Artmani Italia closes, leaving irate customers

Furniture retailer Artmani Italia appears to have shut down, leaving about 50 customers owed roughly $65,000 worth of furniture. They have lodged police reports.

Part of a WhatsApp group, these customers have paid for items that have not been delivered. Meanwhile, the showroom doors at Artmani Italia’s premises in an industrial building off Hougang are locked. At another two units listed under the firm’s name, letters from the landlord are pasted on the front doors. These say that no-one is allowed access to the units without authorisation.

People who work in the same building say they saw movers loading furniture from the showroom on to a lorry, reports The Straits Times.

A catering sales manager from an eatery next to the showroom, Jeslyn Chan, says she has seen aggrieved customers banging on the doors day after day.

“I was shocked. It was like the the firm was gone overnight,” she says.

The company’s Facebook page has 14,274 likes and 14,209 followers, and its latest promotion is dated January 12. Its website still offers a discount voucher for people who sign up, and lists 3984 “happy clients” and 100 per cent “awesomeness” on its About Us page, which offers no real information about the company.

The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) says there have been 15 complaints against Artmani Italia since the beginning of last year.

These were among 162 complaints lodged against furniture companies, a 15 per cent drop from 190 in 2015. There have been eight so far this year.

New Case executive director Loy York Jiun says consumers should do their research into a furniture company’s reputation and delivery track record. They can also pay a small deposit instead of the full amount upfront before delivery, and ensure that any negotiations, such as the delivery date, are put in writing.

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