I work for a small, locally owned furniture company that carries primarily Ashley furniture. Everything from their service to their quality is severely lacking.
We receive hundreds of pieces of Ashley a month, with quite a few of them arriving damaged or missing parts. Their packaging has a disclaimer that says it was in perfect condition when it left the factory and they aren't responsible for any damages. They follow this pretty strictly, as it is very difficult to send back a damaged piece, and they usually bill the independent shippers and give wholesale credit if you're lucky. However, you pay the freight on pieces that are shipped back and replaced.
If they forget to include a pillow with a sofa or handles with a dresser, it's your cost. Our regional Ashley representative personally called in a missing pillow for us and they responded that he was wrong, because they don't make mistakes. The quality of their furniture is very poor, especially with the economic downturn of the past few years. Most of the furniture is imported from China, except for the fabric and dacron (stuffing).
I've heard a few accounts of them firing black/white employees and splitting their wages between two illegals; this happened to our warehouse manager. The lack of quality is apparent, as I have actually assembled several pieces that seem to use balsa wood parts and could be dented by lightly pressing a fingernail into the "wood". The upholstery uses low quality foam and dacron that shows noticeable wear in short periods of time. The frames and springs are very cheap and often need repair or replacing within a few years.
We don't operate by the same guidelines that Ashley does, as we allow exchanges and returns on gently used furniture that the customer is unsatisfied with. Most of our items that are returned or exchanged are Ashley upholstery that is either uncomfortable, defective, or of low quality.
I have spent several years opening, assembling, delivering, and repairing this furniture and would never own it myself. I have steered many friends (and customers behind the sales staff's back) away from Ashley and wouldn't recommend it to anybody.
Product or Service Mentioned: Ashley Furniture Sales Manager.