HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - WAFF’s Kate Smith and the 48 Investigation team looks into furniture stores across the valley accused of not delivering furniture after it was paid for.
A local woman finally got the resolution she waited months for after we aired a news promotion prior to the story. The store called her hours before the story aired.
This investigation began when mom of three, Tiquashe Jackson, called 48 News.
In February she purchased a bunk bed for her two daughters. The bed was expected to deliver in mid-March, but with the virus at its height, the store where she purchased it ‘Signature Furniture’ closed with no notice.
Jackson was still waiting for her delivery and wanted someone to be held accountable.
Tiquashe Jackson said she knew it was too good to be true. A salesman at Signature Furniture, located on Memorial Parkway, offered to give her free full-size mattresses to go with a bunk bed if she purchased that day. “He was a good salesman,” said Jackson. “He sold us on the beds”
Her daughters anxiously waited for delivery day, only for the family to find out the store abruptly shut down. “They ask me constantly ‘mom when are we going to get our bunk-bed? We want our bed too’,” said Jackson.
A note on the store’s door cited hardships from the pandemic but promised to fulfill all orders. A phone number claiming to be for the director of Signature Furniture was also posted if anyone had any questions.
However, that number was for the manager of Hot Buys Furniture off Madison Boulevard. The manager said the store had no association with Signature Furniture. Only that Hot Buys and Signature Furniture shared the same warehouse in Georgia.
“He told me I could go to Georgia and get it myself from the warehouse. I asked him for a number or address to Georgia he did not give it to me, told me he could not disclose that information to me.”
Not sure what to do next, she contacted 48 News for help. We stopped by Signature Furniture and called the number posted to the door.
Like Jackson, the voicemail directed us to Hot Buys. We left a voicemail, but no one returned our call. We called Hot Buys main number looking for answers, but the manager wasn’t willing to help. He told us he had nothing for us or the customer and hung up the phone.
We requested the Certificate of Formation for both businesses from the Alabama Secretary of State. We wanted to know who owned the stores.
What we found was that both Hot Buys and Signature Furniture filed for their business license the same day and less than three hours apart.
Hot Buys is registered as Teds Beds Mattress LLC but doing business as Hot Buys. The owner is listed as Atef M. Abunokaira.
Mohamed Abunokaira is listed as the owner of Signature Furniture. Mohamed listed his store front as his registered office, but Atef registered his home address as his office.
So, we went to Atef’s home.
Reporter Kate Smith: Is dad Atef?
Little girl: Yea.
Reporter Kate Smith: Is he Mohamed? Who is Mohamed?
Little girl: That’s my brother.
Reporter Kate Smith: Your brother, okay. I am going to give you my card and if you could give that to them, I would appreciate it.
Jackson said this afternoon the furniture store called and said her bunkbeds were at the warehouse. The store employee offered to deliver it, but Jackson decided to pick it up herself, at the Hot Buys location in Madison. When she arrived, the employee said he recognized her from a news promotion we aired prior to this story.
Jackson says the employee suggested she should give them good, on-line reviews because the store employee quote “jumped through hoops” to get her bed.
Neither Signature Furnitures nor Hot Buys are accredited by the Better Business Bureau. They have ’D” and “F” ratings with the BBB.
A spokesperson with the BBB said before making a large purchase, review business profiles at BBB.org to see what other people have experienced.