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Art Van warranties have tenuous future

(WTVG)
Published: Mar. 6, 2020 at 11:57 PM EST
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Art Van closed suddenly, meaning employees were selling extended warranties and placing orders only days ago. When 13abc reached out to Art Van for answers, it was a little more difficult than expected.

"Your call cannot be completed as dialed."

That's the message that plays when calling the number for Art Van's corporate offices. At least, that is the number that appears to be for Art Van's corporate offices. It is difficult to confirm because Art Van's corporate website reads:

Our site is temporary offline for maintenance.

Thank you for your patience.

That leaves crowds flocking to the stores for answers.

"They say everything's been shut down. It's not coming. Everything's shut down," says Art Van customer Hal Miller.

Miller was inquiring about a loveseat to match his new sofa. He placed a custom order just a few weeks ago.

"Store credit, that's all you can get. No refunds," says Miller.

His couch isn't coming.

"Couldn't get the same thing we had," says Miller.

The couch is not his only concern.

"The six-year warranty, it's supposed to be for everything. Everything is supposed to be for six years," says Miller.

"Everything" includes his dining room table and chairs - over $800 in warranties total.

"These extended warranties are typically not backed by any insurance company. They're a store offered product. You have to hope when you buy an extended warranty that the store is going to be around long enough to honor the warranty," says Richard Eppstein, President on the Better Business Bureau serving Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.

Miller's table has already been replaced once, and the Millers have filed a warranty claim for a defective chair. They are not hopeful about the outcome of that claim.

Miller is just glad that he went today and was able to find a different loveseat that would still match. It could have been a different story in a few days.

"They probably won't have any stock. They only had a couple of them," says Miller.

"If you're given store credit and this store doesn't have anything you need, there are other stores to visit," says Eppstein.

Art Van Findlay posted on Facebook that their warranties will be honored by a company called Serveco. Serveco responded to 13abc's inquiry with the following statement:

"It depends on the store and the date of sale. We only backed an extended warranty for a very short period in 2018. All other warranties were backed by Art Van. If it is an extended warranty which we are responsible, the consumer will have a document with directions on how to file a claim online. These are specific extended warranties not manufacturer warranties. If the consumer files the claim and we determine it is a valid warranty of ServeCo we will service that claim."

If outside companies do not honor the warranties, there is little recourse except to contact the Better Business Bureau. The BBB assures 13abc they will try to help with any such claims.

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