Knoxville woman fed up over unfinished upholstery job

Knoxville woman fed up over unfinished upholstery job

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Phyllis Gitschlag had ordered high end fabric for reupholstering her sofa that had been faded by the sun. Phyllis Gitschlag had ordered high end fabric for reupholstering her sofa that had been faded by the sun.
She also sent a matching chair to be reupholstered. This empty spot is where the chair once stood. She also sent a matching chair to be reupholstered. This empty spot is where the chair once stood.
Phyllis Gitschlag was fed up with multiple delays. Phyllis Gitschlag was fed up with multiple delays.
Lovick apologized, saying he expected some grief because of all the time he had taken after moving. He told Gitschlag her chair was the first he had finished and that he had some big commercial jobs in the works. Lovick apologized, saying he expected some grief because of all the time he had taken after moving. He told Gitschlag her chair was the first he had finished and that he had some big commercial jobs in the works.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - When you pay for a service in advance, you expect the job to be done, or least to get some communication of when the work will be finished.

There was very little communication after a Knoxville woman dropped off material at a repair shop.

Phyllis Gitschlag was fed up with multiple delays when 6 On Your Side met her at the end of March inside the sun room at her home.

She had ordered high end fabric for reupholstering her sofa that had been faded by the sun.

She left 25 yards of the new fabric with the upholstery repairman. She also sent in January a matching chair to be reupholstered.

"The third week in January, I took it to Old Fashioned Upholstery," said Gitschlag.

She had been told the job would be finished in three weeks.

There is a "welcome" sign on the door at Old Fashioned Upholstery in Knoxville, but there's no welcoming mat inside the business on North Central. It's closed.

"He did tell me he was going to be moving and relocating, and he hoped to have my chair finished before the move," said Gitschlag.

Gitschlag showed us two months of text messages sent to Ron Lovick, the owner of Old Fashioned Upholstery. 

"I had been asking him if he had my chair, when can I pick it up. And he said he would let me know when he retrieves my chair from storage. So it sounded to me, he had not even started my chair," she said.

Gitschlag said at that time, she wondered if she would ever see the chair and fabric. The few messages from Lovick were filled with excuses. 

"'I've been sick ever since I got back from out of town,' and I never hear from him again. And I haven't heard anything back," she said, reading her last message from Lovick.

Were there others affected when Old Fashioned Upholstery closed? Business owner Teresa Griffin has heard from some of Lovick's customers.

"They have come in here and asked me, 'What happened to the business next door?' I said, all I know is they moved out," said Griffin.

Gitschlag learned her chair may be at a furniture repair shop in Blount County. Owner Steve Besler said in February he arranged for Ron Lovick to share space in Besler's warehouse.

Besler said Lovick never moved in and never explained why.

"I was expecting him a few days ago and he did not show up," said Besler.

We called Lovick and left a message 10 days ago, asking when he planned to deliver the chair and expensive fabric.

Four days later, he agreed to meet Gitschlag at a church parking lot in Knoxville.

We watched the transaction with a hidden camera. Lovick delivered the chair with the upholstery job complete.

"Oh, it looks awesome," Gitschlag told him. She liked the job and thanked him.

Lovick apologized, saying he expected some grief because of all the time he had taken after moving. He told Gitschlag her chair was the first he had finished and that he had some big commercial jobs in the works, now that he was officially back in business.

Then we had our chance to talk with him.

"Hi Ron, Don Dare from channel 6. Do you know when other customers will be getting their furniture or their fabric?" we asked.

"Here in the next few weeks," Lovick replied.  

Lovick said the delay was caused by his moving. 

"But you have had her stuff for quit a while," we told him.

As we named another customer who called us saying she didn't have her furniture either, Lovick didn't want to hear it and drove away.

"It didn't have to be this way. All he had to do was communicate and just explain to everyone, 'I'm moving,'" said Gitschlah.

As Lovick raced away, you may wonder how many other customers are waiting on him. With her chair safely in the trunk, Gitschlag is pleased to have the fabric back as well.

"When you have a lot of money in furniture and fabric, you don't want to lose it. I sure didn't," she said.

The business, Old Fashioned Upholstery, had been located on North Central for decades. However, the previous owner, Raymond Spires, told us he sold the business and building to Lovick.

Over the years, many people had left their furniture there without any problems until recently.

We are told that space will soon become a restaurant.

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