CULVER CITY, CALIFORNIA -- It was time for a new sofa and I was willing to have another one custom made in order to get the arrangement and specifics I wanted. We had looked for about 4 months and found the style we liked at The Sofa Company On Jefferson Blvd, Culver City.
The attention, and service by the staff was wonderful while we visited the store twice to make choices and confirm measurements etc. We ordered our sofa with several "extras" and paid in full. Then the service completely disappeared.
We were promised delivery in 6-8 weeks, it took 10 1/2. The manager even admitted that he had thrown out my email communications as one excuse for delays. NO effort to compensate or to even be civil was made, in fact once the sofa was late calls and emails were not even returned.
The sofa arrived and all the seat cushions had "seam grin". This means that the stitching tension was too loose and the threads showed through at the seams like "teeth". This was true even when the covers were unzipped and tension was released, but should not have been present even with normal tension. There were also several places on the frame upholstery that the fabric fibers were frayed and loose. I clipped and glued them.
Within a month the back cushions started to lose their shape. About two months later, the fibers from the fabric started coming loose and fraying at the seams on several cushions.
I took the cushions to the manager and addressed the issues. The company should have been responsible to assemble the sofa in a manner appropriate for the particular fabric. In this case the fabric probably should have been glued at the seams ( I did pay extra to have the seams taped, but had been assured that the construction of the fabric need no other attention.) Even though I have been a professional seamstress and theatrical costume designer for over 35 years the manager (who then claimed to be an owner) was offended that I made any offering (probably that I actually understood what was wrong) as to the problem. Instead of being professional and working toward a resolution to correct the problem he argued with me for almost an hour and denied any responsibility. I had to threaten legal resolution, and even then he would not promise to correct the problem, just to have it looked at.
Currently the issue is still not resolved. But given the behavior and lack of attention to quality, I would not recommend this company. There may be some good merchandise that leaves the store, but if you have a problem, it will not easily be resolved as they seem to have no sense of responsibility for their work. Perhaps I should have paid better attention to the customer who brought in cushions that were tearing at the seams as we were finishing up our order.
Read Company Response
Company Response on 8/24/2006: My name is Peter Lien, and I am the Manager and a Co-Owner of the business that is the subject of this posting.
I am responding to this post, because I think the customer has painted an extremely inaccurate picture of the situation, and would like the opportunity to address some of the poster’s comments. The order of these responses is in the order they were mentioned.
“We were promised delivery in 6-8 weeks, it took 10-1/2”
From the outset, I explained to the customer that the configuration she had wanted was not something we had built before, and that it would take longer than our normal lead times. I quoted her an approximate lead time of 6-8 weeks, but in no way, promised her a specific lead time. While we tried our best to complete the order in the quoted lead time, it did take longer. It was delivered to the customer 9-1/2 weeks from the time she placed the order (not 10-1/2 weeks as she claims).
“Within a month, the back cushions started to lose their shape”
I have spoken to the customer a few times since she received her order. She has never brought the back pillows in for us to examine, nor has she ever mentioned any problems with the back pillows. It seems very convenient for her to add this statement in her posting to embellish her story.
“I did pay extra to have the seams taped, but had been assured that the construction of the fabric need no other attention”
First, she did NOT pay extra to have the seams taped. Secondly, we have upholstered many sofas using the same fabric that she ordered, and had no prior experience of it having problems. It would not have been in our best interest to continually offer a product that had recurring problems. My statement to her was to assure her that if the material did require other attention, our factory would take care of it.
“Instead of being professional and working toward a resolution to correct the problem he argued with me for almost an hour and denied responsibility.”
I have been a Co-Owner and Manager of The Sofa Company since our inception, and am extremely upset that she has characterized my behavior as such. I have always treated all my customers with the utmost respect and have always been professional in all my interactions.
When she first contacted me about her concerns with the cushions, I suggested that she bring in the cushions for me to examine so that I can address the situation immediately. When she brought in the cushions, I acknowledged that the seams appear to be coming apart on her cushions, and informed her that I would send the cushions back to the factory for further examination and repair. She apparently was not content with my solution.
Immediately, she went on a tirade about how we did not know what we were doing, and demanded that we perform specific procedures to all the cushions. She went on and on about how she was a sewing expert, and was making legal threats. I had never been more insulted.
The cushions clearly needed to be repaired, which was not in dispute. I knew she was a frustrated customer, because the order had taken longer than expected. There was no denying responsibility. I was not arguing with the customer that the cushions needed to be repaired.
My act of “un-professionalism” was to assert that I could not simply accommodate her demands. I explained that I was not a sewing expert and that I could only list all of her concerns, and have our factory respond and make any necessary adjustments. If that was being unprofessional, then I apologize to her.
“If you have a problem, it will not easily be resolved as they seem to have no sense of responsibility for their work.”
That is an extremely incendiary statement and extremely inaccurate. We have been in business for almost 8 years, and have worked with numerous clients all over the Los Angeles area, and take enormous pride in our ability to service our customers. Our largest customer base is from referrals and repeat customers and we understand that.
When a problem occurs, it is naturally going to be a difficult situation. I can’t say that we have always sided with the customer in every situation, but I can confidently say that we make a sincere effort to listen to their concerns and to address them properly. Each situation is unique and sometimes we don’t arrive to a resolution that both parties are satisfied.
Her situation is personally frustrating, because we certainly did take responsibility for the problems. In fact, we went so far as to make entirely new cushions for the customer, in spite of the customer’s persistent abuse.
In my opinion, the customer was antagonistic from the start, and now from reading her postings, it appears that she just wanted to get fodder for her online blogging career.
In closing, I just wanted to insert my 3 cents in. I appreciate everyone taking the time to read my response, and hopefully you give us a fair chance and develop your own view about our Company. My name is Peter Lien...I started this business with my two best friends from college, and I am a proud Co-Owner of The Sofa Company.
I manage the Culver City location and can be reached at 310-559-9901 ext. 720. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
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Great Service Great Deal
Posted by Allen.levoff78 on 11/29/2011
I was recoomended to purchase a sofa at the sofa company in Pasadena. A wonderful experience. Knowledgeable sales people, great service quick delivery. Great prices. Truly a wonderful store.
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Yes We Can, So They Say. But No They Can't
Posted by Ksanna on 08/14/2010
Once upon a time I thought these guys were good. but reality took place and I was told that my sofa would be ready on Aug 9. I jetted over and went to the factory. The guy at the front desk said..what? who? which sofa? Did anyone call you? Yeah the left hand does not know the right hand at all.
15 minutes later I am escorted back to see the custom sofa that they built for me. I was so excited to see the sofa. As I turned to corner I spy the beauty...oh, no I meant BEAST. No beauty here she was pretty ugly. The sofa was NOTHING like what I expected. I know because they were working from a photo that I provided them. They get one star for effort but I would take 10 away due to the poor poor customer service that they provide. Hell, the production manager, Manuel, came over to show me the BEAST. I am now standing in from the BEAST with the BOOZER. Yeah, this guy smelled of the alcohol so badly that the smell stayed with me for about 30 min after leaving his presence.
I asked around if there was anyone to assist me as I was in the warehouse and wanted to go over all the issues I had with the sofa. Shape was off. sewing was poor, a major seam was smack dab in the front. One would think that the sofa gave birth and they had to go in and cut her out. Anyway, nobody would talk to me about the issues. So, I asked again and again. I was advised that nobody could help me. I asked for Jim.... is he in? no response besides nobody could assist you and that you have to go back to the store you purchased it at. So, I called over to the store and spoke with Cristina. We reviewed the issues and she says she has to get her boss involved, great. Later that day I get a call that her boss is involved and she will be back to me. NEXT, I get a call from Jim. obviously someone who runs things there.... I have to start all over with the issues and problems.. Jim is this business guy who would debate if Michael Jackson, Ann Nicole Smith were still alive. Point being he is out there and reality is not really in his dna. ummmmmmm, fab fibber or is he just out there? Ummm the seam sewing on the sofa was NASTY. Jims reply, this is up to company standard. Tufting on the front of the sofa is poor at best. Jim, thats up to company standard. Ummm, well I have you a detailed example of what I wanted and I get this poor attempt to product a quality sofa! The saga continues today as the sofa dude goes on and on and on about whats the issues are. Wheres the problem... etc etc.
So, the net net here is this place sings a good song but lacks the ability to execute. When they are not in the right they are defensive and down right nasty. In fact I have asked for my moola back. We will see how things go but I am sure we will end up in court. I have awesome photos that show all the issues. I am actually going to publish them so people can see what their work is like. Their attitude, emails and phone calls will show you that this pace needs help.
NET NET is that this company did not live up to what was agreed and now they are just playing around buying time. They will see me in court and I will win. I suggest that you look at other places for your sofa building needs.
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Beware Of Disreputable Salespeople
Posted by Informed Buyer on 04/09/2010
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- BEWARE!!!!! First, the reason there are so many great reviews, is that the company give you a $40 credit towards your order. Many people choose to do this before they have received their order, because the sales people are extremely nice when they want your money for their commission. Here's the run down of what happened:
1.) I went into the downtown store and met with an extremely helpful salesperson (didn't realized they worked on commission - silly me). We spent about 30 minutes together, and a sofa that was shown online for $695, suddenly became $1,490 by the time everything was said and done. I didn't need the sofa for a while, and they will only hold them for 3 weeks before charging you a hefty fee, so I asked her to not submit my order for 2 weeks. Non the less, a 50% deposit was required on the spot.
2.) Several days later I was at a different furniture manufacturer and found a fabric I liked infinitely more, which The Sofa Co. had nothing anywhere near the quality, design or color. I called 1 week after placing the order, and still 5 days before the order was submitted. I was told my salesperson, was not in and would be back the next day and would call then.
3) Of course I got no return call. After a couple calls the next day, I finally reached her, only to be told they had a "no cancellation" policy (mind you my order had NEVER been submitted) and they were not going to refund my $750 AND I was still committed to paying the balance when it was done! However, I could certainly apply the money to another purchase if I didn't want what had been ordered.
4) I asked to speak with the manager, who of course was not there. The saleswoman said she would check with him in the next day or two and get back to me. From there I made several phone calls back and forth between the saleswoman and the manager. EVERY time I reached one of them, they needed to speak with the other one before reaching a decision about potentially refunding my money. This went back and forth for a couple days.
5) After being promised I would receive a phone call today (which I didn't), I called my saleswoman - who first said her manager wasn't in and she hadn't spoken to him, and then said she HAD spoken to him and he reiterated there would be no refund. When I again asked to speak with the manager, this time, I was told it would be FOUR days before he was available - conveniently 2 days beyond the original date the order was originally to be submitted.
This is an extremely SLEEZY operation - aside from information I recently received that their quality is extremely questionable, and the sofas are manufactured in China.
Save you money and go somewhere else - ANYWHERE else!!!!