Submitted by Furniche
Do you have a serious furniture complaint or problem to solve with the furniture store? Do you find yourself saying "Houston we have a furniture problem"?
Okay, you did all of your homework, shopped a bunch of furniture stores, made your selection and finally everything has been delivered and in your home. Whew, that was some work and hopefully a little bit of fun decorating your new home.
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Furniture comes in all levels of quality and construction. Your lifestyle and use of your furniture along with the quality level will influence any possible problems. If you find that you have a complaint or a problem then follow these steps to finding some resolution.
Resist the urge to come out with your "guns a blazing". Buyng furniture is often an emotional experience that takes a lot of time and effort. Take a moment to relax and think about your approach with the furniture store. You can be comfortable knowing that the furniture store wants you to be happy. They have spent a lot of money to get you to the store and to help you make your purchase. Remaining calm will make it much easier to find a solution for your problem.
Take the time to review the warranties offered by the furniture retailer or the manufacturer. Are you within the warranty time frame? What is your responsibility with in the warranty? Are you required to take the item back to the store? Did you agree to pay a service fee? Did you purchase some form of extended warranty or protection plan? Why is this important to know? Furniture stores will operate under the framework of the warranties to determine the course of action. There is much subjectivity as it relates to the use of furniture. Abuse intentional or unintentional generally is not covered. Although the warranties provide a frame work for the store to provide service, they may not be the overriding process for finding a solution. Any reputable store will want to take care of you or find a some way to solve your problems that are mutually acceptable.
The phrase " a picture is worth a thousand words" is most appropriate in communicating the issue. In today's world taking pictures and videos is easy. Be sure to document the problems with photos if possible. If it helps you feel better then take a video and describe the problem from your perspective. Furniche remembers the days when the furniture service technician would go to a customer's home to find that the problem or concern that had been described over the phone was completely different. Most furniture stores will have technicians that will come to your home and inspect the problem first hand. In our busy world this may not be convenient for our busy lives. If you cannot communicate the problem by photo do not hesitate to consider a technician coming to your home. Be sure you understand any service call cost that may have been in your warranties.
Over the years I have heard many customers demand that a furniture item be "exchanged" and that is certainly one option. If the problem has just occurred during delivery or soon after taking possession the furniture store may make this suggestion. It sounds simple on the surface but often has a hidden cost. If your problem or complaint is subjective in nature then you may be setting yourself up for continuing disappointment. It costs money for the store and takes your valuable time to do an "exchange". If the issue can be resolved by an in home service call of simply ordering a part then it may be the better option. Furniture Shoppers are also car buyers. If a part breaks on your car while under warranty it is reasonable and acceptable to allow the car dealer to replace the part and generally you have to take your car to the dealer. Furniture is often mechanical in nature. Drawer glides, handles, cables and springs are all subject to mechanical failure. It is amazing the work that a skilled furniture technician is able to do on wood repairs or refinements. Give the furniture store the opportunity to present workable and reasonable options.
Sometimes financial compensation is workable for all parties. Of course this is an individual decision and only you can determine if this will resolve the issue. How much is acceptable? Will you be able to live with the problem? Why would you want to go this route? Realistically the furniture store wants to control their costs as well as satisfy you as a customer. Contrary to popular belief, furniture stores do not rake in excessive profits and the furniture is not marked up 300%. Keep the total purchase price of your furniture in perspective and be reasonable. There is no set amount from a percentage perspective that you should request. Asking to be compensated for your time or inconvenience is generally not a good approach. If you decide you can live with some refund or adjustment then keep your request reasonable and in perspective. Requesting an in-store credit may also be an option. If you accept financial compensation be sure to understand any implications on your warranties now or in the future.
At a recent conference of furniture retailers, the subject came up that sometimes divorce happens in a furniture relationship. Deciding to send your furniture back at your request or suggestion by the furniture store does not have to be an unfriendly decision. Certainly each party has learned more about one another. May be your furniture needs were not exactly what the retailer or the merchandise could meet. Perhaps the retailer has wronged you so badly that the only option is to end the relationship. No one really wants this option. The furniture store has invested a great deal to try and gain you as a customer. In turn you have spent a lot of time and investment in the furniture shopping process. However, if it is determined that the best way to resolve a furniture problem is sending it back for refund, make sure you understand the terms of the return. You may be asked to bring it back your self or pay a fee to have it picked up. If it comes to this point please keep it friendly. Resist the urge to tell the world via complaint boards or social media how you were wronged. Conversely, if you were treated in a respectful and professional manner then please give credit where credit is due.