Is this Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery problem solvable?

Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery

When Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery delivers damaged tables to Anne Furlong, she tries to get the furniture repaired. So what’s the hold-up?

Q: Last year, I paid $1,500 for two Baker Furniture side tables from a business called The Local Vault. I contracted with Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery to deliver the furniture from Perth Amboy, N.J., to Saratoga, Calif.

A month later, Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery tried to deliver the tables, but I refused the delivery because the tables were damaged. Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery agreed to take the tables back for repair.

Two months later, Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery redelivered the tables. I was out of town and the delivery was accepted by my 21-year-old son, who didn’t know he should check the repair. The dispatcher had called to set up delivery while I was out of town. No one asked to speak to me. Therefore, my son agreed to the redelivery window.

A few days later, when I returned, I discovered that although the repairs had been attempted, the end result had ruined the finish on both tabletops. I contacted Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery to report that the repair was unacceptable.

It has now been nine months since I placed my order. There is a long thread of email communications with various representatives at Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery. My refund request has languished on the desks of employees and I feel as though I am being strung along with no real intent by Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery to resolve the claim.

A representative agreed in writing that Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery would pay a settlement of $1,972. However, I have not received a check yet. Can you help me? — Anne Furlong, Saratoga, Calif.

A: Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery should have delivered your tables undamaged, as promised. Unfortunately, things sometimes break during shipment. When they do, you expect a business to fix them quickly.

Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery failed to deliver your furniture as advertised, failed to fix the tables to your expectations, and dragged its feet on a refund it had promised in writing.

Fortunately, you kept a meticulous paper trail. It suggests several reasons for the extraordinary delay. First, your initial claim went to someone who left the company, so your case fell through the cracks. Second, Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery’s claims office was going through a “restructuring,” which caused even more delays. Finally, the company had to submit your claim to its insurance company, which took even more time.

Those excuses are unacceptable.

How to contact Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery

The behind-the-scenes problems of a company are no concern of yours. You should get what Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery promised you within a reasonable amount of time — not nine months.
By the way, executives at Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery are easy to reach. Their emails are [email protected]

I contacted the company on your behalf, and it promptly cut a check for $1,972.

The company responds (7/11):

The two side tables were ordered and purchased from a reseller of pre-owned furniture. At the time of original delivery, there was damage noticed and the items were returned for repair. Days after acceptance of the re-delivered/repaired items, the consumer contacted Metropolitan that there was damage to the finish and the repairs were unacceptable. As with any consumer experiencing delivery or damage concerns, the Metropolitan team communicated with Ms. Furlong to offer resolutions.

The resolution offered by Metropolitan, in October of 2018, was a cash settlement of the entire cost of the damaged items. We also informed the consumer that due to insurance purposes, the damaged items must be released back to Metropolitan to complete the transaction. The consumer did not accept that offer, nor allow Metropolitan to retrieve the damaged items; therefore, the claim was closed in October 2018.

Four months later the consumer contacted Metropolitan again to resolve the issue and the same resolutions were offered. In March 2019, Metropolitan issued a check for the damaged items plus shipping fees along with the requirement that the damaged items be released back to Metropolitan. The consumer accepted the settlement but refused to release the damaged items.

As an overview, the consumer was refunded the full price of the pre-owned tables, received payment for shipping charges and refused to allow Metropolitan to pick up the damaged items; therefore, the consumer kept the tables plus received a full refund.

We understand that delivery mishaps are frustrating at best, which is why Metropolitan has an experienced team and procedures in place to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.

Posted in Problem Solved Tagged

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can’t. He’s the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes weekly columns for King Features Syndicate, USA Today, and the Washington Post. If you have a consumer problem you can’t solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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