Levitz Furniture Corporation Complaint - Protection/Warranty company is a scam: virtually unreachable and does not respond
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- The Levitz Protection/Warranty plan is a total scam. Read on to learn about my claim experience and why you should seriously consider NOT shelling out your hard-earned dough for the protection plan.
I purchased a pair of sofas from Levitz about 3 years ago and at the time the protection plan that was pitched to me sounded like an excellent idea:
* 7 year protection plan
* Protects against any type of damage, e.g. spills, human waste, burns, etc.
* They fix or replace your furniture
* If furniture is discontinued they give you full credit towards a new item
For a mere 10% or so of the purchase price, this sounds like an excellent plan; especially for sofas which inevitably get stained, torn, worn, etc.
The Pitch: The salesperson explained to me that if I ever need to make a claim it's simple! Just call this number, they'll send someone out to repair it. If they can't repair it they'll replace it or give you credit towards a new one. Wow, that sounds easy.
The truth: Unfortunately I had two sofas that were damaged; one received a tear in the cushion, the other a wine stain...what luck. I figured no problem, call the number and get it fixed/replaced.
So I pull out my receipt and "Levitz 7 year warranty" protection plan flier, which I filed away like a good little consumer. I call the toll free number to make a claim. If you bought your furniture after such-and-such date (2002 or so) they give you a different number (877-429-2935) to call. So I call the second number and they offer several "convenient" ways to start your claim. You can speak to a representative, fax in your claim, or send an email to email@example.com. I figure lets do this through email since we're in the digital age - my email gets bounced back (email address doesn't exist). Okay, call the number and speak to a representative. After being on hold for a short time a representative comes on and gets all my information. Tells me I need to fax in the sofa details, such as make, model, etc. to a certain number along with my claim number which he gave me - after which a "technician" will contact me via phone within 7-10 days to clean the wine stain and replace the cushion with the tear. I fax in the details the next day and figure great, this will be easy. Within a week or two I'll have my sofas fixed. Good thing I paid for that warranty.
A few days later I call because I want to make sure they got all my information correct. When you call the number the menu gives you a couple of options: 1) File new claim. 2) Check existing. etc. When you choose to check on an existing claim you get a message that tells you to send a letter to a Florida address with your claim number to get the status of your claim - after which the automated system promptly hangs up on you. This company makes every effort to keep you from speaking to an actual representative. Honestly, I have to send a letter through the mail to get the status of my claim? Since I'm on the West Coast I figure this must take at least a week to get a response back (my estimate is actually quite wrong, read on...). So I figured out that if I choose the menu option to file a new claim I can actually speak to a human being. The representative said that they received my fax and everything was in order - there was nothing else for me to do but wait...great.
About 2 weeks pass and no word. I call the number and again choose the menu option to file a new claim so I can speak to a human. The human tells me that they sent an email to the technicians to call me, and that's all the information they can provide. If I want more information I have to...you guessed it...send a letter to the Florida address requesting a status on my claim. I can't just call someone?
So I send a letter to the Florida address asking about my claim, and letting them know that nobody has called me in the 7-10 day timeframe. I figure I'll get a response in about a week (3 days to get there, a day to respond, 3 days to get back). It has now been over 3 weeks and I still have no response.
Let's see if I understand how this claim process works:
1) Jump through some hoops and phone number redirects, email issues, etc. to get your claim filed.
2) Expect to get a call from a technician, which never happens.
3) Call to get a status of your claim, only to be told to send in a letter.
4) Send in a letter, no response.
5) Go back to step (3) and continue on an infinite loop.
I think I've figured out how this company makes money.
My honest opinion: I think warranties are a load of crap, and especially this one. Very rarely do I hear of someone who paid for a warranty, and then actually (successfully) used it and was happy that they bought it.
I'd have to say that I'm quite happy with Levitz and their furniture style and selection. They make nice looking furniture, of decent quality at a reasonable price. We all know that it's not top quality, but it's certainly affordable. I would buy furniture from them again, but I would never opt for the warranty because it's a total scam.