Attorney General Cuomo Protects Fortunoff Customers Who Prepaid For Furniture
MINEOLA, NY (March 11, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Uniondale-based jewelry and furniture chain Fortunoff, which filed for bankruptcy and is liquidating, will fulfill consumers’ pre-paid orders of in-stock furniture. As of March 5, 2009, the company canceled delivery of such purchases, contrary to its obligations, and prepared to have such furniture included in liquidation sales. Cuomo stepped in to ensure that the company’s actions were immediately reversed. This action follows the Attorney General’s intervention last month to make sure that consumers’ Fortunoff gift cards would be honored through March 8, 2009.
The Attorney General intervened after receiving numerous complaints from consumers who paid thousands of dollars for furniture and were told that, although the furniture was in stock, it would not be delivered, and no refunds would be provided. The Attorney General urges all consumers who paid in full for furniture that has not been delivered to contact Fortunoff immediately to request delivery of any in-stock items.
“In these difficult economic times, many stores are unfortunately facing challenges, but so are individuals. It is crucial that companies that are facing bankruptcy continue to meet their obligations to consumers to the fullest extent possible,” said Attorney General Cuomo.
While fully-paid orders of in-stock furniture will be fulfilled, partially-paid orders and fully-paid orders of furniture that is not in stock do not qualify for delivery under the bankruptcy court proceedings. Consumers that do not qualify for delivery and used a credit card to purchase the undelivered furniture should dispute the charges with their credit card companies. Consumers should dispute these charges as soon as possible in order to meet deadlines for disputing charges.
To dispute the charge, consumers should take the following steps:
- Write to the credit card issuer at the address given for “billing inquiries,” and include your name, address, account number, and a description of the billing error (for example, “Non-delivery”)
- Send the letter by certified mail, return receipt requested and keep a copy of the letter.
If the credit card issuer does not provide a credit after its investigation of the disputed charge, consumers should:
- File a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office
- File a “proof of claim” form with the bankruptcy court handling the Fortunoff bankruptcy
Consumers who did not use a credit card for their purchase should also file a proof of claim with the bankruptcy court.
For information, please see the Attorney General’s website at www.ag.ny.gov.