State Sues Monmouth County Furniture Retailers
NEWARK - The Office of the Attorney General through its Division of Consumer
Affairs has filed suit against four Monmouth County-based furniture retailers
for allegedly violating the state's Consumer Fraud Act, Refund Policy Disclosure
Act and Regulations, Deceptive Mail Order Practices Regulations, Delivery of
Household Furniture and Furnishing Regulations and General Advertising Regulations.
Spectrum Home Furnishings, Inc., Charles Serouya & Son, Inc. a/k/a Gallery, CS&S, Inc. and Charles Serouya, Inc., are named as defendants in the state's eight-count Complaint filed in State Superior County, Chancery Division, in Monmouth County.
“Consumers did not get what they paid for and these defendants did not respond to complaints,” Attorney General Anne Milgram said. “We're seeking restitution for consumers who spent their hard-earned money and an overhaul of business practices by these defendants.”
Although the defendants maintain a warehouse in Farmingdale, they do not operate any retail locations. The defendants advertised, offered to sell and sold furniture, including chandeliers, lighting and ceiling fans, to consumers via direct mailings (i.e. Clipper Magazine), magazine advertisements and several web sites that they operated.
The state, in its Complaint, alleges that the defendants:
- Accepted payment for merchandise and then failed to delivered the ordered merchandise;
- Delivered merchandise that was defective or of a different quality or condition than the merchandise ordered;
- Advertised merchandise as assembled, then provided consumers with unassembled merchandise accompanied by inadequate or unclear assembly instructions;
- Failed to provide consumers with merchandise on the promised delivery date or at all;
- Failed to conspicuously post defendants' return policy at the point of sale on defendants' website;
- Failed to deliver merchandise ordered over the telephone or defendants' websites within the required six (6) week period and then failed to provide a full refund;
Misrepresented to consumers that a refund would be forthcoming, when such was not the case;
- Failed to provide consumers with contract forms or sales documents that include the date of delivery and the consumer's options upon nondelivery; and
- Ignored consumer complaints or made it difficult for consumers to submit complaints.
“Consumers spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on furniture deserve far better than the treatment they received from these defendants,” said David Szuchman, Consumer Affairs Director. “We're seeking civil penalties for the violations committed against consumers and the defendants' compliance with our consumer protection laws and regulations.”
Consumers can file complaints with the Division on its Web site at http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/ocp/ocpform.htm or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll-free within N.J.) or 973-504-6200.
Deputy Attorney General Sabina P. McKinney of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section is representing the state in this action. Investigator Raquel Williams led the investigation of this matter.