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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71048
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I ordered and paid for 2 settees in march which were delivered

Customer Question

I ordered and paid for 2 settees in march which were delivered in june.
Within 2 weeks I contacted the store to complain that the leather on one arm was very obviously different , spoiling the look of the suite.

A technician arrived on the 24th., by which time a further 6 faults had been noted on the same settee ( these were shown to the technician )

around the 5th Aug, the company advisor called to say no manufacturing fault was found , but when challenged to check again, admitted 1 with the arm , and offered a repair .

I declined as there were further faults to resolve and requested a replacement settee .,and was told a different technician from the same company should call to inspect these.

I heard no more until I wrote on Oct 15th. ... They replied on 22nd, only to say again no fault and with an offer of goodwill to repair the arm .

I wrote again listing the faults and requested again a replacement, I also suggested that meanwhile, while awaiting their reply , I will contact somebody to advise me of my legal rights as a consumer .

I`m hoping you can offer me some advise please , and also , could I sit on the item or just store it until this is resolved ?

Thank- you , ... Linda.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

Did you make your purchase instore or online?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank-you Jo, ...


In store and paid with my visa / debit card .... ( I omotted to say that Harveys called yesterday and want to send another tachnician )

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Sorry for the delay.
Do you mind another technician looking at this please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No , ... I don`t mind ... This is giving me giving me quite a headache , and I hope somebody can help to to resolve it soon .


( The settee is a shoddy example and not as carefully constructed as the one displayed in the showroom and I am disappointed ... There is bunching in the underlying fabric which can be felt and seen through the leather , the front edge of the seat shows a wavy rather than straight line, there is a void in the padding of the opposite arm , " puddling " in the seats , and overall flatter if not a little sunken compared to the plumper looking 2 seater .

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Thanks. I am going to need to ask some more questions I'm afraid.

Why do they say its a good will gesture? Why don't they accept the faults?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

... They state in their letter dated 22nd. Oct that they reviewed the report and it is the opinion of a qualified technician who visited me, that the furniture does not have any proven manufacturing defects present as stated below ;




They then state , ... " We will be standing be the decision of a gesture of goodwill adjustment to the product. Unfortunately if you do not accept this offer we would consider the matter closed. However , should you disagree with the decision then we would advise you to obtain an independant report from a Registered Furniture Specialist and submit their report for our further consideration.

In the event that it is revealed that a manufacturing fault does in fact exist we will then arrange for the report to be verified by a third party company. Please note that if they confirm the report content to be correct we will then undertake to remedy the fault and refund the cost of the receipt for the independant report once the furniture claim has been successfully resolved ."


I replied to this stating that if the fault was with the arm alone I would have been happy to consider an adjustment to the product ... However , I doubted the offer could be extended to remedy the other 6 faults that I listed and asked them to reconsider their offer , and stated that my opinion that the sofa should be replaced had not changed.


They telephoned on the 18th. Nov to say a technician from Home Serve will arrange a visit. ( The first technician was from a company called Castelan ,) ....who apparently do repairs for the furniture company I bought from .


I can only add that I initially contacted the store where I made my purchase because I believe that they are responsible to satisfy me as their customer ., ... I don`t want to be in a dispute with their cutomer services department , .... and I was suprised that an unrelated technician called at my home instead of somebody from the furniture sales team.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

They deny a fault exists basically then.

The first point to make is that actually the obligation is not satisfy you entirely. This is not a satisfaction guarantee contract. The obligation is to provide a suite that is 'reasonably good' within the meaning of the Sale of Goods Act. Obviously some people do not have reasonable expectations and that is the distinction to bear in mind.

What is reasonable is a quetsion of degree and fact for a court to decide. Realistically though a new product of high value should be free from all significant defects for a longer period of time than this.

They seem to be saying that either no fault exists or that any fault that does exist is not a substantial one falling within the SGA which is what they mean about grain differences.

This is a recent purchase and you complained quickly so you could ask for a replacement or a refund under the SGA. The plain fact is though that if they refuse your only option is to sue. There is no way of converting a company to see the situation as you do. If they refuse you will have to litigate. You can do so here.

The good news is that its a small claims court matter so costs will not be high. The bad news though is that you may need a report of your own and there is no legal aid. You can carry on without a report but then the court will rely on theirs which seems to be adverse to you.

You can also complain to trading standards

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes please , ...


Appart from the faults in this one settee , ... I actually love the suite.


In the event that they refuse to remedy the faults or replace the settee, and I have to chase for a reimbursement or refund , what of the other settee ? would they have to refund for both because the 2 were bought as a matching set , ...

and equally important , obviously this suite has had a little use by us, would this complicate anything ?


.... Thank-you .





Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Yes. If you sue for a replacement then they are entitled to recover both and liable to repay the full amount.