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Another DFS nightmare story!!!!

Hello to you all,
This is my first post so am unsure if this is the correct place to post this, but hey ho. Basically my problem is as the title suggests, i foolishly went into my local dfs store and purchased a 2 seater natural leather sofa (Biba i think) bog standard colour, tan, 4 weeks delivery, we chose this one primarily because at the time we were tired of sitting on the floor after moving to our new house.

Salesman was nice enough, took us through the process explained that as it was a natural leather and meant to have that 'lived in' look we should expect geneal wear to cause fading, we like the aged look. He also mentioned that having keys or the like in your pocket when sitting on it may cause scuffs or scrapes, again we accepted that as given, we liked the idea that WE would age it with use.

Anyway, on arriving home after signing the paperwork, i too the sofa on 'interest free' over 30 months which i realise is false as there's no such thing as interest free!! fast forward to 4 weeks and the sofa is delivered, can you guess what happened next? that's right the sofa is far from new looking. my fiancee said the delivery men were nice, and had her sign something which they said was just to confirm the delivery, i suspect that this was also a faults/damage checklist but they have been less than honest about it!!

when i arrived home from work i could see for myself the damage. There are numerous deep scrachtes, deep abrasions that look like they have been caused by pressure/being used, plus the seams are coming apart i various places, not to mention when my fincee wiped it with the provided cloths they turned from white to brown!! i called the store asap and now have the service manager coming out today.

I desperately need some help, i have a new baby an don't have the luxury of hundreds of pounds to just throw down the swanny! Nor do i want to be fobbed of by this service manager, what should i do? after reading MANY threads on MANY forums i have come to the conclusion that i really don't want them to take this sofa away to 'repair', i just want rid and to have no more deailngs with these sharks!!!! please somebody help me!!



  • chrislee765
    chrislee765 Posts: 380 Forumite
    eek. Well I guess he's coming out so thats a start. You are covered by the sale of goods act http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/consumers/fact-sheets/page38311.html

    I also wonder when does the finance officially start. Upon receipt of the sofa? It may be a long shot but would you be within your 14day cooling off period?
    Had no experience with them myself but best of luck!

    Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life.
  • jenny-wren
    jenny-wren Posts: 838 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    I wouldn't settle for anything less than them taking the sofa away and getting a full refund. It clearly looks like the sofa is far from being like the one you saw in the shop and it has been damaged or poorly made rather than just having a 'lived-in' appearance.

    My advice would be to avoid DFS like the plague. OH used to work for a furniture store and I've heard so many horror stories about DFS sofas and the poor workmanship. The fact that they always seem to have a sale on rings warning bells with me straight away!

    It might be worth quoting a few lines from the Sale of Goods Act to the guy who comes out. That normally does the trick!

    In future, when something is delivered, make sure you write something like 'goods not checked' or 'goods not inspected' before you sign the docket. It gives you a bit of extra comeback should anything be wrong.
    Norn Iron Club Member 330 ;)
  • mattmcd81
    mattmcd81 Posts: 22 Forumite
    Dfs have a well written credit agreement that states that

    "you have no right to cancel this agreement under the consumer credit act 1974, the timeshare act 1992 or the financial services (distance marketing) regulations 2004."

    as such there is no cooling off period, that only applies to distance selling ( had i bought over the internet for example).

    Well the 'upholsterer' has just left, nice chap too although i'm starting to see a pattern here, you know what they say about wolves in sheeps clothing!!!!! We were duly fobbed off with regards to quite obvious scratches and abrasions, he said that as it was a soft annaline hide we should expect 'scars', i told him that we were not warned about this in the showroom but that we were to expect to cause imperfections by using it, fair enough i thought at the time.

    I chalked that one up to a lack in knowledge. However, the stitching on the sofa is diabolical, to say that some of the highly visible 60cm tall sections of stitching is 'wonky' is an understatement!! When i probed him on how he proposed to correct the 's' bend WITHOUT leaving holes from the previous attempt, he became profoundly mute!!!

    He assured us that he will contact us later today, but the most we can hope for is to have it taken to be repaired, which as i stated will leave obvious marks from the previous stitches!! I await the phonecall but am prepared to inform them that if they don't collect it and call it quits i'll wait unil saturday, say lunch time and deliver it to them with as much fuss as posible.

    Anyone have any ideas on my next move?
  • thescouselander
    thescouselander Posts: 5,542 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 23 July 2009 at 11:14AM
    mattmcd81 wrote: »
    Dfs have a well written credit agreement that states that

    "you have no right to cancel this agreement under the consumer credit act 1974, the timeshare act 1992 or the financial services (distance marketing) regulations 2004."

    as such there is no cooling off period, that only applies to distance selling ( had i bought over the internet for example).

    I wasn't aware that a company could opt out of the consumer credit act - I thought you were covered by this no matter what. I could be wrong but its worth checking out - just because its written in the agreement doesn't automatically make it legally enforcable.

    I think what they are saying is that you dont get a cooling off period because you would have signed the agreement at their place of business. You'll probably still be covered under the other provisions of the act though.
  • jenny-wren
    jenny-wren Posts: 838 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    Please do not let them fob you off. You have spent your hard earned cash on goods which are not up to scratch (pardon the pun!). How can they possibly expect a sofa with wobbly stitching to be repaired and look like a new sofa? I wouldn't take anything less than a refund ... but perhaps a replacement sofa might be agreeable to you?

    Do you have a Consumer Advice Centre close to you? When I've had problems they've always been extremely helpful and they know all the 'ins and outs' of the law relating to the sale of goods. I had a nightmare with a double glazing firm and their shoddy workmanship and it was amazing what action a letter from the Consumer Advice Centre got me ... all the problems fixed quick smart plus £30 to get a carpet cleaned!
    Norn Iron Club Member 330 ;)
  • Inactive
    Inactive Posts: 14,509 Forumite
    My mate works for DFS, his job is repairing their suites, that is all he does, day in, day out.

    He just popped in for a cuppa and was telling me that tomorrow he has to recover a customers whole suite because the whole suite is sub - standard.

    Too late now, but the OP should have fully inspected the item at the shop, before delivery, and again after delivery, I did when I purchased a new suite last year, not a DFS one, I hasten to add.

    Best thing for the OP to do is insist on a replacement or refund, take nothing less.
  • mattmcd81
    mattmcd81 Posts: 22 Forumite
    What a day!!!:eek:
    So i mentioned above that the 'upholsterer' had been and gone, he said he would call back after speaking to the manager. Well he did, and the general jist went along the lines of 'we don't normally do this but we are prepared to take the sofa in and re-cover the whole thing!!'

    By this time i had already set my sights on a full refund, besides i object to having my new sofa (less than a day old remember) taken away to be repaired/re-covered, IT'S BRAND BLOODY NEW!!! Plus their offer feels like an admission to being at fault.

    Before the guy (mark) phoned i had already been in touch with consumer direct, they advised me on my rights under the law, of which i apparently have more than first realised! They asked me what the problem was and what my preferred outcome was, i told them and they guided me step by step through the process of writing letters to both the dfs branch and the credit company stating my intention to cancel and the reasons for doing so. I also sent one to head office just for good measure. CD also said that to make my case stronger i would have to put the sofa out of use, that way they can't turn round and say it's through use that the faults have occurred, i think i said in the letters that i have not and will not use the sofa, which i haven't. When i told mark he just said that that was my choice but he would need to take this matter higher up, presumably to a manager.

    Just before the close of business today i recieved a voicemail from one of the managers at the branch asking me to call them asap to discuss my 'issues', he sounded less than cheery and i have the distinct impression that they will drag this out as long as possible.

    I forgot to mention, when i called hitachi capital to notify them of my intent and to check their address i was told that the credit aggreement wasn't on their system yet and would take 14 days to do so!!! This saga is getting very tired already, i really feel for anyone who has fought for months! What do you all think that this conversation with the manager will entail? do you think i'm doing the right thing? and finally, any ideas on how best to deal with he manager?

    Your interest and words of support have been greatly recieved, thank you all so much.
  • jenny-wren
    jenny-wren Posts: 838 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    edited 24 July 2009 at 9:34PM
    The advice you were given was perfect. Decide what you want (within the law) and stick to your guns. The last thing you want is a sofa that you're not comfortable sitting on! Much better to cut your losses and shop somewhere else.

    Let us know how you get on.
    Norn Iron Club Member 330 ;)
  • mattmcd81
    mattmcd81 Posts: 22 Forumite
    Well i returned the store managers call this afternoon, only to be told by him that;

    "we have rights too, under the sale of goods act we are permitted to carry out a repair"

    This was in response to letting him know to expect a formal letter outlining my intention to return the sofa and cancel the credit agreement were on their way, and that i would expect no less than that. He told me that it's a two way street, to which i replied "you are more than welcome to come inspect the abomination but you won't be repairing it, not for me anyway", that was when he it me with his we have rights too speach.!!!!

    i told him about the offer from mark (the upholsterer) which he knew nothing about, when i explained that Dfs were willing to re-cover the whole thing he went into propaganda mode, stating that when taken in it would be stripped and covered with the finest italian leather, what from china!!!! He went on to say;

    "the re-covering won't be done by semi-skilled tradesmen!"
    "what, like the ones that put it together you mean, so much for being made to the customers spec!!!" i said.

    overall i found him quite shirty, it's obviously his job, he doesn't want his store losing business after all.

    Update; just off the phone with Consumer direct who have said that the manager is incorrect and that i have the absolute right to reject the goods because of the poor quality!!!
  • vivatifosi
    vivatifosi Posts: 18,746 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Mortgage-free Glee! PPI Party Pooper
    Good luck matt. I've got two sofas from DFS, both of which were replacements for the original, stand your ground.

    You may also want to consider the Furniture Ombudsman scheme. I'm ex-furniture industry (not DFS) and know this scheme, which is run by FIRA, a very highly respected testing body with extremely stringent procedures. DFS is a member of the ombudsman scheme, so you may wish to review your dispute with them.

    Here's a link so you can look at the scheme and how it works:
    Please stay safe in the sun and learn the A-E of melanoma: A = asymmetry, B = irregular borders, C= different colours, D= diameter, larger than 6mm, E = evolving, is your mole changing? Most moles are not cancerous, any doubts, please check next time you visit your GP.
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