Horrible Buying Experience

We were in the market for an entertainment center and decided to make a purchase from Jerome’s. Big mistake! This was our first, last and worst experience ever.

Saturday: We were at the Moreno Blvd location and decided on a wall unit and were told it was discontinued, however the warehouse had one in stock. We were offered the floor model with $100 off, but decided against it since the glass doors weren't lined up correctly and the back panel was installed unevenly. These issues may have been resolved with proper assembly, but considering the 5 year warranty was $99 we decided to buy the new one. We chose to pick it up from their warehouse (30 miles from our home) the next day. We sat for an hour waiting to be rung up. First we were told our credit card had been declined, which we were adamant was impossible. Our card was swiped several more times and finally, we were told the "system was down" and to pay for the purchase on pick up the next day.

Sunday: The next morning, we received a phone call from a Jerome’s Rep, who said our credit card was charged-twice, so they would notify the warehouse that it was paid in full. My husband went to pick up the unit. Our father and uncle came over and waited for him to bring it home to help assemble it. My husband called an hour later and said “bad news: the one unit they have left is not new, in fact, it was a delivery return, damaged with pieces missing”. The warehouse manager seemed indifferent and told us to call the store. I called the store, explained what happened to the asst manager and was flatly told "well what do you want me to do?" I asked him to tell me what he could do. His response was "well, I can give you your money back if that's what you want". I explained we simply wanted what we intended to purchase, so if he could call around and see if another store had one in stock, in good condition we would consider it. The asst manager told ME to call around, as he was very busy and that I probably could get answers faster than he could. I pointed out there are no direct numbers for any of the stores and having to go through a phone tree to connect is very inconvenient. I'm pretty sure he had a way to access the stores directly. He casually said "Ok I will call around sometime tonight". There was no apology offered at all for the incontinence.

In the meantime, my husband asked the warehouse to call Scripps Ranch, and was told they had a floor model in “good to excellent condition”. He drove another 10 miles with the intent of purchasing it. Once he arrived there, he found the floor model to be in horrible condition, with deep gouges on the console, warped veneer and broken doors. I also called Chula Vista and was told they had one in stock, however, the sales rep admitted their floor model was in “bad condition and that she “wouldn’t buy it herself-but if we wanted it she could offer $300 off”. We declined. She asked if we wanted to come in to look at other units, to which I explained we had spent the past 6 months looking to find “the right one to fit our needs, style and price range”. We weren’t in the mood to start looking all over again and would rather exhaust all means to get this particular unit.

Monday: I called Customer Service and spoke to a representative who apologized and assured me this was not normal business conduct. She offered to call the manager of the store (as opposed to the asst manager) and said he was very good about customer service. Within 30 minutes I received a call from the manager, who was very apologetic, admitted someone mistakenly entered a returned item in the system as new stock and offered to call every location to check its condition. The manger called me back within the hour and confirmed he could not find a floor model in good condition. That said, he offered us $100 credit and free delivery and set-up if we wanted to choose something else. We agreed to go to the Chula Vista location that day, gave us the name of a manger to talk to. Grudgingly, we went to the Chula Vista store and surprisingly, we did find another unit, which we hadn’t seen before, that we liked even better. The manager was very professional and assured us it was in stock and would be delivered/assembled with no problems. We agreed on delivery to be Friday. He also said they would disregard one of the charges (essentially only reversing one since the new purchase was exactly the same price).

Thursday: I called Customer Service to confirm our delivery, spoke to the same representative and to my surprise, was told our delivery was not on the schedule for Friday. After some hold time, I was told the purchase was in the system, however, not placed on the delivery schedule but she assured me she would do it “first thing Friday”. She also offered a window of time, which we choose after 6pm (up until midnight).

Friday: Supposed to be delivery day, we received a call at 4:15pm and were told the double charges had been reversed and they needed us to approve payment again. My husband gave them our credit card number. We then received another call saying delivery would not be made because now the credit card has been declined. After questioning why they keep having so many problems with our transaction, I decided to call the credit card company directly to find out what was going on. According to the credit card company, both charges were reversed, however, they were still pending in the system and the funds would not be available again for at least 24 hours. The credit card company said Jerome’s could simply void or delete one of the charges and the funds would be released immediately. In the meantime, the double and subsequently, the third charge put us over our credit limit.

I called Jerome’s, attempted to speak to the manager of Moreno Blvd store (who is now on vacation), attempted to speak to the manger of the Chula Vista store (who is not working today) and the Customer Service manager (who is unavailable by phone). I did speak to the same customer service rep, who said until payment was made they would not deliver the furniture. I asked her to speak to the credit card company about how to get the funds released immediately and did a conference call so that she could speak to the card company directly. She was still adamant that she could do nothing since she did not have access to the payment system since she is not in sales. I asked to be transferred to the sales department and she was very quick to say “there’s nothing they can do either”. I asked her to “stop telling me what another department can or can’t do, since it’s apparent no one in the company seems to know what they are doing”. Before transferring me, she told me “even of they do reverse the charges and it’s paid for today, now we can’t deliver it now because it’s after 6pm and all deliveries have to be submitted before 6pm”.

I had been dealing with this nightmare for more than 2 hours! I was transferred to sales and spoke to the representative that initially rang up the transaction and was told she couldn’t reverse or void the charge since it was submitted 5 days ago. She offered to try the charge again in the morning and to request the warehouse deliver and setup first thing, possibly with a set time (rather than a time frame). Then she retracted her offering and said she needs to find out first it that can be approved.

It’s now after 8:30pm with apparently no entertainment center being delivered. At this point, we are unsure when it will be delivered or if we even want it to be delivered. They don’t want it to deliver without payment in full, although it is their fault payment hasn’t been made and it is obvious the funds are there. We aren’t trying to get anything free and have authorized them over the phone to charge it once the funds are released. We have been more than patient. We have come to the conclusion that Jerome’s bottom line is taking your money, no matter how bad they treat you. This is a bumbling fools operation. We have been inconvenienced 2 days and countless hours of stress, waiting on hold and phone calls. Driven 70 miles. We have paid and taken our 3 kids (toddlers) to a baby-sitter twice so they wouldn’t be in the way during delivery and assembly. We have our furniture moved around to allow adequate room to assemble it. We have attempted to purchase, now, two entertainment centers and our credit card funds are in limbo. I do not believe in patronizing any business that doesn’t provide quality customer service. Likewise, I see this as premonition of what could possibly happen in the future. Can we anticipate any warranty claims to be handled just as substandard? With that said, I would rather cancel the whole thing and buy else where. We are in a large city where furniture stores are abundant. However, my husband is tired of shopping around and just wants this deal to be completed so that we can never shop at Jerome’s again. After reading many reviews online, it seems Jerome’s has a reputation of poor quality and customer service. Perhaps instead of investing so much money on advertising, they should invest in customer relations courses, proper inventory control techniques and credit card transactions. This is absolutely the worse buying experience ever!

Offender: jeromes
Country: USA   State: California   City: San Diego

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