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Faulty cabinet from Anthropology

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Hi all,

Could anyone advise on the following situation?

We bought a beautiful, expensive cabinet from Anthropology (just over £2k). Unfortunately, they delivered it months late, and we recently realised that the slightly sticky bottom drawer had become stuck. A friend who’s a carpenter had a look and said it was bowed, basically poor quality.

So, in short, the drawer doesn’t open and has slightly damaged the wood below it.

We’ve had it for a year and reported this within 12 months. So we asked for a replacement, and they responded first with the following:

“Due to the length of time that has now passed since the delivery, I would only be able to issue you with a partial refund.

I would be happy to offer you a refund of £450.”

We responded by saying while we appreciated the offer, we’d like a cabinet that works, so either replace, repair or refund, to which they replied:

"I am sorry to learn of your dissatisfaction with the offers provided. 

Unfortunately, we will not be offering a replacement, refund or repair to the item.

We will be able to offer the partial refund of £450. Should you wish to use this refund to independently source a repair the item then that is completely up to you.

This is due to the length of time that has passed with the item's delivery and the length of time taken to report the fault.

I am sorry that this is not the resolution that you were hoping for and for any upset caused following this.”

We’re pretty unhappy with this as it’s a costly cabinet, it’s not fit for purpose, and it’s not like we damaged it - it’s a drawer! I feel like we’re a bit screwed over here. We’d just like a cabinet that works! 

Could anyone advise us exactly what our rights are (or where to find out) and how we should respond?

Thanks,

Dan

Comments

  • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
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    If the retailer refuses to repair or replace then it is either a price reduction or a refund, however this is your choice rather than theirs.

    If you opted for a refund they may reduce the refund to account for use (typically lifespan vs time owned) as it’s now past the 6 month point. 

    They could also ask you to show there is a problem with the goods rather than the issue being something you have caused (say by the humidity being too high and affecting the cabinet as a random example).

    I assume their offer is £450 and you keep the cabinet? 

    Can your carpenter friend fix it for less than £450? 
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 14,537 Forumite
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    Well, can it be repaired? What does your friend think?
  • powerful_Rogue
    powerful_Rogue Posts: 7,610 Forumite
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    the_lunatic_is_in_my_head said:
    If the retailer refuses to repair or replace then it is either a price reduction or a refund, however this is your choice rather than theirs.

    If you opted for a refund they may reduce the refund to account for use (typically lifespan vs time owned) as it’s now past the 6 month point. 

    They could also ask you to show there is a problem with the goods rather than the issue being something you have caused (say by the humidity being too high and affecting the cabinet as a random example).

    I assume their offer is £450 and you keep the cabinet? 

    Can your carpenter friend fix it for less than £450? 
    As it's over six months, the onus is on the OP to prove the fault was present when manufactured. I think it's quite generous they have offered £450 without even asking for a report, as without that they don't need to do anything.
    The £450 is for the OP to source their own repair, so keeping the cabinet.

  • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
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    3rd paragraph covered proof of fault. :)

    The generosity of the offer may be subjective, as the value of the cabinet to the OP may differ from the proposed exchange. If the OP no longer wants the cabinet and decides to return it, they have the right to seek a potentially higher refund amount if the goods are found to not conform. 

    Considering the situation, it is understandable that the OP may feel conflicted. While £450 is a considerable amount, it appears evident that the OP has lost faith in the product. 

    The type of cabinet is unknown, but generally, a furniture piece that costs £2k should have a long lifespan, which could result in a small deduction for use in the event of exercising the final right to reject.

    As always the difficult part is enforcing rights and the headache that comes with it.
  • powerful_Rogue
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    3rd paragraph covered proof of fault. :)

    The generosity of the offer may be subjective, as the value of the cabinet to the OP may differ from the proposed exchange. If the OP no longer wants the cabinet and decides to return it, they have the right to seek a potentially higher refund amount if the goods are found to not conform. 

    Considering the situation, it is understandable that the OP may feel conflicted. While £450 is a considerable amount, it appears evident that the OP has lost faith in the product. 

    The type of cabinet is unknown, but generally, a furniture piece that costs £2k should have a long lifespan, which could result in a small deduction for use in the event of exercising the final right to reject.

    As always the difficult part is enforcing rights and the headache that comes with it.
    It did, however should have been the 1st paragraph. Makes it easier to understand your rights when you know where the initial onus lies.

  • HillStreetBlues
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    The trouble the OP has is that proving it was faulty at time of sale.
    Wood can warp due to conditions it's kept in, so the retailer can point to the nearly year the OP has had it without complaining.
    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • Belenus
    Belenus Posts: 2,554 Forumite
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    bauer said:
    Hi all,

    Could anyone advise on the following situation?

    We bought a beautiful, expensive cabinet from Anthropology (just over £2k). Unfortunately, they delivered it months late, and we recently realised that the slightly sticky bottom drawer had become stuck. A friend who’s a carpenter had a look and said it was bowed, basically poor quality.
    Is your friend a carpenter or a joiner?

    If the former then seek out a skilled joiner or cabinet maker who may be able to repair any damage.

    £450 appears to be a reasonably generous partial refund and could more than cover a repair if one is possible.

    How noticeable is the flawed bottom drawer? Can you post a few pictures?
    A man walked into a car showroom.
    He said to the salesman, “My wife would like to talk to you about the Volkswagen Golf in the showroom window.”
    Salesman said, “We haven't got a Volkswagen Golf in the showroom window.”
    The man replied, “You have now mate".
  • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
    the_lunatic_is_in_my_head Posts: 7,759 Forumite
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    edited 16 March 2023 at 10:27AM
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    3rd paragraph covered proof of fault. :)

    The generosity of the offer may be subjective, as the value of the cabinet to the OP may differ from the proposed exchange. If the OP no longer wants the cabinet and decides to return it, they have the right to seek a potentially higher refund amount if the goods are found to not conform. 

    Considering the situation, it is understandable that the OP may feel conflicted. While £450 is a considerable amount, it appears evident that the OP has lost faith in the product. 

    The type of cabinet is unknown, but generally, a furniture piece that costs £2k should have a long lifespan, which could result in a small deduction for use in the event of exercising the final right to reject.

    As always the difficult part is enforcing rights and the headache that comes with it.
    It did, however should have been the 1st paragraph. Makes it easier to understand your rights when you know where the initial onus lies.

    The company are implying the only option is a part refund, as far as my advice goes, highlighting the final right to reject applies is the first step. 

    The second step is to highlight the company's policy on furniture returns, assuming OP purchased from here:

    https://www.anthropologie.com/en-gb/?ref=logo (and misspelt Anthropologie in their title)

    3rd step is a letter before action.

    If at any point the company agrees but says burden of proof lies with OP then it's priority takes top spot.

    For the OP this may be easier than most as they have a friend who a carpenter. 

    Equally the retailer's offer, regardless of opinions over generosity, is a sizable amount at nearly 25% on an expensive order which may be viewed as an admission of a problem given companies are hardly known for handing out £450 where they feel nothing is wrong with the product. This may be viewed as a display of weakness from the company highlighting that they may not be confident in defending a small claims case and may perhaps fold at step 1 2 or 3 without the burden of proof being an issue. 

    You are of course welcome to present your advice in any order you see fit :) 

    Sorry OP just to add to the first post the final right to reject it's detailed below and IMO this is what you should include as part of your next response:

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/section/24/enacted

    (5)A consumer who has the right to a price reduction and the final right to reject may only exercise one (not both), and may only do so in one of these situations—

    (a)after one repair or one replacement, the goods do not conform to the contract;

    (b)because of section 23(3) the consumer can require neither repair nor replacement of the goods; or

    (c)the consumer has required the trader to repair or replace the goods, but the trader is in breach of the requirement of section 23(2)(a) to do so within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to the consumer.

    Regarding the proof that has been discussed it is here:

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/section/19/enacted

    (14)For the purposes of subsections (3)(b) and (c) and (4), goods which do not conform to the contract at any time within the period of six months beginning with the day on which the goods were delivered to the consumer must be taken not to have conformed to it on that day.

    which means that outside of 6 months it is not taken however you obviously don't have any obligation to mention that to the company. 


  • bauer
    bauer Posts: 11 Forumite
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    Thank you all so much for your advice, we've gone back citing the terms on the website (which contradicts what they've offered as a reason for part refund) and it's now being escalated to their "buyers for further review". We'll wait and see!
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