By David Brand
The Department of Consumer Affairs is taking a shady Jamaica home furnishings store to the mat.
DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas officially announced a lawsuit against Maddy’s Home Furniture at a press conference in front of a Maddy’s franchise at 89-31 164 Street in Jamaica today.
The store, Dubai Furniture, engaged in deceptive sales and advertising practices to “lure” and exploit low-income and immigrant consumers, DCA said.
“Consumers in the United States spend close to $100 billion annually at furniture stores. It’s not a small investment and when you do go shopping for furniture, you expect what you pick out at the store to be what is delivered,” Salas said. “Unfortunately, at Maddy’s Home Furniture’s stores there’s a good chance that—unless you take the furniture out of the store the day that you pay for it—you will not get what you paid for…if you receive anything at all.”
DCA filed a lawsuit against the furniture store, which also has franchises in the Bronx and Manhattan, in Manhattan Criminal Court.
The agency said Maddy’s delivered damaged furniture and deceived consumers about financing and layaway options. In one example, store employees created a fake email account for a consumer to use on their financing application to conceal the terms until after the transaction was complete, DCA said.
“It is unconscionable that any company would seek to actively prey on vulnerable New Yorkers who are simply trying to provide comfort for their families,” said State Sen. Leroy Comrie. “I hope that DCA’s action today sends a resounding and unmistakable message to these bad actors that there is no place in our economy for such thievery.”
When contacted Tuesday night, a Dubai Furniture manager said he did not know about the lawsuit or the press conference.