Call Kurtis: Stewing Over Sofas
An Elk Grove couple paid thousands of dollars for a new sofa set but says it arrived damaged. When the store wouldn’t fix it after a year, it was time to call Kurtis.
They bought the leather set from La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Elk Grove. They even paid extra for a 5 year warranty. And they’re ticked that warranty didn’t seem to work.
“Angry, you know, being ignored is probably the worst thing in the world, especially when you paid a lot of money for it,” says Ted Bradley, Elk Grove resident.
They dropped more than $5,000 on this leather sofa set in the summer of last year.
Ted and Linda Bradley even kicked in $199.99 more for a 5 year warranty. It seemed to cover a lot.
“Spills, discolorations, scratches, things that would be in the leather,” says Linda.
On delivery day, Linda signed for the furniture, acknowledging it was in good condition before inspecting it.
But the next day, Linda and Ted spotted blemishes on the leather and wood.
“There’s basically chips on the corners and also in the middle of the wood pieces,” says Ted.
And they say this crack in one of the ottoman legs was there the day of delivery.
So were the scrapes on the bottom of the loveseat and discolorations in the leather.
The company inspected the furniture in September of 2009, writing up this damage report.
“They said hey, we’ll be in touch. Then never heard another word,” says Ted.
Over the next year, Ted and Linda say they’ve called at least 15 times, visited the store twice and wrote a demand letter to the company.
And every time, they’re told someone would get back to them but that didn’t happen.
“It’s like deaf ears. It doesn’t go anywhere… goes out to a black hole,” says Ted.
And during Linda’s last call, she says an employee told her the furniture was sold “as is” but the receipt didn’t say anything about “as is” and what about that 5 year warranty?
“Then they told us the warranty didn’t apply. That’s when we really became slightly miffed,” says Linda.
We contacted La-Z-Boy. In an email, they tell us:
“… This customer should have been cared for in a timely manner and we understand their disappointment.”
“… Once upper management was informed of the situation we handled it promptly and courteously.”
– Liz Reego, Owner of La-Z-Boy.
A week and a half after our call, La-Z-Boy repaired Ted and Linda’s sofas and because they no longer wanted the warranty, La-Z-Boy refunded the money they paid for it.
“That’s all we’re asking for. It’s all we’ve been asking for since the beginning,” say Ted and Linda.
When something is delivered, don’t feel rushed to sign anything! Take your time. Inspect the product. If you sign that paperwork, it’s going to be tough to go back and say there were issues with the product. If you have an issue with a furniture store, you can always complain to the State Bureau of Home Furnishings.
I hope you can appreciate that we own 6 area stores and have sold more than 200,000 customers in our 25 years. Try as we might to train our staff to handle all customers in an organized, customer-focused manner, you can imagine that on rare occasions, things fall through the cracks despite every effort on the part of the team to perform perfectly 100% of the time.
While the customers state they contacted CustomerCare “several times” you mention they have records for one call on June 2010. At that time, our Service Rep noticed the “final sale” notation on the order and must have referred the customer back to the store which was then managed by Rich Satow. From what we can ascertain, Rich dropped the ball in not following up as there are no comments on the customers virtual invoice of this contact. He was terminated recently so it’s impossible to know what he did or did not do. However, our Service Rep also dropped the ball for not following up independently.
We do want to note that as for “signing in the evening” our delivery staff does not deliver past 4:00p since they have to get back to the warehouse to unload and be through by 5:30p each day. Since this was delivered on August 28, even if the customer was the very last delivery for the day, it would have been extremely bright outside as the sun doesn’t set until after 8:00p on this day.
However, that’s not really the issue. The issue is that this customer should have been cared for in a timely manner and we understand their disappointment. Our mission is to satisfy each and every customer to the highest standards and I believe 99.9% of the time, we accomplish that. It’s too bad that our 199,995 customers don’t call you to share how many times we do handle issues extremely well. Like any company, ours is made up of human beings who make mistakes. And some of those people are no longer with our company as a result.
As you well know, once upper management was informed of the situation we handled it promptly and courteously. And frankly, it wasn’t the threat of being on tv that prompts this. You well know my commitment to the consumer as we’ve spoken at length about how we run our company. We want to take care of all our customers because they are the lifeblood of our organization.
I am sure you can appreciate how very difficult the last 3 year have been on the furniture business–stores are closing left and right. I am sure that the station has been affected as well. It is never our intent to shy away from any responsibility we have to our consumers. That would be not only be unethical, but very poor business practice.
We are glad they are pleased with the result. In addition, they have been refunded the purchase price of the ComfortCare even though we fulfilled all our obligations on that.
Hope all is well with you and that if you run the story, you will give us equal time by including this information.
– Liz Reego, Owner
“Locally owned since 1982, we work very hard to provide quality merchandise, excellent customer service and the opportunity for follow-up customer care. In this particular instance, the customer purchased clearance merchandise and signed for it being in good condition upon delivery, however, once the matter was properly brought to the attention of our Customer Care department, we went above and beyond to address their concerns and make sure they are now comfortable with their furnishings purchase.”
– Jim Reego, Owner