7 On Your Side helps dozens of customers get promised furniture

February 11, 2013 9:27:39 PM PST
When a San Francisco furniture store unexpectedly shut its doors, it caused a real headache for customers with unfilled orders. That's when 7 On Your Side stepped in to help. It has been more than a year and this is just now getting straightened out.

Nearly three dozen customers paid a total of more than $120,000 for furniture they feared they would never see. We're happy to report much of that furniture is now being delivered and many of our customers are already planning their parties.

"It's a celebration of moving to a new place and also getting my chairs a year and two months later," said Lanessa Izumoto of San Francisco.

Izumoto can't wait to throw a dinner party. It was last fall when she showed us her prized dining room table minus $3,000 worth of chairs. Those missing chairs should be arriving any day now.

Tully Shelley of San Francisco knows what Izumoto went through. All he could show us last October for the $5,000 he put down for an entertainment cabinet was an artistic rendering. On Monday, a year after putting in his order, his cabinet has finally arrived.

"We're very excited. We've waited a long time for this. Our house has been sort of a construction zone in anticipation for this," said Shelley.

Shelley must still assemble the cabinet together, he and Izumoto are two of some 30 customers who ordered furniture from Jesse San Francisco in the South of Market area and never received it.

Jesse San Francisco shut its doors without warning months after some customers put in their orders. In October, we spotted CEO Dominic Longacre from across the street at a warehouse sale advertised on Jesse San Francisco's own website. He prevented a 7 On Your Side producer from setting up his camera when we tried to approach him at the entrance to the warehouse.

Producer: "Everyone's looking for you man. They just want to know when they're going to get their furniture?when they're going to get the furniture or the money they gave you."
Longacre: "I'm not Dominic Longacre, so you got problems here."

But four business associates confirmed he was indeed Longacre. He had an exclusive arrangement with Jesse Italy to sell its furniture.

After learning about the unfulfilled orders, we contacted Jesse Italy and it agreed to make good on the orders. In an email, Jesse Italy told us: "Customers are what count the most to us and we don't want our brand...to be associated with such shameful business practices."

"It's an excellent product and we're very happy with it. We're very happy it's finally here," said Shelley.

Jesse Italy and Jesse San Francisco have since severed ties. We spoke to Longacre over the phone earlier this month. Speaking about Jesse Italy, he told us, "They basically threw me under the bus. They obviously are looking for any kind of scapegoat." His customers are glad their ordeal is finally coming to an end.

"7 On Your Side is awesome. I definitely highly recommend this to anybody who has any issues," said Izumoto.

Jesse Italy says it has fulfilled $127,000 in outstanding orders and 28 of the 30 customers have now received their furniture.

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