Monday, September 22, 2008
And here's another one:
BTW, we recently bought a new bed for our 15 year old son. We didn't even think of Ethan Allen due to our recent problems with their products and the treatment by the Mountain View, CA store. So we bought from Pottery Barn. Pottery Barn!? Man, I would have never thought 5 years ago that I'd consider Pottery Barn a step up from Ethan Allen. I'll report my experience with Pottery Barn over the next few months.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
It seems that Ethan Allen is doing a bang-up job in the area of consumer complaints. If only there we as effective in building quality products. Sad day indeed when a company decides to ignore their customers. Ethan Allen must figure that there's a sucker born every minute, so they don't need to worry about providing quality products for the premium price that they demand.
And, by the way, I still have not heard anything back from the store. Not that I should be surprised...
Monday, October 8, 2007
Folks, I have to tell you that if you're thinking of buying an Ethan Allen product, WATCH OUT!! Take a look at these pictures to remind yourself that you purchase an Ethan Allen product at your own risk. And remember that customer service does not exist at Ethan Allen.
But if you absolutely have to buy an Ethan Allen product, here is my recommendation on how to protect yourself:
1. Ask to look under the hood. Most products are covered so that you can't easily see how the product is constructed. Have them turn the product upside down, and even ask them to carefully remove any cloth that might be hiding any of the underlying construction. You need to see what types of material they are using in the construction of the furniture (and if you see anything like this multi-layered laminate board, RUN!!!).
2. Make sure that you have got a 5 year warranty. Good furniture should last 5 years plus without any normal wear-and-tear problems. Heck, most good furniture lasts a generation or two, so asking Ethan Allen for a mire 5 years seems very simple. And if they won't give you such a warranty, then they probably did you a HUGE favor because that's just another reason why you should RUN away from Ethan Allen products.
3. The most important recommendation that I can give you about buying Ethan Allen products is simple this: DON'T DO IT!! No product, no matter how good looking it might be on the outside, is worth the hassle and pain of an Ethan Allen product.
By the way, would love to hear if you too are having problems with Ethan Allen products. And watch this space for the continuing adventures of dealing with the Mountain View, CA Ethan Allen store....
Saturday, September 29, 2007
In early May, 2007, we purchased a floor model ottoman (over $500) from the Ethan Allen store in
When we called Ethan Allen, they told us that they would not take the product back because we had agreed to buy the product “as is”. Is Ethan Allen is using the “as is” condition to abdicate any responsibility for selling a usable product? When we purchased the product, we made it very clear to the Ethan Allen sales person that we planned to actually “use” the ottoman; that we planned to put the ottoman in our family room, place books and newspapers on it, and even have people sit on it. At no time during that discussion did the Ethan Allen sales person say that the ottoman might break in those situations. If she had, we would have never bought the product
We were told that the product was “as is” and that the “as is” phrase referred to normal blemishes, discoloring, tears, stains and other cosmetic imperfections that occur to a floor model. We accepted that the “as is” condition would cover the above types of floor model-related imperfections. However, we were never told that the “as is” condition also covered the fact that the ottoman would break, or likely was already broken. Because the Ethan Allen sales person clearly stated that the ottoman was a floor model, did we not have the right to expect that someone could actually sit on it without it breaking?
This whole ordeal raises the question whether the Ethan Allen sales person sold us something other than a floor model, or knowingly sold us a broken product. Did the Ethan Allen sales person knowingly mis-represent the condition of the ottoman?
We continue to be disappointed that Ethan Allan won't stand behind their products. All that we want is our money back. Is that really that unreasonable?
BTW, we have established the blog below to share story about the quality of customer service from the Mountain View Ethan Allen.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
First Up: Ethan Allen Product Quality!
The first photo here on the right is a photo of my Ethan Allen ottoman (purchased from the Ethan Allen in Mountain View, CA). If you are looking to buy an ottoman and see an Ethan Allen ottoman, watch out!
Now, it's a nice looking piece of furniture, and from the surface, it looks just fine. But when you cut away the cloth that hides the structural integrity of the piece of furniture, well, that's again where photos don't lie (see the photo to the left).
As I was informed by one reader, the Ethan Allen used multi-layer laminate board, not a solid piece of wood, for the frame structure. Sorry, but multi-layer laminate board is NOT as strong as a solid piece of wood (Do you see baseball players using multi-layer laminate board? Do you see construction projects use multi-layer laminate board for their 2/4 studs?). Multi-layer laminate board was a poor choice of material, which calls into question the structural integrity of the ottoman.
Next Up: Thomasville Ottoman
Now we'll take a look at the underlying structure of the Thomasville ottoman. The photo on the right is the Thomasville ottoman that we'll examine. This is a piece that we've now had for about 10 years, and we still use it today in our family room (see photo to the right).
When you look under the Thomasville ottoman, that's where it really distinguishes itself (see photo to the left). Thomasville uses solid wood pieces in all of it's key structural joints. Solid wood, not multi-layer laminate board. And the result is a piece of furniture that has served us well for almost a decade!
The Final Vote
While I can't attest to the quality of Thomasville products today - I can't guarantee that they haven't gone down the same poor quality / poor craftsmanship route that Ethan Allen has chosen - I can say that from the pictures, one can easily see the difference between good quality structure (solid wood pieces in the Thomasville ottoman) and the multi-layer laminate board used in a poor quality structure (the Ethan Allen ottoman).
Again, take a look at the photos and make your own judgment. The photos don't lie!!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Ah, a new line of defense by the Ethan Allen store in Mountain View, CA ... Customer Service!
It appears that the phrase “as is” is being used by Ethan Allen to abdicate any responsibility for selling a usable product. When we purchased the product, we made it very clear to the Ethan Allen sales person that we planned to actually use the ottoman; that we planned to put the ottoman in our family room, place books and newspapers and magazines on it, and even have people sit on it. At no time during that discussion did the Ethan Allen sales person say that the ottoman might break in those situations. If she had, we would have never bought the product. Again, we made it very clear that we planned on actually using the ottoman. We did not plan to put it in a corner of the room so that folks could just admire it.
When we were sold the product, we were told that the product was “as is” and that the “as is” referred to normal blemishes, discoloring, tears, stains and other cosmetic imperfections that occur to a floor model. We accepted that the “as is” condition would cover the above types of floor model-related imperfections. We were never told that the “as is” condition also covered the fact that the ottoman would break, or likely was already broken. In fact, because the Ethan Allen sales person clearly stated that the ottoman was a floor model, we had ever right to expect that the product would perform as we needed it to perform – that someone could actually sit on it. But instead, we were sold a product that broke the first time someone sat on it in our family room, or was already broken when it was sold to us.
This whole ordeal raises the question whether the Ethan Allen sales person knowingly either sold us something other than a floor model or knowingly sold us a broken product in order to get it out of the store. We are now very concerned that the Ethan Allen sales person knowingly mis-represented the status or condition of said ottoman.
The sad thing about this entire process is that we just want our money back. We're not suing for damages or for the Ethan Allen sales person mis-representing the product. All we want is our money back. And that's what we stated when we called the day after buying the product.
Sigh... Oh well, watch this space for the continued adventures of trying to deal with Ethan Allen, a once proud brand that has to resort to this sort of customer treatment.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
It is really sad, as there was a day not too long ago, where Ethan Allen stood for quality - both in product and customer services. In fact, when we first got married over twenty years ago, the Ethan Allen store in Schaumburg, IL offered an innovative financing program that allowed us to purchase numerous pieces of furniture over a 4 year period. Many of these pieces we still have today.
Unfortunately as you can see from the photos below, Ethan Allen has started to cut corners. In the case of our ottoman, Ethan Allen thought it smart to replace solid wood supports with particle board.
Watch this space for the continuing saga of my "adventures" with the Ethan Allen in Mountain View, CA!