Attorney General Cuomo Requires Carl's Furniture City To Make Good On Delinquent Deliveries, Stop Deceptive Promotions
WATERTOWN, N.Y. (December 7, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his office has reached an agreement with Carl’s Furniture City, requiring the business and its owner to remedy furniture delivery issues and cease deceptive marketing tactics.
Attorney General Cuomo’s Office began investigating the company after receiving complaints from consumers regarding delivery and business practices. The investigation determined that Carl’s Furniture City, Inc., owned by Carl Vogel, failed to promptly deliver furniture that had already been paid for, failed to give customers refunds for furniture that never arrived, and actually charged customers additional “restocking” fees on the canceled orders.
The investigation also found that Carl’s Furniture City engaged in a deceptive marketing scheme by inducing customers to purchase $500 in furniture with “$500 in groceries” and “free cruise” vouchers that contained unreasonably restrictive exceptions and additional charges that negated the benefit of the promotion. In order to obtain the $500 grocery voucher, a consumer had to start collecting $100 in grocery receipts from a pre-selected store each month in order to receive a $25 voucher. Therefore, a consumer would be required to spend at least $2,000 over a 20-month period to collect $500. If a consumer didn’t submit a receipt for $100 in any given month during the period, they would become ineligible for the promotion.
“This business ignored customers who hadn’t received the products they purchased and employed deceiving promotional gimmicks to lure more customers into the store,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Fortunately for the customers, the law is on their side. Businesses that neglect their obligations or act irresponsibly will be held accountable, and this company must now conform to New York law.”
New York state law requires furniture and appliance dealers to provide consumers with estimated dates or date ranges of delivery. In the case of significant delays, companies must give customers the option of a cash refund, store credit, a new delivery date or another piece of merchandise.
Through an agreement with Attorney General Cuomo’s Office, Vogel and Carl’s Furniture must:
- Tell consumers who currently have store credit for furniture that was never delivered within the original specified range of dates that they have a right to cancel the contract and receive a full refund
- Immediately stop employing deceptive promotions, such as the “free grocery” and “free cruise” vouchers that are wrought with unreasonable qualifiers or additional expenses that invalidate the promotion
- Pay $15,000 in penalties, fees and costs to the state
Consumers who have unresolved complaints with Carl’s Furniture City, Inc. or any other business are urged to contact Attorney General Cuomo’s Regional Offices in Watertown (315-785-2444) or Utica (315-793-2225), or visit www.oag.state.ny.us.
The case was handled by Assistant Attorneys General-In-Charge of the Watertown and Utica Regional Offices, Deanna R. Nelson and Joel Marmelstein, with assistance by Senior Consumer Frauds Representative Carol Lively and Investigator Chad Shelmidine.