Poll: Has Rooms To Go Honored Their Warranty?

Cratin ordered a micro-fiber living room set from Rooms To Go after being taken by an all-encompassing warranty. Five months later, Cratin began to notice stains on the fabric. Rooms To Go attempted to remove the stains on three separate visits, and then offered to re-upholster the marred piece. Cratin also noticed that the velcro attaching his couch cushion to the couch was coming undone. Rooms To Go again dispatched three technicians who could not resolve the problem, and then offered to reimburse Cratin if he decided to purchase additional velcro from a hardware store. Cratin is furious and wants to raise bloody hell, but to us, it looks like the Rooms To Go is doing their best. We ask you, The Consumerists, to decide who is right, after the jump:

I have been a loyal visitor to the Consumerist for about a year now, and I finally gave in and figured I should get some advice from you about an ongoing situation I’m having right now with the furniture chain, Rooms To Go. It was about 5 months ago that my wife and I purchased a “micro-fiber” living room set from Rooms To Go in Grapevine, Texas. The salesman was very nice and helpful (of course) and sold us an extra 3-year fabric protection warranty. He said that this was how it works….and I quote…

“If you spill anything or get a stain on your furniture, call us, and we will come out and fix it. If it can’t be fixed, we will replace the piece. If the piece is no longer in stock we will refund your money for the whole set, not just the piece.”

That was the gist of it and we fell for it. He also stated that with purchasing the warranty, we were going to have the couches treated with Teflon to make the pieces “virtually un-stainable”…turns out, he should have used the phrase, “stainable”. About 2 months in, we noticed we were getting water stains on the fabric. I thought it was funny that water was staining my couches. They sent somebody out to fix it…one time…two times…and then a third time. None of the technicians could take the stain out. So I called Rooms To Go yet again…this time I was told by the CSR that they only send out a technician 3 times (a fact I was not told by the salesman). It is at that point that it becomes too expensive for Rooms To Go to send out a technician to my home and that they were gonna send me new upholstery for my seats and would send another technician out to RE-UPHOLSTER MY CHAIR! They are going to send someone over to take my furniture apart, replace the fabric, and sew it all back together again, in my home. Now I don’t know if I am right about this, but I am pretty sure they use industrial size sewing machines to sew fabric onto couches and recliners….right? Also, how is this not more expensive than just replacing the pieces?

The second problem is with our sleeper sofa. The cushions (as I found out after I bought it) are velcroed to the sofa bottom. On normal sofa sleepers, the cushions are velcroed and the velcro is sewn into the cushion and material under the sofa bed part. Unfortunately, the material on our sofa is a tarp-like material, so it is not sewn but glued, because if it was sewn, it would tear. After two months of sitting on our sofa, we noticed that our couch cushions would slowly migrate off the couch and onto the floor, since the velcro kept on coming off. They sent someone out..he superglued it….it came off a week later….they sent someone new out….he hot-glued it…it came off a week later….they sent someone new out…he used spray adhesive…it came off! Then when I called they said there was nothing they could do, because under the warranty…it is categorized as “usage” and is not covered! Are you kidding me? I had the couch for 2-3 months and the cushions are falling off! It is not like I am developing a new sport called “Extreme Couch Surfing”! Anyways, we were told we could go buy velcro and fix it ourselves and they would reimburse me, but with their track record, I do not believe I would ever see that money.

After all this ranting, my only question is, what should I do? Find the president’s e-mail address? Better Business Bureau? Get in contact with the state’s Attorney General for Deceptive Sales Practices, since we were told one thing and then provided with another? I am just lost and don’t know where else to go? I just received my first flap of fabric for them to reupholster my chair with, and how much do you want to bet it has not been chemically treated with that Teflon stuff. I paid $300-something dollars for that, and I don’t think it had been done in the first place!

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Comments

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  1. B says:

    They should replace the cushions, as fixing the velcro obviously doesn’t work. Also, they should examine the manufacturing process and try to figure out a better way to attach the cushions to the couch. As an aside, most couches I’ve seen don’t need velcro to keep the cushions on. So there’s either a design flaw or Cratin is sitting on the couch in an unusual way.

  2. whereismyrobot says:

    I might also suggest not buying anything at Rooms to Go. They are the American IKEA, but crappier and less stylish.

  3. stevemis says:

    Rooms To Go is clearly trying, however Cratin (consumer) may have a claim under the Magnuson-Moss Federal Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. § 2301 et seq.)

    Rooms To Go needs to fix the issues or replace the items.

  4. SOhp101 says:

    ‘but with their track record’…? sounds like they’ve been making a pretty good effort to make you happy.

    Your best bet after they denied the warranty is to dispute it with your cc company. Most credit cards come with their own ‘satisfaction’ guarantee or they automatically extend your warranty for up to a year.

  5. Dangerdog says:

    I bought furniture at Rooms to Go but I canceled the same day. I got so mad that they sneakily snuck this $100 stain resistant treatment onto my bill after saying “We treat all our furniture with stain resistant blah blah blah” as if it were standard policy and not some extra super expensive addition to my bill. They didn’t say anything like “Do you want this additional service for this additional price?” I would never have known if I didn’t study the bill. I was mad, and it hit me that I was making an impulse decision and buying a lot of crappy furniture instead of buying one quality piece so I canceled and never looked back.

    It’s annoying that they keep trying and failing to fix the problem. They will promise the world to you to make that sale, and really they’re not the ones who make the decisions when it comes to replacing furniture. The employee there told me she’s paid solely on commission and works 12 hour days. Boo.

  6. Tallanvor says:

    I had one of those microfiber couches, and I never had any problems with stains. Then again, I knew that if I spilled something on it, I still had to actually clean it up. “Virtually un-stainable” doesn’t mean you can abuse it any way you want and expect it to keep looking perfect, it just means you have to work a lot harder to do so.

    And if Rooms To Go actually sent people out at least 6 times so far, it sounds like they’re definitely trying to make good on the warranty. Cratin might just have unreal expectations.

  7. Itch says:

    For the chair, I’d say they have been pretty good. The whole “sending techs 3 times” was most likely determined by a stats guy somewhere. Gas and time costs money, and all that.

    As for needing huge machines to re-upholster, naw that’s not true. My aunt did that to recycle an old college chair of mine for her son. People thought it was new. It just takes patience.

    As for the couch, that’s a good question. Definitely sounds like a design issue but I’m not sure how they would handle a problem like that under warranty. It would be all patch work anyways since it seems like something else. Heck this may sound idiotic, but see if you can raise the front feet in anyway. Cause I have to admit Cratin, sure I can see Other activities would cause cushions to move, how not seeming how sitting or laying on a couch

  8. B says:

    @Tallanvor: I don’t think expecting the furniture to be fixed is unreasonable. It doesn’t matter how many trips it takes them, once Rooms To Go started the repair, they should finish it.

  9. ohnothimagain says:

    it’s fucking excrement from china. It costs about $3.47/ton. Why not give the guy a new one and stop wasting money on “technicians”.

  10. Now might be a good time to listen to Jonathan Coulton’s song “Ikea.”

  11. TPK says:

    Isn’t Fox News going to be a little upset with you using their slogan like that?

  12. ptkdude says:

    If the furniture lasted 6 months, that’s the expected life of anything from Rooms to Go

  13. AcidReign says:

    .
    .
    &nbsp &nbsp We were shopping for a new couch and chair for the living room a couple of years ago, and stopped in the local Rooms to Go. Frankly, it looked like Furniture For Cows. My god! The chairs were HUGE! And yet, they moved like they were made out of balsa-wood. My little Depression-era house would never hold such massive monstrosities, and we ended up at La-Z-Boy.

    &nbsp &nbsp We didn’t really bother with any stain warranty on dark leather. If anyone’s caught with food on the new furniture, there’s going to be hell to pay, anyway. The furniture’s held up great so far.

    &nbsp &nbsp I think before one buys any warranties, they need to look at the fine print. Obviously, we don’t know what the situation really is in the above case. We’ve had good luck with our furniture. On the other hand, I do have a relative who is 6′ 8″ and 300 pounds, and he has all sorts of furniture troubles. I’d be having a stroke if a thousand dollar couch was coming apart after only a few months…

  14. grandaardvark says:

    I have bought two complete furniture sets from Rooms To Go, and been satisfied beyond belief. Both sets were micro-fiber. Despite the fact that I spilled red wine, coffee, and other things multiple times on both sets, the stains always came out. I actually sold the last set to a friend of mine about a year ago. He has two children that put a great deal of wear on the furniture, and it still looks great. If anything I would be concerned that the fabric was not actually treated, but given that he can’t keep his cushions on the couch makes me think that they don’t take care of their furniture. And yes, furniture does suffer natural wear and tear.

  15. Landru says:

    I think that while Rooms to Go is making an effort, they seem unable to honor the warranty. Three trips out is indeed excessive – especially for him to wait around while they were unable to fix it. Reupholstering sounds iffy – what kind of fabric will they replace it with? What kind of warranty will it have?

    They should refund his money.

  16. bohemian says:

    Most furniture can be recovered in your house. They send the pieces already sewn together. The tech partially disassembles the piece of furniture and slips the replacement fabric piece on like a sock and then restaples it in place.

    We had to do this with a rather expensive Lane brand leather recliner sofa. It has a lifetime warranty on the frame but one year on the fabric. The sides of the cushions and the back of back cushions is vinyl. That vinyl ripped away from the back on the back cushions. They replaced that. Now the sides of the seat cushions is cracking and ripping. We will have to probably have the whole thing redone on our dime at some point. Lane will only replace with the same fabric set up even though they know the vinyl fails right away. The tech admitted it was a known issue.

    So maybe he should take up the offer of a reupholster or push for a replacement.

  17. ThyGuy says:

    When you buy cheap furniture, you will have cheap materials that were used to make used furniture. Does this surprise anyone?! Hello? Reality check! Furniture doesn’t late forever, especially if you flop down on it, like so many people do.

    And for spilling stuff… if you spill something while sitting down, you’re a damn klutz. Get hand and eye coordination. It really urkes me when a customer does something idiotic, then rushes to the manufacture with the, “I am a moron! You must compensate for this!!!” kind of attitude.

  18. feralparakeet says:

    Microfiber is not infallible. However, it does clean up well -if- you know what you’re doing. Most likely, that stain could’ve been easily cleaned up with a handheld steam cleaner. I have an awesome microfiber sofa (it’s by Ashley, they call it Durapella but it’s all just microsuede), and the first day I got it, my SO left an ink pen on it uncapped, which my dog then decided to chew up. I came home to new furniture with ink markings all over it. I pulled out the steam cleaner and it came off in no time.

    If they do a bad job reupholstering it, then you’d have the right to demand a new piece of furniture. Ordering replacement furniture takes forever, and usually you don’t end up as happy as you think you should be.

    Case in point: I had a new bedroom suite delivered. It was a wooden bed, and I made sure the guys were very careful in assembling it. I jumped on it a few times to make sure it was sturdy, and it seemed to be fine. That night, the SO crawled in to the other side of the bed and the side beam literally split in half. The manager of the furniture store came out the next day to check it out and order me a new bed (they were also nice enough to let me go ahead and pay the difference to upgrade to a king bed). We then spent six weeks sleeping on mattresses on the floor waiting on the manufacturer to make more beds. When the replacement got in, it was the wrong color of wood – which wouldn’t have been so bad, but I already had the rest of the bedroom suite in dark wood, and a light finish just wasn’t going to do it. So, I wait another few weeks for the right bed to come in. I now have the bedroom suite I wanted, it’s nice, it’s great… but every time I hear something creaking in the frame, I still wonder if it’s going to split in half on me, and I notice every tiny little flaw in the rest of the pieces.

    As for the velcro cushions… well, you should’ve stopped to lift up the cushions on the floor model before you bought it. Even sewn in velcro sucks. As do sleeper sofas, for that matter.

    Eh.

  19. spanky says:

    I’d have to see the warranty, but if it’s really all-encompassing, and if they don’t have exceptions for usage, or for establishing what constitutes repair, they should have to fix or replace it to the customer’s satisfaction.

    It might be unreasonable, but that’s a non-negotiated contract. If they really wrote it that way, tough shit that it’s coming back to haunt them.

  20. Sudonum says:

    I’ve never bought any furniture from Rooms-To-Go because I’ve heard it was crap. However they did sell a warranty and they do have to stand behind it. How they do stand behind it will probably be at their discretion.

    I have purchased warranties on several pieces of furniture that I bought. The best was on a dining table from Ethan Allen. After about a year there were some small surface scratches on the table that the wife was bitching about. They weren’t that bad to me, and besides the fact that it’s a table that gets used everyday, it’s normal wear and tear. Well after about 2 years I noticed a small area, about 1/8 of an inch in diameter, where the finish had blistered. We called, they sent someone out, 3 weeks later we had a brand new table. Then we bought table pads.

    Purchased a cream colored suede sofa from a local furniture store. Bought the warranty. There was no additional “treatment”. 2 year old grandson put orange crayon marks on it (LONG story). Called, company came out and they cleaned it right up.

    Bought a new bedroom set from Thomasville. Wood insert on the headboard started seperating from the frame. Called them up, the sent someone out within a week. He repaired it in the house. After about another year, it started happening again. They said they could not replace it because it was discontinued. They checked warehouses across the country. They offered to send the guy out to fix it again. I told them that I didn’t think that was going to work since the repair did not last when they attempted it before. Then they offered to send it back to the factory to be repaired, which we accepted. We got White Glove service, the tore the bed down. Stored the pieces that did not need to be repaired, and set the bed up again on a temporary frame. 4 weeks later they came back with it (looked brand new) and did the same thing in reverse. That was 6 months ago and no problems yet.

    Sorry for the long post, but I’ve had pretty good luck with furniture warranties.

  21. Ola says:

    It sounds like they did at least try, with technicians coming out 3 times, but re-upholstering sounds odd and annoying to do in-home. Could he just ask that they replace the cushions?

    Important: Did he get a copy of the warranty? Does he now have a copy of the warranty? He’s going to need it! It sounds to me as if the warranty covered fabric, which the stain falls under, but not Velcro. (Although really, in the interest of customer service, they could give him new cushions or *something*…)

  22. alk509 says:

    @ohnothimagain:

    it’s fucking excrement from china

    I love how you had no problem with the word “fucking”, but couldn’t bring yourself to say “shit”! :-D

    Anyway, assuming the original poster is telling the truth, the warranty is clear: we’ll try to fix it; if we can’t fix it, we’ll replace it; if we can’t replace it we’ll give you your money back. They tried to fix it and couldn’t, so why didn’t he get a new piece? And if they can’t give him a new piece, why didn’t he get his cash? RTG is CLEARLY in the wrong here. How can the poll results say otherwise?! Are the people voting against the consumer even reading the post? Do they perhaps work for RTG? :-

  23. rdytmire says:

    Hi,

    The wife and I have a whole home of furniture from Rooms to go. We have not had a single problem with any piece, although we do have a leather living room set, not the microfiber.

    Yes, we shopped around and there are higher quality stores out there but when you start to compare prices you find the RTG offers good value for the money.

    The trick is to never buy the warranties or finance anything. We also wait for one of their big sales, which usually saves us even more. It seems to me RTG makes a LOT of their profit on financing and selling you warranties. If you come in and pay cash, they don’t get to jack you around while you get a very reasonable deal.

  24. The Walking Eye says:

    @alk509: “If you spill anything or get a stain on your furniture, call us, and we will come out and fix it. If it can’t be fixed, we will replace the piece. If the piece is no longer in stock we will refund your money for the whole set, not just the piece.”

    They’re sending a tech out to re-upholster the chair. That’s called fixing it, and if that doesn’t work they’ll give him a new piece according to the warranty. If it was no longer in stock and couldn’t be fixed, then he’d get his money back.

    And he’s bitching about velcro, something I wouldn’t have even called RtG about and just fixed myself. Velcro’s cheap, and so is glue to hold it on there.

    Were the techs who worked on the sofa working on the chair as well, or were there separate visits for the two pieces? It’s sorta assumed from the OP that it’s different visits, which would upset me as well if they decided after 3 visits for velcro to say it’s usage. But why send a tech out solely to reglue the velcro in the first place? A little clarification here would help the understanding.

    RtG is making an effort, which is why they’re winning the poll.

  25. B says:

    @The Walking Eye: They may be trying, but they’re not succeeding.

  26. Cratin24 says:

    I just wanted to let everyone know that I did try to clean the couches when something was spilled on it with the Rooms To Go cleaner that they gave me and taught me how to use. I did not just leave it there on the sofa thinking that it should just go away.

    Also, the guy who said I was complaining about velcro…why would I want to continually fix my “new” sofa every 2 weeks, because they have tried 4 different types of glue and none worked. If I had to buy new velcro and glue every 2 weeks, it would add up.

    and Yes, it was after 3 visits by techs that they decided it was “usage”. I also want to iterate that I thought that RTG was trying, but then they deviated from the warranty that the salesman sold us.

    And for the guy who said..”if you buy cheap furniture it wont last”…this furniture hasn’t lasted 5 months! I once bought a $300 sofa that laster 4 years perfectly and that was cheap. All I ask is a year or two, not 5 months.

    -Cratin

  27. Cratin24 says:

    And as for the couch cushions…all we do is sit on it…no jumping…no bouncing…just sitting or laying on it…the cushions shouldnt be coming off….period!

    -Cratin

  28. TangDrinker says:

    I’m sorry to hear about it. We have several pieces of rtg furniture in our house, one of which has that stain protection stuff on it (it’s cotton, not microfibre- that stuff makes me break out in hives). I haven’t had to call them on it yet, because it seems all the stains (including pet and baby made) seem to clean up ok. My major problem with that couch is that it’s crap – it started being uncomfortable to sit on about 6 months after we bought it.
    We found the secret to shopping at RTG – go find one of their outlets. I’m surprised they didn’t just take your set back and ship it to one of the outlet locations. We’ve bought a leather couch, dining table/chairs and a loveseat sleeper sofa there (with very minor dings) for about 1/3-1/2 the price of the new stuff. No, it doesn’t come with a warranty, but then again, the stuff is barely above IKEA, so if it does break, you’re only out 200 for a couch.

  29. KatieKate93 says:

    I, too, have a couch that uses Velcro strips to hold the cushions down. It is possible for them to slide forward, especially when kids whose legs don’t touch the ground have to wiggle off of them. I am forever fixing them when friends’ children come to visit, but I generally don’t have to push them back in when adults are sitting.

    As for the staining, I am IN LOVE with my leather, as I have seen an entire plate of spaghetti (with sauce, meatballs, cheese – the works) end up upside down on mine and today you would never know it happened. I also splattered it quite liberally with acrylic paint during one of my artistic phases, and that came off with a little bit of soap and a towel. For maintenance, it takes some leather cleaner/conditioner every few months or whenever I get around to it, and that is all.

  30. texascg says:

    We purchased a King-size bed and bedframe at Rooms to Go Austin on 12/16/07 for $2,300. We were assured delivery and full set up on 12/21/07. That date was important because Christmas guests were already arriving AND our daughter was getting married on 12/29/07 at our house. On 12/21/07 the delivery guys brought the King-size sleigh bed upstairs, the mattress and box-springs and rails. One guy went out to the truck and then returned to tell me he had “bad news”. “I don’t have the hardware to put the bed together. I looked thru the truck and it is not there.” He suggested I call customer service and when I did, I spoke with Naomi. Naomi told me the hardware would be overnighted and delivered on Monday the 24th and a technician would come out that day and put it together. I told the delivery guy that he could leave the bed there and just set up the mattress and box springs on the floor. I didnt’ want him to have to carry it down the stairs and then carry it back up on Monday. After getting off the phone, I realized that wouldn’t work. I phoned back and spoke with Dan in the Gulf Coast division, explained that I really needed the bed the next day and he said he would speak with his supervisor and call back. About 2 hours later, Naomi called me back, told me that they could NOT overnight the part and they would need to set up a time to deliver a COMPLETELY NEW SET. I told her that would be fine if they could do it on Monday. “NO, it will have to be after the holidays.” “That won’t work!” I became very angry and demanded to speak to a supervisor. After being on hold for over 5 minutes, she returned to tell me she couldnt’ find a supervisor. I told her I would just call back until they found one. I then called back several times and it turns out they do not have any spare parts for the bed, a COMPLETELY NEW SET would have to come from the manufacturer. When I said that I would return the bed, I was told that there was NO RETURN POLICY and that they would do an exchange policy only. The soonest they can deliver the bed is 12/28/07. The day before my daughter’s wedding…at this house. When I called the local Austin store, the receptionist refused to get a manager, told me I would have to deal with the customer service number directly. The only person who made an effort to correct the problem was Dan. He called several other locations and even offered to have a bed frame delivered from the local store. That was not possible, because the local store did not have a frame. So, I feel I was lied to about the delivery and about the return policy. Once I obtained the sales receipt from my husband, I read that there is a 48 hour return allowed from the time of purchase only. After that it is 80% return amount. Since problems may not arise until delivery, the 48 hour return policy is not appropriate. Perhaps they should be called “service is gone”