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Ashley Furniture / dont ever deal with them

1 United States Review updated:
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I purchased a couch, loveseat, and chair as well as a set of 3 tables on Feb. 5 and it was paid in full (otherwise they wouldn’t order it) and I was told 2-3 weeks. Ok then every time I called to see if it was being loaded on a certain day, they would tell it a different date. they wouldn’t refund my money, and they lied about delivery time and time again, it took over 3 months to finally get my stuff. Then when I get it the couch and loveseat and chair you can see staples in it. The tables were scratched, and say made in china.

Then as if that wasn’t bad enough the delivery was just Ashley style too. They were not there when stated would be and then they unload my stuff in the rain... with nothing to cover it...

I would not refer anyone there...

Va
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  • Mk
      29th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    Unless a store actually manufactures their own furniture "on-site, " it can often be very difficult to estimate shipping and arrival time. Most furniture sold today by the big brands is now made overseas. In the days when you ordered a sofa that was made in north-east Mississippi or Hickory, NC., delivery times were much more controllable because the furniture could be made to order and shipped out by a truck in a relatively short amount of time- typically within 3-5 weeks. Now that most of these companies are nothing more than "middle men" or "marketing companies" between the actual manufacturers overseas and the retail stores here in the United States, inventory flow and delivery issues are now beyond the immediate control of the retail store owner and even the "brand" marketing company.

    Having been on both sides of the fence as a manufacturer's representative AND a retail store owner, I feel for both sides of the issue. If I receive 95% of my inventory within 3 to 5 weeks, I feel comfortable telling a customer that they SHOULD receive their furniture within that time frame. Now look at the 5% of the time that furniture does not come in. What is the issue?

    I can guarantee the retailer doesn't want to keep you waiting. He/she doesn't want you calling every day to see where your furniture is. The retailer genuinely wants to get your furniture delivered and get you satisfied, but conditions beyond his/her control can create an unfortunate situation for everyone. Let's assume that you order a sofa that is just flying off the floor at every XYZ chain furniture store. All 200 stores have sold 5 this month and they only have 500 sitting in a warehouse. Because the majority of this furniture is made overseas, there will be a time delay in getting it to you. The "manufacturer" must purchase at least 500 more from the factory overseas. This takes time. The overseas manufacturer may be set up to produce "Style A" for the next 3 weeks, then they'll start remaking the "Style B" that you ordered. Then they box them up and put them in containers. The containers sit at the factory for a few days to be taken to the overseas port. They sit in the shipyard for a few days waiting to be loaded. Now we're at a month. Boats don't travel at the speed of sound, and they typically don't make a Bee line for California. Just like a UPS truck doesn't carry one package straight to your door, container ships may or may not make stops to other ports along the way.

    Once the container is in port, many things can happen to slow things up again. Remember the dock worker's strike in Ca. a few years ago? Containers sat unmoved for weeks! Because of our current fear of terrorism, paperwork and inspections can slow things down. Once the containers ARE unloaded from the ship, they then have to travel to the "manufacturer's" warehouse. Ashley, for example, has warehouses in California, Arcadia, Wisconsin, Ecru, Mississippi, and a few other locations. It takes time to get the containers from the port, through trucking terminals and railroad terminals and delivered to the warehouse.

    Once at the warehouse, your "style B" sofa will sit in huge racks along with orders for dozens of other stores. No retailer nor "manufacturer" can absorb the cost of shipping ONE item via truck to the store, so retailers must "Build" trucks- that is to say that they will try to consolidate multiple orders on one truck to spread the shipping costs among multiple orders. If you want a $200 sofa shipped by itself, the freight will probably be about $150. No retailer will stay in business eating this cost, however, they may be able to ship 10 sofas and 30 cocktail tables for $500 total.

    So your furniture was out of stock at the manufacturer's warehouse, had to be ordered from China, traveled overseas on a boat, by rail and truck to a warehouse 600 miles away, and now has to make it to your local retail store.

    Look at our economy right now. People are not buying furniture, so there is another complication: building truckloads or LTL (less than truckload) to take advantage of volume shipping. If your retailer has sold 3 sofas this week and maybe a few odds and ends, he's not going to lose the money to go ahead and have 5 or 6 pieces shipped. Your sofa MAY be sitting in a warehouse, but it's not going to budge until a specific freight rate is reached.

    Through my experience and as I stated earlier, 95% of transactions go very smoothly. When things are going well, they're usually great, but the 5% of the time when a customer orders items which are out of stock, the retailer NOR the marketing company (manufacturer) have a guaranteed delivery date. Storms, hurricanes, strikes, equipment failures, quantity on order, and a variety of other factors beyond the retailer's control can GREATLY affect your furniture's arrival time.

    Having sold to over 200 retailers as a manufacturer's representative, I haven't run in to a single one that "wants" to hold on to your money and keep you irritated. Now from a retailer's perspective: when a customer calls 2 or 3 times a week to find out where their furniture is, the best thing a retailer can do is ESTIMATE an arrival date based on past experience. There is not a GPS locator on your sofa. The retailer can't say "oh, it's in Wichita Falls at a 7-11 and Bruno is refueling and getting a burrito...it should be here tomorrow." At best, they can find out IF the warehouse has any coming in, what the warehouse' ETA is, and guess how long it will take to turn it around, build a truck and get it to your local store.

    A retailer has enough trouble dealing with sales reps, ad reps, rules, regulations, government, payroll, and the 10, 000 other things that make a store work than to concentrate on lying to you and making you wait.

    I place the blame on the American buying public. Everyone wants a $2, 000 look for $199. Everyone wants to make $15 or more an hour. How can a domestic manufacturer pay workers $15 an hour, provide benefits, match 401k's, pay employment tax, paid vacation, family leave, meet OSHA requirements, deal with frivolous lawsuits, pay 941 taxes, dividends to shareholders, buy raw materials from other domestic manufacturers and manufacture a quality sofa that will retail for $199???? The answer is that they probably can't.

    If we could hold on to our manufacturing jobs domestically, you could probably get your furniture much quicker, but the American public, for the most part, is unwilling to pay $699 for a sofa made from quality materials when you can buy a "made in China" sofa for $199. They may look the same on the outside, but on the inside, they are entirely different.

    Many of these so called "manufacturers" that have their merchandise built overseas do so because of substantially lower overhead (not just wages- but also taxes and regulations). They make items that LOOK nice, but are generally much lower quality. I refer to it as "disposable furniture." You may get 3 or 4 years out of it, but that's probably about it.

    **I am not making any claims about policies or procedures at particular companies. Examples given are hypothetical and for illustrative purposes only.

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