Charlotte Furniture Temporarily Banned from Operating in North Carolina
The company repeatedly took customer money upfront but did not provide furniture
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has announced the temporary ban of Charlotte Furniture from operating in North Carolina.
The company allegedly and repeatedly took customers' money upfront but did not provide furniture.
"It's simple. If you pay a store for merchandise, they should give you what you paid for or refund your money," Cooper said. "Pocketing payments and failing to deliver on promises is no way to do business."
Under the stipulations of a temporary restraining order signed by Wake County Superior Court Judge R. Allen Baddour, the company and its owners—Adel and Nader Judeh—are prohibited from the North Carolina furniture business. They are also banned from either advertising or collecting payments from consumers for furniture, and cannot accept any advance furniture payments within the state.
A.G. Cooper filed a lawsuit against the defendants last week that requested that the court order them to return all furniture that had not been shipped or refund customers' money. His office filed the suit after receiving complaints from 13 consumers claiming that the company had not fulfilled their furniture orders and had refused to provide refunds for them.
The complaint alleges that the company and its owners knowingly provided misleading delivery estimates on consumers' orders and avoided them when they attempted to contact the company regarding deadlines it missed. Consumers who did receive their furniture orders often found that the orders were defective, damaged, incomplete, or not the furniture they had ordered. In some cases the defendants offered refunds to dissatisfied consumers then wrote checks for those refunds that the store was aware would bounce. When consumers threatened to take legal action, the defendants closed the store, moved to a different location, and reopened it under a new name.
The A.G.'s office received complaints from consumers who paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars to the defendants for furniture that they never received. One customer reported that he paid more than $4,900 upfront in cash for furniture for the bedroom, dining room, dinette, and living room, but the furniture arrived either late, defective, or not at all. Upon attempting to obtain a refund for the furniture that was not delivered, the defendants made empty promises regarding new delivery dates and threatened to provide neither the money nor the furniture if the consumer pursued legal action. Another customer paid the company more than $600 on layaway for a child's bunk bed that was never delivered, and the defendants would not provide a refund or take the consumer's calls for weeks.
The A.G.'s office encourages any consumer who did business with Charlotte Furniture, Discount Furniture, or Money Wise Furniture—companies previously operated by the owners—but did not receive their order or a refund to file a complaint with the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.
"Before making purchases on major items like furniture, shop around and check out the company before you buy," Cooper said. "Contact our office, your local Better Business Bureau, and online customer reviews for information that can help you spot potential problems."