BBB Helping Furniture Connection Customers Find Restitution - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/13/05

BBB Helping Furniture Connection Customers Find Restitution

How would you feel if you paid for something but never got it? That's what dozens of people say happened to them. More than 50 people bought furniture from Furniture Connection Outlet and never got their furniture.

On Wednesday night, customers met with the Better Business Bureau, police and the Georgia Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs. They're building a case against the Savannah furniture store. They want the owner to pay up or face charges.

Irate customers filled the Southside Fire station on White Bluff Road. Nearly sixty of them filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau. They're out a total of 70-thousand dollars and the furniture they thought they bought. All Freddie Curtis has are photocopied pictures.

"He told me he would order all my furniture and it would be back in two to three weeks," explained Freddie Curtis.

That was in January. Several months and $5,400 later, she still doesn't have her furniture. She said he also altered her check.

"He told me to make it out to F.C.I.," she said. "When I went to the bank to pick up my check, he scratched F.C.I. out and initialed my initials and wrote his name in, Frankie L. Smith. I felt so horrible."

The story is the same for many others. Scores of customers said they've been had. Katrina Braggs lost $3,500.

"I went ahead and sold my furniture in anticipation of receiving this," she said. "Now I have an empty living room and I'm sitting on the floor watching TV and he has my money."

Furniture Connection Outlet closed its store on Tibet Avenue last month. Now, the Better Business Bureau, police and the Georgia Governor's office are stepping in to help.

"Never have I seen as many complaints, as many similar problems and as much of a pattern as I have with this particular situation," said Better Business Bureau president, Ross Howard.

Customers say there's strength in numbers, and maybe now, something can be done. "Even if its nothing more than them (the owners) serving time," said Braggs, "I think I may be willing to sacrifice this for them serving time."

Police believe the owner of Furniture Connection Outlet, may have left town, but they are looking for him. If you have a complaint, you can file a report with the Savannah Chatham Police Department. You can also register your complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Their office is located at 6606 Abercorn Street, Suite 108-C in Savannah. You can also e-mail them at: www.bbbsoutheastatlantic.org. The Georgia Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs would also like to hear from you. You can write to them at: Office of Consumer Affairs, Room 356 East Tower, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30334. Send your letter to the attention of Mrs. Collins. You may fax one to two page documents to their office at (404) 651-9018.

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