Chances are, if you arrived here because of a Google search, it’s because Brickman’s, a retailer of quality hardware and fixtures, ran off with your money. You may have tried to call them only to find their number disconnected. You might have checked their Web site to see, oh good, it’s still up. But, well, now it’s down. You might even have dropped by their Moody Street, Waltham location only to find their space completely cleared out, with colorful posters announcing the imminent grand opening of an Indian Shopping Mall.
While this may spell excitement for the Indians, my reaction was slightly less exuberant. You see, I had ordered one freelance paycheck’s worth of kitchen cabinet knobs and pulls from Brickman’s because my kitchen, where I spend a fair amount of time, has a serious case of the uglies.
Lovely. And that’s when they’re clean. I always say my hideous cabinets are part of my kitchen’s charm, but I am a liar. Husband and I agreed that the most cost-effective thing to do, besides allowing them to remain ugly for another six years, would be to paint the cabinets and just buy new hardware. Enter Brickman’s, since 1946 (though, apparently, not nearly long enough).
The folks at Brickman’s, after commenting on how I look about 17 years old and aren’t I a little young to care about kitchen remodeling, had told me that it would take a few months for my order to come in. That seemed reasonable. But, little did I know that this was also the time frame during which they were planning to jump into their getaway U-Haul truck, buckling under the weight of six tons of mismatched showroom pieces, and speed away at approximately 15 mph. It’s odd because, in their haste, they remembered to charge my credit card. The credit card of a child. They must have made a terrible mistake.
If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation and are trying to contact Brickman’s, let me save you an hour and a half. The Better Business Bureau’s number (508-652-4800) isn’t working (somebody call the Better Business Bureau!). The Waltham city clerk (781-314-3120) has nothing on record for Brickman’s (although she’s gotten several calls). The MA State Citizen’s Info line (800-392-6090) comes up empty, too. The Bankruptcy Court Clerk (617-565-8950) says they didn’t file for bankruptcy (if they’re not bankrupt, surely they can afford to pay me back, no?). The Attorney General’s office (617-727-8400) will refer you to the local consumer office (508-651-8812), which will tell you to visit their Web site (http://www.consumermetrowest.org/), where you can download a complaint form. Which you should do. The bastards.
I have no illusions about getting my money back. It’s almost as if they’ve disappeared off the face of the earth. But, somebody, somewhere, has my cabinet pulls. And nobody is opening any cabinets until I find out who. Everyone is a suspect. Especially you with attractive kitchens. Anonymous tips are welcome.