If you have followed MiddleMe consistently, you’ll know that I recently moved my place. With a new place, besides selling off unnecessary items (I am a self-confessed hoarder!), we indulge ourselves by furniture shopping. Most of our big pieces like the bed and the couch are bought 2nd hand from a dear friend who relocated. However, we still need a dinner table, a sideboard and a lamp.
On a hunt for nice quality furniture, we decided to go to a luxury brand furniture store that has branches in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai. Their furniture is reputed to be quality pieces made with precision care in Denmark and designed in Denmark as well. Most of their furniture is inspired by Scandinavian designs, very clean, simple and yet great finishing. Think of an upper-class finish in IKEA’s designs.
We picked 3 pieces which cause us to be slightly over budget but we thought we had a great deal as all of the furniture are on sale, with some of them more than half their original prices. Nevertheless, you paid a high price for quality, right? That’s what I thought so. I ended up paying golden bananas expecting gorillas but ended up with monkeys.
On the day, we are supposed to receive the furniture. Both the dining table and the lamp arrived in great shape but the sideboard cupboard has mould all over it, inside and outside. Shocking!! Now I couldn’t care less if we hadn’t paid an arm and a leg for the furniture and if there isn’t an infant in the house, I would have probably wipe it off and use it as it is. But as I understand, mould does come back and once you introduce into your home, it might spread onto other fabrics. As anxious parents, we are more concerned about the health of our child. She’s still so young and her organs are still developing so any mould she breathes in is going to do her harm.
With that, we asked the delivery guys to disassemble the sideboard cupboard and returned it. Refusing so, they claimed they’ll need to get another team to come and remove it for us. They promised that the team will come by today. Mind you, it was still morning, there’s still half of the day. I called the store and repeated the same thing that the delivery guys promised us and our sales representative said she will look into it.
Afternoon came and went. No calls, no visits. Nothing. And there I was trying to call both the store and the sales representative at every hour, with promises that the delivery team will come by our house to remove the offending item. By the evening, the sales representative stopped answering my calls. No one came. The mouldy sideboard is still in the house!
Sorry to say, I had to threaten them with me throwing the sideboard out of our house before their boss called me. By that time, it was late at night. The boss couldn’t do anything more than to offer us a further 10% discount off the total bill. Throughout the whole ordeal, I had to keep calling and chasing everyone all over the store. At one point, I even refused to hang up the phone when I called their store mainline unless they call the sales representative who did not pick up my calls.
A luxurious furniture brand that serves the higher end niche market couldn’t keep their promises never returned calls even when they claim they will (the sales representative and those attended in store) and really poor customer service recovery left a distaste in our mouth.
The laughable thing is that we had bought other furniture items from IKEA that scheduled to deliver the same day. The delivery was smooth, no delay. The delivery guys called to announce their arrival as promised. The items are assembled without a glitch. The delivery guys even helped us to dispose of some of our unwanted big pieces of furniture. A huge thumbs up for IKEA!
I don’t think I will visit the luxury furniture store again, whether it is in Kuala Lumpur or my home country in Singapore. I love their designs and the workmanship but if that show to me is how much they care for their customers, I don’t think they deserve my patronage. They just lost a customer who could and would be a returning customer for a lifetime.
What would you have done in my place? Please do share your thoughts in the comments below.
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