Stealing? Carolina Farmhouse update... - Lynn Fern

Stealing? Carolina Farmhouse update...




I’m providing an update to our ongoing drama with Carolina Farmhouse. 
We work very hard for everything that we have/own.  My husband does an outstanding job running the business we own.  He works hard to ensure that he maintains good business relationships with his clients/customers.  He does whatever it takes & that sometimes means making sacrifices along the way when it comes to any family happenings, whether that means illness, new births, ailing parents, or just everyday living.  Hey we get it...we had a house fire & exactly a week to the day after my mom had a heart attack.  I could give you a long list of hits we took all at once during the fire, but I won't.  It is life and we kept going because we knew we had a family to provide for.  But, in return my husband provides more than adequately for his family, and makes sure that when he can & does have the time we do fun things as a family. 

There have been times in which a client has felt that there was an issue.  Or there are times where we have the threat of losing a client.  Sometimes it is in the best interest to let the client go, but sometimes it is worth fighting to retain that client.  This is our  means to live life.  When my husband provides a service he is expected to get paid, and when a client pays for a service upfront they expect to receive the service in which they paid for without having to beg, plead or fight for that service.  If my husband doesn't provide that service then in essence that is stealing the money of the client.

I feel as though our hard working money (and the money that we received from losing everything in our fire) has in essence been stolen.  We, in good faith, paid for a product 6 months ago with the understanding that it takes 10 - 16 weeks for completion.  We have now been told by Sam Utt- Grubb that they can't provide a refund to us and that we can wait until our furniture is built.  This means that our money has been used to pay for their living (whether that be a mortgage payment on their almost 3000 sq foot home, groceries, having fun with their family, etc) while we still sit and wait!  That in my mind is stealing....you led us to believe that when we paid in full upfront that we would be receiving our furniture with a completion date of February 2013. 

We are still requesting a full refund, and we are entitled to that refund.  It is far past the estimated completion date.  If we don't receive our refund then Carolina Farmhouse is a thief and instead of providing us the free table as they promised, they've stolen from us. 

I have tried with all my being to stay as nice as I can, but you know what I am angry.  Carolina Farmhouse has willingly taken our money....money that we worked extremely hard for!  We never signed up to wait over 6 months for furniture that we could've gone anywhere else and had 6 months ago. 

Since my last blog post in response to Kelly Utt-Grubb comment, we’ve continued to request a full refund from Carolina Farmhouse.  WE were told back on February 9 by Dan Utt that once they receive the part in to fix the equipment that our furniture would be finished and out for delivery.  So, now my question is were you lying to me as well?

I got an email from co-owner Sam Utt-Grubb last night after he told me on April 18 that they no longer wanted to do business with us, that they are not able to refund our money but we could wait for our furniture to be built.  Our furniture was/has never been started and ready to be out for delivery in February.  Again, my question is did Dan lie to me in his February 9 email??  I particularly chose Carolina Farmhouse based on a few reasons.  The reasons – I liked the furniture, they are a certified green company, and they like to give back to families (this was prior to our fire).  I had emailed Dan in May 2012 that these are the reasons I was interested in doing business with Carolina Farmhouse...our fire was in June 2012.  It was reassuring that a company that was benefiting & thriving was giving back to the community.  Of course now I question their motives!

I had originally said in my first post that I would never say not to buy furniture from Carolina Farmhouse.  But, I take back that statement and here is why.  Not to mention if this was a national chain store that I was reviewing, I would not hesitate to give my honest opinion if I'd buy from them again. 
See above about taking our money :(

We have constantly been given the run around, and we paid in good faith for a product to be delivered within a timely manner based on the communication between myself & Dan prior to me paying in full.  We were made July Farmhouse Family and Carolina Farmhouse took it back because I had to file a rightful complaint to get my voice heard.  It has now been 6 months and now I know our furniture was never started!

More reasons – unprofessional & unethical manners in conducting business with customers.  They push the Farmhouse Families & Thanksforward programs... “GIVING” back, but yet they have actually taken more than they have given to their customers.  And, I say this because who wants to wait on furniture to be built for 6 plus months when you can get the same hand crafted furniture from other places that is just as nice and have it within 6-8 weeks?  Plus waiting 6-8 months (and longer for some) without being told it is going to be that long, we were told 10-16 weeks.  They willingly took my money…and still have it!
Lack of communication!  My husband is a sole employee and he has never let a client wait to hear from him for longer than 24 hours.  Communication is a key component & letting customers hang with no real answers has created doubt & trust issues!!

I’ve had a Carolina Farmhouse customer reach out to me from reading my blogs.  They are & continue to be going through dealing with Carolina Farmhouse for over a year now.  I am completely flabbergasted at the email exchange and the audacity that someone who is running a business would treat & speak to a customer the way Kelly Utt-Grubb spoke to Erika. 

They have had issues with everything from delivery, refund issues to poor quality furniture.  The dining table was a rough finish to the point that their children didn’t even want to eat at the table. 

The latest is during our exchange, she let me know that after everything they have been going through, Sam Utt-Grubb was coming today to pick up the buffet table they had built for them.  There were issues with the buffet table – one leg was shorter than the other 3, handles were wrong, and the sides of the drawer panels had not been stained not to include the color was uneven. 

Want to know what happened to the buffet after he picked it up?  It was posted for sale within a couple of hours on Facebook.  Want to know for how much?  $950.00.  Want to know how much Erika paid for it?  $821.  And, they posted on Facebook that at $950 this $600 off retail price.  I find that to be greedy.  You have now posted a USED piece of furniture for sale for more than you originally sold it for!

While Erika and her husband have received a portion their money back, it’s a far from what they paid them originally.  Erika & her husband are still working to get the remaining portion back.

I know there are a lot of other people out there that are going through what we are going through.  Another customer wrote into Entrepreneur in response to the Doing Good publication in February 2013.  The customer also expressed unsatisfactory experience.  Entrepreneur followed up with Kelly Utt-Grubb and she admitted to them that the current delays are unacceptable.  I find that interesting being that every exchange I’ve had with any of them has not once said they were wrong.  She then said they were working to issue refunds to customers that have experienced unsatisfactory delays.  I again will say how interesting because we were told as of last night they couldn’t refund our money! 


How many more customers are out there that are going through this?  How many are afraid to speak up/out? If you are out there and are going through or have gone through this with Carolina Farmhouse, please contact me. 

~Lynn
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