ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA -- I guess it's true that the service mantra, "the customer is always right" has actually gone by the wayside. In this day and age the new mantra is "we have your money so screw you," or at least this is what a store manager and regional manager for Sofa Express both recently told me in so many words during two different phone conversations.
My husband and I recently ordered a custom sofa from Sofa Express. There were some positive aspects to this experience. Our salesperson was friendly; our sofa arrived as we ordered it 5 weeks ahead of time (we were expecting a 9-week waiting period due to the fabric we chose); the delivery was right on schedule; and the delivery men were polite and respectful of our home when they brought the new piece in.
Unfortunately, the negative aspects of this experience far outweigh the positives. We were not greeted initially on entering the store and after browsing for quite a while (being seen by several sales people), had to seek out someone to help us. Our salesperson, albeit nice, was completely uneducated on the products and policies of Sofa Express. We had to wait a lengthy period of time while our salesperson searched frantically for the specification sheet on the sofa we were interested in purchasing.
The ordering process did go smoothly, and we were told repeatedly (after we asked specifically) that custom orders could be returned, but that we would lose 30% of the purchase price. Well, the sofa came today and it clashes with the rest of our living room furniture. We did take swatches of our existing furniture, rug, and paint samples with us to help determine which fabric to choose for the sofa - in the store it all looked great. In my living room right now - it looks like crap.
I promptly called the store to inquire about returning the sofa (because we were told by our sales person repeatedly that this was an option, but that we would forfeit 30% of the purchase price). I was told by the store manager "it's your property now" and that he could not make the decision on whether or not we could return the sofa (even though our salesperson told us at purchase that was the policy). We would have to take it up with customer service. I asked him directly for the regional manager's name and number, but was directed to their customer service center.
After explaining the situation once and being entered into the black hole of "muzak" on customer service lines, I was picked up by another customer service rep who told me that the individual stores can make the decision to accept returns. She was unable to assist me any further because the customer service line is only for damages and repairs (which after reading several other message boards, it seems that Sofa Express has a lot of those to deal with), but she did forward me to the regional manager's voice mail. I left a detailed message with all of my contact information.
I waited an hour - no response. I persistently called the local store again and asked for the regional manager's number directly (I had already asked the store manager once who directed me to customer service instead). Finally, I was speaking to the regional manager. We had a civil yet condescending conversation - the gist being that he was sorry despite the fact their salesperson falsely led us to believe that custom orders were returnable, they had delivered the product we ordered, they had our money and the sofa was now our property - won't consider a return and won't entertain any sort of compromise. "We have your money so screw you."
He did inform me that the customer service rep I spoke with whom told me the individual stores could make decisions on whether or not to accept returns was mistaken - only he could make that decision (yet another employee uneducated on company policy). I promptly asked for his superior, but was told that the buck stopped with him. He informed me that he covered a three-state region for the company and handled the majority of their business.
So - we have the sofa for now. I don't think I have given up trying to return it. I understand that some people do take advantage of businesses that bend over backwards to offer 'customer service'. Customer service has almost become ridiculous in some industries such as food service where the slightest complaint will often get you a free meal. I am not one to take advantage of businesses in that way. I just want Sofa Express to acknowledge that despite the fact that I have a decent product sitting in my living room, I am a dissatisfied customer.
DAYTON, OHIO -- If I can save one family money by not buying from Sofa Express, I have won. Listen closely, I work for these guys for about 5 years delivering. I've stayed this long for many reasons but let me tell you...as a person who see firsthand what this company does to people, I am astonished and embarrassed. Let me start by calling out all the warehouse managers, CEO, sales managers and anyone else who is in a position of leadership. All of these people don't have a clue on managing a company. Most of them got their job by default by knowing someone but are truly not qualified.
I have tried to tell them via suggestions, emails and face-to-face rants but they cannot grasp the concept of proper furniture, warehouse procedures. Now let me state a few examples: once your furniture makes it to the distribution center in Ohio, it gets abused! It gets thrown around, mishandled and mistreated by all who touch it. No one cares at all about it. If it is to be delivered, it gets worse. The nice new sofa is stripped of its clean plastic and wrapped in about 6-7 dirty pads and loaded improperly.
Now about the pads, us delivery guys use these pads to wipe our feet, cover puddles, lay on the ground to assemble stuff; even use them to trek around a house to cover mud, animal crap and who knows what else. These same pads don't get washed but are used to cover your sofa!!! If the warehouse has a used piece of your style furniture it pulls it from a "staging" area, meaning it is used, rejected damaged stuff. I delivered a few "new" sofas with dog hair on them.
Don't pay for fabric protection because the warehouse men are too lazy to do it and just put the sticker on it to show that it was done - lie. The "leaders" are only out for their salary and don't watch these guys. Just a few more things...expect a lie about the arrival date, wrong colors and misc. damage and unprofessionalism.
Most delivery guys don't care about your walls and such because their paycheck was probably shorted and we are told to lie to the customer about various things (used, new, fabric protection). Last but not least: do not buy case goods! They will be damaged somehow someway. Sofa Express should be out of business by 2008 sometime. Please go somewhere else. Thanks.
OHIO -- My husband-to-be and I purchased a three-piece sectional sofa and two rolling ottomans at the Elyria store in Ohio. The saleswoman ordered the wrong centerpiece, making our sofa a whopping 17 feet long! There was also an additional $200.00 added on for a sleeper (the only sleepers were us) of which we never ordered or ever received. The ottomans (two) were on sale for $75.00 each, but they charged us 150.00 each (a basic fabric covered box with four plastic casters under it).
I first complained to the saleswoman about the length and she said that she didn't order the wrong piece. When I pressed her further, she said that the piece didn't come as a single, only a double and that we were wrong and there was nothing that could be done about it. I went to the store manager and complained about the length and the overcharges on the "sale(?)" price of the ottomans and she blatantly lied to me and told me that I was mistaken; that they had never been on sale and that the (ridiculous) price of $150.00 each stood.
Getting nowhere with the store, I called the company and talked to customer service where they reluctantly agreed to send someone out to evaluate the couch and see if there had been any errorors made. A nice man arrived and took one look at the couch and laughed. He could not believe how long the couch was! I said that we had received a double center and he immediately said "why didn't you order a single?" Answer: because they lied to us.
He then said that they made that in a single piece, but even that would be too long, so why doesn't he take back the double and refund us the value($500.00). We agreed, sofa piece went back and we couldn't get them to send us our refund. They had some lame excuses, one of which the person who issues the refunds is sick and out of work for at least a month, "we can issue you a refund check when she comes back". That was the last excuse and only after threatening to turn things over to the Attorney General's office in the state of Ohio, did we finally receive a refund.
The overall experience was horrible from start to finish and we never were able to further pursue the blatant rip-off of $350.00. The sofa didn't hold up well, stitching coming out and improperly made cushions. No wonder they filed bankruptcy! With store and corporate service being this way, I know I will put out the word "friends don't let friends shop at sofa express!!!"
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA -- My husband and I purchased a plain white wooden table and an over sized chair from Sofa Express on Dec. 31, 2005. Our salesman was great and very knowledgeable. We were told a specific delivery date for our furniture. (It was about 2 weeks away) I stressed that we needed the furniture by then b/c of a party we were hosting at our house. When the appointed day arrived, Sofa Express did not.
After nearly 10 calls to their warehouse in Ohio, we were told that since their truck wasn't full, they couldn't make our delivery on that day and they couldn't tell us WHEN our furniture would be delivered? After many trips to the store, complaining to our salesman, and even him calling the warehouse and not getting anywhere, we finally got the chair (not the table) AFTER our party. My husband had to crawl into the delivery truck and help open other furniture because none of it had been marked. He also had to help bring it in the house because there was only one delivery guy.
After much complaining about where my plain white table was, I got a call from a neighbor in my neighborhood I didn't even know. He said he was a delivery person for Sofa Express and he saw our address somehow in the system and HE would bring our table on his way home from work. When he delivered it, he didn't want to hear about my problems and left. When I opened my table, it was yellow, not white.
I had enough and wrote a scathing letter to the Better Business Bureau. The response I got from someone at their corporate office was extremely laughable. They offered me a 25.00 credit and an offer to "fix the table free of charge whenever it breaks." I wrote back and asked her if their tables just randomly broke?? I also told her in no uncertain terms was I accepting her offer because in my first letter, I had told her I would never shop there again. During the same time we purchased our chair and table, we went to another Sofa Express to see what they had (prior to having any problems with the company) and found an end table and coffee table we liked.
Again, we had continuous problems, by being told that the coffee table was in, but not the end table (even though we found out later they were BOTH in stock) and they weren't able to give us a day when they would both be in. We asked for our coffee table to be delivered and they said they could only deliver them as a set. After all of this hassle and not getting anywhere with the parent company, my husband and I paid off our account with them immediately and have never looked back. I was elated when I saw a sign on their store today that said they were going out of business. Good riddance!!
COLOUMBUS, OHIO -- My email to the CEO, Mack Peters. I have found out later that Sofa Express is no longer owned by the Quinn Family as of a few years ago. Now the Klaussner Company owns this company -- "Mr. Peters: I am contacting you as a courtesy to inform of the experience I am having with your firm. I have the ability to relay this information to Randy Quinn, however do not have the strong desire to trouble a good friend with this issue to achieve that.
This is the letter I will be using to communicate the details of the last 3 months interacting with your Polaris store manager ** and district manager **. I would appreciate your help to communicate the most insulting retail experience I have ever had. The story I have to tell concerning a local furniture sales firm is quite unbelievable, but true.
On New Year's eve 3 months past I had just moved into my new home and needed to find furniture to furnish it. Having shopped around for about three months prior to this time, I knew the pieces I wanted to purchase. I arrived at Sofa Express located on Polaris Parkway in the afternoon and selected 2 chairs, couch, coffee table, two end tables, two console tables, and a dining room table with 6 chairs. When purchasing these items, I was told when it came to the fabrics which I desired to have custom ordered on two pieces would arrive straight away if I did not do so.
In the interest of furnishing my home prior to a pre-determined house warming party, I agreed this was a good idea. The service I received was good. I set up for a six-month/same as cash account to be set up with Beneficial (whom has been great and very professional through this whole process) with was a promotion the store was offering at the time.
After ordering, I had been notified that the couch, one chair, and the dining table would be delivered the following week. The other items I ordered to obtain quickly were out of stock now and would be delivered as soon as possible. After one month I finally received all the items I purchased. Granted these type of things happen, I was not excited about the way all of this was handled and I did not have all my furniture for the party, but no big deal.
The big deal began when I found that Sofa Express had set up two different loan accounts for me. One which I signed up for and the other being completely set up without permissible purpose. Understandably I was not pleased knowing that until these accounts are at 50% or lower of their respective balances the extra account harmed my credit score. After finding that Sofa Express cannot do anything about this as the loans had been processed, I was now less than pleased with my experience.
If this stopped there I would not have reason to contact you, however now I find that the 2 loan amounts total to almost $1,000 more than the price of the combined furniture. I called a representative at this store (** - store manager) whom I had been speaking to quite a bit, having to exchange 2 chairs and my dining table because that they were either damaged or not assembled properly.
** already had built quite a poor reputation with me so far of not being reliable and needed to constantly be followed up on to ensure my exchanges would actually happen and I would know when they would be delivered (this is where this story may seem a bit far fetched) as she had a tendency to set up deliveries without my knowledge. I informed ** that I was being overcharged and later that day, I called back to check and she ensured me that the issue was corrected. Know that by now ** makes it no mystery telling in her demeanor that she does not want to deal with me anymore as my issues had become many.
It is mid-February and I find that my accounts are still overcharged by calling the financial institution handling the loans and confirming, after being assured a week ago by ** this was taken care of. I now have had enough of ** and have moved on to corporate; my new contact now, district manager **. ** got the overcharge taken care of and is quite apologetic and openly frustrated with his employee. We are now also at my 4th dining table, which turns into the 5th, 6th, involving more issues with the lack of responsiveness of the Polaris store; more open frustration on ** part and now is where I come to you for help.
Between table 4 and 6 I had still been sent back to the Polaris store to have deliveries set up and received the same treatment as prior - no call backs, having to call the store 2 and 3 days after initially speaking to ** to inform of the newest defect. It is now to the point that the delivery personnel are finding the issues before even bringing it in my home, presenting them to me, and I confirm and apologies that they had to make so many trips. Last night I received a call from ** again stating that they would like me to travel to their warehouse to pick a table that would satisfy me. Their sentiment was that I have had many tables they cannot find issue with.
Remember it was their drivers whom found the last two issues. In speaking to ** about this minutes ago, I find that now he simply desires to take the merchandise back and wash his hands of me. This is an experience which has been appalling damaging, and wasteful. I need to share my story about this experience to shield potential buyers from the possible frustration this store may cause them. Can you help me?
I am sad to inform you that your personnel have gone from unreliable and inaccurate to blameful of other departments and direct subordinates. A pure debacle. Thank you for your time. After much more time and effort was spent on this problem, 2 months after this post, I now finally have the furniture and credited $500. To be fair, I wanted to post this fact.
DUBLIN, OHIO -- On November 7, 2007, I went into the Sofa Express in Dublin, OH to order a rug for my kitchen. My kitchen has hardwood floors and I had already bought the furniture from another store and was expecting the shipment in about a week. My first clue should have been that the sales associate didn't know how to order the product so he got the manager to order it for me. After I paid for it and joined their 30/30 club, I was told it would take about 4 weeks to get the rug. I postponed my furniture shipment and waited for my rug to come.
On November 28, 2007 I was called and told that the vendor couldn't ship the rug and that they were no longer making this style. I was furious. Why didn't they tell me that when they placed the order 3 weeks ago? I told her to credit my account and send me a receipt. She said they will credit the account but it wasn't their policy to mail the receipt. Are they too cheap to pay for the stamp? What makes me even more mad is that I called The Great Indoors and they called the vendor and the vendor said they still make the rug.
I proceeded to order the rug. It will take me another 4-6 weeks to get my rug. I went to their website to see if I could find the name of the president to write him a letter. The website is currently under construction. Go figure! I am a Realtor and I will NEVER recommend this store to anyone!
CARMEL, INDIANA, INDIANA -- We "special ordered" a couch after we were talked into partial leather by the saleslady - ordered specifically pillow colors & different color legs. The whole experience has been HORRIBLE. The couch FINALLY came, THERE WAS NOTHING RIGHT ABOUT IT!! There was no leather, no pillows (that we ordered), the legs were wrong. There were 2 slits in the material. They ordered new casings, when they FINALLY arrived, not only was the shape wrong, but it was a different material & different color. We just want our money back & to return the $1500 couch that is worth about $450. DO NOT BUY FROM SOFA EXPRESS!!!
MISSISSIPPI -- Ordered sofa from them - took 1.5 months to get sofa, then had 1 week buttons came untucked; sent back to repair. Took 1 month to get back; sat on sofa, 1-day button came off again. Called Mississippi store - won't return calls, will not refund, will only keep fixing. Store closing and button came off again. Only had sofa in home for two months total time since June.
HEATH, OHIO -- We just purchased a double reclining sofa from the Heath, Ohio store. We ordered the one with the fold down middle table with 2 cup holders in a custom color. The sofa was $700 then it costs more for stain guard and $80 for delivery. The sofa they sent did NOT have the table with the cup holders. Also, there is hardly any padding and it is very uncomfortable to sit on. You can feel the wood frame underneath you and when you recline, you feel the wood frame on your feet. I called twice and twice was told the manager from the store would call me. He never did. I called again myself and the manager is saying we didn't specify we wanted the table/cup holder which we did.
My husband picked out this couch so he would have a place for his drink while he was reclining. The manager said he talked to the saleslady who wrote up the order and she didn't remember us ordering the table/cup holder? I have just been ripped off $900, don't let this happen to you. Go to the Sofa Express website and look at the sofa. It is called the Reserve. As you will clearly see, it does come with the table/cup holders. They sofa is filled with some kind of fiber so after 2 days it already looks worn down. Can you imagine what it will look like in 6 months?
They clearly went cheap on the materials, there is hardly any in it since you can feel the wood. Also, there is not enough stuffing in the back of the seats of the couch so when you approach it you can see between the cushions to the wall behind it! The saleslady said I could order whatever color I wanted so I did. I paid when I ordered it and it took 3 weeks to get here and it was wrong. I am sure they won't refund my money or fix this. Once again the manager said he will call me back. We shall see.
Save yourself the trouble and go elsewhere, I wish I would have! Poor salespeople who don't even remember you, poor customer; slow delivery, overpriced, POOR quality. Never again will I ever buy anything from the Sofa Express. The only thing express abut this whole deal was how quickly I got ripped off. If not made correct in a timely manner, I fully intend to get a lawyer and sue the Sofa Express. I am sick & tired of being ripped off on major purchases.
COLUMBUS, OHIO -- I am writing to express my severe disappointment with my experience purchasing our living room furniture with Sofa Express. My wife and I bought a couch, love seat, sofa table, coffee table, three end tables, a custom fabric chaise lounge and two matching pillows. To us, this was quite a purchase, but apparently Sofa Express didn't have the same feelings. We were pretty much kept in the dark in reference to delivery (I had to call to figure out the delivery time). Many of the items that were supposed to arrive before the custom print chaise lounge hadn't arrived, so we were told they would all be delivered together.
The only thing we had received were the two pillows that matched the print of the chaise, as they came separate by mail. When the furniture was delivered, by wife was saddened to see that the chaise lounge was delivered with the wrong print - not anything even close to our colors. I immediately called the store and spoke to our salesperson. She informed me it was either a mistake in the production of the chaise or in the warehouse (maybe they just delivered the wrong one).
Today, a week later, we got a call from the store manager that the factory that makes the print of our chaise went out of business and there's no possible way to offer the chaise lounge that matches our room and pillows that we picked out.
I called to personally complain to the store manager and ask what can be done about this situation and she acted like she wanted me to applaud her for keeping us in the loop. She was proud for having done her job and the best she offered was a discount on the chaise lounge if we picked it out in a different color. Oh, and she said we could keep the pillows (thanks, a couple pillows that match a fabric that is unattainable - I appreciate that). This is horrible customer service!!!