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About a year and a half ago when my husband and I entered the great state of South Carolina, we purchased our first pieces of furniture and began to get settled. We needed living room furniture and a dining room table. We already knew what living room furniture we wanted and where to get it, so we headed on over to Ashley Furniture. Within minutes we had our furniture picked out and ready to purchase. The man who helped us was awesomely helpful. We opened a line of credit, signed papers, and we were on our way. We had made a down payment and got away with a pretty sweet deal on our new pieces.  We asked several times if our down payment was covering not only that but the delivery as well and we were informed, nay REASSURED, that it was. They told us they’d call when the furniture came in, which would be in less than a week, and we could set up a delivery date.

A week and a half went by and still no furniture and no call. I called them in confusion and asked if it was just taking longer than normal or what was going on. During said phone conversation, an irritated woman told me we hadn’t paid the $376 needed for delivery. To which I told her “Uh….yeah we did. We shouldn’t owe anything.” She began to argue with me about this not being true. Urged me to check my paperwork even after I had told her that we were reassured everything had been paid for, and then told me after we forfeited the $376 we could then have our furniture. After hanging up the phone, I located the papers and found there, on the bottom of the receipt “Due before delivery: $376.00”. What. The. Fuck. Irritated as balls on a hot summer day, I made my way to store, expressed my anger (which was ignored and waved off like I was lying), handed over the money, and set up a day. They told me that the Furniture would be there between 8am-10am the day of delivery and no later.

Delivery day came! YAY! Furniture! I was sick of sitting and eating on an air mattress. 10am came and went, along with 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm. It wasn’t until 4:30pm that they actually showed up. THEN the delivery guys decided to pull a joke on me and say that they didn’t have a couch for us. They were only told to deliver a table and chairs. The anger in me began to boil to the surface and I felt my face turn a bright shade of red. He saw the anger and immediately regretted the joke. He apologized before I could say a word and told me he was kidding. I calmed down. It wasn’t his fault. He didn’t know that we had been duped out of another almost $400, he didn’t know the store told me they would be prompt with the delivery, and he didn’t know the hassle the card company gave us after paying off our debt. They were nice men. They gave us our furniture. I signed for receipt of delivery, and they were on their merry way.

Jump forward a few months, one overzealous puppy, a new house, and a couple of accidents later, we visit the Ashley Furniture Homestore from which we purchased our furniture to ask how much repairs would be for a snag in the leather and a broken zipper. The woman at customer service typed in our information and said “Well you have a protection plan so it shouldn’t be a problem.” I was caught off guard. We never purchased a protection plan. We were not offered a protection plan. I’m confused. I’m irritated AGAIN, but I’ll take it. She gave us the number for the protection center and sent us on our way, saying that no matter the incident, no matter the time, no matter the date it would be repaired. On the drive home we talked about how no one had offered this to us, how we didn’t know we had it, how I was a little miffed that we were charged for one and didn’t know it, but that we were thankful since our couch looks like we picked up off the street.

A few things happened that set back my call to the protection center, but I finally made the call, eager to get my couch either repaired or replaced. I explained to the woman what happened, when it happened, and what I was told. To which her response was to first sigh and then say “No. You weren’t told that.” I argued back “well, *uncomfortable laugh* actually, I was.” “no, You weren’t,” she responded. “When we went in there to ask about repairs we were given this number and told that no matter the date or incident our furniture would be repaired. So….I want it repaired. I have a protection plan.” “It only works for 30 days after the incident, so we can’t do anything for you,” she said. I then asked her what the purpose was for us owning a protection plan that we knew NOTHING ABOUT if it wasn’t going to do anything for us. She told me to review my paper work that clearly states we only have 30 days to report it. I told her we had no paperwork to which she said “Yes you do. It was given to you. It’s not my fault you lost it.” I hung up on her.

After an angry, semi-vague rant (that they deleted from their wall) on Facebook about how they run a dirty business and lie to their customers then do nothing to help them when a problem actually does arise, I became engaged in an email exchange with one of their executives. I told him the whole story start to where I was at that point. He also was adamant that we had paperwork in reference to the protection plan and that we knew we purchased it. He even went so far as to send me scans of the documents signed saying that I signed for a protection plan. Here’s the catch, my signature and initials were not next to anything that would have me accepting a protection plan EXCEPT for an “N/A” not in my hand writing next to a line that said “I have been offered a protection plan and have declined.” I wrote him back saying that maybe it was partially my fault for not reading all 30 lines that I initialed by, but how can he actually condone his employees selling a $500+ plan to customers without the customer’s knowledge. I explained that I went through every last bit of paperwork from every delivery made when we first moved here and found NOTHING regarding a protection plan. I told him that if he could provide me with paperwork that had MY SIGNATURE on it accept it, I would admit defeat and own up to my forgetfulness. He responded by sending me another attachment saying “As you can clearly see on page 3, your signature is at the bottom of the page.” I opened the attachment, read each page carefully (twice), and saw no signature. I stared at page 3 for 15 minutes thinking maybe I had missed something and my initials were hiding somewhere on the page. Nope. So I sent page three back to him and said “Where exactly is my signature? All I see here is terms and conditions of the protection plan. This is not paperwork citing my signature for acceptance of the “protection plan.” As I’ve said before, we’re pissed off with this company for the lies and dirty business. If you’re telling me that I have to pay out of pocket for repairs on my couch after being a sold a protection plan without my knowledge, it’s not happening. We will take our business elsewhere.” Less than 2 hours later I got a one sentence reply “I’ve contacted Montage, and we’ll take care of the repairs free of charge.”

Fast forward another month. We’ve received our parts….kind of. First, they sent it to the wrong address, so while on vacation, I get a phone call from a guy that lives at our old address telling me he has some sort of fabric sitting in his living room that he’s pretty sure belongs to us. (*facepalm* I gave them our new address…but whatever…) I told him my husband would be by to pick up the stuff later in the week. So, we have the leather, now we’re just waiting on the cushion cover for the chaise lounge. Two weeks later we get another package. I’m excited because I can finally call and get this over with. I open the package, and it’s cushion covers for the two smaller cushions. A week later we haven’t received another package so I call the number back and ask. (Now we’re caught up to today) The following conversation ensues:

Me: Hi! My name is Kelley L. I’ve received two packages from you guys for repairs to my couch but I think I got the wrong stuff…or maybe there’s another package on its way. *she gets my information again and types it in*

Rep: Okay Mrs. L, What seems to be the issue?

Me: well When we had discussed it, the only thing that needed fixing was the leather part on the front bottom side of the couch to repair a tear, and the zipper on the chaise lounge because it’s busted. We received the leather but not the cushion cover for the chaise lounge. We received cushion covers for the two smaller cushions.

Rep: *typing* Okay so are you ready to set up the appointment to have someone come repair the sectional?

Me: Well, we can. I have the leather part that needs to be done, but I’m curious if we have another package on the way.

Rep: So you’ve received all your parts then?

Me: No. We still need the cushion cover for the chaise lounge.

Rep: *Typing* Okay *typing* So what is wrong with the chaise lounge.

Me: The zipper is busted. Completely broken. And the fabric tore where it broke.

Rep: So we need to replace the underside of the chaise lounge? The dust cover. Got it.

Me: The what?

Rep: The dust cover. What’s covering the springs.

Me: No. No, no, no. The cushion cover. The cover for the cushion. The piece that covers the cushion. The microsuede CUSHION COVER. The zipper is broke and the fabric is tearing.

Rep: Oh! So you have your pieces then I see. Let’s set up an appointment.

Me: No! I don’t have all the pieces. I’m missing the cushion cover to the chaise lounge. I have cushion covers to the other two cushions on the couch, which I think were sent by accident, but we DO NOT HAVE the cushion cover for the long part of the couch. The chaise lounge. *silence* We need the cover for the chaise lounge or a zipper to repair it!

Rep: OOOOOOOH! Okay. *typing* Let me put that order in and we’ll have your parts out to you. Once you receive the last part give us a call back and we’ll set up that appointment for you.

Okay, first of all notice she said *PARTS*. Parts. Plural. Like more than one. Secondly, why do I need a cushion cover before they come repair the leather on my couch? Also, I had to give them our new address for the third time. Until I get this package in the mail I’ll just be sitting here wondering if she actually got it right. I’m waiting for it to show up in either the wrong color or for them to send me two more cushion covers for the smaller cushions. Thirdly, if you say the word “cushions” enough it starts to sound weird. Lastly, I know this is being taken care of the best way they apparently know how, and holy fucking problems, Batman! Remind me not to buy furniture from Ashley ever again…

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