7 On Your Side

Customers waiting for furniture year after ordering

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Some Bay Area people who purchased custom-made furniture nearly a year ago from a San Francisco retailer are still waiting for delivery. Customers put down thousands of dollars in deposits. Months later, they still don't have their furniture and they hold out very little hope of ever getting their money back.

Lanessa Izumoto of San Francisco's Richmond District paid $3,000 up front for chairs for her dining room table back in December. She's still waiting. "Was promised them three months later and obviously 10 months later, have yet to see the chairs," she said.

Telly Shelley of North Beach paid $5,000 for custom-made cabinets to display his new television. He has nothing to show for it except an artististic rendering after eight months of waiting. "I feel like we've been taken advantage of," he said.

Lanessa and Telley are among 30 consumers in similar situations who ordered their furniture from Jesse San Francisco in the South of Market Area. Many customers have vented their frustration on Yelp. "We found a long list of people who said don't do business with this guy," Telly said.

Things turned from bad to worse when both Lanessa and Telly discovered Jesse San Francisco had shut its doors in late May. "The lack of communication started to kind of build up and I realized I'm probably never going to see those chairs again," Lanessa recalled.

7 On Your Side uncovered documents at the secretary of state's office showing that Jesse San Francisco is owned by the 599 Design Group. Dominic Longacre is listed in public records as the CEO. We tracked him down at a liquidation sale advertised on Jesse San Francisco's own website. We spotted him from across the street. When we approached him, he denied he was Dominic and said the sale wasn't even a liquidation sale for Jesse San Francisco.

However, four past business associates looked at 7 On Your Side's video and confirmed he is Dominic Longacre. A 7 On Your Side producer tried to talk to him but he stopped the producer before we could set up the camera. "Look, everyone's looking for you man. They just want to know when they're going to get their furniture back. When they're going to get the furniture or the money they gave you," the producer said.

"I'm not Dominic Longacre, so you got problems here," he said.

Jesse San Francisco had an agreement to sell furniture made by Jesse Italy. The companies say they have two different owners. In an email, Longacre says that relationship is now severed and he no longer is responsible for the orders.Telly and Lanessa say Jesse Italy has been promising since June it would make good on the orders. Just this week, Jesse Italy told 7 On Your Side that the shipments would be delivered in six weeks.

"We hold out hope that they will show up eventually," Telley said.

"The win here is just getting the chairs and we'll see," Lanessa said.

Jesse Italy told 7 On Your Side by phone, "We are not legally and financially affiliated with the 599 Design Group. It's unfortunate for the public and us that they have Jesse on the door when their legal name is 599 Design Group because so many people have been robbed. Approximately 30 people have lost their money on this."

Jesse Italy says the shipments will go out once the consumers accept the deal. Telley will have to pay the remainder of his balance and the shipping will be free. Lanessa, who received a 30 percent discount for paying in full, will be required to pay a shipping fee of approximately $500. Lanessa has accepted the deal. The Shelley's are still negotiating.

We'll follow this all the way through and let you know if and when the furniture arrives. If you're in a similar situation with Jesse San Francisco, contact 7 On Your Side.

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richmond district, soma, north beach, 7 on your side, michael finney
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