Lorenzen’s tribulations began in August, when she purchased a leather sofa and loveseat from the Jennifer store in Metuchen.
The price was $1,625.99 plus tax and delivery, bringing the total to $1,911. Lorenzen said she paid half on Aug. 12, the purchase date, and the balance two days later. Delivery was Aug. 15.
“I inspected the furniture for obvious damages such as rips, tears, missing parts, and found none at delivery,” she said. “In the ensuing days I noticed that all the seat cushions were different in the level of firmness.”
She wasn’t fully aware of the extent of the defect until Labor Day weekend, when she had several guests to her Colonia home.
“It became obvious that the seat cushions were so different that the people seated in them were falling into each other, some sinking in and some sitting so high that their feet didn’t even touch the floor,” she said.
And so began her tale, she said.
The next day, she called the company’s claims center. The rep explained that after sitting on cushions, over time, they begin to conform to the body. But she’d only had the couches for 19 days, Lorenzen said, and the rep agreed to send a tech to inspect the furniture.
The inspector from Advanced Technologies, a company that does such inspections, came Sept. 21.
Lorenzen said the tech sat on the cushions and agreed that none were of the same firmness. He made notations on an electronic tablet, she said, and he asked what she wanted Jennifer to do.
Lorenzen asked for a replacement.
“He replied that he knew Jennifer Convertibles, and they would want to repair it,” she said.
Lorenzen didn’t see the report, but the tech said he noted the replacement request.
A week passed without news, so she called Jennifer, which said it didn’t have the tech’s report. It could take seven to 10 days.
“I called Advanced Technologies and was told they had filed the report,” she said. “I called the claim center back to report what Advanced Technologies told me, and the representative told me that they did, in fact, have the report.”
That’s when Lorenzen learned her request for replacement furniture was denied because, she was told, she didn’t call the store within the first seven days to request a replacement. The rep said that rule was on the invoice, so Jennifer had the right to repair the defect first.
The rep said once the claim was processed, Jennifer would order new cushions and mail them to Lorenzen, probably within a week if they were in stock. Then a tech would come over within two or three weeks to install the cushions.
Still not happy, Lorenzen asked her credit card company about disputing the purchase. She was told by the company to get a second opinion, which she did Sept. 29.
“He said that while the furniture could be repaired, I should ask for replacement furniture since it was defective when delivered and only a few weeks had gone by before I made the claim, she said.
Later, her credit card company would say that Jennifer had the right to repair the pieces.
The first few weeks of October was spent with Lorenzen calling multiple times to get a delivery date estimate on the new cushions, but she said Jennifer’s answers were always different. She was also denied a copy of the tech’s report.
On Oct. 17, she was told the cushions would arrive at her home Oct. 24.
Lorenzen took the day off for the delivery, and because of delays on both sides, the tech didn’t come for installation until Nov. 30.
Lorensen said the tech said that he shouldn’t have to repair new furniture, and that if a repair was tried by stitching in the seat cushions, they would be damaged. The tech also said the cushions would deflate rapidly because they were not “good density,” and that the fix was too much work to do in-home and that the furniture should be replaced, Lorenzen said.
Lorenzen said she asked the tech why he didn’t say that in his initial report. She said he replied with some choice words for Jennifer, and he said he did tell Jennifer the furniture should be replaced. While Lorenzen still didn’t have a copy of the report, the tech showed Lorenzen the report on his tablet, she said.
He left, and Lorenzen called Jennifer, which said there was a seven to 10 day wait for the new report.
She said she called several times, and finally on Dec. 14, a Jennifer rep said the company was trying to reach the tech because the report was “unclear.”
Lorenzen took matters into her own hands and encouraged the tech to call Jennifer.
She called customer service again, and was told to call Dec. 18 for an update.
On Dec. 18, Jennifer said it still didn’t have the report, then that it did, and the rep told her to call again the next day.
On Dec. 19, Jennifer said the repair company hadn’t responded to its requests for more information. Lorenzen was told to call back the next day.
Instead, Lorenzen called Bamboozled.
A REAL FIX
The next day, we reached out to Jennifer Convertibles, sharing Lorenzen’s saga with Martin Ehrlich, the company’s director of quality control and customer service. He pledged to have an answer by Dec. 26.
And on Dec. 26, Lorenzen received a call from “Tom” in the Metuchen store, who said he was authorized to exchange the sofa and loveseat, or that she could select something else with a $1,911 store credit.
“He told me that if I wanted an exchange for the sofa and loveseat I would be looking at a six-week wait,” she said. “I told him I wanted my money back.”
Tom said he’d have to ask about a refund.
But before she got a call, Bamboozled got an e-mail from Ehrlich.
“The end result is we are going to pick up the furniture in question and issue a full refund,” he wrote.
Ehrlich didn’t respond to additional questions about what went wrong for so many months.
Later that day, Tom told Lorenzen it would take seven to 10 days for the refund to process.
Lorenzen hasn’t started couch shopping yet, but it’s on the to-do list.
We’re glad the red tape is finally untangled, and we wish Lorenzen a satisfying place to rest her beautifully persistent self.