Consumer News

TINA.org to Bob’s Discount Furniture: Stop the Deceptive Advertising

TINA.org follow-up investigation finds consumers are still not getting the full story on store's financing program.

Consumer News

TINA.org to Bob’s Discount Furniture: Stop the Deceptive Advertising

It’s been months since state officials, prompted by a TINA.org investigation and complaint last fall, requested that Bob’s Discount Furniture make changes to the advertising of its “interest free” financing, which has left furniture shoppers with surprising bills. But consumers are still not getting the full story from Bob’s sales staff and showroom signs.

In a letter sent Wednesday to Bob’s, TINA.org said a follow-up investigation has found that consumers are still not fully informed by the company about the need to pay more than their monthly statement in order to avoid paying back-charged interest at the end of the financing’s 6- or 12-month promotional period. TINA.org also found that some sales staff failed to disclose the hefty 27.99 percent interest rate that kicks in when the promotional period ends.

RELATED: State officials investigate Bob’s following TINA.org complaint

Bob's sign for story
A sign dated 12/22/14 that fails to disclose the need to make more than minimum payment that is still on display.

In April, Bob’s Discount Furniture, a Conn.-based company with 58 locations from Maine to Virginia, assured the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) that it would be more forthcoming with consumers about the aforementioned terms of its financing program.

At the behest of the agency, Bob’s said it would revise signage and supplement training. But those promises have gone largely unfulfilled.

Recent visits to Bob’s stores in Connecticut by TINA.org staff found that sales staff at six locations failed to impress the need to pay more than their monthly bill in order to avoid the burden of back-charged interest. The signage at four locations also failed to make this clear. And sales staff at three out of six stores did not disclose how interest is back-charged, i.e., charged from the date of purchase.

In its letter, a copy of which TINA.org also sent to the Connecticut DCP, TINA.org called on Bob’s to halt its deceptive advertising once and for all:

There is simply no excuse for the ongoing deception. For the sake of consumers, who continue to be misled and then surprised by large interest fees despite having signed up for “interest free” financing, we trust Bob’s will immediately and fully correct these issues throughout all of its stores to ensure that no other deceptive advertising exists, and to avoid the need for the State to reopen its investigation.

Read more about TINA.org’s investigation into Bob’s here.


You Might Be Interested In

Fungus Eliminator

Ad Alert

Fungus Eliminator

Forty-five million Americans are ‘fighting a losing battle’ against toenail fungus. Could this supplement be the solution?