HOUSTON - Hundreds of customers in Texas and across the country are irate after they say they paid thousands of dollars for furniture that never arrived and can't get answers.
The Interior Define store in River Oaks in Houston is one of many locations across the country now closed. The company website says 14 more stores across the country are closed or are only taking appointments.
After months of delayed orders, Interior Define is now revealing it is facing "severe financial hardship" and selling the brand to another business to get orders filled.
"What is it like to go home after spending eight hours lying to people, who cannot afford to give you money for furniture they are never going to get.," asked customer Jen Rogus in Colorado, recalling her phone conversation with an Interior Design representative.
Hundreds of customers have complained on social media and to the Better Business Bureau after paying for custom-made furniture they say never arrived.
"I don’t know if I’ll ever receive my furniture. I've paid many thousands of dollars for it. We’re also about to have a baby any day now," said Melissa Carter, a customer in the Austin, Texas area.
"I really liked my couch. I really liked the color. The swatch, I carry it in my purse. You feel duped at the end of the day," said Jennifer Lewis, a customer in the Fort Worth area.
Customers say their calls and emails to the company go unanswered. Our calls and emails to Interior Define have not been answered either.
The Better Business Bureau has given Chicago-based Interior Define an "F" rating after receiving nearly 500, mostly unanswered, complaints.
What's more, many customers say they paid through Affirm, a buy now, pay later loan, making refunds complicated.
"It’s another jab every month when I see another $388 deducted for this couch that hasn’t come and may not come," said Carter.
Interior Define finally posted Wednesday that severe financial hardship is forcing it to liquidate some parts of the business and sell the brand to another third-party business.
The statement reads in part: "... the Buyer is working to help fulfill many customer orders by negotiating terms and completing payment with certain unpaid vendors of Interior Define Inc., thereby facilitating the delivery of that merchandise. Due to the number of unfulfilled orders, there is a chance that not all orders placed before December 29, 2022 will be fulfilled. All unfilled orders, refund claims, and cancelations will be processed by the Assignee. If you have an unfilled order placed before December 29, 2022 you will be contacted prior to February 1st with more information."
Affirm sent us the following statement:
"Affirm offers consumers a transparent and flexible way to pay over time with no late or hidden fees. Returns and refunds are subject to the merchant’s policies. While we typically have a 60-day window for disputes, customers who have issues with an outstanding loan for Interior Define should contact Affirm through our Help Center to initiate a dispute. Once a dispute is initiated, all payments will be paused."
But some customers say their experience with Interior Define doesn't sit well.
"I paid very good money for this furniture, and then I was lied to. It was very aggravating," said Rogus.
Interior Define says they hope to post a website by Jan. 14 where customers can check the status of their orders.