ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Jane Lenoue and Richard Araiza were lured by a 50-percent-off sale at a local furniture store just before Christmas. The Albuquerque couple settled on a two-piece leather sectional they’d be able to buy at the bargain-basement price of $5,830.
Six months later, they’re still waiting for their furniture.
That’s because the company they bought it from shut its doors with no warning.
Lenoue and Araiza made a down payment of $2,687 to Adobe Bungalow last December. The rest would be due upon delivery, according to the company. Adobe Bungalow, which custom orders furniture from New York-based manufacturer Stickley, told the couple it could take up to four months to deliver their couch.
In June, Lenoue and Araiza began asking about the status of their couch. Adobe Bungalow, they said, gave them the run-around.
“It was like, ‘oh it’s been delayed, oh it’ll be here in six weeks,'” Lenoue said in an interview. “The time period would come and go and still no sofa. They said there were delays because of weather back east — that’s where the manufacturer is. I would also feel better even today if (Adobe Bungalow) would respond to phone calls.”
The real answer came in a letter at the end of June. That’s when Adobe Bungalow wrote to customers, saying it had closed down. A former retail manager told KRQE News 13 that the business had been struggling financially, and after 10 years, decided to close.
The manager said Adobe Bungalow still had 68 customers with outstanding orders.
In the letter, Adobe Bungalow owner Greg McAllister wrote that customers would need to pay their remaining balances before their furniture was shipped.
“The original agreement, the purchase agreement, states they would get the balance due upon delivery, but now they’re asking for it to be paid in advance,” Araiza said.
“I don’t totally trust that they may not deliver the goods, literally, and instead possibly sell them to (pay) off other creditors,” Lenoue said. “I want a guarantee that … when I pay for it, I know that that’s going to be shipped.”
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Adobe Bungalow has hired Albuquerque bankruptcy attorney William Davis to help manage the remaining orders and deal with its outstanding credit problems. The business is asking customers to transfer the balances on their orders to Davis’ trust account as an added measure of confidence.
“These people might not have too much faith that they’ll get the furniture if they pay the second half, so I proposed that the people put the funds in my trust account so that they could be certain that they wouldn’t go astray,” Davis said.
Davis also said Adobe Bungalow has negotiated a written agreement with Stickley, ensuring that customers’ money will go directly to pay and deliver their furniture. Davis said he hopes to have orders shipped in less than a month.
John Brogan, chief financial officer and senior vice president of Stickley, told News 13 in a telephone interview that Stickley is requiring payment in advance and will release the furniture once it has received payment. Brogan said he is hopeful Adobe Bungalow will meet its obligations and work toward getting products to customers in Albuquerque.
Adobe Bungalow “very much understands that concern, and I can tell you they are working without salary and putting some of their own money to be put in a position so that Stickley can deliver the furniture to Albuquerque,” Davis said.
Lenoue and Araiza said that’s the assurance they were hoping for.
“We do want the furniture and we are ready to pay it and the balance even upfront if there was just some mechanism for protecting this group of buyers, this group of customers, that’s really all we want,” Lenoue said.