Local News

Furniture Consumers Need Help Again From Five On Your Side

Posted March 8, 2004

— Five On Your Side first reported on Furnitureland South complaints more than a year ago and followed up a couple of months later. At that time, Five On Your Side had 38 complaints against the company. Furnitureland South promised to do better. Now, Five On Your Side received even more complaints.

The North Carolina's attorney general's office said it has received complaints from 235 people about Furnitureland South. One customer, Judy Blochl, was upset and contacted Five On Your Side for help.

"It's been the worst experience that I've had buying any kind of merchandise," she said.

Yet, a new living room set was one purchase Blochl looked forward to for years.

"We saved a long time to get this kind of money up," Blochl said.

Last August, Blochl bought the $3,400 leather couch, love seat, chair and ottoman from Furnitureland South near High Point. When it was delivered, three of the four pieces were damaged.

"There was a razor-like cut along the edge. The back of the chair had like a big 7 marking on it. It almost looked like it was branded. The love seat had a scuff mark down at the bottom and then another part was also damaged, so it was very disappointing," Blochl said.

Furnitureland South told Blochl to send it all back for repair. She did and spent the next four months calling the store.

Blochl said her attempts to contact the business led nowhere.

"The black hole of voice mail is what I called it," she said.

Finally, the company redelivered three of the four pieces. Again, there were problems. The leather on the couch looked different from the other pieces.

"It's shiny leather now, where it is supposed to be a nubuck suede," Blochl said.

Blochl is among 66 Furnitureland South customers who have complained to Five On Your Side about delivery delays, broken furniture and poor customer service. Five On Your Side received almost one-third of them since we last aired a story about the company last July.

"It upsets me that we have customers that are not being taken care of," said owner Jeff Harris of Furnitureland South in a July interview.

At that time, Harris blamed the problems on the company's phenomenal growth. He gave Five On Your Side a tour of a new, massive distribution center that was supposed to end most of the problems.

"Every single item is going to be inspected before we deliver it. We're going to make sure our customers furniture is right before it leaves here," Harris said.

Soon after Five On Your Side's story aired, the North Carolina attorney general's office questioned the company's practices and met with several of its representatives. Furnitureland South agreed to follow specific guidelines for how future complaints should be handled.

Last week, Harris told Five On Your Side hearing about the complaints was "like a freight train running through my office." He claims the company's research shows satisfaction levels at an all-time high, but he vowed to take care of each complaint Five On Your Side have received and get to the bottom of why we are still getting calls.

As for Blochl, after Five On Your Side got involved, the company agreed to give her a full refund.

"I was thrilled. I was thrilled, but not until that check comes in will I believe it," says Blochl.

Blochl later received the check and she has already cashed it. If you have a problem with Furnitureland South, you are asked to contact

Five On Your Side

.

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