Warm temperatures in store ahead of cold front

Update: Furniture store owner under investigation

Update 4/23/18 - Monday, we dropped back by Home Outlet Furniture looking for owner Jim White but, instead, our camera rolled as movers were hauling furniture out of the store and onto U-Haul trucks.

The movers refused to answer our questions or let us see if any of the furniture is owed to Sandra Williams.

“[I’m feeling] anger, frustration, a lot of stress,” Williams said.

Her $2,700 down the drain.

The family's bed showed up, but the rest of their living room and bedroom furniture is missing, including a bed for their 10 year-old daughter, who's been sleeping on the floor.

“She stays up here with me or in the living room with me,” Williams said. “It breaks my heart. It was a really nice bed, [and] she was excited.”

We alerted Oklahoma's Chief of the Attorney General's Public Protection Unit Julie Bays that White had recently filed chapter seven bankruptcy, even listing Williams and other customers as creditors.

“That's news to us,” Bays said. “If he's declared bankruptcy recently, we will probably use that list of creditors to see if there are more victims.”

File a consumer complaint with Oklahoma Attorney General's Office here.

Bays said the bankruptcy filing will not change anything about their ongoing criminal investigation into White and his now defunct business. 

“If they took the funds and used them for their own purposes, their own living expenses or whatever and didn't intend to give them their furniture in this instance, then it could be criminal,” she said.

Besides customers, White lists other creditors, including the U.S. Department of Labor owed a debt of $183,000.

Customers don't believe White should be allowed to get any of his debt discharged through bankruptcy.

White keeps ignoring our phone calls.

No one came to the door when we dropped by his Midwest City home Monday.

Months back, he asked us to trust him.

“We are taking caring of everybody,” he said.

This isn't the first furniture store of White's to go belly up.

Bays is asking for anyone with a complaints against Home Outlet Furniture, Furniture for less or Furniture Max to come forward and file a complaint with her office.

Customers listed as creditors will get the chance to attend White's bankruptcy hearing next month.

That hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 22 in room 113 at 215 Dean A McGee Ave. 

Update 4/9/18 - Dozens of customers are now saying it's their worst fears that are coming true.

Thursday, they showed up at 'Home Outlet Furniture' to find the lights out, the doors locked and their money and furniture nowhere in site. 

Loreal Miller said she’s out close to $900.

“[They] finally delivered my stuff on Tuesday,” she said.

However, the bed they forced on her was busted up and, now, she's stuck with it.

“It’s bad,” she said. “I'm sleeping on the floor right now.”

Driving by, it's hard to miss 'Home Outlet Furniture is going out of business.'

Sandra Williams said she figured the furniture would be cheaper but, now, her family's out $2,700. 

“Now, I'm out all of this money,” she said. “There is nothing I can do about it.”

The internet is crawling with complaints against Home Outlet and owner Jim White. 

Months ago, the In Your Corner team dropped by his store demanding answers.

Scott Hines asked him if he was shutting down for any particular reason.  

“Just tired of it,” White said. “It's time to do something, move on.”

He made promise after promise.

“We are taking caring of everybody,” White said.

We know a handful of customers did eventually get their furniture, even if it wasn't what they originally ordered.

The owner told us he'd even keep open a layaway office open for the next year.

“We'll be able to take care of anyone who has layaways or service issues, warranty issues," he said.

That didn't happen.

Kent, a disabled vet has a house but no furniture.

“Just wait. Hopefully, I'll get my money back some kind of way,” he said.

More customers out lots of money and time.

No word from the owner.

We keep calling and emailing, but he seems to be ignoring us now.

We're instructing customers with a gripe to file a report with police.

We'll check back.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Carolyn Merritt keeps waiting and waiting and waiting.

“This has been a nightmare,” she said. “This has been the worst nightmare I have ever had.”

She’s owed a clearance bedroom set from Home Outlet Furniture

“I have no place to put my clothes,” Merritt said. "They're in boxes."

Merritt said she was refused a refund after being forced to change her original order.

Now, she’s wondering what happened to the $900 payment she handed over to the furniture store. 

“I told him I was moving,” she said. “I really need a bedroom suite, don't have one.”

The furniture store's been hyping up it's going out of business sale for months, and that's what has some customers calling the In Your Corner hotline.

“That concerns me too, that they'll file bankruptcy or just shut down and be gone,” Merritt said.

 Customer Jeff Bates has been waiting on his bedroom set since September.

“I have consistently going up there once a month, checking, checking, checking, [getting] different answers every time,” he said.

The Better Business Bureau gives Home Outlet Furniture its worst grade, and more customers are airing out their frustrations online. 

We wanted to check out the liquidation sale for ourselves.

The gentleman who met us up front works for a liquidation company.

“A lot of customers have already been taken care of,” he said. “Everyone will receive their merchandise.”

Bates didn't actually purchase his bedroom set from Home Outlet Furniture.

He signed up for the layaway plan at Furniture Max, a second furniture store that went out of business last year.

Home Outlet Furniture took over those layaway contracts.

Bates admits he was late on a few payments but settled up in full with Home Outlet four months ago.

“But, they took my money and they've never brought up an issue with that,” he said.

The spokesperson for Home Outlet tells the In Your Corner team Bates’ bedroom set is on the way.

“We've expressed to these folks several times, and we understand their frustration - we're not responsible for manufacturer delays and, a lot of these cases, that's what it is,” he said.

  • You can score some major savings with liquidation sales but, remember, sales are almost always final.
  • Merritt and Bates' receipts clearly state no exchanges or refunds but, in their cases, they don't even have the furniture they paid for.

“We're giving you our money in good faith that you're going to deliver,” Merritt said. “I understand having delays, but can you not contact us?”

The store is closing for good March 31, and ownership assures us the necessary arrangements will be made to get customers their furniture as quickly as possible.

  • With a liquidation sale, read the fine print and pay with a credit card.
  • That way, if things go south with the product, you can dispute the charge with your card issuer.