Shopper feels ‘screwed’ by Art Van’s closing

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Longtime Art Van Furniture customers say bad experiences over the weekend after the company announced its closure have put an end to their support.

“I feel screwed, screwed by them yesterday,” shopper Kirstin Gucinski told News 8 Monday. “I’m seriously disappointing with them.”

Gucinski went shopping at the store’s liquidation sale Saturday. She bought a bookcase for a good deal, but still feels ripped off.

“I was told after paying for it I needed to do the delivery and also needed to bring somebody with me to haul it because they had nobody there to lift, and that all of their lifters from the back area had quit,” Gucinski said.

Gucinski rented a U-Haul and had her son drive back to Grand Rapids from Holland to help her get her purchase home.

“We showed up at 12:20 p.m. on Sunday, along with several other customers, to find the doors locked, the building empty,” Gucinski said.

She said she had previously seen a sign on the door that said it would be open from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

An employee with the company, who wishes to remain anonymous, told News 8 managers sent him and his other colleagues an internal email that told workers to close up Sunday. He said that message never went out to customers.

“I did send an email to the email listed on the website; no response,” Gucinski said. “It was no way to treat customers.”

There is now a sign posted on the door of the Art Van on 28th Street near East Paris Avenue In Kentwood that says the store is closed on Sunday but would be open Monday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

On the other side of metro Grand Rapids, Pat Vandermeulen went to the Comstock Park location to replace a faulty mattress she recently bought. When she got to the counter, she realized she lost everything she paid for: including her 10-year warranty.

“I stood in line with a lot of other angry people and then I talked to the receptionist. She says warranties are now void and she said there’s nothing they can do for me,” Vandermeulen said.

“Customers can choose to wait for a refund until after the liquidation, however, a cash refund cannot be guaranteed if they choose to do so,” Art Van’s website reads in part. “All requests for deposit refunds will be given as store credits.”

Vandermeulen said she paid for her furniture in cash. As she showed News 8 her nearly $2,000 receipt, she reflected on the scathing reminder that her money is wasted.

“I don’t have another $2,000 to $3,000 to go out and get another mattress,” said Vandermeulen.

Employees who wished to remain anonymous told News 8 they apologize for the way their customers have been treated and that they have no control over the shopping experience anymore.

One worker said the fallout from the closure has been the worst experience of his life, next to losing his parents.

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