Troubleshooter: Frustrating furniture

January 11, 2010 6:39:06 PM PST
Allyn Sharp wanted to put a smile on her 3-year-old son's face this at Christmas with a new bunk bed from Home Furniture LLC in Raleigh. She found the bunk bed on Craigslist.

"It was advertised as $300. It was supposed to include storage drawers," she recalled.

We found a similar Craigslist ad which also shows a 5-drawer dresser.

"She told me it was high quality and I probably wouldn't find a better deal," Sharp said.

Sharp is a law student and was in the middle of finals when she decided to buy the set along with mattresses sight unseen. It was delivered right before Christmas in boxes. On Christmas Eve, when she and her family went to put it together, they ran into problems.

"The dresser was pine and particle board. The bed did not have the storage drawers underneath, and the bed came without the slats," she said.

There was also nothing to hold the mattresses in place.

"These are two by fours from the dump that we had to cut and make slats with on Christmas Eve," Sharp complained.

She said there were no underneath drawers like the ad pictured, plus the dresser is four drawers which is also not like the five pictured.

"They told me all solid oak and it's actually pine and particle board and the particle board is half coming off," said Sharp.

Unhappy, Sharp said she called Home Furniture LLC. She said she was told the company did not do returns.

"I tried to explain to her I was not asking for a return. I was just asking for what I ordered and what we paid for and was guaranteed," said Sharp.

ABC11 Eyewitness News Troubleshooter Diane Wilson got in touch with Home Furniture LLC. The owner did offer to send a rep to fix the back of the dresser, a fix Sharp does not want. The owner told us she never said the furniture was solid oak.

As for the storage drawers, the owner said while they used to come with the bed, they now no longer do and are an additional $99. But, since they didn't know that at the time of delivery, they would get them to Sharp. As for no slats for the bed, Home Furniture LLC said the bunk bed doesn't come with them. The manufacture recommends "bunkie boards," which the manufacturer has agreed to get to Sharp.

Sharp said she's learned her lesson and will do more research the next time she buys furniture. But through all the frustrations, she still made her son's Christmas bright.

"This is not how we expected to spend Christmas Eve. But we got it all together by 2 in the morning so my son would not fall through it and could enjoy it and that was our goal," she said.

Home Furniture LLC is offering to allow Sharp to return the 4-drawer dresser since it's not what was pictured in the ad, but they will only take it back if it's in the original box, which Sharp says she no longer has since the owner originally told her they don't take returns.

Home Furniture also offered Sharp a replacement dresser of her choice, but Sharp said all she wanted was the one in the photo, which she already paid for.

Experts say when buying furniture, try to check it out before you put any money down so you know exactly what you're getting. Even though it's advertised a certain way, it might not be what you actually get.

Also pay by credit card, so if there's a problem you can dispute it. In this case, Sharpn paid by check and got no receipt or invoice stating the company's policy.

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