Monday, September 12, 2011

El Dorado Furniture Nightmare

It was a sunny Saturday morning. Jeff and I were laying in bed snuggling with Bennett. We were discussing our finances and if we thought we were ready to buy a new dinning room table. This was a big step for us. We had never bought any furniture new before. We usually just got second hand furniture from family or from craigslist.

We did some research on different companies in the area and read the reviews. We didn't see any red flags for any companies to stay away from so we headed out with the kids in toe. We went to a bunch of different furniture stores. We wanted to make sure we got exactly what we wanted. We were planning on having this table for a long time. The last place we stopped for the day was El Dorado. If I would have known then the events that were about to unfold I would have stayed in the Jeep and driven away as fast as I could.

The building was enormous! I'm not going to lie, it looked awesome. The furniture was displayed in a very cool way and they even had a little car shaped cart that Austin could ride in which was very handy. We looked through the whole store with our sales rep. There was a particular table that we saw that we were interested in. The sales rep told us that if we bought the floor model it would cost us $200 less. I was a little weary at first. I thought there had to be a catch. Why would you discount a beautiful piece of furniture that much if there wasn't anything wrong with it. I asked Rosa, the sales rep, if there was anything wrong with the finish or if there was a manufacturer defect. She assured me that none of their floor model furniture had anything wrong with it but the normal wear and tear from being on the floor.

We bought the table. It took 30 minutes for Rosa to type in our information into the computer. Her long fake nails kept hitting other keys and you could tell she was not familiar with a keyboard. I almost changed my mind during that process but I really liked the table and I just kept telling myself I wouldn't have to deal with Rosa again after we got the table.

The table was delievered a few days later. It looked beautiful. We washed it with the soft side of a sponge and we always used place mats when we ate anything at the table. Nothing was spilled on it and nothing scratched the table. On the fifth day of having the table I was wiping it down when I noticed something strange happening. The finish was rubbing off the top of the table. I couldn't believe it. I didn't know what was happening at first but as I kept rubbing it got worse. Jeff came home for lunch and looked at it and came to the same conclusion. We decided to call El Dorado to get it straightened out.

I called twice before I actually got to speak to anyone. I kept getting tranfered around to different departments and I was always told that I would get a call back. Then I was told to call back the next day because I had to do everything through my sales rep, Rosa. I called Rosa the next day and left two voice messages. I called a third time and she picked up and told me she would call me back. She never called me back. I called a few hours later and she told me there was nothing they could do because it was a floor model and they are sold as is. I tried to explain that there was something terribly wrong with the table, that there was a manufacturer defect and that it had nothing to do with the fact that it was a floor model. I even talked to the manager who told me that he could offer me 15% off a new table from the store and that was it. I asked the manager for the manufacturer's information so I could try to get the situation resolved through them and he said he could not give me that information.

I did some more research online to see if I could find someone else that could help me. I found an email address for customer service. I sent and email describing our problem along with a picture of the table. I got a response telling me another email address that I would need to send the email to along with the picture. I sent the email to the new email address they gave me. Then I waited for a few days and never heard back. I called and asked for customer service. I was put on hold for 15 minutes and then the call dropped. I called again and was transferred around until I finally got customer service. I asked what the status of the table situation was and they told me I would need to send an email. I explained that I already sent an email with a picture but he said he didn't receive it. I sent it again and received an email confirming they received it and that they would give me a call the next day. I never heard from them so I gave them a call and the customer service person Yoel, told me that he never got the email. I sent it AGAIN. He wrote me back and said there was nothing they could do because it was a floor model.

I was feeling very frustrated. I spent hours trying to get it resolved and had nothing to show for it. I called in a wood restoration specialist so see if we could get the top of the table fixed. It would cost us more to fix it then we paid for the entire set so we decided against going that route. The wood guy did however give us a quote with his description of the problem which included "manufacturing defect". He agreed that the finish was not cured properly.

After he left I loaded up the kids and drove to the furniture store with my new proof in hand. I spent 20 minutes waiting at the front of the store before they led me back to customer service. I spent another 30 minutes trying to get the customer service people to understand what was really going on. They finally agreed to email the pictures to the manufacturing company. I think they realized it was the only way I would leave. They kept telling me that they didn't think the manufacturer would do anything. I went home and took more pictures and sent them in. It took them five days to send the pictures. I called every day to remind them to send them. A week later they said they sent them. I called the next day and was told that the woman we were working with was on the phone with another customer but that she would call me back. She never did so I called again and was told the same thing. The next day she sent me an email and told me that she wasn't in the office yesterday.

She called me the next day and told me that the manufacturer agreed to replace the table. Hooray!!! They also told us that we only had 24 hours to come into the store to do the exchange or else the deal was off. Ok...weird but ok. We went in as soon as Jeff got off work. We paid the difference between the floor model table and the new one. We also paid for the delivery fee again.

They asked us if they could deliver the table tomorrow, Friday. We said yes and asked what time. They told us that the driver would call us Friday morning with a time frame. Friday around 11 I called because I hadn't heard anything. They told me that i wasn't on the schedule until Saturday. Ok fine. I asked when the driver was coming on Saturday and she said we were the second stop for the day so it would be in the morning and the driver would call us. 11 came on Saturday and we didn't hear anything so I called. She called the driver and told me 2-4. By 4:30 we hadn't heard anything so I called again and they told me that the table wasn't on the truck because we owed the balance but they would get it straighted out can call us back. I called back forty minutes later and they said it would be delivered by 6:00. 6:30 came and I called again and they said they would have it there by 8:00. I said I didn't believe them and they never called us, I was the only one trying to get it worked out. She assured me that she just spoke with the driver.

The driver never did call but we got our table delivered at 7:30 that evening. Thank goodness the nightmare is over. The table is beautiful but I still get a twinge of anger when I look at it. Hopefully with time I will be able to enjoy it.

I will never shop at El Dorado again. Everyone I worked with, even customer service were not helpful. They also did not speak English very well which made the entire process that much harder. They didn't know that Jeff speaks Spanish so we were able to hear what they were saying about us when they were speaking to each other in Spanish in front of us.

They were rude. They lied and they never followed through with anything they said they would do. This was the worst customer service experience I've ever had.

If you read this whole thing then you deserve a cookie :)


Amie {Kitty Cats and Airplanes} said...

YES!! I get a cookie!! :D

But really that sounds horrible, my gosh! I hate rude liars, especially when you are buying things from them! Does it even make sense to them that when they don't do their job you will never come back? Some people...glad the whole thing is resolved though! :)

Patty K said...

Can't you send a review to Angie's List or a consumer rating service?

Julianne said...

Yikes! What a headache. I'm glad you finally got your table though, and I hope it lasts forever and you love it even longer.

Triple Bypass said...

Holy cow! What a nightmare! I would be soooo mad! Glad things worked out in the end. Way to not give up!

Danielle Kratz said...

That sounds like a business that shouldn't be open. To do that to a family in today's economy with the shortage of money is bull I'm glad you got it straightened out but sorry you had to deal with that crap hope you and your family enjoy the table for many years. :-)

McEwens said...

oh my gosh! you were a trooper to put up with them!

Leamaster Family said...

That really sucks, I am glad you kept at them and got a new table.

Brenda Sheffield said...

I feel that same way about my vaccume although I love it, I still get upset when I think about all that transpired to get it.

congrats on your new table

Robert and Lisa said...

Yea...I get a cookie!

What a mess, but what a trooper to stick with it and get the beautiful table that you should have had in the first place. You should fling poo at their store front window! LOL!

Breanna said...

YOu can send us two cookies. Both Tyson and I read the whole thing. oh wow! You are amazing. But... we want to see pictures of the table. :)