Home Decorators Collection / Rip off company
I ordered two pieces of assemble-it-yourself furniture over the Internet from Home Decorators Collection for a total of more than $320 including shipping and freight charges. The pieces arrived separately; each had a defective plywood back panel. The back for each piece of furniture consisted of more than one panel taped together with a different finish on each section and what appeared to be damage to a section of the back panel for one of the pieces of furniture.
The back for one piece of furniture (bookcase) consisted of three sections taped together, none of which appeared to match the finish of the furniture and one section appeared unfinished with large splotches on it as if something had been spilled on it and eaten away at the surface of the wood or the wood had otherwise been damaged or was defective.
When we contacted Home Decorators Collection at the toll-free 800-number Customer Service number provided online, we were told by the Customer Service Dept. that we would need to speak directly with their Parts Department and transferred to that department, which has proven to be unreliable in reaching. Sometimes they answer their phone and sometimes we get a message that says, 'Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Parts Dept. is temporarily closed.' If we are fortunate enough to reach the Parts Dept., they've proven not to be that helpful.
Therefore, we resorted to e-mailing the company at the e-mail address provided for their Customer Service to request a replacement part for each piece of furniture. We received prompt and friendly replies in a timely manner which led us at first to believe we were being dealt with fairly and receiving truthful information.
We were told in the initial e-mail (which we have kept) that we could receive a $20 credit per furniture part if we were willing to keep the furniture as is. Otherwise, it would be six to eight weeks before we'd receive each replacement part since those furniture items had been discontinued. (The finish was discontinued actually; we'd ordered the pieces from Home Decorators outlet online section. The furniture items were still available through their main catalog but with different finishes than the one we ordered.
It would take six to eight weeks, we were told in e-mails from the company, because the parts would have to come directly from the manufacturer or vendor, which we learned later apparently is in China.
We believed this story -- we saw no reason not to -- and replied that we wanted the replacement parts and were willing to wait the six to eight weeks to receive them. The company replied that the parts were ordered and on their way. We have not received the parts within the timeframe stated, even though we were assured they would arrive when stated in a number of e-mails from the company replying to our requests for the status of receiving the parts.
In addition, the online order status provided by the company regarding our order and the replacement parts that were supposed to be on their way we've come to realize is useless in giving us any honest answers about the order.
I checked with the company, via e-mail, after about six weeks of waiting to make sure all was okay and was told that the first replacement part was in stock and I should receive it soon. I looked on the order status online for our order and it read that the replacement part was in stock. It also showed an 'expects to ship' date of 1/11/08. The first replacement part was initially ordered on 12/10/07. This is stated in e-mails we received from the company when we began inquiring about the status of receiving these parts.
I was told in an e-mail from the company that the first part should arrive the last week of January, which was the eighth week in the six-to-eight week waiting period we had been told earlier. When I checked the order status online again for the first replacement part we were expecting, it showed an 'expects to ship' date of 1/25/08 and no longer stated that the part was in stock. The week came and went without us receiving the part. An e-mail midweek asking for reassurance from the company that the part was on its way brought a boiler plate reply that the part will take six to eight weeks to arrive.
A check of the order status online showed yet a new 'expects to ship' date -- this time of 2/1/08. It changed to 2/4/08 when I checked again on the following Monday. (I've printed these statements and have them for my files.) When I called the company's Parts Dept. on Tuesday, 2/5/08, (and was actually able to reach a person), the representative told me that both replacement parts should ship March 17 and arrive about March 20 or so -- that we would get them at the same time -- what amounts to eight weeks from my phone call that day. That was the ninth week of our wait for the replacement parts.
I was told there was a delay because of the Chinese New Year just starting then. (Apparently these parts are coming from China.) The Parts Dept. rep could offer no explanation on why we had not already received the replacement parts or why we were told the first part was in stock when it obviously was not or why the 'expects to ship' date on the order status kept changing -- why in short we haven't received these parts already within the timeframe we were given.
I canceled the replacement parts order in that phone call 2/5/08 and told the rep that we are returning the furniture and want a full refund. She gave information regarding the return procedure and said that the furniture can be returned and that we would be given a full refund and that we can return the furniture at 'no cost to us' regarding shipping, etc. She told me to expect the Fedex return label stickers and additional instructions for returning the merchandise within the next three or four days at our home address. Not surprisingly, we haven't received that yet. The company has a number of stores, one about an hour from us, and we may try to return the merchandise directly there, but I expect it will not go easily. We may have to seek legal action in all this.
What's especially puzzling is why this company's Customer Service chose to string us along all these weeks instead of being honest with us and telling us these parts were not available and dealing with the returned merchandise then. We've clearly been lied to and repeatedly and the lie extended to continual 'updates' of the order status online. This is not only bad business but a deplorable way to treat customers and people in general.
We had placed two orders with this company previously and have three pieces of furniture from them that we are happy with. We've given them hundreds of dollars of business. These two pieces in this order represented our fourth and fifth pieces ordered with them and were planning on ordering more. (I had been regularly going through their catalogs.) They've lost our business now and in future and risked legal action not to mention complaints with the Better Business Bureau and a consumer fraud complaint with the State Attorney General's office (my next steps in this process).
I can only warn others not to do business with this company. I have since discovered in a check with the BBB (which only took minutes) that this company has an unsatisfactory rating and that there have been numerous complaints by consumers about this company, many with the same types of complaints I have (saying a part or furniture item is in stock that it turns out is not, not getting an item in a timely manner no matter what was promised, and difficulty getting a full refund or returning furniture, etc.).
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