Irate Freedom Furniture customers given reprieve
Irate Freedom Furniture customers should finally start to receive goods after months of being left in limbo, the retail giant says.
The furniture chain has been caught up in a multi-million IT order management system bungle which has significantly delayed the delivery of customers' goods since October last year.
But finally shoppers have been given some reprieve with the popular furniture and homewares chain informing customers many goods were on the way.
On the firm's website it confirmed, "In the past week we have been able to resume deliveries to our customers and are working through a backlog of customers deliveries and resolving customer issues that this transaction has created".
Significant cracks started to appear in the delivery of goods last year when IT technology giant IBM began rolling out a new ordering system for Freedom Furniture.
The transition of ordered goods from the store's old system to the new system failed.
This is not the first time IBM has been caught up in a significant IT debacle - they were blamed for the massive 2016 botched Census which was dubbed "censusfail".
It resulted in IBM having to pay $30 million to the Australian government for the system failure.
Freedom this week unreservedly apologised to customers impacted by the latest ordering failure which left some customers without their items or receiving their goods, while some were missing items on their orders.
"Please be assured that all of our team members from the stores, the support centre through to our warehouse and delivery teams will be working hard to get that new sofa, bed or dining room into your home," Freedom said in an online statement.
Rachel Solomon, 28, from Moss Vale in NSW's Southern Highlands, shelled out $2936 in full at Freedom's Casula store in southwest Sydney 14 weeks ago.
She said her and her husband had slept on a mattress on the floor for two months and were living out of suitcases because their bedroom suite failed to arrive.
"We paid in full and were guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery," Mrs Solomon said.
"When you have wait this long do get a refund or just wait, the fear is that you wait too long and the company goes into liquidation and you don't even get your money back."
Mrs Solomon said she was waiting on a king bed frame, chest of drawers and two bedside tables to arrive.
Disgruntled customer Danielle Codd, 29, from Camp Hill in Brisbane had two orders at Freedom's Logan store in southeast Queensland for curtains, a bed and mattress totalling $2100.
She finally cancelled her orders after months of waiting.
"What's annoying is they said if I paid in full I would be more likely to receive my order on time," Mrs Codd said.
"When I started to look online (at online forums) I realised that I wasn't alone."
Angry customer Jo Gibson, 32, from Batemans Bay in NSW splashed out $3245 on a sofa, bed, chair and rug from Freedom's Fyshwick store in late November and after no luck drove to the store last weekend to try and get her goods.
She said she managed to get her couch and rug but was still left without several items.
Ms Gibson was given some monetary compensation by Freedom and a refund for the items she failed to receive.
Angry customers have continued to voice their anger online at the ordering debacle which could take months to resolve.
IBM spokeswoman Elizabeth Egginton said they had no updates on the issues involving their systems and Freedom.
Freedom Furniture was founded 39 years ago and is owned by parent company Greenlit Brands.
The company - which operates under Steinhoff International - also owns Fantastic Furniture, Snooze and Plush and lost about $288 million in the 2019 financial year to September.
Freedom's IT system is run on IBM's Sterling platform but also includes other technology systems and a third-party provider.
WHAT SHOULD IMPACTED CUSTOMERS DO?
• Contact Freedom on 1300 135 588 on Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm AEST.
• Freedom will offer impacted customers compensation for the delay.
• Customers may be entitled to waived delivery charges.
• They may also have the option to cancel their order and receive a full refund.