Have you ever had a bad experience with a store? Like, so bad that you think to yourself, "How can these people possibly still be in business?"
If not, you are lucky. Avoid Jacques Home Furnishings in Calgary, Alberta if you want to keep that luck going.
I'd like to picket this store and hand out leaflets outside their door so that prospective clients know what they are getting themselves into, but let's face it - if you read my blog you know that I am far too busy for this.
I guess I could take my 4 kids to the store after they have each eaten a bag of cotton candy and ask them to find out which of the sofas is the absolute cosiest.
Hmmm... that's actually not a bad idea. Kidding! (Maybe...)
So in December I ordered a sofa and chair. They delivered the right chair but the wrong sofa (the legs didn't match).
I called my salesperson and said that I was sending the wrong sofa back and that I was having second thoughts about the pieces because they seemed too small for my room.
NO PROBLEM. Just come in and choose something else.
After extensive shopping, the only other piece I liked was a Natuzzi sectional which they could custom order for me in 4-6 months.
In January, they sent me an email to say, GOOD NEWS, the sofa would arrive April 4.
But it didn't.
Then they said end of June.
End of June, no sofa!
Finally, I got a call at the end of July to say that it had arrived. I just about fell off my chair.
My first thought was - This is too good to believe.
Well, it turns out that it actually was too good to believe.
When they delivered the three piece sectional, it turned out that one of the pieces was the wrong colour. Not like a different dye-lot wrong colour, but like a completely different colour.
So I sent back the loaner furniture and told my salesperson that I wanted my money back. She said that she would need the manager to approve this.
After this point, all I heard was crickets. I left several messages for the owner, Cliff Eisenberg, but nothing. Apparently he is on holiday. Hmmm. I go on holiday sometimes too. But I leave an auto-message on my voicemail and email letting people know who to talk to if they have urgent business that requires attention.
I went to the Better Business Bureau website. I wish I had done this before I purchased. It turns out the they have a D+ rating with the BBB. I filed a complaint, but as everyone knows, there are no consequences to a company like Jacques Home Furnishings since most people, like me, don't take the time to investigate before they buy.
8 days later, and after many phone calls to my salesperson, the customer service representative, Leah, told me that they are still not prepared to give me a refund. They are waiting to hear how Natuzzi plans to deal with the situation.
I told Leah that I'm not Natuzzi's customer, I'm her customer and it's up to her to give me my money back after a completely unacceptable wait. (We're getting on 8 months here, people. The Chinese could build an entire furniture factory in that time!)
As far as Leah is concerned, it's not their fault that this whole debacle happened. She said, "You're the one that ordered the sofa from Natuzzi." Oh, OK, so I pay for the furniture, Natuzzi makes (or doesn't make the furniture) and Jacques just collects the markup if everything goes well. And stops answering the phone if things don't go well.
I wish I had ordered from Country Living, whom I have dealt with in the past. When I told someone at Country Living about this experience, she was appalled. She said that if a customer had this kind of problem, they would have refunded the money months ago and held the supplier accountable.
I guess you live and you learn. And then you blog about it. Oh, the Internet is a wonderful thing!