I bought my first new couch when I got out of college in 1990. Since then, I have bought furniture from a dozen different stores .

I have NEVER had such a bad experience with purchasing furniture as I have with my recent purchase from the La-Z-Boy store in Brentwood, MO.

La-Z-Boy furniture mismatched colorsThe loveseat and ottoman in this picture were ordered in the same color. Clearly, they are NOT the same color.

I ordered the furniture in October of 2012. In December, the ottoman was delivered but the loveseat was sent back to the manufacturer because there was a puncture in one of the arms.

Immediately upon the ottoman’s arrival, I knew that the color was off. I had ordered a dark brown, not dark beige. I don’t think the sample in the store was as dark as the loveseat in the picture above, but it was definitely darker than the ottoman.

I called the Brentwood store where I ordered the pieces and was told that the correct fabric had been used on the piece and I must just be remembering the color wrong. I didn’t have a swatch to compare, so I didn’t have a choice but to take their word for it.

I was told that the repaired piece would have the arm redone in the same dye lot but it would take just as long as it does when you place a new order. I was astounded but all of my fussing didn’t change anything. Since these were custom order pieces with a no return policy, I didn’t have any recourse. So I waited.

FOUR MONTHS later…not the 8 weeks I was expecting…I finally got a call to have the furniture delivered. At that point, I did push my delivery by a couple of weeks since I was just about to get new carpeting installed and figured it would be better to have one less piece of furniture to move.

Yes, I was shocked when the loveseat was delivered.

I want my money back so I can just start over with another furniture store. The only other recource that would satisfy me would be a 50% discount since I now will have to wait who knows how long for the furniture to be corrected…and who knows what color they will end up. I understand that there are minor variations in dye lot…but if you can’t produce a fabric that is consistant with the sample in the store, then you shouldn’t be using that fabric!

To make matters even worse, the Brentwood La-Z-Boy location was touted as a special store. I was invited to the blogger Grand Opening of the store and the crowd was told by bigwigs in the company that this store was about exceptional customer service.

La-Z-Boy Brentwood grand opening La-Z-Boy grand opening with musicians

They gave us a bunch of food and even had a band. All in the hopes of some good PR from the local blogger crowd. Guess what, PR goes both ways.

My advice…shop somewhere else.

UPDATE:

I did get a response from La-Z-Boy.

I actually was contacted by the corporate customer service department, and they wanted to do whatever it would take to make me happy. They offered me a 25% discount off of the furniture (not the 50% I requested) or to refund the entire purchase. If I took the discount, they would redo both pieces of furniture and make sure it was right this time. Of course, that meant I had to trust them AND wait for the furniture again for weeks…maybe months.

By this point I was so soured on the entire experience that I had gone out shopping to see what my other options were, and I found a small 2 piece sectional at Pier 1 that was half the cost of the La-Z-Boy pieces and was in stock, ready for delivery immediately. The Pier 1 stet would actually fit better in the room and would offer better seating options, so I took the refund La-Z-Boy offered.

At this point, they were bending over backwards to make me happy. The customer service rep from the Brentwood store who dropped the ball met the delivery drivers at my home when they picked up the furniture to make sure everything went smoothly. He gave me a $100 off coupon for any future purchase in hopes that I would give them another try at some point.

I do appreciate the efforts they made at the end. They told me that they were going to use my experience as a case study for how so many things were done wrong, and institute new policies to keep it from happening again. ┬áStill, I wonder if corporate would have gotten involved and I would have gotten the white glove treatment if I hadn’t blogged about this experience. Blogging and reviews are a powerful tool and companies pay attention. But they should give the same service to every single customer that has a problem. Maybe they do. But my guess is that it my case have been escalated to the corporate level if I wasn’t causing bad press.

Will I shop there again?

Not for custom furniture. Probably for lamps, artwork or decor. I’ve got a $100 to spend and I’m sure I can find something that will fill a blank space on the wall.