Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Beware The Furniture Salesman

So lately I've been having a bit of a...well, I guess you could call it a decorating mid-life crises.  Or maybe quarter-life crises because I'm pretty sure I'm not in the right age bracket for a mid-life crises.  Whatever you call it, there is a definite feeling of crises.  Most of the work we have done on our house has been structural and salvational. (Totally just made up that word.  But it's a good one....salvational.)  We haven't focused as much on the decoration's been "hurry and redo the bathroom so the mold doesn't take over the house" or "remodel the kitchen so we can function as a family" kind of improvements, let alone the "replace all the carpet in the basement to fix the disgusting mess left by our renters" update.  So the decorating just hasn't gotten the proper attention that it needs.

Adding to that, our living room has recently fallen on hard times.  The rocking chair we purchased when I was pregnant with Lolly broke, leaving our room out of balance. 
I love that chair.  I rocked my babies in that chair.  I'm really hoping we can fix it because I just can't bear to send it to the dump.  Although it wasn't particularly expensive, it's the kind of furniture that you show your grandchildren and tell them how you rocked their mommy when she was just a baby in that very chair.

But I'm getting off track here....the point I'm trying to make is that our room was just feeling out of balance.  We had decided to add a chair and a half with an ottoman because they are just fabulous and perfect for snuggling and reading.  Of course, in that kind of chair, I don't stand a chance of staying awake during story time.  Truth be told, I'm one of those lame mom's that always falls asleep while reading to my kids in the afternoon.  Or if I just sit down for more than 20 minutes in the afternoon.  I'm an exciting mom. 

We decided to start looking around to see what our options are.  We checked at IKEA but the whole concept of chair and a half is a little bit anti-IKEA since they're more about taking up less space, not more.  So obviously we didn't find anything there.  We had some more time to look around so we thought we would head to Ashley Furniture to have a little look around.  It was our first time being there and they had a lot of options. 

Although...and maybe it's just me in my designer snootiness....but it seems like most furniture stores have the same 4-5 sofa designs that are just offered in different colors with different pillows.  But they're all pretty much the same.  Or maybe my expectations are just a little off.

Anyway....we found a chair and a half that we really liked that is similar to this one
The only one in the entire store that I would want to spend money on and put in my house.  I'm finding that I'm getting a little pickier with age.  Plus, I wasn't all that picky the last time we bought a piece of furniture (our current sofa) and it's always kind of bugged me.  It's just not quite our style.  Plus it's chenille which really likes to hold on to dog hair, which is frustrating when you have a long haired dog. 

The chair and ottoman we found is a leather composite which we really liked.  It had a better feeling than 100% leather, but had the same durability and non-hair-stickiness factor of leather.  There was also a matching sofa and love seat.  We thought the sofa might be too big, so we were looking at the love seat.  And I liked the idea of having a matching sofa and chair.  It looked good in my head, especially since our sofa isn't aging all that well. 

The helpful, and slightly annoyed, salesmen was thrilled that we'd found something that we actually liked.  The chair was $500 and the ottoman was $250, so that would be $750 although he told us that he could give us a "deal" and it would only be $725.  OR we could get the love seat, chair and ottoman for $1058, including leather protection!  What a steal! 

I should have gotten it in writing. 

Later on I saw that Ashley Furniture was having a special sale that when you bought one piece of furniture, the second piece was 50% off.  But....the salesmen had specifically said he could only give us $25 off the ottoman if we bought just the chair and ottoman.  You would have thought I would have caught on to him being a lying sack of trash at that point, but I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.  He didn't deserve it.

We went back a few days later to make our purchase.  We had discussed and measured and looked at other stores and discussed some more and decided to go ahead with our purchase, but to get the sofa instead of the love seat because it would fit and be fabulous.  Plus, there is only a $20 difference between the sofa a love seat (weird, I know) so it wouldn't affect the final price all that much anyway.  We even went out of our way to find the original salesman that helped us (instead of the 3-4 others that accosted us upon our entrance and wanderings) so that he would get the commission.  Again, a courtesy he really didn't deserve.  We informed him we were there to buy the sofa and chair/ottoman set.  Random tangent...remember back in the day when being a cash paying customer was better than financing through the store....yeah, so not the case anymore.

Anyway, he wrote up the order and I took a little look.  Hmmm.....the price had magically gone up!  By $200!  Because suddenly the leather protection was no longer included in the price!  And when I pointed out that the quote he had given us had specifically included leather protection he insisted I had misunderstood.  This is when he started in on the "I should have explained it simpler so that you could understand you silly little woman" stuff.  He didn't say the exact words "silly woman" but it was implied.  And irritating.  It soured the whole experience.  And honestly, if the original quote had been $1258 than it would have been fine.  It just really bothered me that he seemed to think it was okay to tell us one price and then write it up as another price.

So we left.  Without buying a thing.  But bothered me.  So I went back in to talk to his manager.  You would think that would be a simple thing...but noooo.  I asked the two men in front if I could speak to a manager and they said yes!  And what could they help me with?  Um...did I stutter?  I want to talk to a manager!

I attempted to talk to the manager who was exactly 100% not helpful in any way.  He just kept talking about how important it was to get the leather protection on the furniture.   And if you happen to be talking to this particular sales manager and your husband walks in, he will immediately stop talking to you and only address your husband.  Since, clearly, the husband is the only one with a brain.  This guy didn't even ask for our contact information or anything until I pointed it out and yet was promising to work out this situation with us.  Seriously?  How are you going to work it out if you don't know who we are?  Even then he just asked our first names (which I can promise he wouldn't remember mine) and then told us to call him on Monday and he would take care of things after talking to the salesman. 

I don't think so.  If you actually want a sale, you're going to make an effort to take care of the problem.  All we wanted was the price that we were quoted.  Really....not that hard. 

I haven't bought a lot of furniture (who does?) in my lifetime, but I do think it should be a good experience.  And my shopping experience at Ashley Furniture was not a good experience.  Not even close.  And, really, it was probably just that sleazy salesman and it should not reflect on the furniture store as a whole.  But it does.  A lot.  And it makes me feel like I don't want to go back there because they're not honest.  Buying new furniture is hard enough as it is....why add a lying salesman to the mix?  Especially when there are some many furniture stores to choose from. 

So my "professional" furniture buying advice is.....always get the price quote in writing.   


Emily said...

I think you dodged a bullet. The couch/chairs/ottoman we have right now is from Ashley furniture, and they were free to us because my aunt bought them about a year ago and almost immediately the fake leather on the front of the cushions started cracking. They were going to send them to DI but instead we got them, and now just over a year after they were originally purchased the fronts are almost all the way cracked off. We are working on slipcovers or something, but still!

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

Hmm.....good to know. I guess it's not really a deal if it starts falling apart right away.

hairyshoefairy said...

Geez! What an awful buying attempt! I wouldn't be going back there either, especially since it sounds like the manager was about as unhelpful as the salesman. I do love a chair and a half. I fall asleep while reading to my kids in the afternoon, too. Good to know I'm not alone there. I'm sad to hear about your rocker.

Kristina P. said...

Wow, I've never been there. I've had good luck at RC Willey. You should also try Furniture Warehouse with their giant sale.

This is also why I love mystery shopping. I love it when someone provides horrible customer service, because I know my report will go directly to corporate.

Barbaloot said...

What a paid---I'm so sorry! I must be going through the same phase as you:I just re-arranged my house and bought new furniture. It's like something took over my mind and I HAD to do it.

The Leonard Family said...

Ohhh that stinks! I hate when people do that to you...especially if you get so excited to buy something you really like/want!
Also I had to comment, because someone recommended Furniture Warehouse...we bought some furniture from there. The furniture = LOVE! The delivery crew = NEVER AGAIN! We gave them 4 chances to make something right 1-Never showed up on the delivery date 2- Tried to deliver the wrong thing 3- Put a hole in my walls and scratches on my NEW bedroom set when moving it in 4- Came back and TRIED (being the keyword) to fix the holes/scratches! lol Quite the experience, but we do LOVE the furniture we got! :)

Emily said...

We so won't be going there when we finally decide to replace our ghetto couch!

Stephanie said...

You are not the first person
I have heard of having problems with the sales people there.
Also, it makes me SO mad when men talk to me like I am stupid because I am a woman. They usually tend to be uneducated and ignorant. It makes me want to go off about all the reasons I am smarter them they are.

Jessica G. said...

Interesting! Especially since we'll need to replace our couches here shortly.
I found a chair and a 1/2 that I LOVED at Crate & Barrel. Being from that store, it was a bajillion dollars and my husband said No. So sad.

Messy Musings said...

sorry you had such a bad experience :(

sounds like the car salesman I encountered once. the first thing he had to show me was how to tune the radio to my favorite station (because that's the most important car feature for sure)! then when I asked him to pop the hood - so I could see the engine - he didn't have a clue how to do that!! needless to say, I did *not* buy that car!! anymore guess it's buyer beware!!

Stew said...

How about just take your old couch to an upholstery shop? You can save so much more especially if you don't want to dump your old one away. I had the same issue with my couch and I couldn't find something to replace it with at furniture stores orange county california so I just have it upholstered.

Baby Cots said...

the furniture looks awesome! But what is the cost?

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