Refusing Country of Origin info?

rockmanorMarch 18, 2009

Has anyone else had trouble with a retailer refusing to provide country of origin information? I have written to one mid-range national retailer four times so far, and have yet to get a straight answer. One response asked me to call the CSR (and the ph# given was not the toll-free # on their website) instead of answering my question in an email. I prefer a written response in case I am (perhaps accidentally) misinformed. A response from another CSR danced around the question by saying that the retailer designed the style and provided the manufacturing specs, but did not answer the question about country of origin. At this point, I am left with the conjecture that the items I asked about are made in China and the CSRs have been told to avoid sharing that information.

Does anyone know if retailers are required to provide country of origin information? Or are they only required to answer honestly about whether an item is made in the USA?

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mogator88

If you don't get a straight answer then its from overseas. Does it matter if it was made in China, Vietname, or Indonesia? Not really. Retailers often don't know either, because a company like Lane or Broyhill, etc., contracts with factories in many countries. So, a particular bedroom set might be made in China today and Malaysia later in the year, so a store might not be able to commit to country of origin, its something they have no control over.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 10:48AM
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jake5

It should be very easy to provide this information. Virtually every manufacturer distributes their products to other countries if even only Canada. Under NAFTA every product has to be labeled with CofO and any truthful manufacturer should be able to supply this quickly and easily. Go direct to the manufacturer.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 1:48PM
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mrsmarv

The only response I've ever gotten when asking that question is "Asia". The certainly covers a broad spectrum. Either way, it's a no-go for me.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 1:49PM
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rockmanor

"If you don't get a straight answer then its from overseas. Does it matter if it was made in China, Vietname, or Indonesia? Not really."

While I agree with your first statement (I have no doubt that the furniture is not made in the USA), for me it does matter whether it's made in China or some other asian country. It used to be a political issue, but now it's personal. The tainted Heparin made in China but packaged in the states could have caused a near-tragedy to become an actual one for our family.

I've learned not to ask if something is made in China, because company reps will tell me no, and then when I press for the source will reply Hong Kong or PRC as if those are not the same.

So, while I prefer domestic goods and have paid a premium for them, it's not always feasible to buy only USA-made products. I've bought furniture & decor items from elsewhere (Canada, France, Italy, Norway, etc.) and have been very pleased. I feel rather lukewarm about the H&M items I bought, due to small defects, delivery issues and a not entirely positive retailer experience, but I would consider H&M again. However, H&M doesn't make the sort of things for which I'm now shopping.

I'm trying to do this online, as we live a couple of hours from any good furniture stores, and that complicates things. If I don't get some information soon, I guess a road trip will be necessary.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 2:56PM
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thecollector

Obviously if you don't get a straight answer, vote with your wallet. There are still plenty of USA-made lines around. However, its a global economy and most fabrics and many leathers are imported (not all from Asia by a long shot). Most furniture makers do not respond well to email. Your best bet is to find a dealer you like to work with, and put the task on them to find out. That's THEIR job! They have to make a few phone calls, typically past the customer service department of the maker, but they can do it if they are willing to put forth a little effort.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 3:47PM
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mogator88

While I agree with your first statement (I have no doubt that the furniture is not made in the USA), for me it does matter whether it's made in China or some other asian country.

If the furniture is made in Malaysia, you'd consider it. Well, also consider that a dresser made in Malaysia might be finished with stains ("chemicals") made in China. Not what you'd want I think.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 5:48PM
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