"I love it!"
One of our newer employees was enthralled with a ruby red sofa she found on Wayfair, the online furniture retailer. The sofa was sleek, modern and half the price of any in our showroom. So she ordered it – and that's the beginning of her very sad saga.
Wayfair delivered the sofa to her doorstep in a box too small to hold the furniture of her dreams. "Must be a mistake," she recalls thinking. She wrestled the box into the house and it burst open. Out spilled a clutter of parts. Her foyer looked like the children's game of pick-up-sticks. Even her dogs sniffed a problem and slunk away.
Assembly required, the instructions said. Fair enough, she thought, for such a delightful bargain. She extracted an Allen wrench from the tangle of stuff on the floor and set to work, diligently threading screws through washers and tightening lock nuts. Hours melted away.
Finally, as the day was waning, she stepped back to admire the finished product – only to realize her sofa looked like a Picasso, all crazy angles. Suddenly, her fantasy of snuggling up on her new sofa with a cozy blanket seemed ... well, life-threatening.
Wearily, she called the company's customer service department. English was the rep's second language, or maybe third. In any case, it was difficult to get anyone to express any enthusiasm for her problem. Perhaps that's because it was the middle of the night halfway around the world where the company had outsourced this most vital department.
The customer service rep informed her she would have to disassemble the sofa and put it back in the box out of which it had exploded. After a lengthy hold and a brief fight, the company conceded that would be mission impossible. Keep it, Nofair said grandly, and consider it our gift to you, a free sofa.
Her joy at the illusory victory dissipated fast as she stared at the mess in her living room. She had free sofa parts, but no sofa. Removal was going to be tiring and time-consuming.
So buyer beware. Online, furniture looks beautiful, comfortable and sturdy. The reality: not so much. At FCG, we're educating our family, friends, staff and customers about the dangers of falling in love with a photo on a website. Don't buy a sofa that comes with more parts than a game of Monopoly.