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The Brick - Furniture Purchase and Warranty Coverage
Posted on Wednesday, March 7th, 2007 at 4:16am CST by 6e1d62b5
We've now been dealing with The Brick in Belleville, Ontario for over 10 months and getting no where fast. We've tried to email the Regional Vice President but no one returns our emails and they've just forwarded the email back to the store in Belleville for the General Manager to handle. Considering part of the complaint is about that individual, I'm completely disappointed.
I would never recommend anyone to deal with the store and I would definitely recommend consumers to "GET IN WRITING" what they promise, especially as it relates to Warranty Coverage. I've attached a copy of the correspondence between us and The Brick's RVP.
(Think about it, why in the world would a customer buy another piece of furniture without a Warranty when the first piece broke within 1 week and the new piece of furniture was being delivered with a replacement piece....)
Please Treat this Email as our Formal Complaint surrounding both your Belleville, Ontario and your Kingston, Ontario Locations.
I think you should know how POOR your Customer Service Departments are at both locations, as well as the Unethical & Unprofessional practices of your Belleville Location with Specific reference to your Sales Associate Heather and her General Manager Dave.
We currently live in Amherstview and dealt with your Belleville Store to purchase a Pair of Reclining Chairs for our Family Room. We had to deal with this store since the Kingston one was relocating at the time and didn't have any in stock. Dispite this inconvenience, we drove all the way to Belleville and purchased the two items COD without a warranty. The sales associate who we dealt with over the phone was Heather but she was not in at the time. However, another associate pointed out to us that although it was not the same set/manufacturer, there was a Reclining Sofa that matched the chairs. Being loyal customers to Heather, we waited a few days and decided to deal directly with Heather over the phone to purchase the sofa which required delivery due to its length would not fit in the van.
We are not Warranty Purchasing Customers but Heather was INSISTENT that we purchase a warranty as it was such a short time since we had purchased the chairs that she could "Cut us a Deal" on the Warranty and Delivery charges. We agreed under the understanding of the total price owing of $1300 and that all THREE items would be covered.
Upon delivery of the sofa, one of the Reclining Chairs had already broken (Reclining Mechanism) so they replaced that chair at the same time. Note that never was there a question from Heather at the time as to whether or not we were covered by Warranty....
In April 2006 we contacted the Belleville location to place a service order on the "replaced" chair. No returned calls received and we had to place another FollowUp in May/June. We recieved a message that since we lived in Amherstview, we should deal with the service department in Kingston. We placed a call at the end of June/early July but again no returned phone call. I followed up in August IN PERSON at the Kingston store and dealt with a manager (I Believe) who reassured me that our service request would be given highest priority. Again, no call.....So I followed Up over the phone and spoke with a customer service Representative who assured me that a service technician would contact us shortly. Finally in September, we were visited by a Service Technician to advised us that he would be a new Back Cover for the sofa and that the chair was well beyond repair and would need to be replaced. We waited throughout the months of September and October but didn't hear back from anyone. We left a message for a Mgr in Kingston to return our call with an update but no one called back. So, we returned to the Kingston store in November and were advised that the Service Manager Kim was not in but would again give us top priority on the following Monday. No one again called so I followed up with a phone call to Kim and was advised that she couldn't find our service request. To expedite matters, I contacted the Belleville store to get the invoice numbers and relayed them back to Kim. Kim then called us back to advise that she was looking into the status of the chair request and that the parts for the sofa were already on order. We didn't hear back from her in December nor early January 2007 so I followed up again with her in late January. She advised that the parts for the sofa were still on order and that the chair was a separate issue. She explained that she it needed to be replaced, we could deal with the Kingston store since they only handled service repairs and that we had to return to the store of purchase. She advised me that she had called Michelle and that I should hear something shortly. Two weeks came to pass and no call from Michelle so I followed up again with Kim who reassured me that she would follow up with Michelle. Another week passed and we're now in the middle of February so I called the Belleville store and left a message for the General Manager to call me. He was working from noon to 8pm so I waited for his call. At 5pm, I gave up on waiting and visited the store. The store was completely empty aside from one Staff member who was watching TV. This turned out to be the GM Dave who apologized that he was "run off his feet" and unable to return his calls????I explained the above store in a Coles Notes version to him. He called Kim in Kingston and I began to feel sick to my stomach as I listened to how he talked on the phone about our scenario. Ethics is a part of every business and he knows nothing about it. As I listened in, I now know that the Warranty was "thrown in" because the price ends in a 0.01. I now know that "he has to replace it" and "there's no way he can afford it right now" and that Kim knows the game was much as he does. Well, I can tell you that this is no game, it is CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!!!!
Dave proceeded to tell me that he's sorry that he's the first to "have the guts to tell me that there's no warranty on the chairs" and that there is no way that warranties are sold on a separate invoice???? Tell me, does every one of your customers buy all their furnishings in one invoice or are they "repeat" customers who come back to buy based on experience and price....
I explained again what our understanding was but Dave produced some sort of chart which lists the various warranties available. He also pointed out a code on the invoice of ours and how it matchs the chart. 1) We've never seen this chart, 2) How are we as customers to know what your codes are, 3) The comments talk to our all inclusive price of $1300 to cover the sofa, delivery, and all inclusive warranty.
The irony to all this explanation is this: Dave pointed out that there is a limit on the warranty price coverage equal to that of the sofa purchase. Who in their right mind would ever pay 25% of the purchase price on a warranty for 5 years?? As mentioned above, we're not Warranty Purchasing clients but it was more attactive when it represented approx 10% of the over all purchases. You should also note that the other chair is in perfect shape and only 24 inches away so its definitely a manufacturer defect. And to think I was contemplating a Dining Room Set for my wife in the short term and would have returned to Heather but....
Whether or not it was "Thrown In", we deserve to be treated as customers. We deal with SEARS all the time and never get this kind of treatment....I would think that your company prides itself on building Repeat customers. We are now hitting 12 months of nonsense and we want resolution now. The manner in which your General Manager deals with complaints is completely unacceptable and driven me to take this matter higher for resolution. I have just received a voicemail from him today stating that as he suspected, Heather doesn't recall the transaction and there is nothing he can do.
I trust you are the right department to resolve the matter and FULLY EXPECT A RETURNED PHONE CALL at my work 705-653-4600 ext250 or at home 613-384-6962 with some ACTION on both the Sofa and the Chair (The parts have been on order now for over 5 months...). If I don't hear from you by February 28th, 2007, then I'll move the matter up to Legal and Media.