Woman waits 10 months for refurbished dining room set

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PHOENIX -- When a woman hired a company to make her dining room set look brand new, she had no idea it would take almost a year to complete.

During the course of the work, she paid $690. For that price, the company was supposed to strip and stain her table and six chairs. But 10 months later, she's out her money and her dining room set.

For Dianna Labbe, family comes first, and she says there's nothing more important than family discussions around her dining room table.

"We have dinner as a family and my children all come over on Sunday and it would be nice to eat in the dining room instead of the kitchen table," she said.

With all those special dinners, Labbe decided it was time to give her old table and six chairs a facelift.

"Originally, I bought the table used," she said. "It needed to be refinished and I knew it."

So she started searching the popular Web site Craigslist and came across an advertisement for a place called Timeless Arts Furniture Refinishing run by a guy named Richard Lach.

"I paid him $690 to pick up the table, strip it, re-stain it in a light color and deliver it," Labbe said.

But that was 10 long months ago and Labbe says she still has no table and chairs and her dining room has sat empty for nearly a year.

"It's depressing, and it's aggravating and it's frustrating, you know, and then I thought I'm going to write to 3 On Your Side," Labbe said.

We contacted Lach and he acknowledged that it's been a long time since he took Labbe's dining room set. But, he claims a slow economy is one reason for the delay in finishing her work.

A slow economy? Labbe paid him $690. What's that got to do with a slow economy?

"I've been working on it, but with the economy the way it's slow and everything, it affects everybody because I have no backup except for other jobs," Lach said.

He went on to say that Labbe's table and chairs are made with a material that is just more time-consuming to finish than he anticipated.

"It's just so intricate and hard to work on," Lach said.

Lach also said he always intended to return Labbe's dining room set.

"I've never had any intention of taking her money," Lach said. "She didn't have to pay upfront. I never asked for any money down. I never do on any jobs at all."

After 3 On Your Side's involvement, Lach agreed to pick up the pace. After all, it's been 10 months.

In fact, Lach tells 3 On Your Side he'll have the dining room set finished and delivered by next week and that's great news for Labbe.

"It's just like an empty room that's missing," Labbe said. "The house is missing a dining room. We've always had a formal set."

Lach says he takes a lot of pride in his work and this project has just taken him longer than usual, but I spoke with Lach this morning and he reassured 3 On Your Side that it will all be done and he apologized that it has taken this long.