On-line Furniture & Flooring Company Fails To Deliver On Promises

Attorney General Spitzer today announced a settlement with an on-line furniture and home furnishing retailer that repeatedly failed either to deliver ordered merchandise or to refund customer money.

"E-commerce cannot flourish without consumer confidence that on-line retailers will fulfill their promises," Spitzer said.

Spitzer's office has received more than 30 complaints against BeaverHome.com in the past two years. Through mediation efforts, his office has successfully obtained nearly $90,000 in refunds for consumers throughout the nation. Most consumers complained that their ordered merchandise had never arrived and their attempts to get refunds were futile. Other customers - those who had actually received refund checks - soon discovered that the checks "bounced."

As part of the settlement, BeaverHome.com - based in Niagara County - will pay restitution to any customers who received refund checks that were returned for insufficient funds. In the future, the on-line retailer will issue all refunds within 30 days and pay an additional $200 plus bank fees to any customer whose refund check bounces.

BeaverHome.com also must:
  • Send an e-mail or written confirmation of delivery dates it promises to consumers and receive a customer authorization in response before it processes an order;
  • Advise customers in writing or by e-mail of any delays in shipping and provide the option to: cancel the order and receive a full refund; be shipped the merchandise on another date; or accept substitute merchandise of equivalent or superior quality;
  • Provide full refunds or exchanges when the wrong merchandise is shipped or for damaged or defective products; and
  • Develop written policies related to merchandise shipping.
BeaverHome.com also will pay the Attorney General's office $3,000 to cover the costs of the investigation.

BeaverHome.com markets merchandise such as hardwood floors, kitchen cabinets, oriental rugs, and leather furniture. Consumers order merchandise from the on-line retailer by calling an 800 number.

Individuals wishing to file complaints against BeaverHome.com are encouraged to contact the Attorney General's consumer help line at (800) 771-7755 or visit the office's website at www.ag.ny.gov.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General James Morrissey of the Buffalo Regional Office.