JEFFERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — The operators of a small East Tennessee furniture-making business say they have closed their doors after several customers have complained.
Those customers saying it’s been nearly half a year since they placed an order and their furniture was never delivered.
WATE 6 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Don Dare spoke with customers who said all they had heard from the business were excuses.
For nearly a year, RNB Wood Design advertised on Facebook Marketplace. The owner-operators are Justin and Stephanie Morgan.
Their workshop is located in Jefferson County. Justin made the furniture while Stephanie took orders and contacted customers.
“I ordered a table and a bench.”Eric Conard
Eric Conard placed his order with RNB Wood Design for a table and bench similar to this one last summer.
“They told me I could place a deposit. 50% of the total cost. They would have it to me within 4-6 weeks.”Eric Conard
“I ordered a 5-foot table with two benches on October 20, 2019.”Pat Hooks
Pat Hooks was told by RNB that his order would be delivered before Thanksgiving.
He put down a deposit shortly after placing his order, but there were delays.
He’s kept printed-out copies of text messages to RNB.
Just like Conard experienced, Hooks’ furniture was never delivered.
“Carried on through to December, then I realized with the excuses she was giving that the table was never going to be built for me. She was not going to to refund the money.”Pat Hooks
Frustrated, Hooks took at a summons seeking his deposit back from the Morgan’s.
The summons was served four times. Excuse me, an attempt to serve the summons. They can never find her at home.”Pat Hooks
“Yes, that’s when I was talking with Stephanie.”Karin Grindall
Karin Grindall showed WATE 6 On Your Side a series of text messages sent to Stephanie Morgan over several months.
Grindall and her husband ordered a table and benches as well as two other pieces, and their 50% deposit was made on September 11.
Her experience was similar to Hooks and Conard’s, the delivery continued to be delayed.
“A few weeks before Christmas we asked, ‘what is the date and when can we get this stuff delivered?’ Got no reply, other than we’ll look into it.”Karin Grindall
“Justin said they’ve had some issues. The rain, the clear coat on the table wasn’t right, so he stripped it and started over. I had told both of them that I either wanted my furniture delivered or a refund.”Karin Grindall
To get their side, WATE 6 On Your Side called RNB.
WATE told Stephanie Morgan that we were with Karin Grindall, who in January requested a refund.
Morgan said she could set up an appointment at any time. Grindall reminded her that a date was set up in January and sheriff’s deputies accompanied her to pick up the deposit but no one was home.
“I’ve been trying to get either my furniture or my money for several months.”Karin Grindall
Morgan said she’ll send a refund.
Ten days after the interview, a money order was sent to Karin Grindall. Eric Conard said after waiting two months, he finally received his deposit back through PayPal. Pat Hooks, however, has yet to see his deposit.
Stephanie Morgan said she’s going to send him a refund.
As for RNB Wood Design, it is not taking any more orders; the business is no longer operating.
While RNB’s ad is no longer on Facebook, the Morgans say they hope to either finish building and deliver current furniture orders or refund deposits to customers whose orders were not delivered.
Since there is little consumer protection for online orders that aren’t fulfilled, civil action through the courts is one way of getting business owners’ attention.
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