVILLE, WASHINGTON -- 1) My husband and I found a leather sofa set that we liked in Bellevue, WA on Dec 10, 2004. We had just moved into a new home and needed to furnish an extra family room. The merchandise was just over $3,000, some of the most expensive items in the store. The salesperson, Dawn Ford, advised us to purchase a leather protection plan. We asked to see the details. She said she could not give us anything in writing that day because Levitz was in the process of switching vendors. She would send it soon, but that it was a very good plan covering any kind of damage… stains, burns, cuts, rips, tears, scratches, scrapes… we said we had a cat with back claws, maybe it would be a good thing. She encouraged us more. So we did it and bought a protection plan for an extra $350+. *LIE #1*
2) Furniture was delivered with some minor damage to the corners. I asked the delivery people to take it back. They said… “you bought the protection plan, right?”… I said I did but I didn’t have any paperwork on it yet. They wrote the 800 number down on a slip of paper for me and said to call them… that they’d cover everything. *LIE 2*
3) I said I might not get to it for a while… new house, holidays, etc. They said no problem. *LIE #3*
4) Finally, I got around to calling the protection number… kids put a scrape on the backside of the sofa… gave me reason to get them out here. It was almost a year later. I had no idea this would be a problem.
5) Following the steps for getting a claim underway, I called the store and spoke with Dawn about getting a copy of that paperwork I had never received. She agreed to send me the details and added, “oh, yeah, they’ll be great about that…. Scratches, scrapes… it should all be covered.” *LIE #4*
6) After receiving the paperwork I learned about what it would and wouldn't cover. Turns out it doesn't cover delivery damage, doesn't cover cat damage, doesn't cover scratches or scrapes of any kind... I filed a claim, which was rejected of course, then I called the store again and spoke with Scammer Dawn and Manager Eric about my concern: that I had been sold something based on mistruths, which were further reinforced by the delivery people, leading me to delay seeking repairs on delivery damage through proper channels in a proper timeframe. I wanted my money back for the protection plans… I wouldn’t have purchased them if the store had been truthful to me. Manager Eric said I needed to call customer service. *LIE 5*
7) Jon Sprangle at Customer Service told me that the store should credit me if I was given misinformation. *LIE #6*
8) I called the store again, they referred me back to customer service. Dawn then recanted and said she never said the plan would cover cat scratches. *LIE #7*
9) Spoke to Deborah Levine at customer service on Nov 23, who said she’d confer with Dawn and call me back today, Nov 29. *LIE #8*
10) I received no call, so I called customer service once again and spoke to Candace Shultz who finally told me part of the ugly truth. Levitz would not refund my money, would not repair the delivery damage, and said that if she were me she would have read the fine print more closely. She would not have trusted the word of the salespeople or the delivery people.
11) I called Guardsman and asked for information about making a complaint about one of their business alliance channels misrepresenting them. The rest of the ugly truth was revealed: Guardsman is no longer doing business through Levitz as of Oct 2004.
BAD CONSUMER COMPANY. They'll go down; it's just a matter of time. Eventually we smart and not-so-smart consumers will starve them out by warning fellow buyers. Good riddance.