Ethan Allen - Bait and Switch, No Attention to Detail, Mistakes, Deplorable Customer Service
Beautiful furniture, but astonishingly horrid customer service, condescending and coercive sales people, and complete lack of communication between sales/designers and fabricators, looong wait time for furniture.
If you can get similar piece elsewhere and you need your furniture within the decade, order elsewhere.
Do NOT order window treatments, it is not their core competency and they don't stand behind them. The ordering and measuring process alone was a debacle. I tried to cancel immediately after installer came out to measure for blinds and his info completely didn't jibe with designer's. The lack of communication between sales and installer was astonishing. In addition, the blinds the designer recommended for my bedroom would not work with my window configuration, so designer tried to tell me we could "make it work" by changing my existing rods and panels or running out to Target and buy various pieces. What??
Red flags everywhere, I tried to cancel my blinds order. EA would NOT refund or apply money to my furniture order, so I had to apply the money to a ridiculously expensive rug (which took months to arrive, and only made it because I kept following up on it, and frankly does not look good, I let designer "pick it" because I was "lucky" they were letting me do this).
I had to pay someone to reinstall my old blinds in the bedroom, and buy new blinds for the bathroom because I'd already thrown out the old.
But I love the furniture and had high hopes. I kept one blinds order, for my front room (because I really didn't need another $1500 rug and they weren't giving me my money back), and questioned the blinds measurements and color endlessly, and was told "trust me"… but still ended up with a mess, and spent months trying to get it rectified (in the meantime, a friend had trouble with an order from 3Day Blinds, and they replaced the blinds within 2 weeks! Guess who I'm working with now...).
Anything that could have been wrong with these blinds was.
- The blinds looked like a 4th grader installed them. The rod supports were 14.4", 18", and 24" apart, clearly visible.
- One of the slats was defective stuck out at a bizarre angle from the rest.
- Set back was wrong wrong wrong. Designer promised entire window would be exposed (even showed me with her hand where blinds would fall), but apparently that measurement isn't what fabricator got, so too bad for me.
- Designer talked me out of color I wanted (white), and selected a peach color which clashes horribly with my yellow walls "trust me"). I had made it CLEAR repeatedly I did not want anything in house with peach or peachy hue. I don't think she wrote correct color on order, because I saw her and soft goods manager argue incessantly about the numbers they were passing back and forth while we tried to finalize my order. There was clearly a problem there...again, I should have run!
Do NOT trust the designers who keep saying "trust me, I'm a designer" and talk you out of what you think you like. The designer won me over with a collection of incredible swatches that I loved (I still have that picture). I did not end up with ANY of those fabrics.
EA Martha Washington chairs are gorgeous, and there are so many beautiful fabric options. How and why did my designer talk me into a dull beige burlap-type fabric that make them look unfinished, and have to be covered with throws because they collect cat fur in seconds and are certainly not kid friendly. Why not a pattern, like one of the many I loved, that we agreed on? I have two chairs at ~$750 each that are hidden under throws, and even without kids/cats are too ugly to show. I'm going to have to have slipcovers made so they're usable, and then the nailhead and wood arms will be for naught.
EA did not value my time, but surely valued theirs. My designer would not stay focused, I'd come in with a list of things to get through and we would dart back and forth and I'd leave confused. Granted I had a hard time picking a panel fabric but I had just wanted the plain solid premade panels on display, the designer persuaded me otherwise...and when we tried to move forward, the designers would gather around the table chatting about my fabrics and fabric stories etc etc etc when I would have only an hour between work and picking up my son, so I would frantically try to move the process forward. And I was told several times by designer she had bigger clients, she didn't need new clients, and I really needed to make a decision soon. ! Yes, I did, and I needed her focus and attention to detail.
I certainly didn't want to delay things and felt EA was taking way too long to get me through this process, and in the end designer said she was spending "too much time with me" and convinced me to "just go" with her color choices.
I said no to the panels, but went ahead with furniture and under pressure (literally standing at the front door of the store), agreed to let her choose fabric for my dining and Martha Washington chairs. Which were nowhere near close to the beautiful swatches we had agreed on (I still have a photo of that collection and still can't believe none of them ended up in my home), do not match anything in my home and really simply suck. They take up room, I have no place to hide them, and would have to sell them for pennies on the dollar. So depressing. Huge waste of time and money.
I was also rushed into dining table and chairs decision. When I asked if I could see what the chairs and table would look like together, she made me feel like it was rude of me to ask. Yes, they look good, but how the heck did I end up with a table and chairs I'm scared to let my kid, guests and their kids go near.
I was promised over and over that EA would help me pull the rooms together to make the furniture work, that would be part of the "final install". That's a big part of the reason I went with EA, and stuck it out through the problems -- I wanted a room that looked like an EA ad! This never happened. I have expensive pieces sprinkled throughout my house, but they are not functional or beautiful, no idea how to pull it all together. I've had to hire a designer just to try to make these expensive pieces work and pull my home together. Unfortunately, it is harder now to make these odd pieces work than if we were designing from scratch like when I first entered EA.
There were many other snafus, like delays in delivery, the wrong rug delivered, etc., but bottom line...EA had excuse after excuse and no one was willing to make it right. The designer blamed the installer, the installer blamed the designer, the designer and soft goods manager argued back and forth, the store manager didn't give a darn, and no one paid any attention to the completely incorrect blinds installation until I posted on their FaceBook page. Then a manager came out did agree to take back those blinds after trying to convince me to keep them, but this took months… I'm stuck with the other stuff and trying to figure out how to make it work, and can't get back the time wasted on the whole blinds process.
All I wanted was that beautiful ottoman and silk panels, and I have neither. Although I've found similar beautiful panels at Restoration Hardware that are returnable if color is wrong! And their store manager also helped me select colors!
One great purchase from EA was an entertainment console that I saw and fell and love with. It was on sale, and I liked it as it was, so did not have to fall prey to designer recommendations. Although she "promised" scratches would be cared before, they "don't usually do that" but she would do it "herself" before it was delivered. Think that happened? Not a big deal, just another example of BS. Don't make the offer if you're not going to do it EA, I was going to buy the piece anyway.
If you see a piece you like at EA, buy it but plug your ears when designer tries to talk. I simply wanted to buy a beautiful bench, had all my options and fabric picked out, then was interested in the pre-made silk panels... but somehow was talked into not buying the bench, convinced to buy a ton of other expensive pieces that are completely nonfunctional in a house with kids and pets. Was turned away from the beautiful premade panels and shown book after book of expensive fabrics…so glad I didn't order those.
Didn't get anything in the fabric I loved, and for the ultimate slap in the face my fabric pieces are all in the dull beige/peach I absolutely did not want.
Still want to get that ottoman but feel sure I will be knocked over the head with a candlestick if I walk into EA.
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