In October 2010 I placed an furniture order with Eldred Wheeler in Pembroke, Massachusetts. These items were going to my residence in Texas. To meet certain shipping schedules, delivery of these items was time critical. The store manager, whom I will call M, clearly understood this. It was agreed that certain pieces were to be available before Thanksgiving, one was to be ready mid-December, and another was to be delivered in early January. Additionally it was agreed that no further charges would be made to my charge card without Eldred Wheeler first contacting me.
In mid-November Eldred Wheeler charged my credit card for $5044.50. They did so without contacting me, without my consent, and without me having received or inspected any furniture. At that point in time Eldred Wheeler had not yet even received any of the furniture at their Massachusetts warehouse. I called M twice but was unable to reach her. She did not return my calls. I then sent an email to M in which I stated that Eldred Wheeler had made an unauthorized charge to my credit card. I went on to say: The unauthorized use of a credit card is an illegal, criminal act. I am currently contemplating filing a criminal complaint against Eldred Wheeler and those at Eldred Wheeler who are responsible for this.
Shortly after I sent this email I received a phone call from one of Eldred Wheeler's employees. He told me that I had been charged by mistake. He said Eldred Wheeler was immediately putting through a credit to my account. I talked with M the following week. I mentioned that I had not seen any credit to my account. She then allegedly checked into it and told me that the credit had indeed been issued. The statements about a credit being issued were false. No credit was issued. It was not until some time later, when I gave Eldred Wheeler information for a different credit card in payment for delivered furniture, that Eldred Wheeler credited my original account for its improper charges.
Shortly after this I attempted to ascertain the status of the remaining two pieces of my order. M informed me that one piece would not be ready by the 12/15 deadline, but that it would be ready later in December or early January, and that Eldred Wheeler would pay for the shipping to Texas.
By Mid-January I had not heard anything from Eldred Wheeler about the remaining pieces of my order, so I again called Eldred Wheeler. M left a message in which she said that the piece that was originally to have been shipped in mid-December would not be ready until sometime in March.
I called to cancel these items and left a message. M did not return my call. I then informed her via email that the last two pieces were cancelled and requested that she confirm these cancellations and send me a credit card receipt for the return of my deposit. She did not respond to my email. I then finally reached her by phone. She equivocated about the cancellations. When I insisted on canceling the items, she said she would check into things and get back to me later that day. She did not.
In late January I sent a demand letter to the supposed owner at Eldred Wheeler. In mid-February I received an email from a person I will call D at Eldred Wheeler stating in part, I am writing to let you know that I am processing your refund for the deposit... I will issue a check next week. Eldred Wheeler did not send me that refund check.
I then began legal action against Eldred Wheeler. First, my attorney sent Eldred Wheeler another demand letter, to which they did not respond. We then filed a complaint against Eldred Wheeler. They defaulted by not even answering the complaint. We then went to court to obtain a judgment against Eldred Wheeler. A short time before that hearing Eldred Wheeler finally sent reimbursement for my deposit. In response to our hearing the judge issued an order for Eldred Wheeler to repay the deposit, plus partial attorneys fees, plus costs incurred. Eldred Wheeler refused to pay the amount ordered by the court. I then began a supplementary legal process. Faced with another court appearance and possible arrest if they failed to appear, Eldred Wheeler finally paid what had been ordered.
I hope that this review provides some important information about Eldred Wheeler, how they treat their customers, and how they handle their business. My recommendation is that you look for a company that is trustworthy, that treats its customers properly, that abides by its contractual obligations, and that produces the kind of quality furniture for which you are looking. If you are in the market for tiger maple furniture, Treharn (http://www.jltreharn.com) comes to mind. I have purchased various pieces of furniture from them, all of which have been excellent in quality and delivered on time. In addition, most importantly, I have never had a problem with them misrepresenting anything in any way or doing anything underhanded. A word to the wise is sufficient!