There is no doubt I’m remodeling on a budget. Even before the house was mine, I was comparing the prices of necessities down to the penny. Keep in mind I’m trying to get the entire remodel complete on the Obama “first-time home buyer credit,” which takes 2-3 months to arrive in my mailbox. That being said, 0% financing is extremely important to me and my budget.
There was only one thing I really really wanted for the new house. My only splurge. It’s something I’ve wanted for years but never could justify spending: a sectional couch. About a month ago I was strolling through American Signature Furniture and came across a beautiful sectional for an incredible price (a total “aha” moment for you repeat readers).
It was such a good deal I couldn’t look away. I sprawled out on the couch, tested the length, estimated the number of guests that could all sit at once (6) and drew out a diagram for the best fit in my living room on graph paper. I was completely sold. Chris, the attentive and patient salesman, informed me that the couch was on backorder due to its popularity which was fine since I didn’t have the house yet anyway. But to lock it in at that price I needed to submit 10% down, with a guaranteed full refund for any reason. No problem. Oh, guess what else? He said I would get 12 months no interest. Perfect!
It’s been over a month. I’ve closed on my house and the living room is the only room in the house fit for furniture in its current state. I stopped by ASF after work with Lauren to purchase the couch, finally. Chris wasn’t in so someone else stepped in to help. To say that she was less than helpful is an understatement. We discussed the couch and she assured me of the guaranteed purchase price. As I handed her my completed ASF credit card application, she informed me that I needed to spend $1,000 to get the 12 months interest free. I told her Chris never said that, but she assured me that he made a mistake (she said that’s “a 101 mistake”) and I would still qualify for 6 months 0% interest. I mulled it over with Lauren and we decided that it was still worth the purchase.
The saleswoman ran my credit and informed me that I was approved. Wonderful. Then she added that I needed to spend $700 to get the free 6 months. W-wh-what? My couch is only $577. I’m not spending $700. I’m spending $577. She said that Chris should’ve told me about the $700 minimum for the deal. Woman, Chris is not here. YOU are here. YOU have now made the “101 mistake” by not informing your customer. I was livid. Lauren was shocked. Then the woman had the nerve to ask me if I needed anything else like a coffee table or an area rug. She knew what she did! And now she was trying to up-sell me!? She brought out the manager who told me there was nothing that could be done. I either had to spend the $700 or pay the $577 outright.
I did what any tightly wound 24-year-old girl would do in the same situation. I called my mom. She laughed and assured me that there will be another “perfect couch” and that I should just get my money back. That was exactly what I wanted to hear. They refunded me 100% no problem, so then I just needed them to go ahead and close out the account, you know, erase everything they just did. “No can do.” In a calm yet aggravated voice, I went toe-to-toe with the saleswoman who marched me to the customer service desk. According to them, nothing could be done.
At this point I should mention that when I first started buying for the house, a woman at Home Depot told me I would get 0% interest for 12 months when I opened the card. She was misinformed, it should’ve been for 6 months, but because she told me that the store honored her word. Why is Home Depot capable of making these arrangements and a store like American Signature Furniture isn’t? I’ll be writing their corporate office tomorrow. To be continued…