Saturday Sep 23, 2023

Kansas City furniture store shuts down without delivering

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Marisa Santillan sat down in the middle of her living room floor to play with her puppy. The two had plenty of room because the $800 couch Santillan had ordered and paid for back in June has never arrived.

She bought it at Furniture Spot on North Oak. It was supposed to be delivered in September. At first she wasn’t worried when it didn’t arrive because she knew there were global supply chain problems delaying the delivery of many items.

It was only after her phone calls to Furniture Spot went unanswered that she became concerned – so concerned that she drove to the store to check on the status of her couch. She found the door locked even though she was visiting during the middle of the day.

“OK, well maybe they just closed early,” Santillan said. “So I went back like three more times, and they were closed during business hours.”

She finally reached owner Nicholas Baker by email. He told the store was moving, but that her furniture would still be delivered. So much time had passed by that point, that she asked for a refund instead.

“They didn’t reply,” she said.

She paid another visit. This time the store wasn’t just closed, it was empty. Santillan wasn’t the only customer in shock.

“That store is the cleanest I’ve ever seen it,” Ashlee Snyder Cox said. “The signage is down. Nothing. Like you wouldn’t know what was in there.”

Cox said she gave the store $1,700 back in March for a couch, chair, loveseat and a rug. It was supposed to arrive in June.

“I’m really frustrated,” Cox said. “I just feel really taken advantage of.”

Cox said she started becoming worried in August and paid a personal visit to the store. She said the manager told her the loveseat and chair had already arrived. The manager said she was waiting for the couch before delivering the order.

Cox she said asked to pick up the two items the store had received that day, but was told that would be impossible because they weren’t at the store, but in a warehouse in an undisclosed location.

When Cox spoke with Problem Solvers two months later she had nothing to show for her money except the $200 rug – the only piece of her order that she’d received.

Santillan and Cox are just two of six people who contacted FOX4 Problem Solvers. All had similar stories. They were out hundreds of dollars and had nothing to show for it.

Problem Solvers tried to track down owner Nicholas Baker. He didn’t respond to our phone calls. When we messaged him on Facebook, we were blocked by both Baker and his partner Alissa Daniel Baker who customers said ran the store.

Problem Solvers tried finding Baker at a house in the Northland that he lists as his business address with the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office. When no one answered the door, we left a business card but never heard from anyone. A vehicle in the driveway tracked back to a man who has the same last name as Baker’s, according to the Missouri Department of Revenue.

We also had no luck when we knocked on the door of an address in Kearney once linked to Baker nor at a home in Polo, which Baker had listed as the address of a business registered with the Missouri Secretary of State – Mattress Factory Direct KC.

Problem Solvers then tried contacting the owner of the furniture delivery service Baker used, according to his customer receipts, Asset Transportation in Excelsior Spring. The owner never returned our call.

We weren’t the only ones looking for Baker. The owner of the Northland strip mall where Furniture Spot was located told FOX4 he’s also trying to find him.

Here’s the good news. After Problem Solvers began investigating, some of the long-awaited furniture started being delivered.

Two customers told us they were notified by a delivery company that their furniture was on its way. The customers said they received the furniture this week, but have never been provided an explanation by Baker.

Other customers tell us they’re no longer interested in receiving their furniture should it ever arrive. They’ve already bought new furniture from another store to replace it. All they want is their money back.

We’ll let you know what happens.

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