Watch out for Nebraska Furniture Mart!

At the risk of making this just a Consumer Complaint blog, I feel the need to share our recent experience with Nebraska Furniture Mart.

Sara and I were there last Saturday, initially just to help my mom pick out a new digital camera. But while we were there, we wandered over to the outdoor furniture department in the back of Mrs. B’s clearance center. Sara happened to notice a dining room set that was not only beautiful, but a bargain.

So what began as assistance for camera shopping turned into a big purchase day, as we bought this table and six chairs for the dining room and another table and chair set for the kitchen.

Wednesday delivery time came, and when the delivery guys were ready to go, the table was a lot smaller than I remembered it. I checked the picture I took in the store, and it had two leaves that were now missing. The delivery guys didn’t have them. They called in to the dispatch, and they had no idea where they were. The person I spoke with said she would try very hard to find them, and she’d call me back before 9pm. But she told me, as we bought this from the clearance center, we bought it “as is.” I reminded her that though we bought it as is, it wasn’t delivered as we bought it.

Around 8:30, she called back, but it was for the follow-up survey. She didn’t realize that she was calling the person she told several hours earlier that she’d be working hard to find the leaves. When I brought that up again, she was a little flustered and then said they had their best guy working on it for four hours and he couldn’t find them. She said they would be willing to come pick it up AT NO CHARGE TO US and refund us, as if that was some kind of generous offer. Alternately, she said she could knock off $80.

This table is small without the leaves. It’s a little table with six chairs sitting around it. It’s not big enough for a dining room table and it’s not big enough for six chairs. So with $80 taken off, it becomes a too-small table that we’d have to put somewhere else and replace with an actual dining room table, so that option was clearly not going to work. I didn’t want to give up on the table yet, for two reasons: it’s an awesome table and chair set that looks amazing in the dining room, and I had trouble comprehending how they could just lose two table leaves and have no idea where they are. So I asked if we could hold off on the pickup in the hopes that the leaves would turn up.

I called back today asking if there was any sign of the leaves. The customer service representative said that our account was set up for a return, apparently meaning that NFM had already given up on any chance of finding the leaves. I scheduled the return and then asked if there was a manager or supervisor I could speak to. She asked if I could just tell her what I had to say.

I explained that this was very, very frustrating for us. We had already found a home for our old table and chair set and moved them out of the house, so we were now worse off than before we bought the new set. And now I was going to have to take off more time from work to be home for their open-ended day-long delivery system. I explained that this made us not want to shop with Nebraska Furniture Mart, because we have no confidence that we’ll actually get what we order, and we feel pretty screwed over by the whole process. I didn’t raise my voice or cop an attitude in the slightest — just tried to get across how frustrating this whole situation had been.

She closed by saying “Well, I could give you a $50 letter that you could use toward another purchase, but you just said you don’t want to shop here anymore so I guess there’s no point in that.”

What kind of awesome customer service is that?

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