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AG Cooper wins judgment against troublesome furniture seller

Release date: 10/12/2012

Owner of Grand Furniture Gallery of Cary barred from taking money upfront

Raleigh: The owner of a Cary furniture company that took money in advance but failed to deliver orders is permanently barred from accepting upfront payments for furniture, Attorney General Roy Cooper said today.
 
“North Carolina has long been known for its furniture industry, but sellers that don’t come through for consumers tarnish that reputation,” Cooper said. “The bottom line is that if you take people’s money for furniture, you need to deliver.”
 
Under a consent judgment signed by Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway, Grand Furniture Gallery owner Max Robert Godfrey, Jr. is permanently banned from owning or operating any business that takes advance deposits for furniture. If Godfrey violates the order, he will owe $100,000 in civil penalties. 
 
Godfrey filed for bankruptcy in July 2011 and dissolved the company in June of this year. 
 
In September 2011, Cooper filed a lawsuit against Grand Furniture Gallery and Godfrey based on complaints from consumers who paid the company money but never received their furniture. A total of 23 consumers filed complaints about Grand Furniture Gallery with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, and some of them were able to get their money back.  The Better Business Bureau, which gave the company an “F” rating, also got numerous complaints about Grand Furniture Gallery.
 
As alleged in the lawsuit, Grand Furniture Gallery required consumers to pay for orders in advance. Starting in late 2010, the company either required payment by check or encouraged it by offering discounts. Consumers who placed orders with the company were usually told that their items would arrive in four to 16 weeks, but the items never arrived as promised. Under federal law, mail order companies must tell consumers if their orders will be delayed and offer them a new delivery date or a refund. 
 
Godfrey had previously owned and operated two other furniture companies, at least one of which, NC Home Furniture, had problems delivering orders as promised. Between 2004 and 2006, 74 consumers complained about NC Home Furniture. The Consumer Protection Division was investigating the company when it filed for bankruptcy on December 6, 2006.
 
“Always check out a company before you make a big purchase, especially if you’re placing your order online,” Cooper said. “Doing some research first can save you time, money and frustration.”
 
Call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM to check out and company or file a complaint, or get tips on ordering furniture or file a complaint online.

  Contact:  Noelle Talley, (919) 716-6413