My wife purchased 3 items of furniture on 9/6/04 for our new home. She was assured at purchase by salesperson Bonnie Rucci that the items would arrive in 4-8 weeks. This timeframe also appears on our copy of the sales order.
ELEVEN weeks later and after numerous calls to the store where she was given vague information and new dates of arrival from other employees, I called and was ultimately put through to manager "Brian". Since 2 of the 3 items had arrived by this time he agreed to deliver those to us immediately so there would be no further delay. I advised Brian that if delivery of the final item could not be guaranteed by 12/18/04 I wished to cancel this item.
Brian informed me that he did not have authority to cancel and that he would email a manager who did and call me back the next day. I never heard from Brian.
My wife called and spoke with Bonnie again and she said they expect the shipment on or about 1/15/2005. I phoned to request cancellation again and was given a different date of delivery by another member of the staff!(Do they just make it up as they go along, I wonder?)
I phoned for Brian on 12/17 and he was out. I phoned on the 20th and Brian was out. I phoned 12/27 and Brian was out so I asked to be put through to a manager who had authority to cancel orders. ONE DID NOT EXIST AT THAT LOCATION!! I was referred to Steven Amberger(sp?) at 703 647 1500 ext:103 where I left a voicemail with details and 3 telephone numbers where we could be reached. The call was not returned.
I called again and got voicemail. Fed up with this whole process I left the message that if I did not hear from him the same day regarding this that I would file a dispute with Wells Fargo(CL Barnes sold the account to Wells Fargo)for the amount of this item. Did I hear back? NO! So I filed said dispute.
Today 01/07/05 Tommy with Wells Fargo called Brian(the powerless manager)and asked him to call me regarding this mess. Tommy called me back and said Brian agreed to phone me within the next few minutes. It's now been 2 hours and do you think he has called? NO!!!!!!!!
I know this has been along story but I haven't told you even half. When does 4-8 weeks mean 4-8 months? I understand that delivery dates may be inexact but I do not understand such terrible customer service and communication. And those most guilty are managers who should be trained as to the value of the customer.
My recommendation to you: If you do decide to do business with CL Barnes, make copious notes as to the dates and times of communication and the promises of the staff. Be prepared for them to say they tried to call you and couldn't reach you, which they told me several times.(Though I have caller ID and Voice Mail on all my lines with no evidence of their call) Charge your purchase on a credit card which you do not mind opening a charge dispute on. Do not accept their financing even if it defers payments/interest. They will send it to Wells Fargo or similar so C L Barnes gets paid right away, and your leverage for disputes will be diminished when you receive bad service or even if you NEVER receive the item.
Also: Being friendly, patient, courteous and understanding week after week will not get you better service. I found out through experience that at CL Barnes the wheel that does not squeak loudly gets no grease, and the one that squeaks loudly gets loudly it gets no grease either. Interesting.