Last March, Lauren Faulkner ordered a bed for her daughter from Carolina Furniture in High Point. Faulkner put down a $365 deposit. The bed was supposed to be delivered within three months. When it was not delivered, Faulkner made repeated calls to Carolina Furniture, but said she could not get a straight answer.
"They started telling me the bed was in, the bed wasn't in. It was in another warehouse. It was in a warehouse that wouldn't send out deliveries, and I just kept getting the same excuses," Faulkner said.
Faulkner complained to the Better Business Bureau. Company owner H.R. Privette responded, saying he would deliver the bed by the end of July. When it did not arrive, Faulkner sent Privette a certified letter, giving him seven days to refund her money.
When she said she did not get a response, Faulkner called Five On Your Side.
Five On Your Side found that the North Carolina Attorney General's Office has 70 complaints against Carolina Furniture. The BBB lists the company as "unsatisfactory." In 1999, the state of South Carolina ordered Privette to liquidate his business and he is no longer allowed to operate there.
"It made me mad. It made me so mad," Falkner said. "I thought 'how can he get away with this?'"
Five On Your Side called Privette. He said he "can't give us an exact answer" as to why Faulkner's bed was delayed, but in general, blames delays on his company's growth. He offered immediate delivery or a $365 refund. Faulkner took the refund and received the money two weeks later.
"I couldn't believe it. I was so excited," she said.
The next day, Faulkner ordered the same bed from a local store.
Five On Your Side said there are some important things to know when buying furniture of anything that is shipped or ordered over the telephone.
Federal law states that when a customer places an order, the seller must either provide a shipping date or it automatically becomes 30 days from when the order was placed. If the order is delayed, the company must provide a new date and the option of accepting or canceling with a full refund.
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