Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Life

It Shouldn’t Be This Difficult to Buy Furniture

You’d be surprised how much trouble I’m having getting a two-piece living room set to my home after deciding to buy furniture on Labor Day.

My old couch and recliner really needed to go and I decided it was time to buy furniture of a different type to replace it.

The old stuff was bonded leather, the perils of which I’ve talked about here.

It started on Labor Day.

That’s when I went to shop after finding an ad for a nice combination deal for a sectional sofa and matching recliner. I went to the store, which is more of a giant warehouse, and saw it for myself. The salesperson, to her credit, said she wanted to check the computer before we completed the sale to make sure they had it in stock.

They did. (At least, that’s what the computer said.)

Same-day delivery was scheduled, but when I got the call to let me know the delivery men were on the way, there was a problem: the recliner they had in stock, contrary to what the computer claimed, was the wrong color.

Still, they were bringing me the recliner, so at least I had something. They’d order a recliner from another location, get that shipped in mid-week and deliver it that weekend.

Inconvenient but not the end of the world, I thought.

That Saturday came and I heard nothing from the store. I called three time that day trying to find out where my recliner was. And it was the third call, late in the afternoon, before they finally told me that when they opened the recliner, it was the same wrong color they had in stock.

It seems something’s seriously amiss in their inventory system.

They said they’d try to find one at another store and ship it…which should take two weeks. If that didn’t work, they’d have to order another one from the manufacturer. That would take a month.

They also told me they’d talk to their claims department and try to give me a freebie — a lamp, perhaps — to make up for the inconvenience. They said they’d call me the following Monday with an answer on that part.

Promises, promises…but no recliner.

Monday came and went with no call. But that was about the time of Hurricane Florence, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

I called the next week and spoke to a manager who seemed to get a bit testy by my questions. Odd. If anyone had reason to be testy, it’s me, not him.

The manager said he’d have the salesperson call me.

She didn’t.

Two weeks go by and I heard nothing. Obviously, getting it from another store didn’t work.

A month went by and I decided to actually show up in person to demand answers.

I saw the salesperson who recognized me and said with a smile, “Recliner, right?”

I smiled and nodded, telling her I hope she had good news. She didn’t.

It turns out the manufacturer had some sort of fire at their plant, which meant orders that normally take 30 days will now take an additional 45 days.

It wasn’t that piece of information that angered me. Fires happen, after all. Incorrect data into an inventory happens.

But the day I showed up, I learned they had received the email about the fire and delay three days earlier and were asked to notify customers.

Obviously, during those three days, they still hadn’t called me. I pointed out this little fact and explained that this was why I felt the need to come there in person.

They apologized and promised to do a better job.

But they also gave me a printout of the invoice for the back-ordered recliner with all of the notes about what I’ve been dealing with since Labor Day. With that documentation that I now have in my hand, should we make it past Christmas with no delivery, I at least have the documentation I’d need to go to court if we can’t work something else out.

I just hope it won’t have to come to that.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.