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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 72020
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I bought leather sofa suite from Natuzzi for £6,6624.00 in

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I bought leather sofa suite from Natuzzi for £6,6624.00 in January 2020, after paying the deposit to Natuzzi of £1,987.00 by credit card and arranging a credit agreement with Hitachi through Natuzzi. The sofas were delivered on 1st April. We noticed that it had puddling /creases and wrinkles on its seating surfaces. We contacted Natuzzi by phone on the very same day and on 5th April complained via email with photos attached that sofas were faulty. On 28th April notified Natuzzi by email that we will be withholding payments to Hitachi as we had not had a response from them and sent a copy to Hitachi. On 5th May sent official complaint to Hitachi by email and this was logged under the Agreement###-##-####On 13th May Hittachi informed by email that our account was in arrears and we need to pay otherwise our credit history would be affected. We paid on the same day the first instalment £257.61 by credit card. Due to the complaint Hitachi agreed to defer the payment until 31st August.While there has never been a formal reply from them, Natuzzi sent a person on 2 June to inspect, who they claimed to be independent. This person made a very cursory inspection lasting 5 minutes and told us how to dress the furniture. Subsequently learnt from Hitachi finance informed us on 8 June that the Inspection report stated there was no manufacturing fault and will therefore close the case. However, Hitachi said we can have another upholstery company to carry out an assessment and if the report is in our favour the case will be re-opened. We got upholstery/ restoration company Kendalls who carried out an inspection and reported there was fault with the padding, it was not firm enough and hence was showing the wrinkles on the surface and over time they will get worse. On 3 July we sent this formal report from Kendalls to Hitachi.On 11 August Hitachi informed us by email that Natuzzi has requested a further inspection of the sofas by the Furniture Ombudsman, further stating they both are members of the ombudsman. However, we found that the branch that we purchased the suite were not a member of the Furniture Ombudsman. We were told by the Ombudsman that any furniture retailer can ask for an assessment/report but cannot be act as a reconciliatory if the retailer is not a member.On 17August on the advice of the Citizens advice Bureau we informed Hitachi that we would decline further assessment as an independent assessment on their request from Kendalls Restorations had already taken place, at the same time stating we would be taking this case to the small court if there is no resolution within 14 days.On 9 September Hitachi emailed us stating to reconsider a further the inspection (this time from the Furniture Ombudsman) for a resolution. We informed them we are seeking advice and will let them know soon. My question is how we stand in court if we do not allow the inspection. Can this have an implication

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

I'm sorry to hear of the difficulties you have been having with this purchase. Can I just check, what are you ideally hoping for given the ongoing issue so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The furniture is faulty according to us. The report from Kendalls state that it is defective. The retailer has rejected its report and wants another assessment, this time by the Furniture Ombudsman. I have seen reviews of it, almost all of their reports favour the retailer. We expected the retailer to replace the furniture or a full refund. Should we take legal action? If we do we have to file a case against the Finance Company who are in the middle and currently involved in trying to resolve our case with the Natuzzi, the retailer. If we decline a further assessment of the furniture, where do we stand legally. Both the Finance company and Natuzzi consider the Furniture Ombudsman to be neutral. However, we have seen too many negative reviews, which is putting us off having an assessment by them.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I'll await your response by messaging

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. There will be a potential risk that your case may be affected by not allowing the inspection. However, that is impossible to predict, specifically because it is not a legal requirement mentioned anywhere and it would be up to the judge dealing with the case to decide if it is a relevant factor. The uncertainty there is that one judge on one day can come to an entirely different decision to another on a different day. In general, I would say you should try and not create such unnecessary risks and for the sake of another inspection and a slight delay, you should try and allow it to show that you are acting reasonably. But at the same time, they cannot force you to accept it and as mentioned, you will not be breaching any specific regulation.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you for your advice.
If we go ahead with the inspection and the report is not in our favour is it still possible to take the case to the court?
Not sure how this would affect us in court as the report is from the FIRA the company the the Furniture Ombudsmen use for furniture assessment.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Will await your response.
Thanks .

Hi there, yes you can still go to court regardless of the outcome of the report. That is just someone’s opinion but you can disagree with it and still challenge the other side legally through the courts if needed.

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you for yours response.

You are most welcome and all the best

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
You are welcome

Thank you