BBB warns of "F" rated furniture company with hundreds of complaints

(Rough Country Rustic Furniture & Decor)

ROANOKE, Va. (WSET) -- Three Virginians are among hundreds of customers who have filed complaints against an "F" rated Missouri furniture company.

Consumers reported to the Better Business Bureau that the business, which manufactures hand-crafted gun concealment and rustic furniture fails to deliver products in a timely fashion and is lax in issuing refunds.

The BBB is warning consumers to use caution when dealing with Rough Country Rustic Furniture.

The Missouri business has been the focus of 209 complaints, most of which were filed in the last few months.

The company, owned by Joseph Ross, writes on its website that it makes gun concealment furniture ranging from $115 flag wall art to $2,000 bedroom sets, as well as concealment lamps, wall art, and shelves in addition to non-concealment home furniture.

Their products are marketed on their website and on Facebook where they have more than two million followers.

They list delivery time frames on its website that it will vary by products, from “approximately 42-56 business days” for concealed compartment patriotic flags, to “approximately 84-140 days,” for bedroom sets and other larger items.

The President & CEO of BBB St. Louis said despite being behind on fulfilling order commitments, the company continues to solicit and accept new orders.

"This business isn’t keeping up with its orders," she said. “It needs to be proactive in letting customers know when orders take longer than expected and follow through on refunds or take measures to ensure that delivery deadlines are met."

Others are complaining that the company is deleting complaints on their Facebook page without a response.

Also, consumers reported that calls to a phone number listed on the website reach a voice mail box, that's usually full, and emails get an automated message informing customers to expect to wait several days for a response, but many haven't gotten one.

A Houston, Missouri customer told the BB she ordered a five-piece $1,681 bedroom set designed to conceal firearms in March, and finally got the product in October.

The order was incomplete with a note saying the missing pieces were on backorder and would ship upon arrival.

She said she is still waiting for the shipping fee refund and the discount offered for production and delivery days.

In a letter from the company to the BBB in October, Ross cited a series of problems with some employees and contractors as the reason for backorders and delivery issues.

“We are doing everything we can to make this right,” Ross claimed and continued by saying the company serves "20,000-30,000 customers per year," and has "thousands of satisfied customers."

Since October, however, consumers have filed 74 new complaints that have gone unaddressed by the company, which has been operating since 2013.

"We incurred some issues, one with our former customer service rep, who was more concerned with answering an e-mail than she was taking care of the order," Ross told KY3 on December 4. "We're constantly increasing production, we even had four more people start today."

According to the website, the company planned to add staff and contractors in 2017 to “increase production and reduce wait times,” but complaints to BBB persist.

BBB offers the following tips for consumers interested in purchasing furniture online:

  • Pay by credit card whenever possible in case you need to challenge the payment for non-delivery of the product.
  • Read all terms and conditions carefully before completing a purchase online.
  • Make sure you read and understand return and refund policies and know your options in case you receive an item that was not as advertised.
  • Read online reviews from several sources to get a balanced view of customer experiences with a business.
  • Don’t accept a professional-looking website or presence on social media as verification that a business is trustworthy. Make sure to check other sources like BBB.
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