Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced that the New York County Supreme Court has issued a decision in the agency’s case against Maddy’s Home Furniture and More, LLC and related companies, which operate multiple furniture store locations under various names (Maddy’s Home Furniture, Dubai Furniture, Furniture Saving, Burnside Furniture, La Reina Furniture, and El Rey Furniture) throughout the city. The judge ordered Maddy’s and affiliates to pay $250,000 to a consumer restitution fund that will be administered by DCWP and $1,963,500 in civil penalties for using deceptive practices to profit from vulnerable low-income and immigrant consumers.
“Buying furniture is not a small investment—in fact U.S. consumers spend about $100 billion at furniture stores annually,” said DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “We are pleased that the judge recognized Maddy’s egregious conduct and ordered them to create a fund for consumer restitution for the hundreds of consumers who were wronged by their predatory practices.”
“It is egregious that Maddy’s Home Furniture and More would use deceptive and exploitive tactics to trick vulnerable New Yorkers into buying their furniture” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson. “Purchasing furniture for your home is a significant investment for many families, and this company took advantage of its customers to make a quick profit. I commend the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection and the New York Supreme Court for taking steadfast action to support consumers by bringing Maddie’s Home Furniture and More to justice for their predatory practices.”
Since 2015, DCWP has received more than 130 complaints about Maddy’s stores. DCWP’s investigation found that Maddy’s regularly lured consumers to their stores with deceptive advertising about financing offers that misled consumers. Maddy’s consumers also received used, damaged, and defective furniture, or sometimes no furniture at all, and Maddy’s refused to provide refunds or make repairs. DCWP’s lawsuit, which was prompted by consumer complaints, alleged 3,927 violations of the City’s Consumer Protection Law. Consumers harmed by Maddy’s and its affiliated stores (Dubai Furniture, Burnside Furniture, La Reina Furniture, Furniture Saving and El Rey Furniture) between October 23, 2018 and April 01, 2021 should contact DCWP at MaddysConsumers@dca.nyc.gov for more information.
Furniture stores are consistently one of the top complaint categories. The most common complaints are about the return or exchange of goods, non-delivery of goods, and damaged goods. DCWP encourages consumers to get its tips for buying furniture and, if they have a problem, to file a complaint at nyc.gov/dcwp or by calling 311.
DCWP’s case was handled by Staff Counsel Daniel DuBois of the General Counsel Division, which is led by General Counsel Tamala Boyd and Deputy General Counsel Michael Tiger.
About Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCWP licenses more than 75,000 businesses in more than 50 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCWP protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCWP empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCWP also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities.