Want to botch your customer relations? Let Furniture Row show you how!

I don’t often choose to single out companies for bad behavior around here, but when I do, they’ve usually managed to screw up to a point where there’s no hope of redemption. Congratulations, Furniture Row (also known as Sofa Mart, Oak Express, Bedroom Expressions, BestMattress-Brand (BMB), Denver Mattress Co., and Big Sur Waterbeds), you’re on The List.

A few weeks ago, I stopped in their store in Draper (across the street from Ikea) on my drive home to pick up a waterbed fill kit. This is kind of a hard to find item as waterbeds are about as popular as disco balls these days. (But ask anyone who slept on ours and they’ll tell you how awesome it is.) Finding one locally was a score, or so I thought.

The kit itself was about $17, not a hugely extravagant purchase, but a bit inflated by the chemicals included to treat the bed and keep it in tip-top shape. I pulled out my Mastercard to pay and they asked to say ID. As part of my long-standing policy of enforcing my cardholder rights per the merchant agreement, I declined. Of course, they dug in and said they couldn’t accept it. While they attempted to reach the manager, I tried calling both Mastercard and my issuing bank, but being 4:30PM, everyone who could do anything was gone. I left without getting the kit having spent 45 minutes just trying to get them to take my card.

When I got home, I immediately filed a complaint with Mastercard and with Furniture Row. Neither of them sent a response. Well, until today. In the mail, Furniture Row was kind enough to send an ad for their Veterans Day sale. That’s right: instead of responding to my complaint that they were in direct violation of the Mastercard merchant agreement (repeated violations of which can result in a suspension of your merchant account), they instead took my complaint information and added it to their marketing database. What the crap is that?!

Needless to say, I will never patronize a Furniture Row business again, and I would encourage all of you to avoid it as well. Disregarding the merchant agreement, ignoring my complaint, and having the gall to try selling me stuff based on it? Three strikes, you’re out.

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15 Responses

  1. Jason Van Dyke says:

    My name is Jason Van Dyke and I am the regional manager of Furniture Row at the Draper store. Please feel free to contact me on this situration on my cell phone at 303-408-9601. thank you for your time

    • Debi says:

      I’ve been having an issue with the Furniture Row in Clarksville IN, can you give me a name and number of the district or regional manager so I can contact them. Thank you for your help.

  2. Diana says:

    I too experienced botched customer relations and will never set foot in Furniture Row again. I consider myself generous with second chances after sub-par service, but the 6+ months I spent dealing with Sofa Mart in Draper turned me off for good.

    About two years ago, I found the perfect chairs at Sofa Mart– not too large, and reasonably priced. I purchased them and though I was disappointed that I couldn’t take them home that day, I was told they’d call me in 4-6 weeks when they came in.

    Nearly two months later, I hadn’t heard anything, so I called the store. The person who answered couldn’t tell me anything and left a message for my salesperson. Not hearing back, I called again after a few days, and finally got in touch with my guy. He couldn’t tell me what happened, and over the next few days, we finally figured out that they hadn’t been ordered. He said he’d take care of ordering this time, and I should expect to wait 4-6 weeks again.

    About the time my chairs should have come in the second time, I left a message for my salesperson, but didn’t hear back. So, I went in person, and they looked up my order (they couldn’t do this over the phone, only my salesguy could, for some reason). They told me I could come and pick them up, at a certain time, on a certain day. When we arrived to get them, I had to wait quite a while because it turns out, pick up time is one hour later than I’d been told.

    We unpacked the long-awaited chairs, only to find that one had been broken in shipment. No problem, I was assured, take them home and we’ll order replacements. So, six weeks later, I started calling my salesguy and waiting for a response to see if my shipment had come in.

    Surprise! The replacement hadn’t been ordered, and I was assured it would now be ordered at this time, starting another waiting period as my chairs were supposedly finding their way onto a container ship in China. Weeks after that when a set of chairs had still not arrived in Draper, it was determined that they could not be ordered because Sofa Mart was no longer carrying them. Now, six months after my original purchase, I was offered the floor model, but when I drove from Salt Lake City to pick it up, they couldn’t find it. My salesguy asked, would I mind terribly driving to their Idaho store to get their floor model, but then were unable to determine if they even had it in that store.

    Ugh. National customer service referred me back to the store, and my attempts to speak with a manager in the store were referred back to my salesguy, who seemed unable to handle my order. Perhaps more worrisome was the fact that no one else in the store was willing or able to help me with something as simple as tracking an order, or reordering a botched delivery.

    I was finally offered a partial refund of my original purchase, which is probably reasonable considering one of the chairs was in good shape. It’s been over a year, and Furniture Row is the one place I avoid when shopping for furniture.

    Jason, I hope you are fixing things for future shoppers. Good luck!

  3. Miboe says:

    I’m confused why you would not want them to check your ID? I worked in a shop once and sold $400 of goods to a guy using a stolen card. The signature was a perfect match – I guess because he’d scribbled over a faded one belonging to the real owner. It may be inconvenient to get another card out of your wallet but it’s far more inconvenient to deal with a bank if your card is stolen. Or drive around finding another store to buy a water bed kit. I’m really confused by your stance on that…
    Regarding marketing emails, I once emailed a complaint to Sunglass Hut and they never responded to the problem, just started spamming me with marketing junk. That is such a dirty trick!

    • Jesse says:

      Visa and Mastercard both explicitly prohibit making ID a requirement of card acceptance. If a merchant is willing to violate a contract with a multi-billion dollar corporation in order to create a perceived advantage for themselves, I can reasonably expect that they would violate the terms of the sale in order to do the same. A company that displays a willingness to not honor its obligations to a customer has no business getting my business.

  4. Helen says:

    Worst company to deal with. A couple of years ago I decided to open an account with Furniture Row. I received a $5500 credit line and spent $3500 that day on a complete living room set. As of today, $750 left to pay off my debt. When making a payment, I noticed they decreased my credit limit to $805. Now it looks like I max my credit card out. Knowing what that does to your credit score!!! Never late plus a good score equals there poor business decision move. I would stay away from this company if you care anything about your score.

  5. Jeremy says:

    Well don’t bother shopping at the Casper, WY Furniture Row store either. They lie and drag you on just the same. It must be in their manager training handbook how to screw over the customers while still getting their money. In 2011 my gf and I bought a mattress and bedroom set from furniture row. When it was delivered, the bed frame would not fit together, and the dresser did not have the holes pre-drilled for the mirror. I called Furniture Row and Store Manager Chris told me they would send out their wood specialists to get it all fixed. After a week of waiting, I returned everything to the store for a full refund, thus them losing out of $5,000.00.

    A full year later we decided to try them one last time. WHAT A MISTAKE. We bought another mattress and bedroom set from Furniture Row in October, 2012. When it arrived, they did not ship the side rails for the bed. We waited another 3 weeks for the side rails. They delivered the side rails, but did not deliver the rest of the bed that was sitting at the store. So we had to wait another day for them to deliver the rest of the bed. 6 weeks into the order, they are finally putting together the bed when they asked where the box spring was. We were informed by the mattress salesman that we did not need a boxspring with the new mattress and the new bedframe, thus causing more problems. Store Manager Chris was still employed there, and I told him this kind of service was why I returned the last bedroom set a year ago. He told me he would refund the deliver charge of $150.00 and with the added inconvience he would double it. Here it is almost March and we still have not recieved a full refund.

    We complained on the Furniture Row website and was contacted by Jason Van Dyke but missed his call. Been trying to get ahold of Jason Van Dyke for the last week, but will not answer or return phone calls. He must of wrote the “How to Screw over the customer” manual for Furniture Row.

  6. Madeline says:

    Just saying whether or not it’s prohibited by MasterCard to see your ID, I’m sure the cashier was doing it as a standard precaution to protect you as a customer and prevent fraudulent purchases. Does it physically hurt you to show them your ID? No it doesn’t. Really find something better to complain about and move on with your life. Most places do ID to make sure it isn’t a fraudulent purchase and I doubt cashiers getting paid $8 an hour have the motivation to read through each credit card’s terms and conditions to make sure that asking for your ID to protect you as a customer isn’t prohibited.

    • Jesse says:

      The vast majority of credit card fraud is perpetuated at the register by unscrupulous employees. (I should know. I helped bust a ring in Arizona back in 2000.) If ID were truly effective at preventing fraud, don’t you think that the credit card companies would require its use? That they expressly prohibit it says otherwise. As a security professional, I have a vested interest in not encouraging poor security practices, especially when contractual obligations prohibit them. Guys like me are the only thing standing between you and fraudulent use of your personal information.

  7. Cory says:

    “Visa and MasterCard state in their merchant rules that if the back of the card IS signed, a merchant may not make giving personal information a condition of making the sale. If the card is NOT signed, they may ask for identifying information. American Express requires merchants to check only the signature on the back of the card and does not require any additional identification. Discover does not prohibit a merchant from asking for such information, a spokeswoman said. However, if your purchase is flagged for suspicion of fraud at the register, or merchants have reason to suspect you are not the authorized card holder, they may ask for ID.”

  8. s. thomson says:

    Opened acct. with Billings, MT furniture row. Acct approved for 5K. The only way you can pay on acct. is with bank account set up. I set up bank acct. and authorized immediate payment on 3/28. They took payment on 4/3…one day after due date. They charged me late fee of 25.00 and added an interest charge on no interest account!! If this screws up my credit for our new home purchase, we will be seeing these crooks in court!

  9. Ted says:

    I was interested in your article until I read the first line and realized that you really don’t have an argument. Listen dude I have had issues with this company but to complain that someone asked for your ID for a credit card sale is borderline moronic. Next time you write a customer complaint this is what I reccommend you try doing:
    First pluck your head from betwixt your ass cheeks and decide, “is this a real issue?”
    Second, don’t be so sensitive and man up.
    Third, don’t be so passive aggressive. I am sure they have a customer service number on a website, if you truly felt wronged you could contact them instead of posting this.

    • Jesse says:

      The irony of an anonymous internet commenter carping about being passive aggressive is not lost on me.

      I did contact customer service. They were entirely unsympathetic. The guy who left his number in the comments never called back.

      The greater point is how willing Furniture Row is to break contact terms. Visa and MasterCard both prohibit asking for ID as a condition of purchase. As a security professional, I know this is because checking the signature is much more effective at preventing fraudulent transactions. If Furniture Row is willing to break contractual terms with a multi-billion dollar company, what does that day about their willingness to honor contact terms with me?

  10. Jason Randall says:

    I won’t shop at Furniture Row or RC Willey on Bangerter because I see them as coming to the area ‘too late for class.’

    While I’ll go to Ikea, and I know the quality furniture lies elsewhere, I don’t like to reward the Johnny Come Latelies who try to steal the clientele of the original.

  11. Don Draper says:

    Thank you for policing the furniture company’s contractual obligations with multi-billion dollar companies. You are a huge douche bag. Get a life.

    P.S. I heard that Toyota breached its agreements with one of their floor mat suppliers. If they do that to their suppliers, what do you think they will do to your Prius?!

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