Monday, July 23, 2012

Is Quality Customer Service Dead?

Apparently if you're Ashley Furniture it is.  Take my advice DO NOT BUY FURNITURE FROM THEM!!! Let me tell you what you're in for if you do!

Our kids went to Phoenix to spend a few weeks with my parents for the summer. While they were gone we wanted to redo their rooms.  Our daughter really wanted a daybed, specifically a daybed from Ashley Furniture.  We've always thought that the Ashley Furniture salespeople were really pushy and have never really found anything that we like.  We came kinda close to buying a living room set a few months ago and I'm SO GLAD that we found a better set somewhere else!

Daybed as it looked in the store
Back in early June we went into the Ashley Furniture in Layton, UT and purchased the daybed and a matching media stand / dresser.  My husband paid for it and I don't think he noticed the NO REFUNDS - NO EXCHANGES - NO RETURNS down towards the bottom of the purchase slip he signed.  I certainly didn't notice, and if I had we would not purchased anything from them!!


We had to wait two weeks for delivery, and delivery / set up was an additional $79.99.  Now you would think for almost $80 you would get somewhat decent delivery.  Apparently not, well not when you're dealing with Ashley Furniture anyway.  My husband took off work to accept delivery and after they brought the bed (in pieces) to set up in her room my husband stayed downstairs as to not get in their way.

After they were done setting the bed up one of the deliverymen came downstairs to tell my husband that the bed was damaged.  (Apparently it's normal for Ashley Furniture employees to see a piece of furniture is broken and then continue to set it up) He kept reiterating to my husband not to worry they've already notified Ashley Furniture of the damage and that Ashley Furniture would be contacting him to schedule a time for the repairman to come out.  I really wish that I had been home when this happened because I would've insisted they take it back.  But it is what it is and I have a really strong suspicion after reading many reviews that there is no way they would've taken it back! I am glad that my husband made them note the damage on the delivery invoice...I shudder to think what their response would've been to us if that hadn't been noted!

Damaged Corner
Anyway, about 6pm that night someone from Ashley Furniture's Customer Service Team calls and tells my husband the soonest someone could come to just look at the furniture so they can decide if they're going to replace or repair it is August 17th...36 days after delivery and 55 days from the date of purchase.  I can hear my husband telling the person that it's such a long time to wait and they're the ones who delivered damaged goods, etc.  The customer service rep tells him that he's really sorry but that's the best they can do and he'll put him on a waiting list for cancellations but that's pretty long as well. Seriously? Do they sell non-damaged furniture?

I want to say that we have purchased a lot of furniture in the last 5 years as we moved from out of state and had a much smaller house.  In all the furniture purchases (2 living room sets, a kids bedroom, 2 mattresses, and a bedroom set) we've NEVER received damaged goods. 

So my husband gets off the phone and I was mad.  I'm sorry this is just not good customer service.  And as I sat there getting more irritated by the moment I thought you know I'm not going to sit here and just take it.  We spent $900 at their store and this is ridiculous. So I called their Customer Service Team and explained again more strongly that this was just unacceptable.  We should not have to wait more than a month to have a repair tech come look at our furniture.  Again I was told sorry for ya that's the best we can do.

I then decided to Google to see what other's thought of Ashley Furniture (Here's more).  And what I found actually shocked me.  I know that there are going to be poor experiences no matter where you shop, but when the poor experiences are overwhelming I have to wonder how Ashley Furniture stays in business? It certainly can't be from repeat customers!! And what I found even more interesting is that they were sued by the Arizona Attorney General for violating the Consumer Fraud Act.  They settled the lawsuit and it doesn't appear as if they admitted wrongdoing and denied violating the Consumer Fraud Act, however the changes they agreed to make are interesting. (Lawsuit Settlement Info)

At that point I was getting more irritated by the minute because it became obvious that this is how Ashley does business. They know they deliver defective, damaged product and they stick it to the consumer making it extremely difficult to get it fixed. I then posted my story and frustrations on my Facebook page, Ashley Furniture's Facebook page, and Tweeted it to Ashley Furniture.  Apparently they didn't like my post on their Facebook page which was upset but not rude or disrespectful in anyway because as of today it's no longer there.  Nice right? (Want to read more reviews?)

I then sent a letter to Ashley Furniture's Consumer Affairs Representative as well as the store manager for the store we purchased from.  A few days later I received a generic response that all Ashley Furniture Stores are independently owned and operated, yadda yadda yadda and she was forwarding my letter to the head of customer care in Layton.  I just love when companies never take responsibility for their failures!  I guess as long as it's "independently owned and operated" HQ doesn't really care how bad they are!  Seems to me HQ should be concerned about all the bad feedback that you read when you simply Google "Ashley Furniture Reviews"!!

My husband got a phone call from someone at Ashley around the same time I received the letter. They said they were going to just send a replacement out and made sure to make it very clear that if we accepted the furniture and it's damaged they will not be replacing it again! (And still more reviews!)  What?!  I still am just dumbfounded that Ashley Furniture apparently thinks it's okay to send out busted, damaged furniture!!

They're set to come swap out the broken piece tomorrow (July 24th) which is almost two weeks exactly from the date of delivery.  I guarantee you that I will be making sure there is no damage before they step foot in my house and I'll be inspecting the crap out of it before I sign a damn thing.

It's also interesting that tonight as we were making sure it was good to go for tomorrow I found that it is damaged in another spot that they "failed" to mention to my husband.  I'm assuming that they figured by the time we found the damage it would be too late to do anything about.

More Damage
We'll see what happens tomorrow. I guess it's good that I have such low expectations of Ashley Furniture that it'll be almost impossible to disappoint me.  Suffice it to say I will NEVER set foot again in an Ashley Furniture store.  Their policies are horrific and they don't know the meaning of customer service!

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