One thing you must do before buying furniture

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Right now is the best time of the year to get good deals on indoor furniture, but if you're looking to make a purchase, there's one thing you should do to protect yourself.

Newlyweds Mo Kovangji and Janet Hernandez-Kovangji did not expect to spend their first year of marriage sleeping on an air mattress, but that's what happened after they waited almost a year for furniture ordered from El Rey Furniture of Manhattan to be delivered to furnish their new home.

"Two bedroom sets, a dining room set, bar set, sofa table," Janet said. "$21,000."

Janet put down a hefty deposit of more than $7,300 last June, and text messages Mo says are from a representative of the furniture store indicate the delivery is coming. But month after month passed.

"Nothing, zero, absolutely nothing," Mo said. "No furniture."

After half a year in their empty new house, the Kovangjis borrowed money to buy furniture somewhere else and went after their deposit.

"At that point, we said we want our money back," Janet said. "They were giving us the runaround, and they would not provide us with a refund."

One issue was that there was no delivery date on the invoice the couple signed with the store.

"Most people don't know this," Janet said. "We didn't know it supposed to have a delivery date" in writing.

That was a big omission by the store.

The couple thought they would lose their deposit, until we asked the store for a refund. Within minutes of our call, the store issued a charge-back on her credit card for the full deposit.

"Thank you, you're our savior," Janet said. "There's no way we would've gotten it without you guys."

Before you buy furniture or large appliances, get a delivery date in writing. As long as it's not a custom order, it's required by law. If the delivery isn't made, consumers have the right to request either another delivery date in writing or a full refund, payable in two weeks.

After our story, the shop owner says he's now giving delivery dates in writing.
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