lotusfla

Strictly Wood Furniture & shipping delay

lotusfla
June 17, 2005

I ordered a showroom sample from Strictly Wood Furniture at the end of April. Their website said to expect 2 to 4 weeks for delivery. It has been almost 8 weeks and they are slow to respond to my inquiries about when to expect delivery. I understand their shipping is slow, but didn't expect that at 8 weeks after purchasing the already manufactured bookcase I still wouldn't have a delivery date and the poor response I've had trying to contact them. I'm disappointed. From what I've read on this forum their furniture is worth the wait. They charged my credit card April 30. Any suggestions?

Comments (68)

  • skhicks

    I, too, wish I would have checked this site before spending $9000 with this company. I place my order on May 12th and my credit card was charged almost immediately. I was told by Sherry that the furniture would be there the second week in July. It is now the end of September. I have no tracking number. According to Sherry the furniture was in Texas first then supposedly in Memphis. No one every returns my phone calls. I have left messages with everyone I could possibly reach a machine for. I left a message with the CEO as some of you recommended. My most recent messages said that if no-one gave me some anwsers then I would file a complaint with the BBB, followed by contact with all New York television stations and then eventually my lawyer. I have never had such a horrible experience. I thought I found the furniture of my dreams and instead it turned out to be a nightmare. If anyone has found another avenue to deal with this company then please respond. Thanks for listening.

  • jotul

    Well, I'm off to the 5th Avenue Showroom on Saturday, the 24th where I will supposedly pick up the two club chairs I paid for in May. I have been told that I can take what they have in inventory--we'll see if they even have any inventory at this point. They have been told that if I don't get my chairs I will create an 'embarrassing' situation. I intend to take copies of the complaints on this website and hand them out to people on the sidewalk, if they don't make good on my purchase. Wish me luck!

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  • jecheatham

    I am another victim of this company. My story is long (sounds very similar to the above posts) but slightly different. I finally received the furniture I ordered but it is defective - tops cracking and slitting on several pieces. The dining room table is not made so the matching arm chairs will not go under the table (as shown on the company's website). Replacements were supposedly shipped in early July. Now the familiar story - no responses to e-mails or telephone calls.
    There is another little item about the company that I haven't seen mentioned. Two "associations" are given on the website at "About Us" to "legitimatize" the company: the first is so fuzzy you can't read it, the second is International Arts & Crafts Society. I can find no such association in "The Encyclopedia of Associations" or on the internet. I think they are both bogus.
    So much is being made of the shipping company that is supposedly not delivering their furniture. The two deliveries that were made to my house came in a rented Penske truck. The shipping papers showed no name but Strictly Wood Furniture. I asked one of the two men who brought the (very well wrapped) furniture into the house if they worked for Strictly Wood Furniture and he said "no." I would love to know what the real story is here.
    Is there anything that we, as a group, can do?
    I look forward to hearing more about how this is developing, but I'm about to give up hope on ever getting the replacement furniture that was "shipped" in July.

  • lotusfla

    the arts and crafts forum says this company is in the process of being sold. Hopefully the new owner will honor the obligations of the prior company. Don't let up on them and don't believe anything they tell you. Try to get a credit on your credit card.

  • lorrie

    oh my gosh--i had to become a member of garden web so i could post a warning to everyone about strictly wood! we too, were so excited about our "find" of this great furniture! still skeptical, we flew to nyc to see if this company truly did exist and to check out the quality of the furniture. our trip went great, met sherry johnson (our sales rep) and met tony also. the furniture was quite impressive as well. so, we felt confident about our order. we had no problem getting in touch with sherry and having her return our calls and taking our down payment and then the next month's payment. howeer, the next month, we were trying to make a payment on our layaway (we paid by check) and could not get anyone to answer the phone, our emails or return our messages. finally, after two weeks, sherry called me back and at that point decided if i couldn't even get them to take a payment, what would the customer service be like if i had a problem with my furniture after taking delivery. so, we decided to cancel our order since they assure you of a full refund for any reason! sherry was very understanding and assured me a refund check would be going out in the mail on sep.6. after never receiving the check, i try to get in touch with someone. i cannot tell you how many calls i had to make until i talked to a live person! finally, i reached lorraine who i am now convinced is the ONLY person that works there! i can never speak to a sales rep or a person in acctg. lorraine then promised me a check went out via fed ex on sep. 20. she even went so far as to give me a tracking number! well,needless to say, 1 month later, 2 bogus fedd ex tracking numbers later, still no check. finally, today, lorriane told me that i would be receiving a letter in the next 30 days telling me when i could expect my refund ($2300). it has been an absolute nightmare and since i did not pay by credit card, i have no way to dispute it! we contacted the better business bureau over 6 weeks ago before it even escalated to this fiasco! i am going to contact our atty general as well as ny atty general. my husband and i are going to the showroom again tomorrow to see if we can get any answers. i would tell everyone to avoid this company and warn anybody who might be contemplating dealing with strictly wood!!!!!!

  • mkeamy

    Hi. My name is Mitch Keamy. My wife and I have a similar story, only it involves $17000 given to Strictly wood. Our problem is that they seem to concoct unverifiable stories to explain their lack of performance; Lorrie's post describes falsified Fedex numbers, the first example of what appears to be an intentional deception. We, like others, were told about the shipping problems and shipping change. However, when we contacted the new "shipper" Premier Home delivery, the temp answering the phone told us that she worked for Sherry Johnson, and then became uncomfortable, as if she had revealed a secret... Sherry Johnson knows about these forums, and has chosen not to address any of us here online. Lorrie, it would be very helpful to let us know what happens at the showroom, since that is the only "non-virtual" link any of us have to this company. As well, if anybody receives any furniture from them, it would be helpful to know; I am doubting this given that Jotul was told he/she could have whatever was in inventory (?!?!) Jotul - what happened on the 24th? Also, the kind Mr Ralph Jones at the arts and crafts forum reports that Strictly Wood is changing ownership, but given the string of stories that have been reported by all on these forums, I wonder if any of that is true, either. If it is, it is time for the attorneys managing the transaction to identify themselves and what plans the new owners have for making existing clients whole. If the company is in fact in turmoil, as described above, and Sherry Johnson continues to concoct stories to explain away their continuing non-performance, then she will have some explaining to do to at least our attorneys, and hopefully to the authorities. (MS Johnson, are you reading this?...) I am taking all our material to our lawyer this week, including copies of these threads and those at the arts and crafts forum. If anybody else wants to coordinate with us, we would be happy to put our attorneys in touch. I did contact the NYC BBB, who charged my credit card five dollars for a complaint filing fee last week, but have yet to forward a form. I have included an e-mail link to me so that anybody who wants to participate in legal action can contact me. Thank you, and if any of you are members of the arts and crafts forum and would care to point them to my posting, I would be appreciative.

    Mitch Keamy
    Las Vegas, NV

  • mkeamy

    An update: I talked to "Renee" at Premier Home Delivery today (the 5th). The usual response "I have to take a message and we will contact you." Interestingly, when I asked Renee for a business address wherre I might direct correspondence, I was told " we refuse to disclose our business address since your furniture is not at this location."

  • cargoBMD

    MITCH: please email me at my contact address

  • dcrowell

    My husband and I are yet two more victims of the Strictly Wood Scam. Here is a condensed version. Our story dates back to early Dec. of last year when we visited a (then operational - now closed) showroom in Greensboro, NC and personally handed Tony Collins a check for a complete bedroom suite. (Note: Strictly Wood also had an address in Charlotte, NC at that time). Shortly afterwards, we also ordered a dining room suite from Sherry Johnson via telephone conversation. Our bedroom furniture was to be delivered in March and the dining room in May. We have received NOTHING except empty promises. Our furniture was supposedly, "lost in shipping." We were promised a full refund. This was after hours and hours of attempted communication with them and the supposed shipping company. When my husband called cleverly using my maiden name and/or identifying himself as a potential customer, we were put through to Sherry or Tony with little delay. Strictly Wood Furniture now has over $10,000. of our money, as well. At this point we have sent registered letters to Strictly Wood, retained an attorney for the case, filed a complaint with the NC Attorney General, and filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau in North Carolina and New York. I will continue to post any information I have regarding our case and would be happy to assist anyone else in any way possible to put a stop to this apparently fraudulent scam.
    Whether or not any of us will gain compensation for money spent is doubtful but I think we would all appreciate seeing those responsible for misrepresentation held accountable. PS. I just tried to phone them and was connected to a recording stating that, "The line was being checked for trouble, please try again later." RIGHT!

  • Larry_CA

    Same story here. Ordered over six thousand dollars of furniture in May and have received nothing. They will not respond to phone calls or emails. Now the phone is disconnected. This company has scammed hundreds of thousands of dollars from victims all over the U.S. I also feel that those who have perpetrated this fraud should be held accountable. I will cooperate with any victim and their attorneys in civil and/or criminal proceedings against this company.

  • jecheatham

    Does anyone have more recent information on this company? I have read it is being sold and that everything would be settled in about 5 weeks (from the Arts & Crafts Forum). Are there any class action suits getting started? Please e-mail me directly if you do not want to post information on this forum: jecheatham@yahoo.com.

  • horsefarmfox

    I, too have been scammed. No return calls, lies over the phone, no return e-mails. I'll gladly join the throngs of dissatisfied customers who would like to line up at the place and demand a refund.

    Ed

  • pomegranatebindery

    Me too. I was patient too long and have missed my opportunity to contest the credit card charge. Now that I have found the above information I am worried that I have lost my money. Sherry was always so nice when I was able to reach her that I believed they were just extra busy and, that although their customer service was really poor, I would still receive my order. Also, I had ordered before and eventually (after many phone calls) received the furniture. However it is almost five months this time, and Sherry is not quite as "nice" as before.

  • carljohn

    We ordered an entertainment center from Strictly Wood Furniture in early October. We paid in full with a bank draft. Sherry promised delivery to our home in Tucson Arizona during the week of November 7 to 11. After we paid, we went through the experience of no longer being able to reach Sherry. We made many, many calls trying to get a delivery date. Finally, a Penske truck delivered some furniture at 7pm on Friday, November 11. The furniture delivered was only part of our order and it was not the wood or color we ordered. The delivery men said it was damaged furniture that they fixed before delivery. Indeed, the furniture smelled like fresh turpintine. The delivery men claimed they did not have the furniture we ordered and that Sherry had told them to deliver the pieces we got instead.

    The delivery men also stated that they were not employees of Strictly Wood Furniture. We have talked with the delivery men since receiving partial delivery of our order and they seem to be willing to try to help. Being able to contact them by phone has been a starting point. The delivery men said they have their own furniture business in Mexico where they build and sell handmade furniture. From their statements, it is not totally clear what their relation is to Strictly Wood Furniture. It appears they at least make repairs on damaged Strictly Wood Furniture.

    Since November 11th, we have talked to Sherry Johnson (Sherry Altunbas), her assistant Lorriane, CEO Hakan "Mike" Altunbas, and Tony Collins. The net result has been a nightmare of unanswered phone calls and unfulfilled promises to deliver the missing pieces of furniture.

  • lotusfla

    any updates from anyone on their situation with Strictly Wood Furniture?

  • carljohn

    After our last posting here on December 4, 2005, we continued to contact Strictly Wood Furniture by phone once or twice a week to demand delivery of the remainer of our order. Some of these phone calls were not very pleasent. We were eventually told by Lorrianne, Sherry's assistant, that we would get delivery of the missing pieces on January 18. Never happened. We called Sherry and she said she would call us back on January 28 with delivery information. She never called. Finally, we got a call from a delivery company (not from Sherry) on January 31 and were told the furniture would be delivered on February 2. The delivery man did not show up on February 2. The furniture was finally delivered the next day, on February 3.

    The pieces that were delivered were damaged furniture that had been repaired. They were a different color from what we had ordered and were also a different color from the pieces that were delivered on November 11.

    The bottom line is that it took us four months and many phone calls to get furniture from Strictly Wood. The pieces that arrived were not the color we ordered. The pieces are two different colors and do not match. There is evidence that some of the pieces are damaged furniture that have been repaired.

    We will NEVER do business with this company again. We feel that we got our order filled only because we refused to drop the matter and made at least 40 or 50 phone calls demanding delivery. What we got is not what we ordered, but at least we got something.

    Buyer beware!!!!

  • boodelicious


    Februray 13, 2006

    I had similar experiences. I purchased a floor sample mission style sofa on 6/29/05. I was told it would take 8-12 weeks to deliver. By 9/05 i still had not heard from SWF or the carrier. I was feeling frustrated. i made many attempts to contact Sherri Johnson by telephone and email. End of Sept she did leave a message "we are having problems with the carriers." Sometime in Oct. 05 i was in the neighborhood and stopped by the SWF Showroom to inquire about the sofa. I met a Tony and he gave me a SWF card and he wrote his name on the business card. He promised me he would investigate and locate my sofa. He committed to contacting me in a few days. I did not hear from him. I made many attempts to reach him. I finally reached him and he avoided assisting me; i.e. i was disconnected 3x or put on hold for 20 minutes several times. Finally i reached a Lorraine. Lorraine informed me "we cannot locate your sofa. I can give you another one we do have available." I loved the sofa so much i decided to reorder. Again the same as above occured. On Dec. 10 2005 when Lorraine was not able to find out the status of my sofa i requested a refund. I was informed i would receive the check in 30 days. Beginning of Februrary i did not receive the refund. I went to Small Claims Court in Queens, New York. My court date is March 16. Also i was sent a letter by the People's Court to have this aired on T.V. I don't think SWF will agree to this. SWF is a scam. I urge everyone who has been scammed to contact their credit card company to report this scam. Also i contacted the Eyewitness News, BBB, Attorney General.


    I can be contacted by email crk1254@yahoo.com

  • donandbettie

    We checked this company out in April 2005 and found no problems. Put a dining set on lay away in May 2005 and paid faithfully by check. Paid balance off in November 2005. We were promised no less than 5 delivery times. We have not received anything from this place. Calling is a waste of time. (Like the "Leave a message or, if this is an emergeny, hit star-9" and when you do hit star-9 you get to "Leave a message or, if this is an emergency, hit star-9"!!! Talk about Catch 22!) Finally gave up last week and cancelled the order requesting a refund (done by registered mail). Today we find this site and all you guys! Has ANYONE gotten satisfaction from them? We are really worried now since we saved and skrimped for an entire year to get this set and must still eat in the living room at the coffee table. And now we can't buy anything because they have our money! Any updates, PLEASE email me at summa1@adelphia.net

  • donandbettie

    The "Star-9" has been removed!! You guys at SWF must be reading these. How about our refunds?

  • cargoBMD

    UGH! I can't believe this is all still going on and that Strictly Wood has not yet been put out of business. I purchased two chairs from them, phone order, paid by check, back in May 2005. When I hadn't received them by September, after many unanswered phone calls and emails, I threatened to come to their Manhattan store and make a fuss. I told them the day I would be there and that I wanted the chairs there. When I got to the store, they were late opening and the poor guy there didn't have a clue what I was fussing about. Finally, Lorraine showed up and then Sherry. Believe it or not, I did get my chairs--in the color wood and the upholstery I wanted. I actually think they upholstered them in the basement while I waited. I was told that if they didn't have the right color wood, they would send their delivery truck out to their New Jersey warehouse to get them. Wonder if there really is a New Jersey warehouse?? The showroom looked well stocked and there were people coming and going while I was there. Sherry gave me some line of crap about the store being sold, inventory in a holding company,bank accounts frozen, everything would be okay in about six more weeks. I believed it--guess I'm just naive. She also told me I'd get my $250.00 shipping fee refunded. I believed it. They even called me the following Monday to tell me when the check would be processed. I believed them. Well, of course, the check never showed up and I basically gave up, since I figured I was ahead of the game and had my two chairs. I'll join suit and tell this story to anyone who needs to hear it. Just let me know.

  • bingham_marshall_edu

    I have been unsuccessful in contacting ANYONE from SWF. They must have caller ID that immediately dumps my call into voice mail. I still have not received anything from them--loveseat or refund.

    Has anyone received their furniture or a refund?

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to contact these people?

    Thanks,

  • mrbig

    I ordered a mirror from SWF last August and got the same runaround as everyone else. I discovered this website in December and figured that I'd never get the mirror so I contacted my credit card company (Capital One) and they gave me a credit within 3 days. I got a letter from Capital One a couple of weeks ago saying that they were able to get SWF to settle up with them.

  • mark_in_tn

    Another person screwed by SWF!

    I just found this forum and registered. On 10/12/2005 I placed an order for a mixed lot of 'display' and 'regular price' furniture. I paid $8,722.98 via e-check, which cleared my bank on 10/17/2005. Delivery promised for sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We're now to March 2006 with innumerable excuses issued and re-issued when I can get in touch with them at all. Shippping dates have been missed, calls routinely go ignored, e-mails are not returned, Sherry has been out 'sick' twice, etc. I'm very upset.
    I am ready to pursue legal action. What steps has anyone taken? Is there a class action suit I can be a part of?
    Mark Keller
    mark.j.keller@gmail.com

  • horsefarmfox

    Hi all.. And they say "never is heard a discouraging word!"

    Here's the scoop from the consumer protection board.
    My credit card company was able to process a charge back after all this time because the furniture was never delivered. Last fall they told me the refund window had passed.

    Thank you for contacting the New York State Consumer Protection Board
    regarding your complaint against Strictly Wood Furniture. After
    reviewing your complaint, It appears the company is unwilling to
    reply to you or an agency directly. Small Claims Court may be a
    viable option in getting the company to respond to your concerns.

    There is a Small Claims Court in the Civil Court of the City of New
    York. If the business is not in New York City there is a Small
    Claims Court in each of the 5 five boroughs and in each of the 62
    counties of New York State. Small Claims handles disputes for up to
    $3,000. If you have paid more than $3,000 an attorney of your choice
    may be necessary. If you have already been through the process of
    Small Claims Court and are seeking information on collecting a
    judgment you have won, the court provides some help in collection of
    judgments. A consumer may obtain an information subpoena which will
    assist in locating the defendants assets. As you may know, prior to
    rendering judgment, the court can order the defendant to disclose his
    or her assets and restrain the defendant from disposing of them.
    However, you must take the necessary steps to obtain payment of your
    judgment.

    After winning a judgment, you should try to contact the losing party
    to collect your judgment. If the defendant does not pay you, you may
    need the services of an enforcement officer -- a sheriff, city
    marshal, or a constable. Once the officer is provided with the
    information needed to locate the assets (money or property) of the
    defendant, and the enforcement officer then can seize those assets to
    satisfy your judgment.

    Please feel free to contact us concerning other consumer-related
    issues.

  • donandbettie

    Sadly, I heard the store on Fifth Ave is emptied, the gates are down and it is for rent (see posting on second link). I assume the phones will be out when the phone company figures them out too. I have two links here and Ralph (on page 6 of the first link) is trying to get a class action suit together. The reality of this seems to be only the lawyers make out but it seems to be better than nothing. Maybe if we group together............

    http://forum.arts-crafts.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/3916079532/m/3541098111
    http://forum.arts-crafts.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/3916079532/m/5381087361

  • lauramch

    Help... we want to join in a legal action against this company for our $9000. Thank you for any info. lauramchaney@sbcglobal.net

  • fred77665_yahoo_com

    Exact same problem here. Created a website to warn others.
    http://fredspace.home.comcast.net/

    Here is a link that might be useful: do not buy from strictlywoodfurniture.com

  • bsusan

    Looks like I'm another one who has paid money for furniture only to receive empty promises. Sherry seemed so nice. I was told in February that she was out on medical leave, with no known return date. Another lie to keep people from contacting her?

    Try contacting NYC's Dept of Consumer Affairs and filing a complaint with them. They told me they have five on file already, and one of them was resolved.

  • arm0110_yahoo_com

    Chiming in with my own SWF story. After saving for a long time, we purchased some liquidation furniture from them in early December 2005. Sherry Johnson was very responsive and helpful, although we couldn't figure out why we were billed in Turkish Lira. That should have been a red flag for us to stop the transaction right then and there. We were supposed to receive the furniture on February 6, 2006. No furniture, no response to phone calls, faxes, or certified letters. We've filed complaints with the NYC BBB and with Mastercard. I wish we had seen this message board before placing our order!

    We'll gladly join in any class action suit.

  • beshel

    I did not buy anything - however I did notice Strictly Wood is a "Yahoo store" and doesn't have a rating yet. See link below to add rating...

    Here is a link that might be useful: Strickly Wood Yahoo Store Rating

  • Bradford

    We have also had trouble attempting to resolve a warranty claim for over a year now. Does anyone have a legitimate address for the company? We attempted to file Civil Suit and mailed a notice to both the NY and NC addresses, both were returned as undeliverable.

    It's a shame, we like the furniture but this may be the worst run company in the country. I'm open to joining in a class action as well if anyone knows the process of setting such a thing up.

  • maryell

    Strictly Wood Furniture makes LOVELY wood furniture. But please continue to read.

    Since 2004 Strictly Wood Furniture has charged over $2,300.00 to my credit cards and will neither deliver the furniture I ordered nor will they speak to me about a refund. It could be well worth your time and money to go to the internet, type their name, do a search and read the numerous stories of many others before you order. Strictly Wood Furniture customer service is the worst I have ever experienced.

    I found out too late that you are offered no protection from from the usual laws for your on-line purchases. On the internet you are at the mercy of the integrity of the of the seller.

    The furniture is beautiful and I would be proud to have it in my home...if Strictly Wood Furniture would only deliver my order.

  • maryell

    The Attorney General of New York suggested to me that a class action suit may be in order if there enough complaints. I may be contacted at; vtmaryell@yahoo.com

  • maryell

    Important Information!
    It will improve the chances of giving Strictly Wood Furniture & their other companies ( BEWARE at least one! StrictlyWood Furnishings.com) what they deserve if everyone will PLEASE file a complaint (I've tried to make it easy to do) with the following organizations;
    To file complaints:
    State Attorney General of New York, Elliot Spitzer
    computer filing;
    http://www.oag.state.ny.us/complaints/complaints.html
    or write to;
    State of New York Office/Attorney General
    120 Broadway
    New York, NY 10271-0332
    (no toll free telephone outside of NY)
    AND
    The Federal Trade Commission (FCC)* The FCC notifies other law inforcement agencies in US and abroad.
    computer filing; https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01
    or
    *The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Federal Trade Commission

  • lotusfla

    These people have surfaced again on that well known internet auction site. Their listing says the auction item is located in Edgewater NJ.

  • mcgillicuddy

    "Sherry Johnson was very responsive and helpful, although we couldn't figure out why we were billed in Turkish Lira."

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat???

    I haven't had any experience with this company, but these stories are so fascinatingly awful. Turkish lira???

    What IS this place?

  • vtmaryell_yahoo_com

    Dear McGillicuddy,
    "Your poor thing!" as they say down in my part of the USA.
    The question now is, have you received your furniture?
    They were all, including Sherry Johnson Altunbas, very helpful and accommodating to me also...in 2004 & 2005. They have $2,300.00 of my money and I have yet to get furniture or cooperation from Strictly Wood Furniture for a refund.
    Could they be a front for something sinister...? They take your money and when things get too hot, they move to another location (state). When I placed my order they were in Charlotte,NC, then Greensboro, NC, then 5th AV in Manhattan, NY, now Edgewood NJ. What does that sound like to you? Please post for all to read that you have or NOT received your furniture As for your Turkish lira bill, Mr. Altunbas (CEO) is Turkish. http://www.sfcmobilya.com/ This is another one of his enterprises. May we hear more from you. And best of luck, Maryell

  • vivi_2006

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  • nashsherri

    After months of hearing my tales of woe battling Strictly Wood Furniture for a $5300 refund since they could not deliver the furniture I ordered and paid for in full, my office mate pulled up this complaint section. I can't believe they have continued to scam so many people. I have been recently taken. I opted for their layaway plan which I completed in July 2007. Oddly enough, when I notified Sherry Johnson I was sending my last payment and wanted to set up delivery she told me she was leaving the company but would remain part-time to train her replacement. I then worked with Cynthia May who led me to believe that I'd be contacted by "a carrier" to arrange delivery. This dragged out for over two months, just long enough for my bank, credit card company, and even Paypal to say we can't help because of the amount of time that had passed. I have tried calling and emailing and of course get no response. I have filed with the BBB of NY and also the Attorney General's Office of NYC. The BBB has transferred my file from NYC to North Carolina because that is the current address of SWF. However, the NC BBB cannot help me and considers this case closed because they don't have a valid address for SWF.
    Has anybody been successful in getting a refund from these scam artists? Why with so many complaints have they continued to stay in operation with a functioning website and phone number (albeit, automated)?
    If anybody does have a class action suit, I would love to be involved.

  • tom53

    This is painful. I have just found this site today. I ordered a mission-style 3-drawer nightstand from SWF on 12 March 2008. Another company (?) named Mission Home Interiors of Garfield, NJ, charged my credit card $858.54, which was 1/2 of the amount due SWF at that time. Initially, they were quite helpful over the phone in making sure I got the right color. Since the last two weeks of April, I have left a half dozen voice-mails and three emails with Customer Service and their info@ address. I called my credit card company today to warn them that this appears to be a scam, but they said that they couldn't do anything until enough time had passed for us to declare "non-delivery of goods". Also, they cannot list a company as a potential fraud as that is the job of the BBB.
    Can anyone give me an update on this company or what is happening to them? Are there any active legal cases or decisions against him? Is he still in Turkey? If so, I'm wondering if I should contact the Turkish authorities to ask him about his activities?

  • czar23

    Over the course of a few months in 2006 we sent about $800 to SWF for an item on layaway. At some point communication from/with them stopped. When we reconnected they claimed they were being purchased by Mission Home Interiors. Long story short, they didn't (luckily for us, in retrospect) respond to our queries about how to pay further for the furniture we had ordered. At that point I began inquiring about a refund. They were very nice as they claimed that they had no record of the funds being transferred because of the change in ownership. I sent them a copy of the PayPal records, and at that point they became totally noncommunicative. I tried to pursue them through the BBBs of Charlotte NC, Brooklyn NYC NY, and New Jersey. Each time the BBB responded that the address was undeliverable. The people we spoke with were "Sherry Johnson" (customer service) and "Sara Davis" (accounting). When calling them, they never give the name of someone you can talk to, or they are happy to forward you to an extension that never picks up, and they seem to have a difficult time coming up with an address for sending them a letter -- not that it really matters. In reading the stories here, I feel fortunate that we are only out $800 or so, and it's made me real hesitant to engage in certain forms of internet commerce in the future. I realize in retrospect that their few months of noncommunication were probably a way to cancel the possibility of PayPal offering any help, as PayPal will only help you pursue problems within 30 days.

    The money is long gone, and somehow I feel not so bad because I am not alone. It's the misery-loves-company scenario.

    I wonder how some folks can sleep at night, or how they can wake up in the morning knowing what the rest of their day is going to entail.

  • jyyanks

    I don't understand how these people are getting away with taking people's money!! Why can't any agency (government or private) punish these scammers. I feel so bad reading these stories, I would be sick to my stomach.

  • mogator88

    Why can't any agency (government or private) punish

    ????

    What decade are YOU living in?

    You've seen the stories. We can't keep lead out of kids toys, we can't keep poison out of dog food or drugs. Every agency that deals with consumer protection has been gutted. You think anyone's going after furniture stores? Especially when its only money that's at stake? Especially for the consumers who willingly gave up the protections they had? I don't think so.

    BTW, I don't like it either. But the nation has priorities, and stuff like this ain't it.

  • czar23

    Mogator88, I know the point you're making. You're right. Part of the problem is that the things you mentioned are going on overseas. The problem on this list may be more domestic in nature and isn't a problem of spoiled goods. Even law enforcement agencies still like busting up a good scam.

    To that end, the FBI has a link for complaints about Internet consumer fraud:

    http://www.ic3.gov/

    Also, SWF/MHI just begun advertising on Craigslist. "We have undeliverables in your area." Uh-huh.

    I've emailed craigslist to inform them of SWF/MHI's practices.

  • mogator88

    I'm too much the curmudgeon. That link is probably a useful repository for when (really "if") some other agency builds a case, which isn't likely.

    A friend got scammed on a camera deal in late 2006. The dollar amount was around $6000 (pro equipment for a pro photographer).

    The scammer was a real amateur and my friend was able to track him down to his home address within a few weeks. A small town in Washington state. There was evidence, and there were several other complaints with evidence from other victims. All told the fraud was over $50,000.

    The cops and AG wanted nothing to do with it. I think the police response was "Well, what would you LIKE us to do about this?"

  • dcollie

    One thing you have to be wary when having fun shopping the lowest possible price on the internet (which is a game, lets face it), is you MUST check out the low price sellers. Complete your homework by not only getting that price you want, but by calling someone OTHER than the seller and asking about them. Call the States Attorney's office they operate in and see if there are any complaints. Do a GOOGLE search on the company and read about it. Finally, if they are selling a name brand product, call the factory direct and just ask if they are a viable dealer with good credit. Spend another 15 minutes in the quest, and save yourself months of aggravation if things start coming back negative.

    Steve is right on cameras, the low price guys are almost always scammers. So you go for a good price, but not necessarily rock bottom.

    I think there is a balance you should find as shoppers. First of all you want to find not the lowest price, but the best dealer for service that will sell you at a competitive price. Big Difference. Buy from trusted sources and you'll have someone to work for you if things don't go as planned.

    My on-line friend Steve (mogator88) has a family furniture business in northern Illinois : Oster Furniture Co. Thats the kind of dealer you want to buy from, for he has integrity and commitment to his customers and you'll always get a decent deal PLUS someone to go to bat for you if need be. Steve can't tell you that, because its a TOS violation, but I can!

    Duane Collie

    P.S. Its a good day! Just got my cancer tests back a few minutes ago (I'm a late stage IV survivor) and after 2 years, 3 months I'm still in the clear. Thats as good as hitting the winning Powerball number for the night.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Oster Furniture Co.

  • scalelar

    Congrtas on your tests Duane. Hope all stays well.

    Larry

  • alintoff4

    WOW! Great news on the cancer tests!!!
    Jill

  • zm8_hotmail_com

    Sad that it has all gone so badly wrong with SWF. I bought a large table and chairs from them in 2002 and subsequently 2 more chairs in early 2005. Quality of the furniture was excellent and service from Sherry Johnson was great. My wife recently asked me to find 2 more chairs for the set - however after quick search on google I find the company has disappeared. I presume they ran into financial problems and crashed and burned. Pity so many people were burned in the end..

  • zm8_hotmail_com

    Sad that it has all gone so badly wrong with SWF. I bought a large table and chairs from them in 2002 and subsequently 2 more chairs in early 2005. Quality of the furniture was excellent and service from Sherry Johnson was great. My wife recently asked me to find 2 more chairs for the set - however after quick search on google I find the company has disappeared. I presume they ran into financial problems and crashed and burned. Pity so many people were burned in the end..

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