Sunday, November 26, 2006

Furniture Quality Reprised

Good Morning America has jumped on the consumer-protection bandwagon with their own expose on furniture quality, just a few months after Smart Money hammered on mid-price furniture outlets like Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware (see my prior post). The GMA gumshoes examined several products: Martha Stewart's "dark cherry" K-Mart line accent table, Ashley Furniture's "horizon maple" nightstand and "brown cherry" desk, and World Market's "Taylor split cowhide" dining chair and found rampant use of laminated fiberboard, thin veneers and fake plastic 'all-leather' chairs. On the heels of the investigation, World Market posted an apology on their website and offered to replace the fake chairs with real leather versions.
Our initial findings revealed that some of the suspect Taylor chairs and ottomans supplied to Cost Plus World Market had been upholstered in a synthetic material. A majority of the dark brown Taylor dining chairs and ottomans are not affected by this issue.

Our customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to us. Therefore, we will replace any of the dark brown Taylor dining chairs and ottomans that were made of the synthetic material.
According to GMA, Ashley and K-mart were less apologetic about their marketing terminology. "Ashley said that the Glen Eagle secretary desk was simply a brown cherry color and that the phrase 'solidly constructed' did not mean solid wood, but rather referred to the stability and tight construction of the piece." This all goes to show that the buyer must beware in picking out furnishings and other items. If you're okay knowing that it's comfortable, then pay what you want for it, but don't be dazzled by the marketing lingo hyping the item's construction or materials until you've proved the content to yourself. Sites like the Consumerist track some deceptions, but heightened skepticism will be your best asset in shopping.

1 comment:

CeLee said...

i loved your post. what i found to be more upsetting is that i got the otto bar from dwr (of course at a sample sale) and found out that it was made of particle board. i can't believe that dwr can charge such a stiff price for such quality.