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Friday, February 19, 2010

Farmer's Furniture, Athens, Georgia

If you've been a long-time reader of my blog, you may remember that on occasion, when I find myself happy with customer service, I will give a shout out to the company. I really love to do that! And quite honestly, I don't do it enough. I think everyone who earns it, deserves to be told that they have done a good job. Likewise, everyone who does not earn it should be told as well. I would gladly have voiced my concern over the quality of an item purchased at the Athens Farmer's Furniture, but the manager was too busy to see me.

Here's my story: When Corey was born 18 months ago, we (meaning my mom) purchased a rocker recliner. Everybody knows... when you have a baby in the house, you need a rocker. And after our experience with sitting up many long nights to keep Leyland in a semi-recumbent position because of her reflux, we decided a combo recliner rocker would be the way to go. We needed a smaller-sized chair to fit in the room, not one of the big, billowing-marshmellow-pillow styles. We found one that we felt would work at the Farmer's on the Atlanta Hwy in Athens. Granted, not a very expensive chair at all, and granted, most of their furniture is pretty much low-end merchandise. I get that. However, the chair was still a couple-hundred dollars and some change. I also sprang for the $40.00 'stain-resistant treatment', knowing that the chair would probably see more than its share of spills with a toddler and a baby in the house. (I do not recommend this. It was wasted money. The chair did not "wipe clean with a damp rag" as promised.) The chair lasted about a year. First some minor little things, then the Stanley Steemer guy was a little rough with it causing further damage, and finally, with no abuse at all, just regular daily use, one of the wood support things broke, a spring came loose under the bottom and was sticking in the floor, the mechanism that pops out the footrest was broken, rendering the chair in permanent foot-up position. I am ashamed to say that I have let the chair just sit in the corner in my den in this pitiful condition for five or six months. There was always some reason that I couldn't take it back. Yes. I said "take it back". For sure I didn't expect them to replace the chair, but I certainly didn't think that I should pay $20.00 to take it to the landfill. I simply wanted them to dispose of the chair for me.

Since today was such a beautiful sunshiny day, and my dad's truck was available, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to take the chair back to its home, so they could give it a proper burial. I loaded the chair onto the truck, and off to Athens I went. Just outside of town, I decided to pass the slow-poke in front of me. I felt a sort of bump, and looked in the rear view mirror and YIKES the chair had lurched forward, and was sort of perched on the tailgait! This would never do! I pulled off the road, turned the chair around so that it was more aerodynamically positioned, and tied the rope around it. (My daddy would have had that rope intricately woven around the chair, and it never would have tipped over in the first place!) I arrive at the store, and a very nice gentleman associate directed me to customer service, where another nice associate went to fetch the manager. She returned to tell me that the manager was busy and couldn't see me, could I make an appointment, or possibly come back tomorrow? I told the nice sales associate that I was returning a chair that was broken and could someone please help me load it into the dumpster for disposal. I told her that I didn't think I should have to pay a landfill to dispose of the chair when it was obviously a sub-standard piece of furniture. Well, I think the phrase "piece of junk" was what I actually said. "Wait just a minute, please." So she goes back to the manager, and returns to tell me that "the manager said the dumpster is full, and the other dumpster only takes cardboard, and well, we have to pay to have it hauled off." Oh dear. I feel my face getting red. I offered, (truly in a nice voice) to the associate that I would just dispose of it myself on the front lawn, since they had other furniture on the lawn advertising a Blowout Sale. (Ha... one look at my chair and they'd see the REAL definition of "blowout"). She just looked kind of helpless. I thanked her kindly for her time, and told her that I was NOT taking the chair back home with me. And I SERIOUSLY resisted issuing a word of warning to a customer who was obviously about to purchase a sofa. But I didn't. It wasn't the salesman's fault, and I didn't want to knock him out of a commission on a very un-busy Friday afternoon.

I'm really sorry to have to post a bad customer-service experience, but I feel a little better knowing that I also give credit where good credit is due.
If you perchance happen to visit Farmer's Furniture in Athens this afternoon, be very careful if you park on the side of the store. There is a broken recliner in one of the parking spots.

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