KING WILLIAM, VA (WWBT) - An elderly woman was desperate for help after she said a local furniture store took her money and still hasn't delivered the couch she bought.
"They've treated me very unfairly and I want my money back," said Anna Conti.
The 88-year-old was trying not to get too upset about a situation where she felt she's been had, but it was difficult. "Very upsetting, and I mean, I have hypertension. I take medicine for it, among other things that an 88-year-old person would have," Conti said.
Last September, she placed an order for a custom couch at the Holladay House and Home Center in Aylett. The cost was nearly $1500, and the receipt showed she put down a $500 deposit. She was originally told the couch would be delivered in six to eight weeks. Then she was told it would take up to 18 weeks. Now it's been well over 20 weeks!
"And you have no couch. No couch and you have no money, and they won't give me my money back," Conti said.
She tried to call, but she said she hasn't been able to get anyone on the phone to get any answers. "$500 is a lot of money to me, and it was gifts at Christmas and birthdays from my family. I saved it, [and] now they have it," Conti said.
We went to Holladay House and Home Center and an employee said he left an answering machine message for Mrs. Conti, but he wouldn't say anything more when we confronted him.
It appeared Mrs. Conti was not the only one this has happened to. We spoke to at least one other customer who had a similar experience at Holladay House and Home Center only when the custom table and chairs that they ordered never arrived, they were able to get their money back because they used a credit card.
Several others said they've had a similar experience as well.
We checked with the Better Business Bureau, and Holladay House and Home Center has received 11 complaints in the last 14 months and the business, which is not BBB accredited, has not answered any of them.
Company management also didn't answer any of our repeated phone calls or the in-person visit. However, an employee who did not want to be identified, did reach out to us saying the company didn't have the money to refund customers and that Holladay House and Home Center management would even hide in their offices from irate customers. The employee also claimed three workers were not being paid.
We tried calling management again but still no response until they saw a promotion announcing that this story would air. "She will receive her money back before this week is over," said Holladay House and Home Center owner Richard Plunkett, who came to the station to tell us he was dealing with medical issues for much of last year and not at the store.
Plunkett said during that time, employees who no longer work there stole from the business and customer service went downhill creating issues of which he was unaware, like Mrs. Conti's. "We are working diligently now to take care of everybody that has an issue with us," Plunkett said.
But what about the allegations of hiding from customers and employees not being paid?
"We're not gonna hide from our customers," Plunkett said. "If there's an issue, we want to know what that issue is so we can resolve it. We don't owe any employees any back wages at all."
Plunkett does have a message for Mrs. Conti and other disgruntled customers. "We are sincerely sorry, and we're going to take care of them," he said.
At this point, Mrs. Conti doesn't have a whole lot of faith in those words. "They have no integrity. They haven't shown it if they have any," Conti said.
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