Mace Bros / Stay away
I recently received a recliner from Mace Bros and even though everything has finally worked out, I thought the whole manner of their customer service was terrible. Back in January, I ordered a particular recliner made by best which the store didn't have in stock. I finally received it on 4/26/08. I didn't understand why I was waiting so long but according to the store, this manufacturer has a set minimum number of orders that have to be processed before the orders are shipped out to the store because of the gas prices.
So after receiving the chair on 4/26/08, everything with it seemed OK and I signed the receipt that I received the chair in good condition. But then after I started using it, I noticed there was a noise in the spring right along the side of the chair. It's a spring stretched out in a long coil.
Once I contacted the store about this, the way they handled it was a nightmare. Instead of sending somebody to my house to look at the problem, the store took the chair back to their warehouse to re-inspect it. That is so inefficient and how in the world can you hear noise in a piece of furniture if you're testing it out in a warehouse? Warehouses tend to be noisy. If the problem were examined at the customer's house, then the store could see exactly how the furniture is arranged and how the customer is using it.
After only a few days, the store owner called back to tell me they saw nothing wrong with the chair. She claimed to have four witnesses all of whom said the same thing. Basically they didn't believe me. She insisted "I didn't say that" but kept telling me that because she has four witnesses who all think the chair is fine, she has to go by what they say so to me, whatever the customer thinks doesn't matter. All they did was sit and recline in the chair and said it was fine. They didn't bother to take it apart and at least try to fix it, even though the contract I signed stipulates that they service all manufacturing defects within a year. After telling me that, the store owner wanted me to come to *their* warehouse to show them what I was talking about; otherwise, they weren't going to do anything about it.
I was mad and I told the store owner that I refused to go to their warehouse to prove my point because that is ridiculous. I made it very clear that there was no way I was taking that chair back. Once a piece of furniture makes noise in the springs right from the beginning, that's not a good sign. There is no reason for a store to be arguing with the customer like that. I know what I heard in that chair every time I used it. I requested to have my money returned but the store owner said this was a "non-cancellable" item and that they are not going to refund my money on something that was in my house for 3 weeks. It's not like I had it in my house for a year and sometimes you don't pick up on problems with furniture until after you start using it. 3 weeks isn't long at all. I had a similar problem happen with a sofa I had ordered from Levitz. Somebody was sent to my house and determined that it would be a 2 hour job to fix the problem. I then requested to have that sofa replaced with a new one of the same kind and ever since then, I haven't had any more problems.
I was thinking of possibly getting a local TV news fact finding investigator involved or taking this matter to small claims court but I decided the simplest thing would be to replace the chair which I did. I wound up going back to the store and ordering a floor sample so that way there would be no question of what I was getting and where it came from. I have received it and it's 100 times better than the defective one.
Meanwhile, the replacement chair I ordered was cheaper than the first one because of a Memorial Day sale but despite that, the store owner would not refund the difference. The store owner would only issue a store credit so even though I have vowed to never do business with that store again in the future, I had to go back to the store to spend my credit on something. I wound up getting a beautiful new traditional lamp so at least I came away with something extra and I needed a bigger lamp that has better reading light. I really didn't want to go back to that store to buy more items but I was left with no other choice unless I wanted my remaining balance to be wasted.
And here is something else I had never heard of: If I had decided *not* to exchange the recliner, the store would have charged me a 25% restocking fee and then refunded the rest of my money which I don't think is fair. That would have been 100 bucks down the drain. Why should a customer be penalized like that...just because *they* think nothing is wrong with that chair? It wasn't my fault that this first chair was defective. I have never heard of a restocking fee.
I think the lesson in all of this is to be very sceptical when shopping for furniture at small locally owned stores. If I buy furniture again in the future, I'm going to stick with the chain stores that seem to have more standardized policies.