It’s a shame to admit, but sometimes furniture dealers behave badly. Here’s a roundup of cases from across the US where furniture stores have gotten in such hot water that the courts have stepped in to protect customers.
- The Attorney General’s Office in Washington state is filing suit against a local Tacoma furniture store owned by the Gill brothers. According to a long list of customer allegations, these guys had no problem accepting money for furniture orders. But actually delivering the furniture as promised was another story. Customers were refused refunds when they got tired of hearing excuses and lies about missed delivery dates. Some customers even reported being threatened by the brothers. No living room sofa is worth that kind of grief!
- In a recent New Jersey lawsuit, a plaintiff did the smart thing and checked his furniture order upon arrival. On finding several defects, he rejected the order and asked for his money back. The store refused to refund his money. The plaintiff was awarded 3 times the amount of his deposit plus attorney’s fees . How frustrating that he had to go to court to get the store to do the right thing!
- A major leather furniture company won’t be operating in Florida any time soon if the Attorney General’s Office has anything to say about it. The company is being punished for allegedly violating the terms of a previous settlement and for engaging in deceptive business practices. Again, in this case furniture wasn’t being delivered in the promised time frame. Besides preventing the company from doing business in Florida, the AG will seek civil penalties of $10,000 per violation and $15,000 for each violation against customers who are senior citizens. As you can imagine, that’s going to be a big percentage of the customer base in the sunshine state!
What You Can Learn from These Stories
These lawsuits serve as a cautionary tale. Whether you are buying home furniture or office furniture, it matters who you deal with. Local companies that have worked hard to earn customers trust care more about you than the big chain stores. But even a family owned business may not be all sweetness and light (witness the infamous Gill brothers). Dig a little deeper before you buy and find out the real reputation your office furniture dealer has built. You can also protect yourself by knowing your rights under consumer protection laws.
At Cubicles Office Environments, we don’t just deliver your furniture (on time, in pristine condition, and with no missing pieces). We deliver great installation and ongoing customer service for every client. Talk to any of our customers, they’ll tell you the same!