My bed from Ashley Furniture is missing a few parts. What should I do?

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By Christopher Elliott

What’s wrong with Britt Lane’s bed? And why won’t Ashley Furniture fix it for her? She’s been sleeping on the floor since she ordered the furniture from the retailer. 

Question

I recently bought a new bed from Ashley Furniture. The company delivered the bed with missing parts.

Ashley Furniture has not provided the correct parts to make the bed functional. When I call customer service, the reps hang up or put me on hold indefinitely. I visited the store near me in Joplin, Mo., and asked for a copy of my contract a month after I placed my order because I believe they are in breach of the contract. The store refused to give me a signed copy of the contract.  

I would like a partial refund on the price of the bed as well as the parts needed to make the bed work. Ashley Furniture has already refunded the delivery charge and setup fee, but it will not adjust the price of the bed. I’ve been sleeping on the floor for more than a month. Can you help me? — Britt Lane, Kansas City, Mo.

Answer

Ashley Furniture should have delivered your bed to you when it said it would — the whole bed. But of course, you already know that. 

Ashley should have given you the contract when you bought the bed, so I’m surprised you didn’t already have it. I’m really troubled that the store would not give you a signed contract when you asked for it. 

There’s a lesson here for all of us: When you buy furniture, or any other big-ticket item like an appliance, make sure you know the terms, and get a copy of your signed contract.

Fortunately, some of those terms are already on the Ashley Furniture website. It looks like you ordered Ashley’s “No-Hassle Delivery + Assembly” option, which promises “your items will be delivered, set in your room of choice and, if necessary, assembled.” 

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What to do about furniture product delivery issues

Good news: You don’t have to wait forever for your next furniture delivery — or worry about getting only half of the item you ordered. Here are some ways to avoid furniture delivery issues:

Research before you buy

Check online reviews from other customers who bought the same item. Sometimes, they will say if they experienced any furniture delivery issues. Look for red flags like frequent delays, damage, or poor customer service.

Purchase from a reputable retailer

Many furniture sellers had problems during the pandemic. But now? Only the ones with poor reputations continue to deliver their furniture late — or not at all. You can easily find them online. (Unfortunately, there is not authoritative site that scores retailers, so you will need to do some searching. Also, ask for a word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend or family member.)

Read the fine print

Before finalizing your purchase, make sure you understand the delivery policy, including estimated timelines, shipping costs, and return procedures. If you don’t understand the legalese, ask the company. Make sure you do this before you buy.

Schedule your delivery at the right time

Timing is everything. Plan your delivery during a less busy time, such as early morning or late evening, to reduce the likelihood of delays. Make sure you’ll be home so that you can inspect the delivery. Leave nothing to chance.

Inspect the furniture

Examine your furniture for damage before signing off on the delivery receipt. If there are any issues, note them on the receipt and take pictures or video for evidence.

Keep careful records

Hold onto all packaging materials, receipts, and correspondence related to your purchase. These may come in handy if problems arise later. (Related: How to fix your own consumer problem.)

Know your rights

Familiarize yourself with federal regulations, such as the Federal Trade Commission’s Cooling-Off Rule, which allows consumers to cancel certain sales within a specified period (usually three days) for a full refund. (Related: Want your complaint to fail? Just say these five things.)

These strategies should help you avoid most furniture delivery issues. But I have more information about resolving a customer service dispute in my legendary guide on the issue.

Is there hope for this bed from Ashley Furniture?

I reviewed the correspondence between you and Ashley Furniture. It appears you were missing all the parts that hold the bed together, including screws and bolts. So, of course, the driver could not assemble your bed because there was nothing to hold it together. 

It makes sense that Ashley Furniture would refund your delivery and assembly fees. It had delivered an incomplete — and unassemblabled — bed.

Ashley Furniture draws more than its fair share of consumer complaints, who gripe about the quality of its furniture and lack of customer service. Perhaps our biggest Ashley case to date involved a 92-year-old customer who also had to deal with a contract problem

I publish the names, numbers and email addresses of Ashley Furniture’s customer service executives on my site, Elliott.org. (Here’s our guide to contacting the CEO directly.)

You might have reminded the unhelpful Ashley Furniture employee of the company’s mission statement, which is to “delight our guests, turn houses into homes and change lives for the better… together.” A half-assembled bed is no way to turn a house into a home.

An appeal to one of the executives might have helped move your case along. But also, a request for a partial refund might have been too much. Ashley had already refunded the delivery and assembly fee. It just needed to get you those bolts.

I contacted Ashley Furniture on your behalf. A representative called you and set up a time to finish assembling your bed. Two months after your delivery, you emailed me with good news: “I now have the fully assembled and functioning bed that I paid for.”

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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