Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My Bad Experience With Homemaker's Furniture

For reasons unknown to me, I was born unlucky. I’ve entered thousands of raffles and the one time that I actually had my name drawn, I won a pair of sequined socks. My wife gets her name drawn every time and wins everything from an overnight package deal to see the Rams play the Redskins to money to $50 gift certificates to nice restaurants. My bad luck doesn’t end there. For some reason, three out of four times I pay with my credit card at the pump, the receipt is jammed, out of paper or just not working meaning I have to go inside to stand in line and get my receipt, defeating the purpose of paying at the pump. At the grocery store, the line I pick is always the one where they have to run a price check on some item that the person in front of me bought, or is the one where the clerks change out or everyone pays with checks and laboriously writes them out in full before handing them to the clerk who could have electronically filled them out within seconds.

My bad luck just doesn’t extend to outside of the home but runs deep on the inside too. It wasn’t too long ago that I had a drawn out bit of bad luck with my dishwasher not once, but twice! I can’t remember if I blogged about this but I also had another long drawn out ordeal with a computer many years ago which may explain why I am leery of buying another computer. Without further ado, here is another one of my bad luck stories for the record books.

For this past Christmas, my wife and I decided to forego giving each other gifts and instead go furniture shopping for a new kitchen table and chairs in the post holiday sales glut. Our formica and chrome table and chair set has aged gracefully through two generations and it was time to update ourselves. So on December 30th, we set out for the long drive to our state capital and Homemaker’s Furniture, one of the largest furniture stores in the Midwest.

I had been to a class for work a couple months ago just a half mile from the store and had scoped it out over the lunch break and knew that they literally had thousands of tables to choose from at much cheaper prices than our local stores offered. Plus their shipping was just as cheap. We wandered around for a couple hours and finally selected our dream table. The salesman said that they were currently out of stock on the item but said that at the latest, they would have another one in four to five weeks. We had our hearts set on a table within a week or two but it was our dream table so we decided to wait for it. We paid for our purchase in full and arranged for delivery schedule for the last week in January.

By the time mid-February rolled around, I couldn’t contain my frustrations any longer and called Homemaker’s Furniture to ask about where my order was. They said it had been back ordered and would come in by the end of February. I politely expressed my displeasure of not having been notified of this fact and ended the call. March arrives with still no word so I call again. It has been back ordered to the end of March. April arrives with still no word so I call yet again. It has been back ordered to the end of April.

By this time, my Job-like patience had run out and I decided the time for action had arrived. I wrote them an email stating that I wanted immediate service as I had no service what so ever in almost four months. I gave them 24 hours to remedy the situation or I would write a letter to the Better Business Bureau of Iowa. Forty-eight hours later with still no word from them, I fired off my letter to the BBB. The next day, the BBB sent me a response and had contacted Homemaker’s Furniture about the problem and within hours, Homemaker’s Furniture called me for the first time some 16 weeks after I had placed my order to tell me that my order was still back ordered.

Homemaker’s Furniture then wrote back a response to the BBB stating that I had been notified of the backorder, backorders were common and that they had no record of my ever having called them. So I responded to the BBB stating that it really doesn’t make since that someone would wait for 11 weeks after the scheduled delivery date before writing the BBB that they have a problem. I said yes that backorders were to be expected but also having someone call me once in awhile to inform me of the said backorders were also expected and this Homemaker’s Furniture had failed to do. I said that they had my money for 16 weeks and I had no table nor had I been compensated for troubles of dealing with this issue.

Less than a day after I sent my last response, Homemaker’s called me to say that my table had come in “early” and that it would be delivered yesterday, 18 weeks after I bought the thing. In the three days between that call and the delivery, they called twice more just to update me on the delivery date. I think I struck a nerve.

Much to my chagrin, they gave me one of those, “we will deliver it between 7 and 12” things meaning I had to take off half a day of work to wait for my aged table to arrive. No they would not call my work number fifteen minutes before they arrived and no they couldn’t give me a more precise time of arrival. It was all I could do to refrain from telling them where they could put their table.

So the moral of the story is that I have bad luck and to avoid Homemaker’s Furniture like your life depended on it. They obviously don’t have anybody in customer service. Fortunately they now have another black mark on the BBB of Iowa’s website and I have sent a letter to the editor of the state rag but by now, they probably aren’t going to publish it because I haven’t heard back. My next step is to visit a shaman and put a curse on their store.

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