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***** BrandsMart USA *****

Posted on March 18th, 2013 · Other

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***** Brandsmart USA *****

Unless Jeff Eats is mistaken here…I’m gonna assume that you guys know “what” BrandsMart USA is. For those of you who don’t, large appliance outlet store with numerous South Florida locations.

Just wanted to let you folks know that Brandsmart USA is a business that denies access to its stores to people who don’t produce WRITTEN PROOF that a service animal is in fact a service animal.

As discussed in a previous Jeff Eats’ “story”- Table 42 Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar (4/13/12) it is a violation of Federal Law to “ask” a person to produce WRITTEN PROOF that an animal is a service animal.

You would think that “maybe” a mom & pop restaurant or store might be fuzzy on this law…but a huge operation like Brandsmart USA that does hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business every year—should know exactly what it can do and what it can’t do.

***** March 22, 2013 UPDATE *****

Just wanted to give you guys an update.

On March 18, 2013 Jeff Eats received a call from a Brandsmart representative who advised that the corporation would make sure that all of its General Managers/Managers were well versed with reference to State-Federal Laws/Regulations concerning Service Animals.

29 Comments to “***** BrandsMart USA *****”

  1. Angie G. says...

    The Table 42 article enlightened me on service dogs. Personally not a big fan of dogs eating next to me in a restaurant, but I appreciate that the law is the law. There is no question that Florida doesn’t require written documentation for a service dog.
    I agree with you that Brandsmart should know better.
    On something else, people are better off going to Sears, Best Buy, Costco or HGregg for appliances.
    I say this because I have found that Brandsmart really doesn’t treat customers the right way. The salesman are all on commission and they are high pressure and will try and sell you everything in the store.

  2. Don’t know the particulars of this Brandsmart incident. What I do know is that Brandsmart has no right to ask anyone to produce written documentation proving that a particular dog is a service animal. I also know that several oral questions about the dog maybe asked but nothing in written in form is every required.

  3. Joe Klein says...

    Why anyone in their right mind would shop there is beyond me.
    No question many of the items sold are older models.
    In addition, they have a very poor customer service department.
    I once bought a tv that was defective. After numerous calls they had a truck come and pickup the set for return. The driver who made the pickup and works for them told me that they have so many defective pickups that it isn’t even funny and that they fight with everyone about returns. Imagine! Their own employee talking bad about them.
    On the service dog issue.
    I can understand why they don’t want dogs etc in the store.
    Makes sense to me.
    A dog could bite someone or make a mess.
    With that in mind I think that the State should have written documents being required for service animals.
    But as you point out the law currently doesn’t require written proof, so Brandsmart has no right to request them.

  4. VCD says...

    Jeff:

    What this clown operation need a good old fashion class action to teach them a lesson.

  5. WWV says...

    THE LAW IS THE LAW.
    So Brandsmart shouldn’t violate it.
    I can personally do without dogs in public places, but that’s just me.

  6. ED K says...

    Brandsmart sells seconds and old models, don’t waste your time.

  7. QQQ Why says...

    I have shopped there for years and never had a problem with any item. Their prices are the best around.
    On the dog issue, they have no right to violate the law.

  8. Greenman says...

    Jeff, I wouldnt trust Brandsmart as far as I could throw them. years ago I bought a tv. Paid for it and arranged to have it delivered. The day before delivery they called and said they were out of stock and couldn’t deliver the set and that I should come to the store and pick out another model. What a sheet company.
    Not certain what I think about dogs in the store. What I am sure is that if the law says what you say it does they have no business not following it.
    I haven’t been in one of their stores in years. That tv episode told me to stay away from them as they are not reliable.

  9. Kim N. says...

    jeff Eats: One day you talk about gourmet Italian ices and the next day Bransmart violating Federal law. What a cool site. Always something to get and stoke dialogue. Thanks for the blog. Really enjoy your thoughts.
    Kim N.

  10. NONever says...

    Brandsmart is for the foolish.
    Go to Costco.
    Go to BJs.
    Go to Sears.
    Go to Best Buy.
    Buy from Amazon.
    Why go to Brandsmart where they treat customers like dirt.
    God forbid you buy something and need for them to fix it under warranty.
    I know, they burnt me years ago.
    Never never again.

  11. Willy Cott says...

    Jeff:
    I’m sure I don’t have to tell you. For others just check YELP and other sites and you will find loads of horror stories about doing business with brandsmart. Personally I once bought a tv there and it was a good price and I installed it myself. But ive had friends who hate the store because of various problems.

    On service dogs as a dog person I cant fathom why brandsmart would disobey federal law. they are a big operation and you would think that they would know better.

  12. Joe Edwards says...

    WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE.
    WORSE THAN COMCAST.

  13. Ben Franklin says...

    Why would a business who doesn’t honor its own warranties give a rat’s ass about Federal Laws concerning the rights of the disabled!

  14. mark says...

    I have to ask why would you want to take your dog to an appliance store? And why would you expect to be able too? This is the second time you have gotten into this discusion with a store employee and both times you did not have a service dog only the knowledge of the law. Perhaps if you stop trying to take your dog where its not allowed you would not have this problem.

    • JeffEats says...

      mark:

      Just had a chance to read your comments.

      Where in the “article” do you see that Jeff Eats brought a dog to Brandsmart? For the life of me-and I wrote the freaking piece, I can’t find even one single mention of that.

      This incident happened to someone else, not Jeff Eats.

      Now, whatcha got to say for yourself?

      Thanks for reading…but not too good.

      • mark says...

        Sorry jeff i just assumed it was you as you did not mention a source for the info. But i will repeat why would anyone want to bring thier dog to Brandsmart.

    • FINCH says...

      mark:
      Just read Jeff Eats’ REPLY to you.
      Like many people, you assume way too much.

  15. STS says...

    I recently re did an entire kitchen with Brandsmart and everything came out perfect. The prices were terrific.
    The dog issue is a whole other story.
    I have a disabled daughter and she has a small dog that helps to keep her calm and give her someone to care for and generate responsibility. If you look at this dog you wouldn’t think that he’s a service dog but he is. It’s a small little guy.
    I know for a fact that no papers are required because he goes very where with us. I will tell you I have doctor’s letters etc, but the law is quite specific in this area of no documentation being required. Thanks Jeff for keeping businesses like Brandsmart to the mat.

  16. WAS says...

    My wife and I have done well with Brandsmart. Good prices.
    We own a restaurant in Boca Raton and long ago our attorney advised us that we were allowed to ask to questions. 1. Is this a service dog? and 2. What is the dog trained to do? End of story. You cant ask for written proof of anything. Brandsmart should know this.

  17. YOUTHEMAN says...

    Brandsmart better get its Human Resources Department on this one right away.
    They are violating FEDERAL LAW.

  18. nomany says...

    you can always haggle for a lower price from the sticker at brandsmart.

    they should know what the law is on service dogs.

  19. KLU30 says...

    Jeff:
    I have shopped at Brandsmart for years. All in all they have the best prices in South Florida. I have bought many items there from tvs to dishwashers and never had a merchandise problem.
    On the service dogs, a big operation like Brandsmart should have all of its frontline door employees trained in this area.
    You are 100 million percent correct that no written documentation is required.
    Brandsmart employees should be trained and know this.

  20. TATAFORNOW says...

    Brandsmart has great prices and a huge selection.
    Dog issue is not a good thing.

  21. Stu says...

    Under the new federal rules, dogs that provide emotional comfort are not considered service animals, yet dogs, monkeys, ferrets and other support animals still are allowed in airplane cabins under the Air Carrier Access Act, and in homes under the Fair Housing Act, Eames said, with appropriate proof from the owner’s doctor.

    There are about 20,000 legitimate service dogs across the country and as many as 2,000 in Florida, according to Ken Lyons, director of Orlando-based Service Dogs of Florida.

    Training takes up to two years at most training schools, and only about 2,500 dogs graduate each year. There’s usually a three-year waiting list.

    Training guide dogs for the blind can cost up to $40,000, Lyons said. For most service dogs, it’s up to $20,000.

    By law a disabled person can be asked only two questions about his or her service dog: “Is this a service dog for disabilities?” and “What tasks or assistance does the dog provide you with?”

    In Florida, barring a disabled person and his or her service dog from a restaurant, hotel, airplane or other public place is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

    On the federal level, a judge can order a change in business policies to allow access by disabled customers and their service dogs. Fines there are rare.

    “If you portray yourself as disabled, or your pet as a service animal, the minute you go out in public you’re committing a crime,” Lyons said. “It’s felony fraud.”

    • skipper says...

      Stu: Thanks for your “facts.”
      Too bad most of them are wrong.
      A SERVICE DOG doesn’t have to be FORMALLY trained. Anyone can train the dog.

      Florida Service Dogs, Inc. is not a membership organization. While we do have “certified” service animal teams that have completed our extensive application process which includes several evaluations, many hours of training hands on training sessions and public access and skills testing requirements. We will work with those persons who are physically, financially and mentally able to care and control a service animal, and though we think everyone should have a service animal, they are not for everyone. We will attempt to provide anyone who is interested in learning about service animal uses, legal rights and responsibilities with the education and advocacy they request. Please keep in mind, though we and many other organizations provide certification of our teams, nothing in the law requires certification or proof of the animals training nor the proof of the persons disability for access under the American’s with Disabilities Act.

      We work with dogs for nearly all disabilities except blindness. Those who have some vision or are vision impaired with other types of disabilities are addressed on a case by case basis. Although we are trained and qualified to teach dogs for hearing, mobility, seizure and psychiatric assistance, we are not qualified to train for guide work nor blind persons with service dogs. Except for the foster dogs, none of these listed animals have the same legal protections as a service animal does.

  22. WWW12 says...

    Just read your update.
    Seems like the Company followed up on this matter really fast. Good for them.
    Over the years Ive shopped at Brandsmart stores all over the are and always found it to have terrific prices.

  23. YOUTHEMAN says...

    Good update.
    Now I feel better about BrandsMart.

  24. em says...

    glad to see brandsmart moves fast.
    love their operation. good selection at cheap prices.

  25. Mark says...

    Looks like there might be changes in the law. To many people saying thier dog is a service dag when there not. http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/lifestyles/pets/fake-service-dogs-provoke-resentment-possible-rule/nTD9C/

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