Furniture store customers not receiving prepaid orders

Customers at an area furniture store are spending hundreds, even thousands, of dollars, but they say they’re not getting any furniture.

"They told me delivery four to six weeks," said Elizabeth Samuel.

That’s what Samuel was told when she ordered a $2,150 furniture set from Ashley Furniture in Paducah. 

More than three months later, Samuel still hasn’t seen that set. 

"You know, I need the new furniture," she said. 

Once Samuel was able to get in touch with Ashley Furniture, she asked for a refund. She was told all refunds were processed at it’s sister store, Fleming Furniture.

"They were not willing to get me anything. They were not cooperative ever," Samuel said.

The CEO of the Better Business Bureau office that serves Western Kentucky, Charlie Mattingly, says he’s seen a number of similar complaints against Fleming.

"Almost all of them involve people who ordered and paid in advance for furniture," Mattingly said.

The Better Business Bureau says between 2012 and 2015 it only ever got one complaint per year, but since the start of 2015 it’s had 18 complaints.

"When you see that sort of a surge in the number of complaints there’s something going on with the business that’s not what it should be," Mattingly said.

Mattingly says when people have complained to the BBB, the store has given those people refunds.

"I do wonder if there are other customers out there who haven’t filed a complaint who haven’t got a refund," he said.

Mattingly encourages people not to hesitate to make a complaint. Samuel has hers in, and the store told her that her refund may be ready on Friday.

"We’ll see," Samuel said.

She’s not so sure.

I spoke with owner of Fleming furniture Dan Kelley, but he wouldn’t speak on camera Thursday. He admits the store is behind on orders. He wasn’t specific about why this is happening.

He did say the store is having problems with its vendors and also internally, and it will be making some changes. Kelley says it’s getting a few new vendors, and it’s hiring a consulting firm to help the store get better with day-to-day management.

A retirement sale also started today to make room for furniture from the new vendors.

If you’re in a similar situation, the Better Business Bureau urges you to file a complaint with them. To make your compliant reach out to the BBB.

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