Flofit Seating Systems -- Custom Car and Truck Seats.

A Consumer Review


This is a review of Flofit's product, and of their their customer service. The bottom line is a strong recommendation against doing business with this company, on both counts. In doing business with me, they have stepped over the line of "poor business practices" into the realm of criminal theft. It appears from email I've received after putting this page up that they make a regular habit of stealing from those who would do business with them.

In October of 1997, I ordered a seat package from Flofit for my 1984 Suburban. I placed the order with an employee named Olivia, who I believe is a manager. The order included two standard seats with optional adjustable lumbar support, a center console, and a mounting bracket specific for the vehicle. The seats and center console were ordered in standard red cloth. Total price including shipping was around $1177. There was a 30 day satisfaction guarantee on them.


The nightmare of getting the seats...

I ordered the seats with the understanding that they would be in my hands by 21 November 1997, as I was leaving on the first leg of a long trip the following day. That date drew closer, and no seats. At one point, I was even told that the seats had been shipped on the 18th of November. After that conversation, the story changed and it was very difficult to get anyone at Flofit to even admit that the order had ever been placed, let alone whether it had been shipped, or, God forbid, what the tracking numbers might be. We were told that someone would call back with the shipping information, but that call never came. Finally, I was assured that everything would be in my hands early in the first week of December (after calling then again). I ended up getting the seats and the bracket in the second week of December, along with a factory blemish leather center console that was shipped overnight to replace the one that either RPS lost or Flofit never shipped. This was only accomplished after repeated daily phone calls to Flofit employees who never seemed to know what was going on and on at least one occasion hung up on my wife. I got everything installed in time to miss the first engagement on my big trip.

Did I mention that they double-charged my credit card, a month before they shipped the seats? Or that they wouldn't believe me, and wanted me to send them a copy of my credit card statement? Or that I had to contest the charges with my credit card company to get one of the charges removed?


Installation

Installation was not difficult. The instructions provided were sketchy at best, but it wasn't too hard to figure out how things went togther. 4 bolts held the factory bench in (well, there were supposed to be 4, but one was missing; I got a replacement at the hardware store and had to re-tap the hole in the pan it went in). The bracket fit fairly well once I figured out which end was the front (it was not entirely obvious, and not marked on the bracket). The seats and console all bolted on in a fairly coherent fashion.

The Seats

The seats were subtly uncomfortable. They seemed very nice at first, but after putting 6000 miles on them in about 3 weeks, we discovered some problems. My wife is 6'1" tall, and I'm about 6' even. Not overly tall by American standards (gender notwithstanding). The curves in the seats seemed to be designed for someone about 6" shorter, and hit in all the wrong places after a few hours in the seat. The lumbar adjustment, if anything, accentuated this problem (the lumbar support hit a few inches above where it would have done some good).

The reclining mechanism was flawed. The seats would not return to an upright position under their own spring tension, but had to be pulled up by hand.

The headrests did not work smoothly, and were somewhere between difficult and darned near impossible to adjust.

Basically, we decided that it was better to blow the money in shipping the seats back than to blow the better part of $1000 on seats that we were not satisfied with (remember that satisfaction guarantee?) so we decided to return them.


The Nightmare of Returning the Seats

We called up Flofit to find out how to return the seats. We were told that we had to get an RMA number (returned merchandise authorization or something like that). It took more than a week, and quite a few calls to their 800 number to get the RMA number. They assured us that they would call back with the number as soon as they got it...we had to call in order to get it. Finally, we got it, and I removed the seats and boxed them up in their original packaging (including sticking the seats in plastic bags before boxing them). They were clean, with no significant wear on them. We got shipping tracking numbers from RPS.

Once RPS claimed everything had been delivered (we checked this on a daily basis from their Website), we had a devil of a time getting anyone at Flofit to admit that they had received them. Finally, we got someone who verified they had arrived, but said they had to be inspected, as something had been 'dirty'. They weren't even sure whether it was the seats themselves or just the boxes they came in. They stated that they reserved the right to take up to 30 days to 'inspect' the seats before making a refund. Once again, we were told that we would be called as soon as the inspection was complete....still no calls and it has been 30 days since they received the seats.

So, Flofit received the seats 30 days ago. Today, I called Flofit twice and was unable to get anyone who knows anything about the returns, and guess what? No refund. And, I was told that Kevin, would call me back, as he was apparently the only one who could handle refunds. No phone calls yet. I have sent a certified letter to them, and I will be speaking with a lawyer in a couple weeks if that has no effect.

Update 2 March 1998. Many, many calls to Flofit later. I have yet to speak to anyone who could do anything but say "you need to speak with Kevin, shall I leave him a message?" After a couple months of leaving messages, I'm beginning to think he's not going to call me back. They received my certified letter, asking for my refund, on 18 February. No response.

So, I try calling again today... it seems the Kevin will be the only one in the office from 4 to 5 pm (California time) today! My big chance to talk to him, since he'll be the only one there to answer the phone. I've been wardialing for 52 minutes now, and guess what? The phone is busy. Do you suppose he's selling more seats to unsuspecting schmucks like me, or do you think he took the phone off the hook?

I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau last week. I expect that to not produce results. I'm looking into mail-fraud charges now, since they originally sent me their brochure (including money back guarantee statement) in the mail.

Update 8 April 1998. I no longer have the time waste on daily phone calls to these thieves. So far, no results on complaint to the Better Business Bureau. No results on a complaint of mail fraud, submitted to the Postal Inspector's Office a few weeks ago. No results on contesting the charges with Visa. No results on my letter to the editor of Petersen's 4Wheel and Off Road Magazine. And, of course, no contact from Flofit. A complaint to the California Attorney General is coming next.

On the other hand, I have had contacts from several others who have been shafted by Flofit. One person returned a seat and has recieved no refund. Another's credit card was double billed, and Flofit refuses to correct it. Another person contacted me who ordered a seating package in January, and has received only the bracket. I will include more details of these incidents (and any others that are forwarded to me) as I am able.

Update 26 April 1998. The Better Business Bureau gave up. They must have grown weary of having their calls not returned as well. The credit card company, on the other hand, seems to have come through for me; they posted the refund to my account, with the proviso that they would take it back if 'the dispute could not be resolved under Visa rules'. Hopefully that's the last I'll hear of it. I've definitely learned not to do mail order business for large sums without checking into the company first!


The Company

Basically, my experience with this company has been horrible. Either my wife or myself have basically dealt with 3 people at Flofit: Jessica (who apparently answers the phones and takes orders), Olivia (who appears to be a manager), and Kevin, the owner.

Jessica is pleasant enough if everything goes her way; she's just fine taking orders. If you call with a complaint or a problem, she gets somewhere between catty and downright rude. She will put you on hold and forget you, or accidentally disconnect you (and claim you were the one who hung up). She doesn't appear to know enough to do anything but take orders and tell you that noone who can help you is available.

Olivia is a little better; she seems to go out of her way to try to solve problems, but the problems with this company are beyond even her abilities to deal with. The paperwork system is so screwed up (or non existent) that they often can't even verify that you ever made an order (and you can forget getting shipper tracking numbers if you wonder where the heck your seats are).

Kevin we have only dealt with a few times. My biggest complaint about him is that he seems unable or unwilling to return phone calls. He actually did return return one phone call, but only after we threatend refuse shipment in the first place...then he was quite accomodating. However, still no phone call as promised concerning the refund.


Summary

This company makes a product that I feel is inferior even to newer factory bucket seats. They have difficulty delivering that product in a timely manner. They are so disorganized that half the time they don't know who they're doing business with. They have a tendency to act as though they are doing a favor by selling you this product. The do not stand behind their guarantee. Their credit card billing practices seem to constitute systematic theft.

In short, I humbly recommend that you patronize them only if you enjoy spending a lot of money on an inferior product with poor customer service. Otherwise, avoid them like the plague.


Dan Taylor
Last modified: Sun Apr 26 22:08:16 MDT 1998