Nest Furniture in Lincoln Nebraska Lost My Business Today

  • Comments: 27
  • Written on: February 7th, 2009

nest-furniture-lincoln-nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska is the 7th best metropolitan economy in the country right now.  That is a good thing for Nest Furniture, because with their poor customer service I wouldn’t be surprised if they are still around next year.

Maybe the owner was having a bad day.  Maybe his dog died.  Maybe he had a fight with his wife just before we came in.  The point of this post is that NONE OF THAT MATTERS.  Small businesses need to understand that the quality of their service – especially in an industry as competitive as furniture – is what separates failure from success.

Here is the situation my wife and I encountered at Nest Furniture today as we tried to give them $500 for a pair of tables for our new service center.  Needless to say, our order has been canceled and we will not be back again.  How would you have handled this one?

Bad Service Personified

Schrock Innovations is building a new computer repair service center in Lincoln, NE.  We found some unique display tables for laptops at a local odds-and-ends store called Nest Furniture.

My wife Kim placed two metal tables on hold in January for a total of $500.  We didn’t have a truck with us that day, so I offered to send in a check if they would hold the tables until early February when we open the new location.

The owner gave me a ticket for the tables marked with free delivery to our new location and C.O.D. terms.  Seeing the C.O.D. terms, I did not send a check (because C.O.D. means Cash on Delivery and they were delivering them in early February)

My wife and I stopped in today to let them know we are ready to take delivery of the tables. The owner told me that he had canceled our order because he had not received a check in January.  I was a little surprised and reminded him that our ticket said C.O.D.

I figured we had a misunderstanding, and it wasn’t a big deal since he still had the tables and I still wanted them.  So I asked him to deliver them to our new address on Monday so they would be ready for our Tuesday opening.

Just Hand Over the Money

The owner’s tone changed, he cocked his head and said no, “I’ll tell you what.  You bring me a check and then we will deliver them.”

I was a little taken aback by his tone, but I figured it was understandable since he thought we had promised him a check once and then didn’t follow through.  I did not have a company check book with me at that moment, so I asked him again if he would mind delivering them on Monday and I could give him a check when he dropped them off.

At that his face grimaced, he took a stern tone and told me since we had screwed him over once he was not going to do anything until we brought him money.  “You just bring a check in on Monday and then we will deliver them when we have time.”

This situation falls into the “you had to be there” category because the tension was thick enough to see hanging in the air.  I felt myself getting angry, so I decided there was nothing to do until Monday anyway, so I turned to leave.

The Email Response

Tonight I sent Nest Furniture this email:

After the way my wife and I were treated in your store this afternoon, we are canceling our order for the two metal tables we wanted.  We will be ordering the tables from IKEA, like we did with the rest of our furniture.

I understand that there was a miscommunication – you thought I was sending a check for the tables, and I saw COD on our ticket and assumed you wanted cash on delivery.  Either way, you still had the tables today and I still wanted them.  There was no need to treat my wife and I like we were some kind of scam artists trying to steal two metal tables from you.

I don’t carry a ledger checkbook with me, and when I build an $830,000 service center I don’t just whip my credit card out to buy things.  Everything is done with a purchase order so it can be tracked.

I don’t know if something bad happened to you right before we came in, but anytime two customers who WANT to spend money in your store leave cursing your name, that is not a good thing for business.

I was further offended because that very morning I gave your business a 5 minute commercial during our Compute This radio show about how Nest was the place to go to find one-of-a-kind furniture pieces.  Over 20,000 people heard that spot in Lincoln, and probably a few hundred more on the internet through Twitter and Facebook.  I was upset because I had lent your operation the credibility of my reputation.

I don’t want anything from you.  No apology, no discounts, no tables – that is not what this is about.  I just want to let you know how your attitude today lost you $500, a ton of positive goodwill, and an active friend in the local business community.

One of the reasons that Schrock Innovations has grown so much more quickly than other computer repair companies in our market is because we know that creating satisfied customers means everything.  The customer’s satisfaction is what matters – without it nothing else can happen.

There are always situations that are beyond salvaging, but this was not one of them.  The way Nest is doing business may fly on the West Coast, but the owner has a lot to learn about doing business in Nebraska.

  1. Narzuty said on February 13th, 2009 at 4:02 am

    I see trackbacks from local newspapers or portals. Good they do negative PR. I always care for my customers. Word of mouth is the best advertisement in this business.

  2. Thor said on February 16th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    @Narzuty

    I agree 100% Word of mouth is vital to any business.

  3. Brian Mark said on April 13th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    This type of attitude can easily close a business in pretty short order. The customer is always right, even when they’re wrong, and most certainly when there is a miscommunication.

  4. notsoNest'y'
    notsoNest'y' said on May 28th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks for the experience information with the Nest Furniture store here in Lincoln. I was seriously considering going in to check out what they have. However, after your experience, I’m going to save myself the trouble of dealing with someone that either had a bad day, or a personal problem that spilled over into work. I’ve had a good run of predicting which business in this town will last and which ones won’t…and most of those that I have felt don’t deserve to do well in the business they are in, close in short order. I won’t be stepping through their doors and I’m sure many more in Lincoln won’t waste the time either.

  5. Marcus
    Marcus said on August 9th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    I’ve been in there several times and never had a bad experience Boo Hoo you got yelled by someone who didn’t know how important you are and now you have to run out and tell all your little friends about it and have them agree with you, pathetic! You don’t seem to realize that it’s hard enough for local businesses to survive without people bashing them on the internet where I’m sure most of their customer base can see it. You didn’t even mention their selection or the cleanliness of the building, you know, important things. And no, I’m not trolling blogs to leave bad comments, I was interested in this post and I was angered by how incredibly one sided it was just to make you look right, for all I know you are at fault here and now you’re trying to get them shut down.

  6. Thor said on August 9th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Marcus. I am not really that important. That is the point. If they treated me that way they will treat anyone that way.

    I’m glad you had a great experience, but small businesses fail because small business owners don’t know how to please their customers.

    Honestly the cleanliness of a 100 year old unfinished warehouse space is not that important to me when I am buying used metal tables.

  7. Jake Hansen
    Jake Hansen said on September 12th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    I kind of agree with Marcus…I am sure you have never had an upset customer at your company just for some small misunderstanding. Would you want them out slamming you online? Really seems kind of low to do that to Nest over something so trivial. Just buy your tables somewhere else and be done with it. Last thing you really want is an image that if some company does not treat you great that you are going to drag them through the mud. Nest will do just fine for many years. I have purchased a nice bed from them and it was a good experience with a small local company. Like your mom said, if you can’t say something nice…

  8. Thor said on September 13th, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Thanks for your comment Jake. But my mom doesn’t send me “F*** Off” emails or call me names when I come to her house.

    If it was a misunderstanding, then all it takes is a few words to clear it up. Unfortunately none of those words are four lettered and unfit for children.

    The point of this post is not to engage in a personal vendetta. The point is that if you treat people that way, they will tell their friends. I chose to use my blog to do that, others may talk over coffee or at a soccer game, etc..

    Phillip Glynn responded to my email, but I never published it. His reply email was the motivation for this post. I think I pegged him pretty accurately, but you tell me. Here’s an excerpt:

    I agreed to give you a discount on the tables and deliver them free, assuming you would pay for them in a timely matter. You said you would send a check and I took you at your word, my mistake.

    When you didn’t send the check. I simply voided the sale. What kind of pompous f*** walks into a business and assumes he can purchase things without paying for them?

    For the record, I asked him to hold the tables for me until February 1. He gave me a ticket that said COD (cash on DELIVERY). He told me he had more than 30 of them and that wouldn’t be a problem. I assumed I would be paying him when he DELIVERED them.

    So this did all START with a miscommunication that could have easily been resolved. Unfortunately Phillip Glynn decided to insult me again instead.

    I am glad you had a good experience and received good value, but Phillip Glynn is not someone I plan on doing business with again.

  9. piper
    piper said on October 20th, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    That guy at Nest is strange, certainly not friendly, and I did get the feeling that if I did one thing to displease him, his true nature would surface more than it did. He’s also a bit of a snob which having recently moved here from NYC I find humorous, if not mildly irritating. The problem is the store has no real competition in the ’50-’60 vintage and so-called Italian furniture department so apparently he can act that way and get away with it. I will add that when I offered to give HIM business (specifically his wife who does upholstery) he didn’t seem all that interested, almost like he would be doing me a favor to even consider doing the work on a vintage sofa I had just purchased elsewhere. Maybe it’s just his personality but it’s definitely off-putting. Put it this way…I don’t care for the guy, his stuff is overpriced and if I had a choice in Lincoln of where to find this kind of stuff other than at his store, I’d go there. Actually, in this age of the Internet, we actually do have a choice. With attitudes like that, I’d almost rather buy something online and pay the shipping charges than deal with someone in the business of serving people who really doesn’t like them. Unfortunately the nicest people in Lincoln (and there are plenty of them) seem to sell the ugliest furniture. Go figure.

  10. Abby
    Abby said on October 28th, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Were these tables kind of industrial looking; clear powder-coat with a few rusty scratches and stuff on them? If so, and you would still like a set, I know that you can still get them without going through Phil. The ones you wanted may be the ones that my boyfriend sells through Nest (harder to sell as just an individual–not many people going to look for furniture in my bf’s garage! And yes, Phil has been a complete a** to him as well.). Email me if you would like pictures/price and I’ll forward to my boyfriend.

    Abby

  11. Thor said on October 29th, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Thanks for the comment Abby. These were tables that were used by Oakley in malls across the country. But we ordered different furniture from IKEA last February to get our shop opened up.

    Thanks for the offer though!

  12. Pool Supplies said on November 29th, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Well sorry for the attitude the NEST Furniture gave. IMO, quality definitely plays a very important role while taking the business in the long term.And the strange guy in the NEST should not deserve his place if his is not friendly with the customer.Well good luck with the furniture from IKEA that you bought in February .All good wishes for your new shop.
    Regards, Royal

  13. Design Wagen said on December 2nd, 2009 at 6:08 am

    is bad day equal with bad services? i guess not..

  14. Janelle
    Janelle said on March 4th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    My friend also had an AWFUL experience there! He was actually frightened. He is a home builder and asked the owner if he would like to use his mattresses on the Parade of Homes, in return for FREE advertisement. He could have just said no, but instead he started SCREAMING at him to get the F out of his store, got really into his face, and just kept going on and on, calling names, swearing the works. My friend said he was actually a little scary!

  15. Steve said on March 5th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Wow, what an experience, and the email you sent the store should be featured in a commercial with the slogan above it going “Priceless” – Thanks for sharing!

  16. Rainwater Barrel said on April 2nd, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Customer service is important. It is how we have grown our business.

  17. Rotheblog said on October 3rd, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    It sounds like the owner has a serious disorder. In a world where markets are flat, and the proliferation of information abounds, it won’t be long before Nest Furniture has a reputation management problem online that they won’t be able to easily cure.

  18. Lincoln Mold Removal Guy said on November 14th, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    I also run a small business and I’m amazed at how anybody involved in sales could have such a blindspot for the customer. Lincoln is way to midwestern and small town for that to last long…

  19. Kim (No relation to Thor)
    Kim (No relation to Thor) said on December 11th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    The question you posed is: “How would you have handled this one?”

    My response is: I would have paid for the merchandise I wanted, then made arrangements for delivery…. period, that’s how it works.

    What it boils down to is you’re angry at a store owner for telling you that you needed to pay for merchandise before he’d deliver an item(s).

    “You bring me a check and then we will deliver them.” This doesn’t speak to someone treating you like a criminal… it’s just the way most businesses do business- You made a ridiculous request that was declined on 2 separate occasions- period.

    Take a step back & look at the situation from the store owners perspective.

    1) “You” failed to pay for $500.00 worth of merchandise that had been on hold for an extended period of time as agreed.

    2) After failing to meet your original obligation of sending a $500.00 check. “You” added insult to injury by insisting that you want to pay COD- not once… but twice (COD is generally reserved for close friends or deadbeats).

    3) “You” apparently agreed to the terms & entered into ANOTHER contract, by agreeing to stop by on the following Monday with a check- Once again, “You” didn’t follow thru & chose to send the unsolicited email above instead.

    4) “You” initiated a blog attacking both a person & their livelihood, but insist it’s not personal.

    p.s. Let’s face it, the Customer ISN’T always right & I’m glad you & all the other bloggers who are “insulted”, “afraid”, and/or “irritated” with his perceived snobbishness are shopping @ IKEA…. It leaves more treasures at Nest Furniture for middle aged women like me 🙂

  20. greg
    greg said on April 6th, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I had a similar experience at NEST with that guy Phil. It’s too bad because his wife is really nice and talented and he just gives the whole place a bad vibe and reputation.

  21. Lincoln Nebraska Water Damage Restoration said on May 29th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I buy my furniture there

  22. Doe, John Doe
    Doe, John Doe said on September 27th, 2011 at 11:04 am

    That guy at the nest is a complete douchebag. He treats people like they are unworthy of his incredible products and presence. He is the poster boy for how NOT to handle customer service. I am, frankly, astounded that he’s still in business.

    He sells defective mattresses (factory seconds) and USED mattresses (NASTY) and tries to pass himself off as some kind of upscale boutique. Anyone who buys from that assclown deserves what they get.

    F*** Phil Glynn and F*** Nest.

  23. Lookn4frnitr
    Lookn4frnitr said on December 13th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    WOW!!! Im lookin for furniture and i was gonna go get a new bed from this guy but i guess im gonna pass… I guess i was gonna go their cuz im familiar with the location but on this note… im gonna pass, guess he just lost another 1,200$… Im also part of a small business and i know how hard it is to always be in a good mood but if it means makin my customer happy then i switch my attitude up real quick. their is no reason to ruin another persons day,talk down to them or anything else.Im deciding on my own not to go in their because if that guy talks to me or my friends like he did to sum of you,he’d probably be wakin up in those real uncomfortable beds in the E.R.

  24. […] York to celebrate the grand opening of his new store — which is a few blocks south from his furniture and electronics store’s old […]

  25. […] Blair, Neb., however, long-vacant storefronts have been turned into furniture shops and restaurants in the past couple of years, and Wal-Mart is looking to open a store just down the […]

  26. […] Read the original: Nest Furniture in Lincoln Nebraska Lost My Business Today … […]

  27. […] Here is the original post: Nest Furniture in Lincoln Nebraska Lost My Business Today … […]

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