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Antiques >Off The Wall
1704 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX | Directions 7870430.246985 -97.750674
Neighborhoods: Greater South River City, South River City
Before I purchased anything here, I thought the owners were nice and the store was charming. Then, I bought something and I learned the truth.
The antique gate leg table looked fine in the store. Since the shop is small and crowded with merchandise/furniture, I could not stand back from the table more than about two feet. I looked beneath the table and all around and it looked fine, so I bought the table (for about $100 more than at the antiques mart in North Austin, but it was there and I needed it) and took it home. When I arrived home, opened up the table and stood across the kitchen, I could clearly see that it had a BIG problem. Fully opened, the two leaves were higher than the center, giving the table a noticeable batwing look. You had to be able to stand back away from the table a bit to see it. Further, one of the two leave was warped (my carpenter said it looked like a potato chip.) The table was in pretty bad shape.
I called the store within the hour to report the problem. I asked if I could bring it back and they said, "under duress, yes." I said I appreciated it and also said I'd try to fix the biggest problem by putting some pads under the center legs to try to lift the center of the table. I did. Then I tried to do my best to keep it.
But six days later I called back to say that I could not fix the problem and that I could not sit a dish on one of the leaves because the dish rocked on the warp and I was bringing it back. I really was just calling to let them know I was on the way.
Too bad, too late, get lost, I was told. The dealer who put the warped table in the store for sale already had restocked the space with other furniture and was unlikely to take it back. The store owner refused to call to ask him. Instead he offered a store credit for the $375 purchase and said he thought he was being "more than fair."
I may be wrong, but I think basic fairness (and honesty) requires that a retailer
1. indicate when merchandise is flawed
2. stand behind goods sold
3. stand behind a commitment made less than a week before to refund the sale price.
Before the call ended, the store owner indicated that perhaps I was somehow responsible for the warping in six days of an antique English oak table. Classic, if-you-can't-fix-a-problem-shift-the-blame. And he then said he had other customers in the store and could offer no other solution.
All I can say is I hope those other customers check the merchandise from this dishonest store owner VERY carefully, do not expect him to stand behind his sales and avoid the purchase of ANY furniture at all. Dishonest, crap merchandise, rude.
Making antiquing a little bit more accessible for the average Jane or Joe. – In Short
If you're an antique hunter on a budget or just a gatherer of obscure items, you're in the right part of town. They've got antiques, none of which fall into one category: furnishings, books, fine china and jewelry just to name a few. For the more obscure, there's old Army surplus fold-up shovels and a heavy-duty, John Deere green and yellow tricycle complete with a 10,000-mile warranty.
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