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Retailer Review: RugsUSA.com

A few days before we closed on the house, Groupon had a fantastic deal: $95 for $245 worth of rugs at RugsUSA.com. I had recently read some positive things about RugsUSA on one of the blogs I read (I forget which one), and also read a whole bunch of positive reviews elsewhere on the internet. I did my research to make sure they weren’t a scam, and aside from a few general negative reviews (the colors weren’t right, the shipping was slow), I decided to pull the trigger. After all, $95 for a large area rug seemed like an awesome deal to me.

Fast forward a few weeks. About a week after we moved in, we decided it was time to go rug hunting. Our boxspring had to be cut in half to get up the stairs at our old place, which required the removal of all of the fabric on the outside. Did you know that most boxsprings are cheap-ass wood shoddily nailed together into a rough box shape? Yeah, we didn’t either. Anyway, because we had to remove the fabric, and because the construction was so shoddy, there are a lot of places on the bottom of the boxspring where nails and staples stick out. Nice, huh? This wasn’t a problem at our old place because the bedroom was carpeted, but we didn’t want to take a chance on scratching up our hardwood floors at the Schloss. Therefore, rug = necessary.

After some general indecisiveness, we decided on this guy:

Not bad, aye? We liked it too. And, it was only $218! In order to use the Groupon, I had to spend the full $245, so I ordered this guy for the kitchen as well. The total, after the Groupon, came to $12. So I spent a total of $107 on two rugs. Not too shabby.

The day after I ordered, I received shipping confirmation for the smaller rug. Should arrive in a week. Perfect, no rush. Four days later, I got a shipping confirmation for the larger rug. This was to be expected… I believe the site said that the rug would ship in 3-5 days. I clicked the tracking link they gave me, because I like to obsessively check these things, and… not found. Hmm. FedEx says it could take up to 48 hours to show up in their system. Okay, fine.

48 hours later? Not found.

But guess what! The UPS guy (not the FedEx guy) showed up with our rug as Jesse was coming home from work. Except the rug was tan. Not black. Jesse sent me a text with a picture of the label. “Didn’t we order a rug with red in it?”

YES WE DID ORDER A RUG WITH RED IN IT. The stupid thing was also OPEN and DIRTY:

I was pretty irate. I (theoretically) spent $218 on this rug (actually spent $95), and for it to arrive that dirty is unacceptable. What is even more unacceptable is that IT WASN’T THE RUG I ORDERED. Unfortunately, RugsUSA’s customer service closes at 6, so I had to wait until Tuesday morning to call.

At 9:15am on Tuesday, I got in touch with customer service. After the MOST ANNOYING hold music/talk ever, a meek-sounding girl answered the phone. How could I yell at someone who sounded so sad/bored with their job? I would have to play nice. I explained my situation to the girl (WRONG, DIRTY rug), and she quickly said she would put me on hold and get in touch with the manufacturer right away. I guess RugsUSA goes direct through the manufacturers and doesn’t have a warehouse of their own. After sitting on hold for about 5 minutes, my meek friend came back on the line.

They would be sending me packaging that would arrive in 1-2 days to return my rug. Then I would have to contact UPS for a pick-up. Once the rug was received at the manufacturer’s warehouse, I would receive a refund.

Um, okay. What about the rug I actually ordered? I want it! In black!

Oh, the manufacturer doesn’t make that color in that size anymore.

Wait, what?

I asked the girl to clarify this, and apparently she meant exactly what she said. RugsUSA sells rugs that don’t exist anymore, and when the manufacturer gets an order for one of those rugs, they just send whatever color they have left. Yep, that’s how it works. So because they didn’t have black in the style I wanted, the company just assumed that I would be okay with getting a rug in an entirely different color. Yeah, no.

So now I guess I’m just waiting on my refund. I am curious as to 1) how long that will take and 2) how that’ll actually work. In a perfect world, they would just credit my debit account for the amount of the rug. However, I didn’t actually pay RugsUSA $218. I paid $95 to Groupon. So will RugsUSA refund me my Groupon purchase price? Or only the $12 that I actually paid? Will I have to make another call to Groupon to get them to refund the price I paid to them? It all seems stupid and complicated.

For now, I’m out $95. And our mattress is still on the floor. From now on, I’ll stick to buying rugs in stores. Hrmph.

UPDATE (9/5/12): So. We eventually received the packaging to return the rug we ordered. Eventually, as in two weeks after I spoke with Customer Service. Two weeks to receive a FexEx package containing a giant bag, two twist ties, and some tape. Nothing else. Where was I supposed to send the rug? How was I supposed to send the rug? I called Customer Service again, and after sitting on hold for 10 minutes, the girl told me that I did the right thing by calling, that they would put in a pick up order with FedEx, and I would receive an email in a few days about when to set the rug out for shipment. A week later, I finally received that email. At 11:30 AM. Telling me that they would make the first pick-up attempt that day.

Okay, that’s fine, except I work. Like a lot of people. And I can’t put out a rug for pick-up when I’M NOT HOME. Also! When I got home, there was a FedEx sticker on the door saying they showed up for the first pick-up at 11:50, a  mere 20 minutes after I received the email. HA. Ok.

That night, Jesse and I packaged up the rug, and in the morning, we set it out for pick-up. The FedEx guy came by, lugged the 8′-tall rug into his truck, and left us a pick-up tag with a tracking number. Sweet.

The rug made it to the manufacturer yesterday. I have yet to receive any confirmation that they received the rug. We’ll see how this goes.

UPDATE (9/6/12): Today marks the day that I am done with Groupon AND RugsUSA. And maybe “too good to be true” discounted things in general. After not hearing from RugsUSA yesterday, or all of today, I gave them a call to find out what was UP with my order. I spoke to a very nice woman who told me some not very nice news:  Because I purchased the rug using a Groupon, I should have processed the return with Groupon. Also, because I had to order two things in order to use the full amount of the Groupon, they had to CHARGE my account an extra $17 for the smaller rug and I had to contact Groupon to get my $95 back.

Hrmph.

I was on the phone with Groupon for about 20 minutes speaking (or not speaking?) to a woman who is typing more than she is talking. That’s fine–I get that customer service works in different ways–but to have your (potentially pissed off) customer just sitting on the line while you’re typing away doesn’t make me feel very confident. In the end, I get my $95 back after Groupon verifies that I’m not just full of shit. I guess that’s all I can really ask for?

While I will NEVER order from RugsUSA again (this entire ordeal took a month, and I still have no bedroom rug to show for it), and I’m most likely done with buying things from Groupon,  every customer service person I spoke to from both companies was helpful, and if they didn’t know the answer to something, they figured it out. I guess you have to have good customer service when you mess up so gigantically.

I’ll stick to buying rugs in person from now on, even if it costs a lot more.

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