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Furniture fiasco

Seven On Your Side
January 18, 2010 3:01:06 PM PST
When you order furniture you expect to wait but did you know if you wait past your delivery date in our area, you have a right to your money back? "I've had this, going on 11 years. As you can see the wear and tear. That's why I was buying a new one." One look at Jo-ann Bermudez's old couch and you can see itis worse for wear.

That's why last June, she put down a $2,000 deposit for a new sectional at Furniture Plaza in Nanuet.

"The guy said 3-4 months (for delivery) cause it's ordered from Italy." Jo-ann even got the promised delivery date in writing.

But November came and went without a new couch ever arriving. "I was like this is unacceptable," said the frustrated furniture customer. "I want a refund."

Jo-ann researched Rockland County's consumer law. And found out consumers are entitled to another delivery date, a store credit, or a refund if their product isn't received 30 days after the promised delivery date.

"I went there, I called and they just ignored me." So, Jo-ann wrote a formal letter requesting a refund and hand delivered it. She even took a picture on her cell phone camera of her giving the written request to the store manager.

So we visited Furniture Plaza to ask them what took so long. The manager said he was unaware that Jo-ann had been here several times asking for her money back. As for the hold up? He blamed the manufacturer for delivering late.

"First of all, it (furniture) takes 6 months to make and it comes from Italy," The manager, Steven Lee, also said if there's a problem on the manufacturing or shipping end, sofas like Jo-ann's, promised in 3-4 months, could take up to 8 months for delivery.

But, after we got involved, in just hours, Jo-ann's furniture fiasco was finally over. Furniture Plaza gave her back her $2,000 deposit. That made Jo-ann's day. "Oh my God. Thank you so, so , so much."

After we pointed out the problem, Furniture Plaza agreed to make their delivery policy more clear in the future.

Connecticut Department of Consumer Protections

New York City's rule:

5-50. DELIVERY OF FURNITURE AND MAJOR APPLIANCES

In the sale of furniture, major appliances, including audiovisual 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 the 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 ofthis rule apply to the latest estimated delivery date.

New Jersey Consumer Protection Act

Story by: Nina Pineda


Produced by: Steve Livingstone


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