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Hazardous table

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BrucellaBrucella Forumite
36 posts
Sixth Anniversary
I would greatly appreciate your opinion on whether I have a case before I spend any more time pursuing the retailer, credit card company and/or ombudsman.

I purchased a new extending wooden table from a high street retailer. For the first three weeks we used the table in its unextended format, but when we extended it for the first time, we saw that underneath, two sharp metal bars are exposed and project under the table which presents a safety hazard to a toddler or an adult’s knees when sitting at the table. These bars were not visible without extending the table


I do not believe that this is a safe product due to this design fault.

I complained to the retailer who denied that these bars represented a hazard as they were a standard method of construction. I contended that whether this was true or not, they were still a safety hazard.

The retailer has refused to let me return the table.

I wonder if your general advice is that I would have any chance of success if I complained to the Furniture Ombudsman, or is it true that this form of construction is accepted as safe?

Any other advice?


  • edited 28 February 2020 at 12:53AM
    in_my_welliesin_my_wellies Forumite
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    edited 28 February 2020 at 12:53AM
    If you like the table then keep it. If the bars worry you cover them with some padding
    Love living in a village in the country side
  • edited 15 January 2020 at 8:36AM
    DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
    33.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 15 January 2020 at 8:36AM
    I think the pipe lagging would be too flimsy and the wrong bore, but in my wellies is on the right track. Rubber or plastic petrol pipe might be about right and not too obtrusive, or if not, you could find something similar in the way of sleeving.

    Fitting a sleeve wouldn't prevent you also complaining via the Ombudsman service, but bear in mind that these schemes are usually funded via the industry and may not be as much use as you'd imagine. I complained about a conservatory company via an industry watchdog, but they wouldn't arbitrate and wouldn't explain why either.

    You could also send a picture to Trading Standards in your area and ask for their comments.
    Patron to The Warning
    "No country has ever improved the health of its citizens by making them poorer." John Lee - Professor of Pathology. UK.
  • dunrovingdunroving Forumite
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    Duct tape?
    (Nearly) dunroving
  • lewisalewisa Forumite
    301 posts
    I can see how this might be a hazard to a toddler, however, there are many things that are a toddler hazard around the house.

    Sorry but I don't think these are big concern. There are bigger hazards all over most houses. Do you fit front and rear door hinge covers on all internal and external doors to prevent amputations? Have you moved to a bungalow to eliminate the biggest killer in UK homes? Have you padded every sharp corner in the house?
  • shaun_from_Africashaun_from_Africa Forumite
    12.9K posts
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    Are the two brackets fairly easy to remove and refit?

    If so, taking them off and rounding off the sharp corners with a file would make them a lot safer.
    This may be possible with them still in situ but it would probably be far easier to do if they are removed.
  • edited 15 January 2020 at 3:27PM
    Mistral001Mistral001 Forumite
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    edited 15 January 2020 at 3:27PM
    I would keep complaining. You should not be expected to modify a new table to make it safe.

    PS. You should probably not use the table even in its un-extended form until you get a satisfactory answer or drop your complaint.
  • tonyh66tonyh66 Forumite
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    There's a furniture Ombudsman? I would tell the retailer your going to BBC watchdog with it, and I would do that anyway, the snowflakes at the BBC love this sort of thing.
  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
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    Did you not test the table before buying?

    What are those brackets used for?
  • GrenageGrenage Forumite
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    I assume that the end of the smooth-looking brackets just have a bit of an edge at the point - I can't tell if it's down the sides.

    You could just put some hot glue over the end. I'd just file the edges of anything sharp.
  • maisie_catmaisie_cat Forumite
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    They are square brackets and most extending tables need something to support the extensions & arms.
    There are many things in the home that are hazardous to people and I cannot see that these are, they don't exactly look sharp.
    You are unlikely to get an extending table without some form of engineering requiring metal fixings. If you are worried that your toddler will wander under the table use a bit of sugru on the end.
    If they hold the extensions in place, remove them and store the extensions somewhere else.
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