Action 9: Samples may not represent entire close-out products

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:

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GASTONIA, N.C. —

A Gastonia family thought it landed a deal on hardwood floors after family members found a close-out sale.

It wasn't until they took the boards home that they realized the problems.

They asked Action 9's Jason Stoogenke to step in and help make things right.

The family went to lumber liquidators in Gastonia and found close-out boards on sale for $6,000.

They said the store showed them samples.

They didn't look perfect, but that was OK with them.

Once the boards were in their home, they noticed the problems, including stamp marks and boards that split easily.
The husband told me he wasn't upset with the price, but that he wanted what he paid for.

Stoogenke called the Home Service Store, the business handling complaints for Lumber Liquidators, and they agreed to make things right by letting the family out of paying the remaining $1,899.

The only catch was HSS made them sign a contract saying they wouldn't tell their story on camera, even though Action 9 helped both sides work out a deal.

Action 9 decided not to show family members or their home to protect them from getting into legal trouble.

But that isn't stopping us from warning customers about HSS and sharing this advice from the Better Business Bureau's Tom Bartholomy.

He says when you buy wood boards as is, don't rely on the samples the store shows you.

Ask to see all of the wood that's going to end up in your house.

"You think, 'Well, geez, there's going to be a thousand boards.' Well, you're paying for it," Bartholomy said. Stoogenke checked with three businesses to find out how their prices compared to the $6,000 the family paid.

The businesses' prices ranged from $5,800 to $8,000 for the least expensive solid wood.

If you've been ripped off, overbilled or misled; or if you see something that is hurting all consumers, contact Action 9.