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Ethan Allen Furniture Company Complaint - Unethical business practices

Review by dana.mcintosh@verizon.net on 2002-03-02
BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON -- I recently ordered a $3200 entertainment center (EC) from Ethan Allen Galleries, Bellevue, WA. About four weeks later I was visiting the Ethan Allen Galleries in Seattle (which is owned by the same individual as the Bellevue Gallery) and spotted a $7600 entertainment center on sale for $3276. WOW, a $7600 cherry EC for the same price as the smaller maple one I ordered. I returned to look at the $3276 sale piece a couple times and decided to inquire about canceling my original order and purchasing this terrific deal for $3276. I called the Manager of the Bellevue Store, Doug King, and requested his approval to cancel my original order and transfer my deposit to $3276 EC. We agreed that I should pay a 10% restock penalty for the original order but the balance of my deposit would be transferred to the $3276 EC at the Seattle store. I went to the Seattle store at lunch that same day and looked at the $3276 EC one more time and then I asked a sales representative to process the transfer. The sales representative called Mr. King and relayed my decision to transfer my purchase to the $3276 EC. I stood right there during this telephone conversation and heard the discussion with Mr. King, The sales rep and Manager, Mr. King concluded their call at 12:15 PM. After they hung up, I asked the sales representative if I needed to pay a deposit. She refused my deposit and added that the Manager, Mr. King would take care of it.
At 3:25 PM that same day Manager, Mr. King called to tell me that they had sold the $3276 EC to another customer. The other customer’s transaction was processed after 1:00 PM so I clearly was the first sale. And Manager Mr. King does not dispute this; he simply contends that the first sale booked in the computer is the recognized sale. I was told by the Seattle store that the customer that purchased my $3276 EC was called after I left the Seattle store and the sale was booked over the telephone. The Seattle store wanted the sale because sales commissions and store sales quota would have been effected by my transfer sale.
Manager Mr. King promised he would “Make it right” but here I am one month later; they cancelled my original order when they processed the failed attempt to transfer, they still have my deposit of approx $1000 and I have nothing from Mr. King but empty promises and unanswered phone messages..
I was offered a $3100 EC at a 40% discount but the EC offered was not even close in comparison to the lost $3276 EC and it wasn't compatible with my décor.

To help keep me as a potential future customer, I would like the following:

TO resolve this situation I would expect the company to substitute a comparable piece of furniture or $7500 worth of furniture for the same $3267 cost.

At the very least I would like a response from your company regarding this incident. Thank you for your time.
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