Update to "a big ole let down"....Carolina Farmhouse - Lynn Fern

Update to "a big ole let down"....Carolina Farmhouse

We are working hard trying to recover the money we paid to Carolina Farmhouse.  I've emailed asking them kindly to refund our money.

We seriously do not care about getting a free table, we simply were more concerned about when we'd receive our paid for items.

So on Monday I had to end up filing a Better Business Bureau complaint.  Now for the last 5 plus months no one from Carolina Farmhouse has called us.  When I wasn't getting a response my husband attempted to call  & left voice messages on every phone available on several different days (no one picks up).

Of course Tuesday morning as soon as they received the BBB complaint they call me.  It took me filing a complaint to get them to call us.  I had missed the call because I was with my dad looking at mobility vans.  In all the times we've called or emailed our simple request was "can someone just give us a time frame on delivery?".

The message on the voicemail was basically telling us that we could charge back our credit card to get the refund...we didn't pay by credit card.  We paid via Paypal through our bank account because it was from the insurance money to replace items we lost in the fire.  Then the message was simply saying that sense we filed the complaint at BBB that they could no longer honor & make us Farmhouse Family (well...yeah we were counting on that after we asked for a refund).

I've attempted to ask for clarification on the refund....still no response.  I ended up calling the police department in their town.  The officer I spoke to said "yes ma'am I am quite familiar with this company".  They have had several people calling from all over the U.S. trying to get some help.  Thing is they are not doing anything fraudulent.  They are fulfilling orders.....just at a very extremely delayed time.  At this point don't you think the right thing to do is offer your customers the option of a refund?

The officer said that the owner herself admitted that they have just gotten in way over their heads.  She actually took on a role with another company to try to help her on the business aspect.    He also told me I should go through the Attorney General office & the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).  Gosh...really how sad is this?  This is not what I want to be dealing with right...I've had a full plate for almost a year now - enough already!

All we wanted was communication as to when we could expect our furniture....  We understand that sometimes things happen in life & you've had a growth spurt.  Hey listen I think that is awesome, but if you can't keep up with your orders you gotta make it right with the customer.  I think it'd be better to lose a few orders & grow your company than to get yourself in a situation that complaints are floating all around about your company...that's going to take much longer to dig yourself out of.

I think right now what stings is seeing on Facebook a lady placed an order for the exact dining table we were getting....in November...she received it in mid-February.  We paid for our items in October...it is now mid-May and they say that they provided us excellent customer service.  I think not. We were humbled by them wanting to give us the table but you can't use that against us now.  In fact it took them no time to take our picture & profile off their website...  According to them there is not enough hours in the day to give us a call or shoot us an email to give us a status update, but it took them no time to call after we were forced to file a complaint or no time to remove us from the website.  How do I stay not angry/upset about this situation?  I wish I knew....

I hope the karma gods are looking down on this whole situation.

I am sorry that I am bringing such a debbie downer to my blog, but I hope that this information helps someone else make a better decision than we did.  I will be providing updates only so that if someone else decides to pay with something than a credit card what actions can they take to recover their money!

On other news....I am busy planning a certain almost 3 year old birthday party.  Gosh how time flies...my baby is growing up :)

Hope everyone had a wonderful day!!

~Lynn

13 comments

  1. What a huge bummer about your furniture. I hope you get your money back or at least some furniture. Geez!

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  2. Thank you Holly. It is such a bummer and really just not necessary ;(

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  3. That is just bad business. My husband is in manufacturing, and he tries to get everything out on time...even driving it himself if he can't get a shipment out on time. There really ins't any excuse, especially here in NC, where so many folks are willing to work hard just to get the job done. So sorry for your troubles.

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    1. Kirby thank you so much for the sweet comment. It drives me nuts to see good small family businesses conduct their business in this manner. We also own a small business and totally get that sometimes you just gotta suck it up to do what is the right thing ethically. This is one of things that helps you grow your business to become even more. There are sacrifices if you want to become bigger & better. And, you hit it out of the ballpark "so many folks are willing to work hard just to get the job done." It is so true. I wish you & your husband the best! I popped over to your blog & am now a follower.

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  4. Hi Lynn,

    I'm sorry to see that you've chosen to discuss this matter publicly, but I do understand your feelings about this being part of your journey since your house fire.

    Over the past six-months, we have experienced a sudden increase in demand for our products that we had not expected or predicted. We have done our utmost to ensure as little a delay as possible to our customers, and we have taken a number of steps to streamline production as we learn and grow. I want to sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. I know you were very excited to receive furniture from us, and I hate that things have not worked out as we all had hoped.

    I am, however, disappointed to see you repeatedly (to the BBB and here) stating that you hadn't heard from us for months. You were contacted by us prior to publication of these blog posts and the filing of your BBB report, and your accounting of our business changes in your April 15 blog entry proves that fact because otherwise you would have had no other way of knowing some of the specific details you mention. I know you've told us that our responses did not satisfy you because we could not provide a firm delivery date, but that is a very different situation that what you describe. I too hope the karma gods are looking down on this situation.

    There are multiple other inaccuracies-- no one who ordered after you received a table before you, and I have not taken a position at another company. I won't point out all of the inaccuracies as I don't find it productive to engage in a back and forth exchange in this type of forum, but I do want to direct your readers to our published policies which explain our business model and the lead time uncertainty that goes along with building furniture from scratch. Please visit http://www.carolinafarmhouse.com and navigate to both the Purchasing and FAQ pages from the footer menu located at the bottom of the page. There you will find the following:

    >>>>>When you place your order, we'd love to be able to tell you the exact date and time your furniture will be delivered to your home, but the truth is we can't. Instead, we try to provide you with a reasonable estimated date range of when your furniture will be ready for delivery. We base this estimate on the total amount of furniture already on order with us and the current rate at which we're delivering furniture each week.

    >>>>>Our furniture is not factory made: additional time is required to build and finish each piece to meet the high standards expected of custom made furniture. The estimated completion date range is the approximate date range during which the order is expected. We will do everything we can to get your order in a timely manner, however, we do not rush the build and finish process. This assures that your furniture will be built with the highest possible craftsmanship available. When all is said and done, we hope you believe as we do that the trade off for lead-time uncertainty will be more than compensated for on the day your furniture arrives and for every day after that.

    Information about lead time uncertainty was provided to you at the time of your order both verbally and in the terms on the invoice that you clicked through to submit payment. You were also made aware that we are a very small family business and that customer service response times would not be like that of a large established company. Purchasing from us is more like commissioning a work of art than it is like the traditional furniture buying experience.

    I'd like to also point out the large number of very happy customers we have. You may find a collection of testimonials on our website under the Say-So tab at the top of the page.

    All of that said, I wish you and your family nothing but the best in the future. I'm sorry that we were not able to meet your needs. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to respond here.

    Kelly Utt-Grubb
    Co-Owner, Carolina Farmhouse
    kelly@carolinafarmhouse.com

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  5. Lynn,

    You aren't alone, Kelly and Sam Utt-Grubb of Carolina Farmhouse in Cary, NC are doing this to what would seem like all of their customers. They are no longer BBB accredited, they have no license to operate in this great state of North Carolina. The Cary NC chamber of commerce is on the lookout for these folks, as they haven't provided a physical address to any government entity. I've even gone as far as finding a personal phone number for the Utt-Grubbs, which of course goes directly to voicemail with a full inbox.

    Essentially they are crooks out to take your money as quickly as possible and never deliver on their promises.

    It seems like the only thing any of them are actually doing is damage control across the internet. Good luck getting your money back, they've probably already spent it on the series of new YouTube videos, redesign of their website and all the other stuff they are doing instead of actually building our furniture.

    Lynn, I'm glad someone else felt as compelled as I do to warn the rest of the world about these villians.

    Kelly, you are clearly not equipped to run a business. That's ok, it's not for everyone, but it's time for you to get out of the running. You are not a web developer either, that's what I do. Looking over your work, I'm insulted to be thrown in the same category. I hear there are a lot of gas stations looking for clerks, seems like that would be a better fit for you.

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    1. Thank you Dave for reaching out. I do hope that everyone that has had an issue will file a complaint with the Attorney Generals office. I know there are some people out there afraid to file for fear, but if you are afraid to file you need to let the Attorney Generals office know that you are afraid & why. Please FILE we need every complaint filed with the Attorney General's office.

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    2. Oh by the way we do know that their personal house has been set up in a Partnership LLC so this way it is protected if Carolina Farmhouse folds...

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    3. Their address is: 1105 Dominion Hill Dr, Cary, NC 27519

      http://services.wakegov.com/realestate/Account.asp?id=0300918&stype=addr&stnum=&stname=dominion+hill&locidList=&spg=4

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  6. Hi Lynn- We are also dealing with trying to get our money back from them. We also paid through paypal using our bank account so a chargeback is not an option. What gets me is they post tables available on facebook. Then we say ok can we have that table since we can't seem to get ours. And they say the table has been taken. I have the paperwork to file with the Attorney General but feared to file in case there was some small chance we could get them to actually make our table. What about filing a police report? In the end they are stealing money from people. I think we should get a group going against them!

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  7. Hi Lynn- We are also dealing with trying to get our money back from them. We also paid through paypal using our bank account so a chargeback is not an option. What gets me is they post tables available on facebook. Then we say ok can we have that table since we can't seem to get ours. And they say the table has been taken. I have the paperwork to file with the Attorney General but feared to file in case there was some small chance we could get them to actually make our table. What about filing a police report? In the end they are stealing money from people. I think we should get a group going against them!

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  8. Hi Lynn- We are experiencing the same issue with Carolina Farmhouse. We also paid through paypal using our bank account. So a chargeback is not an option. They post tables completed still on facebook and when we ask about taking one of those since something is better than nothing and they are always taken. Every picture on facebook they post my husband and i have said we will take it and they don't even acknowledge us. I emailed them and said instead of posting tables available on facebook how about asking the people that have not received anything if they would like it first. I can't stand them. They are thieves in my book. What about filing a police report? Because in the end they have stolen from so many people. Instead of producing tables for the people they still owe they continue to take more orders. Unbelievable!!!!! Sorry you are also having to go through this. It is very frustrating. Karma will come back to bite them!

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