Couture Rugs - Are all Carpet and Rug merchants made of same material?
In 2014, I needed to order a custom art deco rug, size 20 x 12 feet. My interior designer Paul, suggested Manolo Cuellar of Couture Rugs (www.couturerugs.com) in Manhattan. We finalized the design and color, and on June 9, 2014, we prepaid Couture Rugs 50% ($3750) for the custom rug. The promised delivery time was about 5 months (around mid october 2014), and the price included professional rug delivery and installation at my Washington, DC residence.
On march 3, 2015, almost 9 months later, i was notified that the rug arrived in USA. i immediately made another $3750 payment, and tried to coordinate with Mr Cuellar delivery and installation date. we agreed for delivery after March 30, 2015.
You can imagine my surprise when a delivery truck pulled up to my DC residence on March 18, 2015, and i was asked to remove a rolled up 300 pound rug that was 20 feet long. Obviously i refused to sign for the rug without any help offered by the delivery man, who was very specific that he "just drives, and you unload". Mr. Cuellar when notified, was mildly apologetic, and promised to come to DC with helpers to install personally as agreed upon initially. We set the delivery and installation appointment on March 31, at noon.
On March 31, a dark drizzly DC day, the rug was re-deliverd by the same "helpful delivery man", and i had to quickly recruit the help of neighbors to get it off the truck. since Mr. Cuellar was late, but enroute to DC to help, so we did not carry the rug to the 2nd floor living room, but left it outside in the rain, but well wrapped in plastic to wait his arrival. Mr Cuellar arrived alone at 2.30, late by over 2 hours. He ran inside to use our bathroom, and disappeared 3 minutes later, "to go recruit help" for moving and installing the rug. He also stopped answering his phone and did not reply to numerous texts we sent to him in order to get clarification. We never saw Mr. Cuellar again, but i spent the entire day tied to my home, dealing with "the rug problem" which was still resting outside in a mild drizzle.
At about 5.00 PM, the rug disappeared from our front yard, and a general panic ensued. As it turned out later. Mr. Cuellar and an unknown accessory dragged the rug about 100 feet over sidewalk and flower bed to store it in my garage without warning us. The plastic wrap rubbed of the edge, and our beautiful creme colored rug was now soiled and damaged in one corner from dragging over concrete.
After using the initial restroom visit, and a 3 minute chat, Mr. Cuellar did not return to our residence again, and he did not answer numerous calls and texts until the next morning, when he informed us that he had to return to NYC immediately, but he will provide us a number of a local rug installer. He provided us with the number late in the evening, and by that time i recruited a few local gardeners (at $20 each) and schlepped the rug upstairs, moved all living room furniture (including a 10 person sofa) and installed the gigantic 20 x12 foot (300+ pound) rug myself.
The rug is exactly as ordered, beautiful and well made, with the exception of one corner which was damaged during Mr. Cuellar's savage dragging. On April 8, 2015, i wrote a polite email to Mr. Cuellar asking to refund $780 (out of $7500 paid) for the damaged corner, my wasted time, and the money i paid out to neighbors/gardeners to get the rug off the truck and inside the house. I did not receive a reply. On April 11, i resent the same email, and again Mr. Cuellar did not reply.
So now, as a devoted consumer rights advocate, i am forced to use every tool in my toolbox and assign two highly paid attorney that work for my company, to recover the $780 in damages and my time spent (currently 2 hours), billed at $1200 per hour (which i warned Mr. Cuellar about in my previous emails). Today instead of sailing or playing golf, i am writing this essay about Manolo Cuellar and Couture Rugs.
At the same time, two of my most valuable employees are preparing to lodge complaints against Manolo Cuellar and Couture Rugs with:
Better Business Bureau
Small Claims Court
Consumer Protection Agency
Federal Trade Commission
NYS Department of Consumer Affairs
NYS Attorney General
US Customs - was full duty paid on the rug?
NYS Department of Taxation - Mr Cuellar neglected to charge NYS sales tax on the purchase
As well as numerous Consumer Protection websites and industry publications
Thank you Mr. Manolo Cuellar and Couture Rugs for this lovely experience, and o link forward to receiving your payment before Roman, Inna, Edward and Dan spend too much time dealing with this petty issue.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Preferred solution: Price reduction.