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Seaman's Furniture Complaint - Damaged goods and bad service froms Seaman's/Levitz Company

Review by jjcrom on 2005-02-13
ENFIELD, CONNECTICUT -- On 10-3-2004 we purchased a dining room set for over 5000 dollars from the Seaman's store in Manchester, CT. The dining room set was delivered on October 7th, but there were some damages to the base of the table, the buffet and the hutch, and some minor scratches on 4 of the 6 chairs. The damages to the base of the table and the hutch were so bad that I refused to accept these. I accepted the chairs and buffet, as the delivery people were telling me that these could be easily fixed by their service department. I called the service number and had a new delivery for the hutch and the table-base scheduled. These were delivered on October 9th. The base of the table was OK now, but guess what, the new hutch was damaged as well. However, this new hutch had at least no broken windows in it as the previous one, and the service guy convinced me that the areas where the coating had come off could be easily touched up. We were thinking that the chance that another hutch would show even worse damages was too high anyhow, so we accepted this hutch. The service man came over on October 18th and touched up the scratches and areas where the coating had come off, and I have to say that he did a good job on that. However, he told us that he could not fix the door handles and the drawer on the buffet, as these needed new parts (2 door handles and drawer tracks for one drawer), and these needed to be ordered. The service rep told us to wait until the parts had arrived and then make an appointment for him to come over. I called in December to the service department and they told me that the parts were on order and were scheduled to arrive by December 18th (they told me that it normally takes 6 to 8 weeks after ordering before parts come in). However, early January 2005, we still had not received anything, so I called again and they told us that they would put a tracking on the parts, and I was told that a representative would contact us within 72 hrs. 4 days later I still had not been contacted so I called back and they told me then that according to the records, the parts had arrived on December 18th, but had not been shipped to me yet, and that they would be shipped shortly. A week later, I called again and now they then told to me that the parts had been shipped to me and would arrive at my house in a few days. About a week later, we still had not received anything, so I called once more and they now told me that someone was looking into this and would call me within 48 hrs with an update. 3 days later, I again had not heard anything back, so again it was up to me to call the service department (where I'm usually kept on hold for ever before I get to talk to someone). Once more, I explained the entire situation to someone else and they told me again that they would put a tracking on the parts through the parts department. I sent a complaint about this situation to Seaman's through there website, and after a few automatic E-mail replies that were leading nowhere, I finally got an E-mail from an executive assistant (Claude Vera), who told me that he had authorized a replacement of the buffet in order to resolve this issue. I was not to keen on this proposal as I was concerned that the replacement buffet could just as well be damaged, and this would bring me back to square one, but I was so frustrated by now that I was willing to give it a try. Well, on February 12th, the delivery people came over AND, as I suspected, the replacement buffet that they had on the truck was even more damaged than the one we have, so I refused the delivery. One of the side windows was broken, a door handle was broken, and it had several severe scratches on one drawer and on several places on the finished surface. The buffet and the hutch each weigh over 300 lbs (it's a solid mahogany dining room set), so I thought it would not be wise to risk to move these and even more damages, just to replace the damaged buffet by another damaged one. Consequently, I was still stuck with a buffet that is damaged and an unresolved issue, more than 4 months after we purchased the set. I don't understand what can be so complicated about ordering a new drawer track and 2 door handles from the manufacturing company, and sending over a service man to fix this. I ended up calling the service department once more on February 12th, and explaining once more my situation, and guess what, once more, I was told that they were going to put a tracking on the parts order and that they I needed to call back on Monday for an update. I talked to Nadia Moses this time and I called her back on Feb 14th, as she instructed, but she then told me she needed more time to work this issue with the parts department, and asked me to call back on Thursday February 17th, which I did. Now, I was told that the parts were finally in the mail and would be at my place within a few days. To my surprise, a package from Levitz furniture (Seamans Daughter company I assume) arrived Feb 24th, but not so much to my surprise, it was only one part, a single wooden drawer-slider, which did not even fit, as the drawers in our Buffet have narrow metal sliders, and there is no way that the one they sent can fit in there. Furthermore, there was only one drawer slider, and we need 2 as both are jammed, and there were not any door handles included in the shipment, so I'm back to square one. Now I called the service number again, and talked again to another person that I had not talked to before (Georges), and explained the situation once more. This person now told me that the system told him that a replacement of the buffet is scheduled for April 20th and that no parts will be ordered. I told him that this was not acceptable to me as this was tried just a couple of weeks ago, and that the new buffet was even more damaged than the one we have, so I did not have any confidence that the replacement would work this time, and he agreed with me so he told me that he's re-ordering the parts with the manufacturer, and that he was going to try to expedite the delivery this time. However, since I had not much confidence anymore in what I was promised by the Seaman's Service Department, I called the store where we purchased the set and and they gave me the number where I could reach a secretary to the president of the service company, who I called. This person, named Francine, now told me that the problem with getting the parts had been that they do not have any parts in stock and they have to come all the way from China, where the manufacturer of the dining room set is located. If this is the case, why hasn't anyone told me that before, why did they constantly keep me in the dark and told me several times that the parts had arrived, and why did they send me a part last week that doesn't even fit ? And even China cannot be 4 months of shipping time away, not ? Anyhow, I now have this secretary looking into this, so I can only hope once more that something is finally going to happen now, and that one day the damages will be fixed so that we can finally set-up our buffet and hutch and start enjoying our new dining room set. One thing I know for sure however : We will never buy anything from Seaman's again !

An Update March 23 - 2005 :
Again one month later, and with regret and frustration I have to report back that the anticipation of no further problems was too optimistic. Yesterday, March 22nd, 2005, we received a new package from Levitz. The package contained 4 wide WOODEN drawer tracks, and 2 DRAWER handles for our set. Unfortunately this is not what we needed or asked for. I had clearly stated in my E-mails and phone calls with the Seamans Service people that wooden tracks do not fit as the drawers in our set use slim metal ones, and that we needed DOOR handles, not DRAWER handles (and they are clearly different!). Once more, we are left frustrated and with a still unresolved issue. Once more, we are wondering when the Seamans service company is finally going to get this right. Once more, I will have to call the service department, explain the whole thing all over again, and put our fading hopes to the test that we finally would get the parts that we need and could fix our new dinging room set, and finally start enjoying it........but, my hopes are fading quickly now. My wife and I are seriously considering now to call it quits and demand a full refund and return of all goods.

UPDATE June 1, 2005 : I finally received the correct parts after writing directly to the President of the Seaman's Furniture Company Mr. C. Mark Scott at Seaman's Furniture Company
300 Crossways Park Drive
Woodbury, NY 11797
Mr. Scott sent me a personal letter back and assigned Dori-Ann Keisner, Executive Officer personally to my case. I hope that this ordeal and my many months of frustration will bring Mr. Scott to the realization that some drastic changes are needed in the way his company is managed.

UPDATE JUNE 8, 2005
Apparantly my optimism was senseless last week. The Service person came in today (6-8-05), and guess what, the drawer tracks still did not fit the set, and the door handles, although the correct ones, did not have all the parts with them to install them on our set, so here we go again... He promised from the bottom of his heart that he was going to order the right/additional parts this time... The wait starts all over again... My hopes that this will ever be resolved are fading once more... or rather down the drain right now. Getting a refund is apparently not an option if you read the Seamans Sales policies. Now I know why they have such a policy.
Mr. Scott, my crusade against Seamans continues....

UPDATE Sepember 1, 2005
One month to go and one year will have passed since we did the purchase. Once more they sent us the wrong parts. A full box of drawer handles. One thing is sure now : I have a lot of spare parts for the set that I cannot really use to fix the problems with it. I did send another letter to Mr. Scott, and we were finally offered a full re-fund after Seamans would pick up the set. The problem however is that my wife and I are at a stage where we'd rather have the dining room set fixed, rather than having to give it up and go and look for a new one that we would like just as much. So I have decided that I won the long battle against Seamans/Levitz, since they offered me the re-fund, and I will fix the drawer track and door handles on the set myself now. I should have done this in the first place, but I was told that this would revoke any warrenties offered with the set. What a joke, the warrenties offered are useless anyhow, and will also expire in one month from now.

I finally hope that a lot of people will learn a valuable lesson from all of this, which is to be VERY aware about buying anything at Seamans or Levitz ! Several people have contacted me in the meantime with information or questions about similar complaints and law suits against Seamans or Levtiz, which motivates me even more to continue my crusade.... Check out all the complaints on the internet please ! A business who operates like this and treats its' customers this way has in my view no right to be in business.
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