God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Saturday, September 26, 2015

What Is Truth?

This is going to be a lengthy post.  Grab yourself a cuppa & settle down in a comfy chair if you plan to read further.

Some people wouldn't recognize truth if it ran them down & then backed up over them.

On July 12, John & I went to a local furniture store & purchased a bedroom set, an end table, & a dining table & chairs.  I believe that I talked about the bedroom set in a prior post or two.  To briefly recap, we told the salesman (Brett) that we wanted solid wood furniture.  Brett said this bedroom set was solid cherry.  Based on the price of it & how beautiful it looked, we believed him.  After it was delivered, I looked up the manufacturer's website to see what their instructions were for taking care of it.  What I discovered was that the set was made in Vietnam using MDF.  MDF stands for Medium Density Fiberboard which is "an engineered wood product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibers, combining these fibers with wax & a resin binder, & forming panels by applying high temperature & pressure." The only parts of the furniture that were solid cherry were the drawer fronts.

Brett never admitted to lying or apologized for giving us incorrect information.  Instead he tried several times to tell us how wonderful this manufacturer is & how great the furniture is.  The store finally agreed to take back the bedroom set as well as the end table which also turned out to be made using MDF, & to refund our full purchase price.  

As for the dining table & chairs, Brett told us it was made of solid maple, by the Amish, & was therefore made to order.  He said we could expect delivery in 6-8 weeks, the latest delivery date being September 6.  We weren't too thrilled with this, but we really liked the set so we decided to wait.  On August 10 I wondered if it was too late to make a change in the color of stain we picked out.  After talking with the furniture rep, Brett said I had caught them "just in time."  He said the set was "almost finished, but not yet stained."  After making the color change, Brett said we did not lose our place in line & that "no production time would be lost."  Since the furniture only needed to be stained, I assumed it would be delivered in the not too distant future ... but August was almost over & I had heard nothing more about it.  I contacted Brett to ask for an update & he said there was a backlog at the factory & delivery wouldn't be until sometime in October.  I was not happy.  When I asked him how furniture that was "almost complete" on August 10 would now not be delivered until "sometime in October," he ignored the question. When I pointed out that he told me "no production time was lost," he said that he guessed making the change must have moved us back to the end of the line.  I said I wanted to cancel the order.  He said I couldn't do that because special orders cannot be canceled.  When I persisted, he said he asked the store owner & then the furniture rep who both said special orders cannot be canceled.  I was now beyond upset.  I spent hours on the internet trying to find out what, if anything, I could do.  I found a furniture manufacturer whistle blowing sort of forum, posted my dilemma, & found out that this furniture company making the table & chairs isn't even Amish!  I was given some suggestions, none of which panned out, so I ended up just having to accept the whole miserable situation & hope that (A) the furniture truly would be delivered sometime in October, & (B) that it would be nicely made.

You could have knocked me over with a feather when yesterday I received a phone call saying my table & chairs were ready & would delivery sometime today be convenient for me.  I said it would, & I then began to shift boxes around to make room for it.  The delivery guys brought it this morning, & here it is.

You are probably thinking "What an odd dining set ... 3 chairs, & that table pedestal looks suspiciously like a moving box."  Well, the delivery guys brought each piece in separately, & I looked them over closely.  One of the chairs had a large chip on the side, & the pedestal had one leg that looked like it had been painted & then someone touched their fingers to the paint in several areas before it had dried.  The delivery guys said "The store can send someone over here to repair that."  I said "I don't want to accept delivery & take the chance that it won't be repaired adequately."  They were rather miffed & called the store, then gave me the phone. The person on the other end asked me what was wrong.  I told him.  He said no problem ... that when they had ordered my set, they ordered 2 others exactly like it.  All I needed to do was come into the store & they would exchange the bad chair & the bad pedestal with ones from the other 2 sets.  I said that was acceptable.  When I asked who I was talking with, he answered "Brett." I should have known what I was in for.  

The delivery guys put the bad chair & the bad pedestal back on the truck & drove off to their next delivery.  I drove to the store to pick out replacements.  Brett took me to the back of the store where he had already had someone from the warehouse bring out another pedestal.  It looked worse than the one I had sent back, & it also seemed a tad off color.  Brett then asked for someone to bring out the other pedestal.  I reminded him that I needed a replacement chair as well.  

The second pedestal looked better, but there was an area where it looked like someone had dripped a big blob of paint on one of the legs but hadn't noticed, & the paint blob sort of ran down the leg a bit & pooled.  I pointed this out to Brett & said neither pedestal was acceptable.  He tried telling me that I ordered a "distressed" set & that this was part of the distressing.  I told him no ... the edges being sanded was distressing; fingerprints in the finish & paint blobs were not.  By this time the warehouse guy had brought out 2 chairs for me to take a look at.  They were both nice, but they also seemed to be a tad off color.    

As I was looking at the chairs, I turned at one point & there stood Brett with another man he introduced as the store owner, David.  David asked me what was wrong.  I told him about the delivery, then told him about the problems with the 2 replacement pedestals.  He looked at both of them, telling me he didn't see any problems. When I showed him, he tried to pass them off as being part of the distressing.  I told him I have a lot of distressed furniture in my home, & that sanded edges that have been stained, uneven edges, wormholes, certain gouges, etc ... yes, those are part of the distressing process ... but blobs of paint & fingerprints in the finish are not.  He then started telling me about how this furniture is hand made by the Amish (!) & that hand made things aren't perfect & that in all his life owning a furniture store he has never met anyone as picky as me.  He suggested that I choose the most acceptable of the 2 pedestals & take it home along with a replacement chair.  I told him I was a bit concerned about them being a bit different in color than what I sent back.  It turns out that I wasn't imagining this.  The two other dining sets ordered at the same time I ordered mine were not exactly the same as mine as Brett had stated. Mine was a maple set, the other two were cherry. David then said that the color was close enough & that no one would know that a maple table top was sitting on a cherry pedestal.  I told him I would know.  He then said he was giving up ... we could just part ways as friends & not let this get ugly.  He would send the delivery guys to pick up the pieces left in my home, & when I called & told Brett that they were on the truck, our money would be refunded.  I said that was acceptable to me.
The guys came & got the furniture.  I called Brett to tell him this & to give him our CC number for the refund.  He then told me that the store owner wanted to see the furniture first & that I should call back later this afternoon, around 4 o'clock. Now I've got a big knot in my stomach wondering what sort of wrench is going to be thrown into the works here.

Although we don't have the table & chairs we hoped to have, at least we didn't get rid of the set we've been using.
Addendum:  Our refund has been processed.


Vickie said...

What a bunch of JUNK! Unbelievable. Just plain bad.

stitchinpeanut said...

Since i am near the lexington area... Please post the name of this store so i never do business with them again. Customer Service has died... And is no more... I hate buying new things for these exact reasons. Good luck to you as you start your search over again.

CalamityJr said...

That store certainly isn't customer friendly! I'll be anxiously waiting to hear "the rest of the story ".

Maureen said...

"Shake the dust off your sandals" Shirlee and never cross their threshold again! Normally Amish made equals quality and yes, blobs etc does not equal "distressed". Brett and Dave need some schooling. My fingers are crossed that you get your refund without any more angst.

Maureen said...

P.S. I do like what you selected and hope you can find it elsewhere

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Why is nothing ever straight forward? I would contact the local Amish people and tell them their good name is being impugned by this store.
Finger prints are not a sign of distressed furniture, they are a sign of a distressed Shirlee!

stitchersanon said...

That is just plain terrible..bad service, bad products

Lynda Ruth Bowers said...

Oh would I like to take those to outside the back of their store and do some distressing on them.What allot of hog wash. I hope you get your money back, I would take hubby with you next time to make sure you do get your money or they might just get a fist in their lying faces. What a con. Just cause your a women, they think they can take advantage. Hugs Lynda Ruth

Elizabeth said...

What a saga you are having - customer service is not like it used to be. Keep us updated - would be interested to read if you got a refund or not.

Kaisievic said...

Oh my goodness, Shirlee, you have every right to be picky! You are paying your hard earned money for this furniture - do you have an ombudsman system in the U.S.? An independent branch of the government to which you can take issues like this and they then deal with shonky dealers? I would be so mad that I would be spitting chips! In fact, I AM so mad on your behalf that I AM spitting chips and I would love to hop on a plane and go tell this Brett and David where to go shove their furniture (as if often said here Downunder, in a place where the sun don't shine!). GRRRRR!

Linda said...

Oh wow Shirlee, I sure hope things work out okay and you get your refund.


Sally said...

Oh Shirlee I do hope you've got your refund now. The customer service etc is disgusting. Hugs x

Mii Stitch said...

Glad you had your refund!
I would make sure to leave a negative review about the staff at this shop. Unprofessional!

Robin said...

I am behind and just now reading this. I am glad your money was refunded. It is so sad that Brett and Dave were less than honest with you. It is very hard to find reputable stores and/or salesmen these days. I do hope you find something that meets your requirements and needs soon.

Robin in Virginia

Julie said...

Good news you got a full refund.

Maggee said...

You already know how I felt about this fiasco... however, I am VERY glad they refunded your $$$ !! Gotta run... Big Hugs!

Dawn said...

I'm so glad you stood up to them, you pay for quality, you expect quality. That is nuts Shirley, maybe you can find a amish store directly.

Pam in IL said...

What an ordeal! Glad you got a refund and can say good riddance to that store and salesperson.