I am embarrassed to have been taken in by this scam. I saw them advertising at all the home shows and in flyers to the house. They get into your house and won't leave - high pressure sales job, sort of like the marketing you get for time shares. As a hint, they make sure that both husband and wife are there. I realized later it's because when they whack you with a great huge estimate, both "decision-makers" are there. Otherwise, you obviously have to ask your significant other, and the pressure dissipates. And the guy we had showing up told us that he had retired but still did freelance work for the Ontario Museum, identifying antiques. He supposedly "helps out" the owner of TMC who is allegedly an old friend. So you think you've got some special person who really knows good furniture and what is worth saving and what isn't.
Hours are spent pouring over fabric books, none of which are priced at all, and every time you ask a question about price, it is not directly answered. He also told us all about the impeccable workmanship that goes in to the reupholstering - double and triple stitching, or whatever. You know - descriptions of top-notch workmanship.
So after hours spent in your house, telling you that you have a really good eye (yes, I fell for the compliments), and every furniture piece you point to is an antique or is really well made, you're ready for them to drop a $17,900 estimate for the recovering of your furniture. Takes your breath away, huh?
In our case, we were re-covering a really nice chaise lounge, which was the impetus for seeking out a professional reupholsterer. I figured while I was doing that, I would also get an old, but comfortable couch reupholstered, two bar stools (pads only) and some kitchen chairs (from IKEA!).
Of course from a distance, it now seems utterly ludicrous to even think about that kind of money, but that's where the high-pressure tactics, and hours and hours in your house, comes in. I thought I was brilliant enough to "negotiate" down to $10,000 - complete with call back to "head office" to get approval for the "deal".
He arranged to have our furniture picked up immediately - again, I think before sanity returned. That was the first sign to me that something might be wrong. They were having difficulty extracting the couch out of the room it was in, and the fellow said they would just take off the door from its hinges - no problem, he said, they do it all the time. Well, there wasn't a problem with the actual door, but I noticed after they left that these folks who market themselves as delivering meticulous workmanship, never put anything under the door they took off it's hinges and there was grey/black crud all over my cream coloured area rug. I really wondered at that point, how careful these guys were going to be, if they couldn't even be careful to not damage the house while they extracted the furniture. One would think they've done this thousands of times. Not a good start, but in any event, it was too late of course. They had already taken away our furniture and a hefty down payment of $4,000 - which had to be in cash or cheque - no credit cards: again, I'm guessing, so sanity can't return and you cancel your order.
Then it got even more fun. They kept the furniture for more than SEVEN MONTHS. At first, I was patient. My husband and I were going on holidays, so it didn't matter that much. They called us just before we were going on holidays (which was already two months later), to pick out one of the fabrics which we hadn't settled on before they took the furniture. We came in and selected a fabric, and I was already unhappy that it was 2 months later, and they weren't finished the order. While there, I asked if we could take back any of the furniture already finished. We found out they HADN'T EVEN STARTED on anything - claimed they had to work on everything in one batch.
We returned from holidays and I began asking about our furniture. We kept being put off. Months later, we were in the area, so we just dropped in to ask about our furniture. A nice lady took us into the warehouse with all the furniture including ours. I sat on one of our IKEA chairs (which she told me were finished) and found that they hadn't fixed the leg I asked them to fix, and it was still wobbly! I mentioned to her and she dutifully wrote it down and promised that when we got the furniture, it would be in amazing shape.
After several more months, I was getting quite annoyed. I finally spoke to someone who gave me some song and dance about why it was taking so long. Get this: as part of his "apology" to us for it taking so long, he wanted to offer me something. He offered to apply fabric protector on the pieces "FOR ONLY 1/2 PRICE"! Some "apology". Again, later, I realized this was just more hustling.
I told the man I didn't want anything more than my furniture back. He apologized and we finally got the furniture back in August (they picked up the stuff in January).
And right off the bat, I could see that the "meticulous workmanship" was a scam. The couch skirt was trailing all sorts of loose threads. Not too meticulous to me. And 2 years later, the "new" metal bottom leg cover on one of the IKEA chair legs, came off completely. I picked it up and realized that it wasn't new at all. It was all rusted on the bottom side, and had just been painted on the top to make it look "new". So, I had bought those chairs from IKEA in 1987! The chairs lasted all this time (31 years!), and the supposed "new" leg covering from TMC lasted TWO YEARS.
You think you're getting top-notch exemplary meticulous work for THAT price, but it's just a scam. Stay far away from these crooks.