State College

College Township furniture store pledges deliveries or refunds

Furniture Solutions in Spring Township.
Furniture Solutions in Spring Township. CDT photo

Leo Hartman wonders if he’ll ever see the furniture he bought at Furniture Solutions in College Township, and Jeremy Dreibelbis wonders if he’ll ever get his money back.

Dreibelbis, of State College bought an $828 living room suite in January for his new house. Hartman, of Bellefonte, bought $820 worth of furniture, including a dining table, chairs, coffee table and end table, in February. Furniture Solutions, which closed its doors last month, has not adequately responded to their concerns, they said.

Furniture Solutions is also in hot water with its landlord, 303 Benner Pike Holding Limited Partnership. The two sides are in a legal battle, according to court documents, in which the partnership seeks $29,505 in damages and possession of the 7,200-square-foot space that Furniture Solutions leased for seven years on May 15, 2014.

Metro Commercial Management Services property manager Rose Ann Svrcek placed Furniture Solutions owner Jodi Auker on notice of default Dec. 11, claiming Auker had failed to pay $17,105. Metro Commercial Management Services is the leasing company for the partnership.

Svrcek warned Auker that the partnership would exercise “any and all remedies available, including the institution of legal action for collection without further notice,” according to court documents.

The next court date for the two sides is March 25 in Centre County.

“The business is being forced to close after being unable to find a suitable place in a timely manner to relocate,” Auker, who identified herself as Jodi Sturek, said in a statement Thursday. “We’re working to make sure customer orders are filled and or refunds are made.”

Dreibelbis, who said he was told the wait for his furniture would be four to six weeks, decided to buy furniture elsewhere last week.

But Dreibelbis said he received a phone call this week telling him he could pick up his furniture. When he asked for a refund, he said, he was told to take the matter up with his bank.

“They have over $800 of mine,” Dreibelbis said. “I’ve been sitting on my floor for two months. I couldn’t wait any longer.”

Some Furniture Solutions customers said they were blindsided by the store’s closing.

“Wouldn’t most companies give the people that are their customers courtesy calls if they’re closing?” Dreibelbis’ mother, Cindy Hartswick, said. “Shouldn’t they give calls saying not to worry?”

Hartswick bought a living room sofa and recliner for $926 in January, which she said she received about a month later than promised. She also said the furniture that was delivered was damaged floor models, not new furniture, according to the people who delivered it.

“They said I can call and ask for replacements,” Hartswick said. “That makes me laugh.”

But the phone appears to have been disconnected this week.

Hartman called the store last week, because he was told Feb. 5 that his furniture would be delivered in three to six weeks.

“I got the message they were closed for relocation,” he said. “I never heard back.”

Hartman said he has called and emailed the company since March 9, but has been unsuccessful reaching anyone.

“It’s not like we’re way over, but I feel very worried that I’m down $300 from the deposit I put on it,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s fraud or awful service. I’m just glad I didn’t pay the full $800 for it.”

But some customers are receiving their orders.

Lethia and Zach Cullum, of Ferguson Township, got the call to pick up their furniture Thursday, about four months after they purchased a recliner for $593. The Cullums said they were told it would be delivered in five to seven weeks, possibly in time for Christmas or shortly after the New Year.

“I went in, and it was there,” Zach Cullum said. “It looks new. They said they’ll deliver it tonight. I hope they do.”