OAKLAND, Calif. - A furniture business owned by a veteran is taking money and taking its time, to the point where many online customers explained they’re waiting months or years for shoddy products, or that the orders or refunds aren’t showing up at all.
Rough Country Rustic Home Furniture and Décor advertises and produces specialty “concealment furniture” designed to hide weapons. It’s owner, records show, is Joseph V. Ross who runs the operation out of a warehouse in Norwood, Missouri.
Hundreds of complaints from across the country, including the Bay Area, have been lodged against the small town furniture business with some calling it all a money scheme.
2 Investigates spoke with several customers who originally saw the products advertised on Facebook.
“The furniture just looked amazing,” Lucy Sulano of Santa Rosa said.
She was just one of more than two million Facebook fans on Rough Country Rustic Furniture and Décor’s page. Intrigued, she spent more than $1,100 on a bedroom set as a Christmas present for her fiancé. However, a second Christmas holiday has come and gone with no signs of her furniture or a refund.
“I want them to be shut down so they can’t take anyone else’s money because what they’re doing is just not right,” Sulano said. “They have to be stopped.”
Emails from the company blamed the customer service manager calling her “lazy” and a “poor employee.” Additional messages even claimed a check was in the mail and would arrive any day but Sulano said she has received nothing.
To make matters worse, Sulano said she posted a negative Facebook review on the Rough Country page but her comments were deleted. That is a common complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau, which has received hundreds of complaints about delivery issues and service concerns.
Veteran Erik Wacker, who lives in Wyoming, was banned from the page after he became vocal.
“I’m not happy that they advertise veteran-owned and they want to screw veterans like this,” he said.
Wacker said he is upset with the craftsmanship of a $178 wall art piece that resembles a flag and has concealment capabilities to store guns. Upset, he started a Facebook group to rally other potential victims and calling the company a scam.
The Better Business Bureau has complaints coming in across the country for a pattern of product problems and slow delivery, if at all. It has earned Rough Country Rustic Furniture an “F” rating.
“There’s needs to be some level of trust and with this particular company, it seems like that trust is lacking,” Jarrod Wise with the Bay Area BBB said. “They’re just not communicating. They might not have enough people staffing their phones. They might not have the people doing work inside to build some of these furniture pieces.”
Owner Joseph Ross never responded to our repeated emails or answer our phone calls. He did, however, defend his company by posting a video on the company Facebook page just days before Christmas.
“The buck does stop with me,” Ross said in the video. “I am the owner and I am ultimately responsible for some delays in production and problems we’ve incurred with previous contractors and previous employees.”
He added, “It is my fault and I do take responsibility.”
Customers like Tricia and Joe from Rhonert Park, California, experienced months of delays and promises of discounts they never received. More than 10 months after ordering, most of the bedroom furniture pieces were delivered.
“This is where it broke in half,” Joe explained. “That one over there is super loose and wobbles around. It’s just a letdown, a giant letdown.”
The freight company isn’t happy either because R & L Carriers is suing Rough Country Rustic Furniture for not paying for a long list of deliveries. In total, the lawsuit demands the furniture-maker pay up more than $690,000.
2 Investigates also uncovered an $89,000 judgment filed against the owner for not making payments on a business loan.
Regardless of legal troubles, the company is still offering discounts and taking on new orders based on advertisements on its website.
With complaints mounting, Rough Country Rustic Furniture has now caught the eye of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. 2 Investigates was not told how many complaints or what action Missouri may take.
The owner’s wife also recently filed a new business name called “Rustic Concealment Solutions” and there are claims new customers are being courted under that new name.
If you believe you have fallen victim to Rough Country Rustic Furniture and Décor, file a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office here: https://www.ago.mo.gov/app/consumercomplaint