Five Furniture Stores Pay $17,000 for Violations
NEWARK - As consumers consider buying new furniture with their tax refunds, the Division of Consumer Affairs is stepping up its oversight of furniture retailers. Five furniture retailers cited for violations have paid $17,000 in civil penalties in the past two months.
"Furniture-related complaints traditionally spike in the spring and furniture retailers will be under the scrutiny of our investigators," said David Szuchman, Consumer Affairs Director. "We expect full compliance with our laws and regulations, including those that require specific disclosures in consumer contracts and those related to the delivery of furniture."
The Division has just produced a new Consumer Brief for the public that provides an overview of the laws and regulations governing the sale and delivery of furniture. The Consumer Brief can be viewed at http://njconsumeraffairs.gov/brief/buyfurniture.pdf
The five stores listed below entered into Consent Orders with the Division:
- JAS Inc., Irvington
- Period Furniture, Paramus
- Sofa Bed Systems, Linden
(aka Room and Home Contemporary Furniture, Room and Home Clearance Center and Room and Home Furniture Gallery)
- Classic Furniture, Union
- Crib World, Morris Plains
The retailers did not have the required "promise statement" specifying the promised delivery date in their consumer contracts. The retailers also did not have the "choice statement" that informs consumers of their right to a refund or a new delivery date if the original delivery date is missed. The retailers also included prohibited statements in their consumer contracts about no refunds or exchanges.
Under terms of the Consent Orders, the retailers agreed to resolve any consumer complaints forwarded by the Division for 12 months, or if a complaint cannot be resolved, to submit the matter for binding arbitration.
The Division received about 800 furniture and home furnishing-related complaints in 2007, making it the seventh largest complaint category.
Consumers can find a complaint form on the Division's web site, http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov. Complaints also can be submitted by calling the Division at 800-242-5846 (within N.J.) or 973-504-6200.