Carolina Farmhouse - update (false advertisement?) - Lynn Fern

Carolina Farmhouse - update (false advertisement?)

UPDATE:
One of the customers I've been in contact with is from Florida.  She was told back in January that the table was in production and going along well! And then the story was my piece was going on a truck coming to Florida and he needed to complete this big table they were building for a the Rum Barrel in Key West.  She contacted Rum Barrel and was told they knew nothing of it.  I emailed Rum Barrel last night (5/17/13) and was told by their General Manager that they have nothing to do with Carolina Farmhouse and they've received several calls regarding the same.

Isn't that considered false advertisement to possibly boost your business?  Kinda scary that this is who we have been dealing with!



I am trying to gather my thoughts surrounding all of the things that have been going on with Carolina Farmhouse. 

No matter how you spin things, it just ain't right folks.  I will say this...had this been a small local business that got in trouble due to things that were out of their control, been completely upfront and honest with me....I'd be working in every single way possible to see that we resolved this to help them out and peacefully.  I support small business and love to see them thrive, but these sort of actions give so many other small mom & pop shops bad names.  It makes me second guess buying from a small family owned business now.  And, that alone makes me sad.

We have had story after story told to us of people fighting to get their money refunded or furniture fixed.  We have people that have contacted us with their experiences dealing with Carolina Farmhouse -
1. can't get a response to even know what is going on,
2. someone that they tried to bribe to write a good review, and the boards on the table they purchased were warped, and the poor customer had to drive over an hour to pick up the table when they told her they'd be delivering it
3. a couple that was bullied and threatened with a libel lawsuit
4. a family that received extremely poor quality furniture that has worked for many months to get a refund.  They actually received a portion of their money back on a buffet they had purchased. It had one leg shorter than the other, the drawer panels on the inside hadn't even been stained.  Carolina Farmhouse asked for the buffet back.  After they picked it up, they fixed it within hours and posted it on Facebook for sale, along with Craigslist....for more than the original owner paid for it. 
The original owner posted this on Craigslist -

CL raleigh all for sale / wanted furniture - by dealer                
9nphv-3782460989@sale.craigslist.org [?]
Posted: 2013-05-03, 1:53PM EDT

RE: Solid wood dining buffet with 2-drawers - $950 (Cary) - $1 (Cary)

The buffet listed by Carolina Farmhouse is used and was purchased last year for $821 after tax, they are trying to sell it for $950 before tax. It was the subject of many complaints on-line. Before doing business with this company, do your due diligence and read, read, read. BBB revoked CF's accreditation and customers are facing uphill battles getting refunds.
  • Location: Cary
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Posting ID: 3782460989
Posted: 2013-05-03, 1:53PM EDT
Edited: 2013-05-03, 1:58PM EDT
      
5. someone that was told that he'd be given a refund, but then after not hearing from them for sometime, they re-engage and tell him they've changed their mind and now he can have a store credit.
6. a couple that was told they had a March 2013 completion date...they ordered the July prior for their new house.  They have nothing to date. In fact, as they have seen tables for sale that Carolina Farmhouse have posted on facebook, they have asked if they could have that one...not once or twice..multiple times.  They even asked for an unfinished table, and then Sam Utt-Grubb emailed them last week with a table, they said "yes..fine they would take it".  No response and then all of sudden yesterday he emailed them to say the table was taken.  They also paid by paypal...can't do a chargeback. I don't get why they wouldn't just let them have one of the tables that was finished.  I mentioned this in an earlier post that I had seen many tables for sale on facebook and why they didn't just offer one of those to us...now I see I wasn't the only one with that thought.
7. another one contacted me and is trying to get her money back as well.  She paid by debit so she can't do a chargeback...
8. I've had multiple people contact me that are trying to get a refund.  There has evidently been the same email sent to those seeking a refund that we received...
Hello Lynn,
After seeking guidance about this situation from our attorney and the North Carolina Department of Justice Consumer Affairs Division, we have decided to provide you a Carolina Farmhouse store credit for the full amount of your purchase.  If you do not want to receive store credit, your alternative is to accept an adjusted estimated completion date of September 1, 2013 for the item(s) you originally ordered.  If we do not hear back from you with acceptance of the adjusted completion date, you will receive your certificate of store credit no later than Friday, May 17, 2013.  
Please refer back to our published no-refund or cancellation policy, and also our published explanation of the lead time uncertainty that comes with creating furniture from scratch in order to fully understand what you agreed to when you chose to purchase from Carolina Farmhouse.  Of note is that "Issuance of a refund or exchange following the 72 hour grace period is at the sole discretion of Carolina Farmhouse."  
Thank you,

Sam
 
After I specifically said we did not want store credit, I get another email -

Hello Lynn,
 
I'm sincerely sorry for the difficulty this has caused you. We have three options available: We can still complete your order and push the estimated completion range back, we can provide a store credit for the amount of your purchase to be used at a later date, re-sold or donated or we can place you on a list to receive a refund as soon as funds become available. If none of the options are agreeable, we will turn this matter over to our attorney. You are also welcome to contact our attorney directly. His name is John Szymankiewicz and can be reached at 919-792-8740
Best,
Sam
 
I mean honestly when is enough enough?  I have asked multiple times that I want a refund!  It doesn't get much more clear than that.  Also, I would never to agree to having a piece of their furniture for a few reasons...  Mainly because after having to wait for over 6 months and it hasn't been built yet.  Also because of the horror stories of poor quality furniture that I would have to end up fixing anyway.  And, not to mention I just don't want to be waiting another 3 months only to have to start this battle all over again.
 
The complaints on Better Business Bureau have risen, I am hopeful that this means that they have also risen with the Attorney General's office. 
 
When you decide to make a big purchase online, do you check out the company?  How do you do due diligence?  Do you ask others if it is a local company? 
 
This company had very little negative complaints/reviews when we started our process with them in May 2012.  I figure that sometimes no matter how hard you try you find unhappy customers.  By the time I felt something wasn't right it was too late.  Plus, honestly I was dealing with the fire and I don't think my mind was 100%...I mean they made us Farmhouse Family...it made us feel good about them.  I guess we got suckered in like so many others. 
 
I never thought for a minute we were alone in this, but boy have I been shocked/surprised that there are so many.  I will give you a bit of hope...I do know that one of the customers that very recently filed a chargeback, got it!!!  But, I will tell you that couple fought hard for it & Carolina Farmhouse didn't make it easy on them nor were they very nice about the whole situation.  I am beyond happy for them :)
 
If there is one thing I can say positive that has come out of this... I've met (virtually) some really nice people and otherwise I wouldn't have.  I've enjoyed getting to know & hope that beyond this ordeal....we will stay in touch.  I'd like to get to know them :)  So once I get my money back...I will say thank you to Carolina Farmhouse, but not until I get my money back!!
 
I will be happy when this is over so I can get on with no longer needing to update my blog with this information, but until then...
 
~Lynn
 
 
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