Customers fuming at flooring company

Monday, December 3rd 2007, 3:03 pm
By: News 9

A well-known flooring store in the metro now has several furious customers. Customers of Haley's Carpet & Flooring said they've paid thousands of dollars in flooring, but have nothing to show for it.

"I'm very disappointed," said Jane Huggard, former Haley's Carpet customer. "They've kind of ruined my house in a way."

At one time, Jane Huggard would have been excited to show off her home, but not anymore. In February, she paid the 40-year-old flooring company over $4,000 to carpet her mobile home.

"He comes across as an honest guy who is willing to be straight with you -and that is not what I found," said Jane Huggard.

Jane Huggard had paid for bathroom carpeting, smooth carpeting throughout the rest of her mobile home, and a limestone entryway inside her front door. But the company never carpeted her bathroom, they installed the wrong kind of carpeting throughout the rest of her mobile home and they never installed the 3-foot-round entryway. Jane Huggard was surprised, because, the company had such a good reputation.

And Jane Huggard is not the only one who's had problems.

"We expected to walk in and see wood flooring," said Debbie Hightower.

In April, Debbie Hightower paid $1,200 to Haley's for wood flooring. The flooring company told her it would take two to six weeks to receive and install the new floors. Six months later, carpet still lies where wood planks should be.  

"It's just disgusting," said the disgruntled customer. "You know, when you have a new house, you just want everything to be right."

Turns out, however, the new owner, Jacob Walker, has also been a victim of the former Haley's Carpet business. Walker bought the business in July with the agreement that the old owner, F.W. Haley, would pay for all old debts and orders.

"We felt like we came in a business that was prosperous," said Jacob Walker. "A man that I've known for many many years and I trusted deeply. And I turn around here, and now I'm on the news at 10 o clock, trying to protect my business and my family and our life."

Walker can not financially afford to take on all the old debts of the previous owner. But he did offer to do the jobs the old owner did not take care of at cost and Jacob Walker will through in the install for free.

But NEWS 9's Amanda Taylor and the Consumer Watch team still wanted to confront Haley, the original owner that really still owes the money and service to these former customers. At first he tried to wiggle out of the debts.

"I don't have any finances personally, so understand I live very frugally," said Haley. 

 But upon further insisting, Haley did admit it was his responsibility to help his former customers.

"I am thoroughly responsible," said Haley. "If the people will contact me, I'm the one responsible, not the new company."

Haley says a past employee may have embezzled some of his money, and that's made finances tight, and so has his wife's illness. Haley did agree to pay the customers back, when he can.

"Can I hold my head up? No, I can't hold my head up in the carpet industry, because of something I had no control over," said Haley.

If there's something Amanda Taylor and the Consumer Watch team can help you with call 841-9921.

Originally Aired 11-01-07