PoolTablesDirect.com / Custom Pool Table
On May 12th, 2008, I ordered a custom 8-foot pool table with a dining conversion top and 8 dining chairs from Pool Tables Direct through their website. I waited a full SIX MONTHS for the table set to be delivered - according to the company's website, the maximum wait time is 12 weeks. In the meantime, I received absolutely NO COMMUNICATION from Pool Tables Direct! I called their "customer service" number in September and was told that there had been a manufacturing delay: they were transferring their manufacturing contract to a different factory because of quality control issues. The person I talked to "spun" this delay as a positive situation for me, indicating that I would receive a higher-quality product as a result - apparently, I was supposed to be pleased with the idea of waiting over twice as long to receive a product of the same quality that was advertised in the first place.
On November 23, 2008, a local installer set up the pool table in my home. However, I had to assemble the dining chairs myself with no instructions! (There was no indication on the Pool Tables Direct website that the chairs would arrive unassembled.) Also, the installer informed me that repairing the damaged finish on the pool table and chairs was definitely NOT something that he was qualified to do. When I informed pool Tables Direct that the installer was not able to repair the damage and that I expected them to take responsibility for it, I was offered a paltry $150 compensation. When I refused to accept that insulting amount, I heard nothing further from them. Therefore, I hired a local furniture repair expert (at my own expense) to give me an estimate of the cost of repairing the damage. His estimate amounted to over $1100 just to repair the damage to the table and chairs. He said the cracking of the finish on the dining top was due to a manufacturing defect (the finish was applied before the glue underneath had cured) and could not be repaired, but should be replaced. Further, I discovered after assembling all of the dining chairs that they were not the "custom height" chairs that were advertised by Pool Tables Direct - the height of the dining top on the pool table is 3 or 4 inches higher than a normal dining top, requiring chairs taller than a normal dining chair. The chairs I received were exactly the same height as any other dining chair on the market and, therefore, too short for seating around the pool/dining table (confirmed by the furniture repair expert).
I called Pool Tables Direct countless times over the course of several weeks. In most instances, I was not even able to get through to their automated menu system - the phone just rang un-answered. On the rare occasion that I got through to the menu, none of the menu options worked - pressing any of the number options did absolutely nothing. I was actually beginning to think that the company must have folded. I was finally able to get a response via e-mail by threatening to dispute the charge for the pool table set with my credit company. On December 17, 2008, I e-mailed a completed "Request for Consideration / Grievance Report Form" (provided via e-mail by Pool Tables Direct), along with digital photographs of the damage, to Pool Tables Direct customer service. I received an e-mail from them the next day indicating that they had received my message and would review it with "management" and get back to me promptly. I have heard NOTHING from them since! (Today is February 5, 2009.)
On January 10, 2009, I filed a written claim with my credit company to dispute the charge for this pool table set from Pool Tables Direct. The credit company has credited my account for just over $1100 to cover the cost of repairing the damage to the table and chairs. However, I still have a table top that is cracking due to a manufacturing defect, and dining chairs that are not the "custom height" that was advertised and are inappropriate for use with this pool/dining table. These are both product / warranty policy issues that Pool Tables Direct has refused to address - they advertise a "Lifetime" warranty on all of their products. I guess my only recourse at this point is legal action...
DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY!!