Furniture delivery blues

Seven On Your Side
January 26, 2009 2:58:50 PM PST
The Brooklyn woman had put down an $800 deposit and was expecting her new dining room furniture in time for the holidays. Well, the holidays passed and she had no furniture. There is a bare floor where Grace Felder's dining room set used to be. "These are my dishes here and my crystals." Grace Felder took Seven On Your Side's Tappy Phillips on a tour of her desolate dining room.

Grace was supposed to get a new dining room set last month. She put down an $800 dollar deposit to Furniture Showplace in Brooklyn for a new set.

"They promised me I would get it in time for Christmas," Grace said. "They even wrote on the receipt, December 23rd (delivery)."

So Grace got rid of the old dining room set. But, the delivery for the new set never happened.

Grace even had to rent a replacement set to get through the holidays. Luckily, Furniture Showplace promised a refund in writing. But even that never came. "They just refuse to give me my money," said Grace.

So we went to the Furniture Showplace ourselves. First, we had trouble finding a manager. And when we got directed to the manager he said, "I am not (the manager). I am a sales guy."

Tappy: "Grace Felder is due a refund. She has been due a refund for weeks. She was promised delivery and it didn't come, didn't come for Christmas. In fact, she had to borrow furniture, rent furniture."

Furniture Showplace salesman: "I don't know who her sales guy is."

Tappy: "I don't care who her sales guy is. Why don't we go look up her file and find out."

Furniture Showplace salesman: "I can't."

Tappy: "What do you mean you can't."

Furniture Showplace: "I don't have authorization for that."

Tappy: "Don't give me that."

But just a day after we left? Grace finally had her refund, in full. "I can't thank you guys enough 7 On Your Side came through for me," said Grace.

Furniture Showplace says Grace's delivery date wasn't firm. But in New York, furniture retailers MUST give you a delivery date in writing. And if they don't deliver consumer's have the option of getting another delivery date in writing or a full refund.

Consumer Law in New York regarding furniture

5-50. DELIVERY OF FURNITURE AND MINOR APPLIANCES In the sale of furniture; major appliances, including audio visual equipment; carpets; and rugs, the seller must give the buyer a delivery date at the time the contract or sales slip is signed or written up. If the furniture is not delivered by the delivery date, the buyer has the following options: cancel with full refund; get a new delivery date; receive a credit; or select different furniture. Refunds must be paid within two weeks and consumers have the same rights on the new delivery date as with the old date.

EXEMPT: This rule does not apply to "custom made" furniture; appliances costing $200 or less; or if failure to deliver is caused entirely by the consumer.

NOTE: A range of delivery dates may also be given. If this is the case, the provisions of this rule apply to the latest estimated delivery date.


Story by: Tappy Phillips

Produced by: Steve Livingstone