Gardner White / don't buy a tv package - scam
I purchased a Big Picture TV package from the Gardner White store in Canton, MI on Feb 22nd, 2010. I purchased the package that included the Lipari sofa, loveseat, tables, 42” and 24” TVs for 3399.99. I also purchased leather protection for 179.99, paid shipping of 69.99 and taxes of 214.80. Total purchase amount was 3864.77. We purchased that day as we were told the sale was ending that weekend of President’s Day. We couldn’t make it in Sunday, so our salesman Terry said they’d extend the offer to the next day.
On March 7th, I went back into the store with a friend who was interested in buying a sofa. I noticed that the sofa and loveseat I had just purchased were on sale for the “Employee Discount” sale, marked down to $982 and $962. I spoke to my salesman, Terry, who, talked to the manager Dwayne, who advised that the only thing I’d be able to do is return the purchase and pay a 25% restocking fee. At this point, I had the sofa, loveseat, and TVs. The tables were on back order. I expressed that I’d have to think about it, and the salesman said “let me know what would make you happy”.
I went home and crunched numbers. If I were to have purchased everything when on sale, there was a price difference of $540.81 (sofa = 982, loveseat = 962, tables 369.99, 24” TV from Best Buy = 229.99, 42” TV from Best Buy = 599.99, leather protection = 179.99). I did not include the price of shipping or taxes as I was told that would be paid for if we did not buy a package. I returned to the store on March 8th to speak to Terry and show him the difference. He said Dwayne offered to pay for my taxes and shipping. I said that was not enough and I would like to speak to Dwayne. Terry went back to talk to him, and came back and advised that Dwayne would pay for taxes and shipping. I reminded him that’s what the initial offer was, and that I’d like to speak directly to Dwayne. He went again to talk to Dwayne, and came back again, as Dwayne was “very busy” that day, and offered to round it up to $300. I said I didn’t believe that was all they could do, and that I’d like to speak to Dwayne. Again, Terry went to speak to Dwayne, and returned and said he would offer me $400. I asked why Dwayne would not speak to me directly, and Terry advised he was busy with other things. As I waited, Dwayne finally came over and sat down to talk to me. At first things were cordial, but as we started to talk, he became agitated and stood up. So, he was standing over me, talking over his glasses at me. We discussed the price difference, and he said since it was TV package, there was nothing he could do. I asked since the tables weren’t delivered yet, could we do a return (on paper) of the purchase, we return the TVs and not have the tables delivered, and just keep the couches. He claimed he couldn’t do this as the couches were already in our home and that it was corporate policy. I tried to tell him that I felt that I was getting the run around, however, he cut me off, and said “no, I was not”, and then proceeded to push a handful of paper toward me to tell me how busy he was handling other issues. I advised that I would be calling the corporate office, to which he said go ahead, and walked away. Terry returned and apologized, and said the $400 offer was on the table. I said I’d let them know what I would do once I talked to corporate.
I tried to call corporate from Gardner White that day and could not get through. I called the next day Tuesday March 9th, and left a message for Ms. Preston. She returned my call on Thursday March 11th, which I missed. I called her again on Friday March 12th and left another message. I did not receive a return call, so I called again, today Friday March 19th.
In the meantime, the loveseat that was delivered did not have even cushions on the back. I called the Canton store and set up an appointment to have a technician come out and look at it on March 16th (the tables were also delivered that day). The technician came out, took pictures of the uneven cushions, sat in the seat, and gave me a receipt and advised that someone from the office would be calling me with results in a couple of days. I also asked him to look at the handles on the recliners as the handles on the loveseat automatically go down, and the handles on the sofa stay up when the seats are reclined. I received a call on Thursday March 18th from the office, stating that they found no manufacturer’s defects, and that the loveseat could be adjusted via clips in the back. I asked who would adjust it, and was told that they had talked to their buyer and they said it was fairly simple and that I should be able to do it. I advised that I thought it was odd that they would ask the consumer to fix their own product, and was told they would transfer me back to the Canton store to set up an appointment to have a technician come out and adjust the seat. I was also told that no products are perfect as they are “movement” pieces, and are made in more than one piece. I was also told that the buyer said the handles would not go down unless the seats were fully reclined. I advised that I’d be talking to corporate regarding other issues I had been having and that I’d let them know what I’d do.
At this point, I am ready to return everything I have purchased, and expect to not pay a restocking fee, OR, I expect that something be done to rectify this situation.
First, I feel that we were wrongly led to believe that the sale was going to end that Sunday, when in fact, it’s still going on now. I was told that no where in the advertisements does it say “Free TVs” as I advised that really, we had paid for the TVs in our package, but strangely enough, your website says ““FREE HDTV/GAMING CONSOLE” OPTIONS:”.
Second, your website mission statement says that we can:
Buy with confidence.
At Gardner-White we guarantee that our prices are the lowest in town. If you find the same furniture with the same terms for less we will refund the difference. We also guarantee our products against manufacturer’s defects for at least one year.
These are just a few examples of our commitment to our customers. Because at Gardner-White, providing you with great furniture and great service is what we do.
I certainly don’t feel very confident in your “great furniture and great service” at this point.
Third, I feel that the manager at the Canton store Dwayne was rude and tried to bully me out of the store. I get that people are trying to sell a product and make money, but let me tell you… the friend that went with me that day looking for a sofa, went and bought one from Art Van after hearing my story!!
Fourth, I find it extremely frustrating that I would like to make an informed decision, and can’t because I am waiting for Ms. Preston to return my call for a week.
Fifth, I cannot fathom that you would tell your consumer to fix their own product that is not 100% right, especially after the office said they could tell by the pictures the back didn’t match. And why, if the technician could have adjusted the back of the loveseat, didn’t he do when he was out here the first time?? I don’t believe they knew what they were talking about, especially since they admitted they didn’t know how the furniture worked. And the handles stay up even if the seats are fully reclined, so again, it’s apparently the buyer vs. the consumer.
I am asking for either a refund of the difference in the price noted above, or take back the tables and TVs, and give me the price of the just the couches that was offered during the “Employee Discount” sale. And, the back of the loveseat either needs to be fixed or replaced. After the poor service I have been given, if these two things cannot happen, I will expect that I will return the entire purchase without paying the restocking fee. I would hate to have to tell everyone I know what has happened, as I’m sure you would not want to lose anymore sales to a competitor that has obviously figured out how to please their customer.
Update - When I talked to the top of the chain manager, Ms. Preston (I still have never found out her first name) she said "I am NOT sorry that you are not happy with your furniture", and that they'll "adjust it to manufacturer's specs only". So, if they can't fix it, I'm stuck with a lopsided couch. She said they don't do returns. Well, I can tell you I will never go back there, my friend who was going to go there went to Art Van. I should have just bought from Costco... they take ANYTHING back
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