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Leather Furniture Shoppers Beware

We all want to think that everyone is honest and that if a business has an A+ BBB rating then they must be on the up, right? Well that is not always the case. I just found myself spending my extra time trying to locate interior shutters for a room in my home. I decided to purchase them online because with work, kids, grandchildren and the dogs who has time to go around looking. This is not unusual because I buy most things online. So, I began a project that ends up taking way too long!

Listen To Your Intuition Before You Buy

I thought this would be pretty simple. I knew my dimensions and I knew what style I wanted I just needed a few color samples to see what color best matched my window sills. I didn’t want a lot of samples, just a few would do. I was prepared for this purchase because I had been thinking about it literally for over a year. Then I found a company that I liked, their website and the product layout was good and they provided me with pictures and enough information and I ordered a few swatches. So I am thinking this is great now I will just wait for the samples, pick my color and get this on order. Well you know how we get busy and time flies by well after about 10 days I realized I never received the samples. Now I ordered them online with a form provided I never actually spoke to a person. No big deal as I mentioned I am an online shopper, this is the norm. Well actually I realized I did most of my online shopping with two or three major online retailers. I don’t venture away from those companies often as I already have a trust in my mind for online shopping. It never even crossed my mind that things would not go just like what I have been used to. Since the samples never arrived I decided to phone that company to see where my swatches were. Well I wish I would have called them in the beginning. Here is how it went…Well mam we did not receive your request for samples and we are out of 2 of the 3 your ordered anyway so we can send some that are like them but not exact. Well of course I just told them to keep them I would locate shutters elsewhere. This got me thinking. Their website looked nice, I wonder where they are located for the customer service to be so rude. I look under contact us on their site and there is no address or local phone number listed, just hours listed and a 1-800 number. Upon further investigating, their business hours were not even properly shown. Then I notice a BBB symbol on their site that shows an A+ rating, I just had to click it and guess what? Well despite the perfect rating with the bureau they also had 83 complaints. What the heck. This was not good.

The Saga Continues

Now I am getting anxious but I don’t give up. That’s not me, I know things can happen. Usually the time I get to do these projects is after everyone’s business hours and that’s OK. The great thing about the web is no big deal if the store is closed. It’s like the gas, generally you can still pump gas after the station is closed. These are things we have all just gotten used to. My house is quiet and I start the process again. I find another site. Things are looking good they have what I am looking for, including swatches and they have a toll free phone number. Well this time I am taking it all a step further. So I go to contact and see no local phone number no PO Box and no local address just a line that says we charge tax in two specific states and their business hours are not even on the same coast as the two states they charge tax in. So no BBB symbol on this site so I went to the BBB site for one of the states they had listed where they collect tax because I know they have something located in that state because in order for them to collect tax they must have a property or a warehouse in that state and it shows me that they are not members of the BBB but have dozens of complaints. Saved again! One thing you need to look for is how long has a company been around. If it doesn’t say on their home page, run!

The Third Website Was The Charm

So now three weeks have passed since I started this process and remember that I have been thinking about this purchase for over a year so once I make my mind up I am ready. I now locate a third place that sells what I am looking for but I do this during business hours. I am doing all the right things this time. On their site located right at the top of the home page the company has the information that they have been in business over 20 years that feels good. They have a local phone number and fax number. Some good reviews and their address is a suite number. That’s fine with me as we all know you don’t need the overhead of a retail floor, this just adds to the price of the products. Now onto the BBB, they have a few complaints within the last 3 years I don’t see this as bad because the BBB shows all of the complaints have been handled so that lets me know they are concerned about their reputation. So I decided to call them. The customer service person was nice and pleasant. I told the lady on the other end about the problems I had been having and she was used to listening to these things much like us at Wellington’s. People don’t always find us first but when they do they are very happy they did. That is one thing I have learned, don’t just settle for the folks that turn up on the first search page when you are looking online go onto the next few. A lot of the placements on the first few pages are paid. You need to get down to the mom and pops for specialty items. So back to the conversation with the women on the phone…she had great product knowledge and even said she would send the samples out priority mail because of the problems I was having with the other companies. Just as she said the samples arrived in three days I looked at the colors and made my decision in 10 minutes. I Picked up the phone and called and placed my order. One thing I will take from this experience is unless I am buying from the major three, like I mentioned earlier, I will only do this with a phone call. I want to know who is on the other end of my high dollar sale and I would not have been able to add some very custom option features that were explained to me over the phone if I had not called. My shutters will be even more stunning then I imagined with a few added options. This was not so much about the money it was about what I wanted and I did not want to take the time locally to mess with this because I find my only extra time is long after my local stores have closed. Make the call, email is good but again feel comfortable with the place you spend your money. How long have they been in business, local phone number at least if there is a problem I know what town they are in and check with the BBB?

Don’t Get Screwed

You don’t have to buy from us although I can’t think of one reason why you wouldn’t! Just be aware of your surroundings. Everything that is important should be on or reachable from the home page. Hours, location, local phone number and BBB rating and policies. The worldwide web is a beautiful thing and has saved me time and money but just proceed with caution just as you would walking alone in the dark. More than likely there is nothing harmful out there but you never know. My new shutters are being made I will update this article once they arrive. My fingers are crossed.

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