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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 02/05/2004

Berenice Denton Estate Sales & Appraisals

Phone: (615) 292-5765Fax: (615) 292-4575

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Customer Complaints Summary

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues1
Billing / Collection Issues0
Problems with Product / Service0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints1

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (1)
10/19/2015Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details

Not professional. Employees are meals at the furniture for sale. We had to place signs for parking. An employee responsible for damage of $10,000 item
We are 100% dissatisfied with this company and its owner. The owner remained on the phone for the entire last day (most important day) of the sale with att&it making customers wait to check out. She allowed one of her "faithful" clients to return an $800 item that left in worse than condition and came back broken. She tried to make us eat the cost, but I told her she needed to. And she argued with me before she finally agreed. Her employee as asked not to move a $10,000 carousel hors without help. He didn't follow these instructions and now the horse is broken. They will not take responsibility. Said her contract says the homeowners insurance should cover this even though our instructions were not to move the item without help. She told me verbally we could lessen the 30% commission and then when it was time to tally up and charge us she tells me, no she only does this when it reaches $25,000. Well nice to know after the sale. She fudges her way through acting like an expert when she doesn't know her items and correct pricing. She sold a $10,000 table set for $700!!! And the list goes on. Extra advertising she didn't mention and said she would take off and never did. She doesn't care because the got over $6,000 and it's over now. I'm very disappointed. She also was telling all the customers stuff about the owners that wasn't anyone's business. No privacy at all.

Desired Settlement
We want less money taken as commission cost. This was not a fair deal. She never got back to me after she spoke to her employee to get his side of the story.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: ******** ******, Owner
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: ****@******************
We did everything we could to make this sale a success. We worked very closely with the owner and his assistant (the complainee) as items were selling and as customers placed bids. This assistant approved numerous sales and even encouraged them as, according to her, they needed the barn, where the sale was being held, cleared out quickly for a party. The owner was aware of all of the pricing before the sale started, and did put high reserves on some designated items. Of course we complied.

My employee that helped move the horse is a very qualified fellow appraiser, antique expert and has been working with me for many years. When he and the assistant were rolling the wooden horse, approximately 10 yards to a more strategic sale location, the front load bearing leg fell off the platform. The horse was positioned on a platform with rollers. Since the horse was being moved carefully, it is very probable that the front leg was previously cracked and/or broken. I would like to point out that the horse had been moved a few times in the past including a move from ***** ******** to their current location in ********. My estate sale employee was pushing on the rear hind quarters and platform; therefore, it is not known whether the assistant pulled or pushed the front leg. I would like to stress that my employee was not the only person moving this horse. The complainee was also helping move the horse. As stated in my contract, which was signed by the owner, "The Owner agrees to maintain current homeowners insurance until after the sale is completed. ******** ****** Estate Sales is not liable for loss of property, due to theft, fire, vandalism or accidents, and will not be held liable for any personal injury claim relative to the sale of such personal property."

Normally, I would have taken a 35% commission on a sale in the this location and with the types of things that were being sold. I only took 30%, which is the aforementioned $6,000. This commission includes labor for numerous employees setting up and pricing the sale, employees working the sale, employees in the office doing the extensive internet marketing and my own time and travel. Again, the owner agreed to this 30% commission in the signed contract.

Our contract clearly states "We will also advertise for you in the local paper using our commercial rate. The ad will be placed by our staff, and the cost will be deducted from the total at the end of the sale." Once again, the owner agreed to this in the signed contract. I also contributed $250 of my own money to do more extensive advertising on the internet and paid extra employees to handle parking.

Due to the eclectic content of the sale and the size of the home several customers asked details about the clients. I responded only with information that was told to me by the complainee because I never even met the client personally.

I spent time on the phone with potential buyers that were interested in items at the sale. I had other employees who were well qualified to check out customers if I was on the phone. I spent a brief amount of time speaking with **** discussing a problem I was having at my new office building.

Remember, we were in a barn and had to find a table to eat lunch. I am sorry if this offended the complainee.

It is unfortunate that the sale ended this way as we felt during the sale we had a good rapport with the complainee and she seemed very happy with the amount of things we sold.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
1. The estate sale was NOT held in a barn. It was the carriage house next to the mansion. The carriage house which holds events, it's very ornate with crown molding and glossy floors. Barn-I think not.
2. I was neither pushing not pulling on the item. I was guiding the front end of the horse which was asked of them not to live without help and this was why, it shouldn't have been moved by one person which Mr *** was doing and instead of sitting and watching him destroy it, I offered to GUIDE the front end. He was asked not to move it and he shouldn't have. There were men on the property who were more than happy to assist. But he needed to let them know he was moving it.
3. This carousel horse mentioned was NEVER in North Carolina and therefore was NOT involved in the recent move. It has been on the property here for YEARS. Get your facts straight. I have pictures dated back on this.
4. You were on the phone the entire last day of the sale and you were the ONLY person conducting the sale that day. We have cameras if you need proof. Unprofessional.
5. You were telling customers things about the owners that were NOT told to you and were also not true. I don't think that making up stories is a good way to make a sale. We are firm believers that HONESTY is ALWAYS the best policy.
6. I will mention again, I have cameras if we need the back up.
7. The party mentioned was several weeks out and we have a 10,000 sq ft storage garage on the property that could've been used if we would not get good prices for these items. A donation to charity would've been more profitable than this sale.

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