Leather sofa 'faded'

looroll199
looroll199 Posts: 24
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edited 11 January at 5:18PM in Consumer rights
We bought a new leather corner sofa from a well known shop in July last year, delivered 19th July. It took us ages to find something suitable and went back to the same shop twice before we bought it. We advised we had dogs, a cat and a grandchild that visited regularly.  We took out the extra warranty to cover any damage or accidents. The leaflet with the furniture didnt say what sort of leather it was.  On the care leaflet and care kit they gave us after we paid it was advised not to put the sofa in direct sunlight.  We have bifold doors and a south facing garden.  We noticed over Christmas that the sofa has faded on one arm where the sun hits it after rising.  The sun moves round from left to right over the day but there is only one arm that has faded.  I raised a complaint with the retailer and sent in photos, they said sunlight damage isn't covered under the guarantee and that I should claim through the extended warranty.  On checking this also does not cover fading by sunlight.  I don't think this is acceptable as it was only summer(y) for about 8 weeks after we bought it then we went into Autumn and now winter.  At no point during our transaction was any suggestion or advice given by the sales staff regarding positioning of the furniture due to sunlight.  The retailer is now sending an 'independent' inspector to see the sofa next week (that they will be paying).
Do we have any comeback under the Consumer Rights Act?  We can't sit with the blinds shut every time its sunny and not open the bifolds in summer so I believe it is not fit for purpose.
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  • looroll199
    looroll199 Posts: 24
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    edited 11 January at 5:01PM
    The last photo is the colour the sofa should be as this side hasn't been affected.
    We had a black leather 3 seater and 2 seater for 15 years before this that didn't fade at all
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,698
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    Why do you refer to dogs, cats, grandchild? I don't see the relevance.

    You should have been advised not to put the sofa in direct sunlight before you decided to buy.
    You say that information was not given until the sofa was delivered, so was not part of the contract terms. You intended to place the sofa in direct sunlight so that information was important to you. You should really have gone back to the trader at that point last July either to cancel for a full refund or for an exchange for one which was guaranteed light-fast because of where you intended to keep it.

    However, see what the inspector says. He might agree that it should not have faded so much in 6 months.
  • RefluentBeans
    RefluentBeans Posts: 854
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    What retailer was it? What sofa was it? 

    Whilst the care and advice leaflet is a ‘nice to have’ if the information is on their website on the product information (or in store) or the leaflet is available online (or in store - on the side for example) - I don’t think you can claim that this information was outside the scope of the information provided to you. 

    It’s generally accepted that the sun can chase fading of items. I think you’ll have a hard time to show it’s not satisfactory quality and faulty unless it was sold as sun resistant. 
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,182
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    When did you read the care leaflet? What did you do when you read it shouldn't be in direct sun light?

    Have you used a leather conditioner? Dried out leather also lightens in colour in most cases and whilst sun does bleach it also dries out. 

    In principle the lighter colour the leather, the more difficult it is to maintain however in the long term (assuming its not bonded leather) the patina can be much more interesting than a plain jet black leather. 
  • looroll199
    looroll199 Posts: 24
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    I referred to dogs, cat, kids etc as we had an in-depth discussion with the sales staff about our home, who lived / visited there and that we needed it to be pretty pet and kid-proof to suit our lifestyle.  Hence we were advised to purchase the extra warranty/insurance which we did for £249.
    The retailer is Barker & Stonehouse and its a Lorenzo Leather Corner Sofa.
    Barker and Stonehouse Lorenza Brown Leather Square Corner Sofa, - Barker & Stonehouse  It doesn't state which sort of leather it is (and I still don't know)
    This is the leaflet we got
    Leather-Furniture-Care-Leaflet-23.pdf (barkerandstonehouse.co.uk) which does give a general guideline to keep out of direct sunlight
    As we had a leather sofa for 15 years before that didn't fade at all we didn't know it was a 'thing' (perhaps naievely)
    We have used the care kit (cleaner and protection) every month without fail.
    My point is that surely it shouldn't fade after a few weeks and if the sales staff are fully trained then they should have a discussion about it? I haven't got a single room that isn't in direct sunlight (when its out) for some of the day.
    Whilst I accept that it can fade in the sun, it has been autumn/winter since the beginning of October and in the 8 weeks prior to that it wasn't sunny every day?  It shouldn't fade that quickly and only on one part of the sofa when it is all in the sun at some point of the day.
  • Aylesbury_Duck
    Aylesbury_Duck Posts: 13,797
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    I think you've got little chance here, because the care leaflet gave the advice and you've had the sofa in place since July.  The time to raise it and perhaps reject the sofa was in July once you'd read the care leaflet.  Since you didn't specify you needed a sofa that could be placed in sunlight without a problem, they haven't breached the contract in any way so a rejection at that point might have incurred a charge, anyway.

    You say it shouldn't fade in a few weeks, but it didn't, did it?  It's faded in the six months it's been in sunlight.  And i don't see what sales staff need to discuss.  They aren't going to go into the ins and outs of every room aspect and sofa material permutation to advise on fading, that's the point of each product's care leaflet.  If you have a specific question about suitability of material in certain rooms and aspects, the onus is on you to raise it at the time of sale.

    I'd await the inspector's verdict, but I suspect it won't be what you're looking for.
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,698
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    edited 12 January at 3:08PM
    Thanks for the links to Barker & Stonehouse.
    I see the extra insurance, for which you paid £249 extra, allows you to have up to three scratches from your cats and dogs. I hope your animals are well behaved!

    It is accident insurance so wouldn't be expected to cover gradual events such as fading due to sunlight. 
    For the avoidance of doubt, the terms of the insurance specifically state:

    WHAT IS NOT COVERED:
    Your Emmiera Group Policy Schedule will not cover you for:
    4. Any gradually occurring stain(s) or damage, gradual wear and tear...
    5. Colour loss, fading, sunlight, wind or weather
  • HillStreetBlues
    HillStreetBlues Posts: 3,099
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    edited 12 January at 3:30PM
    I have some coasters that I leave on the windowsill and they have now faded, I'm wondering if I should complain as wasn't told sun can fade (who is suppose to this)  I wonder what my chances of a refund are?
    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • diinozzo
    diinozzo Posts: 139
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    I have some coasters that I leave on the windowsill and they have now faded, I'm wondering if I should complain as wasn't told sun can fade (who is suppose to this)  I wonder what my changes of a refund are?
    Can I have some of what you are drinking?
  • looroll199
    looroll199 Posts: 24
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    And guess who are coming to do the inspection next week?
    B & S's 'independent' inspector from Emmiera ...
    I get the insurance T's & c's and we took it out because of animals etc. 
    Still think it should have kept its colour for longer.  
    If I dont get anywhere I will sell it before it gets worse as I don't want to sit with the blinds shut all the time!
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