Sofa Mart, Colorado Springs, Colorado — Atrocious and Dishonest Customer Service — Review

© 2012 Peter Free


05 March 2012



Not recommended — the worst retail experience I have ever had, compounded by the store’s deceit


Was this just a “perfect storm” of error, which is not indicative of this store’s customary behavior?




But read what follows.  Then make up your mind.



Our experience at Sofa Mart (in Colorado Springs' Furniture Row) was so bad, we left thinking that the store’s business model must institutionalize atrocious customer service


The following saga documents the Colorado Springs Sofa Mart store’s time and gasoline-wasting duplicity on this occasion.


A few weeks ago, we bought a 3-piece living room set, including a sofa, love seat, and rocking arm chair.


The rocking arm chair was out of stock.  It was promised in 7 to 10 days.


I reminded the salesman that we had had numerous experiences with mis-manufactured furniture items, so I wanted the store to check the arriving rocker, before they called us to pick it up.


We picked up the two pieces that were in stock from the warehouse just around the back of the retail front.


We had to sign a computer printout that identified which of the items had been picked up.  This procedure later became an important detail in uncovering the store’s duplicity.


The rocking armchair arrived in 14 days (four days late).  Sofa Mart left the arrival message at the wrong telephone number, even after my wife had earlier reminded them where to call.


After picking the rocker up from the warehouse and returning home (30 minutes away), we discovered that one of the rocker legs had improperly spaced mounting holes.  These were 1.3 centimeters (one-half inch) short of where they should have been to allow the bolts to match the chair frame’s mounting threads.


We took the rocker back to the warehouse.


I spoke a retail manager.  He and I walked into the warehouse to verify that the rocker-leg holes had been drilled in the wrong places.


I reminded him of my wish that the replacement chair be assembled at the warehouse to see that all was well, before they called us for pickup.


He promised the replacement chair in 7 days.  And he said that the staff would assemble and inspect everything before calling us to get the chair.


On the 7th day, a Sofa Mart employee, whose voice I did not recognize, called me.  He said that two of the new chairs had just come in.  He said that staff would check and assemble both pieces and call me immediately after doing so.


Two hours later, at 2:30 PM, the original salesman (who identified himself by name) called to say that both chairs had been successfully assembled, were in perfect condition, and he had himself had examined them.


I told him that I would pick ours up the following day.


We arrived, just after the warehouse opened, the next morning.


I noticed that the inside loading entrance, directly in front of the dock doors, was filled with various pieces of furniture.  No customer vehicles (other than ours) were parked in the loading dock.


The outstanding warehouse employee, whom we had dealt with twice before — and whom I had seen capably assisting other customers — was gone.  The two new employees were apparently too inexperienced to recognize that one cannot load arriving vehicles with pick-up items, if the dock doors are blocked with items that are not being delivered.


One of these people assured me that “our” chair was being assembled — which contradicted the salesman’s “already assembled” statement from the afternoon before.


The new guy said that he was going to cover a rip in the chair’s bottom dust cover with new fabric.


We followed him around the pile of dock-blocking furniture.  We noticed that “our” chair was upside down, unprotected on a filthy carpet.  None of the manufacturer’s characteristic blue bubble wrap was anywhere in sight.


The wrap’s absence was odd.  The warehouse employee, whom we had dealt with in the past, always left new furniture protected with the manufacturer’s wrapping, whenever it was in contact with the warehouse floor.  After customers inspected what they were picking up, he would quickly, but carefully, rewrap the item exactly as the manufacturer had.


The new employee began stapling black cambric over the bottom of the chair.  His upholstery technique was awful, and the cambric fabric was left with big wrinkles in it.  His technique also covered the threaded holes, which the rocker legs were supposed to screw into, with two layers of fabric.


We were suspicious, given the lack of manufacturer wrappings and a rip in a supposedly new chair.


My wife remembered that the set’s floor sample had been ripped in the identical place.


I examined the rocker legs, which were lying nearby.  A noticeable length of wood finish on the bottom of one looked as if it had been abraded.  In confirming this, I noticed that there were a few vertical scratches through the finish and into the wood on one of that same leg’s sides.


The employee, nevertheless, assured us the chair was new.  He retrieved the original salesman.  He, too, said the chair was new.


When I confronted the salesman with his telephone statements made the day before, he admitted that he had spoken to me.  He said that he would to have to check the computer to see where the two new chairs were — thus implicitly admitting that the chair on the carpet was not new.


After doing a bit of computer diddling in front of us, he insisted that two new chairs had arrived, but he did not know what happened to them.


This did not make sense.


Clearly, if the computer indicated that two new chairs had arrived — and now were gone — it would also have told the salesman whom they had been sold to and when they had been picked up.  Remember the computerized pick-up procedure that I mentioned earlier?


I was more than a little annoyed.  My wife says I raised my voice:


“If you already knew that we were irritated, and that I had talked to a manager — why would the store now sell both ‘new’ chairs to someone else within the space of just a few hours?


Especially after assembling them at my request?”


I asked him why my conversation with the manager the previous week had not persuaded management to recognize that it should oversee the replacement chair’s satisfactory delivery.


The salesman told me that management probably thought that he could be trusted to do it.  He said management’s only interaction with him had been a note on the invoice.


As our conversation progressed, it was clear that:


(a) no new chairs had come in




(b) the chair the store was trying to foist off on us was either the damaged floor sample or a returned one.


We got our money back.


Even then, no manager showed up (or telephoned afterward) to find out what had gone wrong.


In a difficult and competitive economy that, too, was odd.



And what really irritated me


The only reason we bought the set in the first place was its unique, small, armchair rocker.  Which now we don’t have.



Not recommended — this store’s management is so bad, avoid it


My suspicion is that the Colorado Springs Sofa Mart’s management did get involved and — instead of doing the honest thing — told the salesman to trick us.


The word “scumsuckers” comes to mind.