New Furniture, Same Shaft

In my life, that line from a country song which goes something like, “Lifes a lesson, we learn as we go” stands true.

Like the American Indian having to be taught to ‘see’ the Ship, if no one tells us what our reality is from their point of view, none of us would consciously actively assess the state of not only our life but how we move in it and how it affects others as we do so.

People will compare themselves, one to the other as it is the nature of our self preservation. From my perspective humans have gone so far from the real goal of assessment that they no longer see their very real need to use this tool to asses for the benefit of All and not just for the one.

It has been about a decade since the last set of living room furniture purchase and although it has been a great investment the sound structure has far outlasted the upholstery. Last year I began a search for the replacement set. I already knew the color and fabric but not the manufacture. Many can attest to my need to know just what I am investing in when I make a purchase. For nearly a year prior to the purchase I visited my local furniture stores, searched the internet and reviewed styles of furniture.

I found some really lovely pieces but wrong fabric and color or failed to meet one of the criteria on this list I have compiled. It is quite simple really, the set must look like the last one, same color, same fabric, same structure. Having finally settled on a set, I chose to go into debt and purchase the set which finally passes the test…or so I thought.

I love to sit in a piece of furniture which nests with me, something I can sink into and have a sense of wearing my bathrobe while I do it. Comfort, I’m all about it, driven to uncover it while continually seeking it. Not only do I want to feel comfortable and comforted while I do it but I strive to provide the same for everyone in my midst….but alas, I digress this is another blog for another time, now on to the new furniture purchase.

I noticed the new furniture has begun to sag, in less than a year the seat cushions are going flat, the arms of the furniture showing obvious indentations where my blind seven pound cat nests everyday. I attempted to take the covers off the cushions and pillows recently and learned that they are respectively stuffed with pillow filler. There is no foam to speak of in regards to the new set. Contrary to popular belief the main structure of the furniture is not the two by fours or four by fours the set is made of but the cushions and how they wear in the framework of the set. A sound frame work is good, sound cushions is better!

I spoke to the owner of the business we purchased from and it dawned on me, this is the fourth purchase over the course of a decade I’ve made with this facility and the fourth time I have complained about the product. There was the shoddy paint job on a washer dryer set, the cheap cover on a memory foam mattress/box-spring set, and the first time someone sat on the couch it gave way structurally and an upholsterer had to come repair it!

Consumers like me invest for the long haul, I do business with this local dealership because it is a local store. Why does the average consumer go to the bigger chain stores you ask? Because the local dealers do not appreciate the patronage of its neighbors. The service offered is not up to par. My first purchase at this location was due to word of mouth because the “manager /owner is a really nice guy”. I want to be the reason that nice guys/gals finish first and so I invest and in turn I should count on my investment showing a profit. Not running out at the first sign of trouble.

Fourteen months into the purchase and the furniture looks worse for wear than my last set after eight years of two teenage boys, their friends, family reunions with a few stay overs, a really old chihuahua that smelled like corn chips and three cats. I made the call to the store owner and when I submitted my concerns regarding the furniture not only can I hear the frown in his voice but can see him look heavenward and shake of his head as he does a comedic “Why me?” shrug.

Why should I have to take photos and email them? Why should I have to write a detailed letter regarding the poor form of this product? The manufacture of this product knew it was designed for temporary service. Without any experience as an upholsterer I can tell you, A good pillow loses its structure within a year a great pillow is serviceable for at least two, three if you are lucky before it goes flat. If I had known this is stage furniture, I wouldn’t have considered the purchase. Since when has it become standard to fill the seat cushions with pillow stuffing? Did someone fail to meet the commissary requirements and have to cut back?!

Feeling frustrated and defeated (just like I did the last three purchases) I decided to brain storm over the matter. There is a resolution and with or without the assistance of the store owner I will find it. And while I do I hear the little voice in the back of my head suggesting that the owner should be doing this, if he really wanted to continue this very real working relationship wherein I and others keep him in business then he needs to pick up game and make a positive move in behalf of the very consumers who keep him afloat, such as ME. In fact, I can almost hear the town bully taunting with fingers in ears, “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah…prove it!” Finishing it off with a wet raspberry to the face of his prey.

I’ve decided rather than remain frustrated, becoming angry and feeling like I got the shaft again, I’ll just have a local upholsterer finish what the manufacture failed to do and come to terms with the fact that though I prefer to do business at this furniture/appliance locale it will be with the knowledge that customer satisfaction is a thing of the past and second rate will just have to do.


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