Late last year I ordered several pieces of furniture from the Modani Furniture store on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan costing over $10,000, and had the load shipped to my house. Because I was not yet prepared to set all of it up, I had the shippers stack the many boxes in a side room. Although I ordered 14 items (three tables, eight chairs, a sectional sofa, a bed and a rug), the shippers arrived with 19 boxes as some of the items came disassembled in multiple boxes. The dining table, for instance came in three boxes for legs, top and glass surface.
After unloading their truck the shippers did a cursory inventory, pointing out some boxes against the wall that were obscured by other larger boxes. I signed off.
When the time came to set up the stuff, I learned that a coffee table I had ordered was not among the lot. Apparently I was duped into thinking one of the dining table boxes was the coffee table.
I appealed to Modani and got the expected form letter: you signed off on the order so go away. Rather disappointing given the amount I dropped with them, and my stated intention of purchasing additional pieces.
When I worked at a grocery store in my teenaged years I had to verify that loads brought into the store by deliverymen matched the invoice – and very often found them wanting. It might be a missing case of milk, a dozen bags of Doritos or a tray of hamburger buns. Never an amount that would draw instant attention – just enough to feed the deliveryman’s family for a week, or to trade with another driver who may have lifted a case of pop. When I called them out, they always acted perplexed. Sometimes they’d challenge my ability to count to 12, or try to fast-talk me with a double count, pointing out the whole milk, the butter, the cottage cheese, the skim milk, the eggs, and the whole milk again.
Ultimately, we’d go back to the truck and – amazing! – the missing inventory would be sitting there, half-hidden/half-in-the-open, no doubt for plausible deniability. “Oh, sorry, I must have missed that one,” came the usual lame reply.
The scam continues. Watch out for it. Even at supposedly upscale Manhattan establishments.