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Over the past few weeks, my partner and I have been dealing with the most frustrating of experiences with a furniture retailer in Leslieville - Flik and Company. Unfortunately, we have been left with no choice but to pursue legal action.

In a nutshell, we made a final payment for a sofa and two arm chairs after notification from the owner of Flik and Co that it was ready and would be delivered in a few days. Now almost four weeks later, there has been nothing but a long string of blatant lies and unfulfilled commitments (e.g. 5 missed deliveries). We have since tracked down the manufacturer who has not even finished the pieces. It has been so ridiculous that last week a fictitious delivery man even texted us multiple times to say that he was on his away with the delivery. He never showed up.

We became most concerned after we came across a Toronto blog this week showing recent postings by other customers who have experienced deception and possible fraud at the hands of Flik & Company at 989 Queen Street East, Toronto.

To see those entries, click here:

We are reaching out this week to local media, trade publications, government, business groups and consumer protection organizations to tell our story.

We would appreciate it if you would help us by sharing this note with your family, friends and contacts – especially those who are buying new homes or in the market for new furniture.

While we simply want what we paid for, or our money back – we also want to ensure that none of our friends or their friends or family have to go through what we’ve been enduring.

For those of you who want some more detail to get a sense for how surreal this experience has been for us, we have a meticulous chronology of events and communications.

While we are sure that Flik & Company has made some customers happy, our experience shows that you should think twice about dealing with them.

If you know anyone who has a similar experience with Flik & Company, please let us know and share your stories.

Thank you.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hello Officer Rob,
I spoke to your associate Mr Henderson a few weeks ago (at 55 Division) who indeed called Stephan at home but it seems that Stephan took it all very lightly. I should also add that Stephan's partner, Mario Cote-Howard, should also be implicated as I believe he is a full business partner (having worked in Stephan's store and helped him in a number of trade shows until they adopted their kids) and is fully aware of what's been going on, for all this time.
I myself sold/consigned paintings in Stephan's stores and have been trying desperately to get the agreed-upon money or equivalent store-inventory trade that I offered as a way to find an amicable end to our dealings for over two years now. The best I got was a bounced cheque and continued empty promises for payment and/or promissory email stating money and/or store-inventory would come this and that date.

Stephan reads these posts and I'm caring less and less as I hate that he's mocking the system, has taken money from people who are not rich and personally sold my artwork without regard to my financial loss as a self-representing artist.
Flik and Co is also selling stuff out of Max's (its a store across the street)..Also, there is a lady who works at the store and when people post letters or notes on his window she will take them down. It seems that there is a connection there as well.
Hello everyone,
If you still have money owing to you from Stephan Howard of Flik and Company and/or have been promised that money will come BUT you feel he simply isn't going to come through, YOU MUST contact your local Police Station and file a claim. This is the only way that a FULL investigation will be open. This is not fair to any of us and do not think small claims court will solve this not the Better Business Bureau. Stephan, it seems, is not scared of losing in court and will not pay so you have to take this to the next level. You can not allow yourselves to drop this and say 'well, things happen and I've learned my lesson and won't let this happen again.' As long as you have a paper trail or email exchanges (that can be printed) or bounced cheques or what-have-you, you will better help a full investigation to be made. The Police will indeed get involved if your claim is substantiated, kept to the facts and you have proof of having had communication with Stephan Howard. Even if he 'goes out of business' AND YET enough people get involved and contribute, we will hopefully get further assistance from our Police-system and we will get our money back.
Oh my god!
I just opened Septembers Issue of Chatelaine and Stephan Howard and his family have an EIGHT page spread about their happy, healthy wonderful life.
Hello Everyone,

As suggested by others on this site and the Blog TO site, my husband and I decided to contact the police today. We called the main number, 416-808-2222, and requested that an officer visit us to file a report of fraud. An officer was here in less than an hour, and listened to our story. A report will be filed and a fraud investigator is going to be assigned to our file within the next few days. We are encouraged by the meeting and feel that it was an effective way to voice our concerns to the appropriate authorities. I would encourage you all to do the same!
Well, it is time for us all to send our stories to Chatelaine - maybe they would like to do a follow up article on the REAL Mr. Howard! Please join in the class action against this guy: he must be stopped! His "happy, healthy wonderful life" has been financed by US!!!! And all the others we don't even know about.
this is where everyone has to be careful!! keep to the facts and simply file your complaint with the police and offer whatever supporting information you may have - email, letters, bounced cheques etc. sure you can contact chatelaine or any of the magazines he's been featured-in BUT also keep in mind you can also be implicated should you make your claim too personal. this is business, not (necessarily) a witch-hunt! you/everyone just wants their money returned - nothing more or less. when and if stephan pays us back, the more this situation will go away and we can go one with our lives. if you still want to take this to the next level then you have to decide how involved you want to be with this person.
More important than any law suit he brings against anyone will be tracking him down when the Fraud Squad has all our information. Please, everyone, make sure to file a complaint with 55 Division ASAP. Once the store is closed, where will he be?
Hey all,

Police Division 55 called us back and the the number of fraud reports are growing, but everyone needs to report. One more place for all of us to call is the Ministry of Consumer Services. They take investigations very seriously.

The contact list of all the victims was sent out to a number of you. Next step is a class action lawsuit.

No need to reply to Stephan. Unless he wants to enter negotiations for returning our assests.

I agree with Mark, as soon as we are paid our refund, we will consider this matter over.
This is Mark. Stephan; keep to the facts and don't offer misleading information about me or anyone else as it will be categorized as SLANDER. Stephan Howard has been owing me money since Feb/March 2008 when I ran into him at a trade show and requested that we meet and discuss the money owed to me from the sales of numerous paintings I created specifically for his stores - Flik and Company and (his now-closed) Forrest and Company. Since there, there has been nothing but (alleged - to keep it legal) lies using his suppliers, family and his own personal (health-) life as excuses for his continued delays - it's ALWAYS someone else's fault! It was only until other people (also owed money by Stephan) directed me to this site as well as BlogTO and then later someone in the design industry (also owed money) that I realized just how many other people had issues with Stephan. I have a bounced cheque from Stephan as well as over a hundred email-exchanges where Stephan promised payment on this and that date and/or this and that piece of furniture just needs to 'come in' from the supplier. I've always told Stephan and I"LL SAY IT HERE ON THIS SITE that once monetary payment and/or the equivalent wholesale store merchandise is finally "paid"to me, my issue with Stephan will be withdrawn. I've kept to the facts Stephan - I always have - you deflect responsibility and have continually lied to me and many others.
Heres something to provoke rage in anyone having issues with 'Flik' - check out the current issue of 'Chatelaine' magazine - incl. a 5-page spread of their fabulous home and all the reno etc. money they have been putting into it!
This is Pied A Terre, and to answer this question, no. He is no longer selling his things through our store. There are no business ties at all between us any longer. We do not wish to become involved.


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