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SCS And Faulty £2,000+ Suite


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I am writing this for a family member.

 

We purchased a relatively expensive suite from SCS (2 x 2 seater leather), and started to experience problems with the amount of support it offered us after around 9 months. When sitting on the suite we started to sink, after only light usage by 2 pensioners.

 

We visited the SCS store advising of our problem, they sent somebody out to look at it, they put some extra foam inside. Shortly after the problem occured again and their solution was no good. We wrote to in November them asking for them to investigate and offer a solution, they replied asking for 2 weeks to investigate and prepare a response, we didnt get a reply. We wrote again in March asking for them to help, they sent somebody out to inspect the suite. We never got anything back from them with a report, we never had anything back at all from them. We wrote again 2 weeks ago offering them 14 days to help with a solution, or we would pursue them through the small claims track for damages for the full purchase price + interest as the suite was not of reasonable quality and not fit for purpose.

 

Today we received a fairly aggressive phone call from SCS, advising us that there was nothing wrong with the suite and they advised us to take them to court if we wanted anything doing about it.

 

My questions are: Can we get any sort of legal aid as we are pensioners with no real income? How much liability are we looking at if we do go through the small claims track and we lose? How would we go about trying to prove the item was not of reasonable quality? Is the burden of proof with us or SCS? Would their lack of communication count against them in court?

 

Thanks in advance, hope somebody can offer some guidance.

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You can raise a Small Claim in your local court against them. If you actually go to court and prove you are in receipt of benefits, a number of costs are reduced. Go to your local court's Civil Department, they'll be best placed to advise.

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this is a fairly common problem with sofas. In order to make a successful claim you will need to show that it is not fit for purpose - ie it is uncomfortable for anyone that uses it. Just because the cushions have softened is not enough to make a claim stand. Alternatively you might be able to show that it looks rubbish and this could be grounds for a claim.

 

the problem is probably the hollow fibre cushion interiors that are collapsing with use. this is generally expected. The DTI (as was) and a furniture test house (FIRA) did some research into it. I think you should be able to get hold of the report from them (FIRA). See page four -

 

http://www.fira.co.uk/techinfo/view/javascript/imagemanager/images/FIRA_NEWS_Spring_2005.pdf

 

Fibre cushions don't last long unfortunately, and will not generally last the same time as the rest of the suite?

 

You will also be able to get an independent report on the sofa from FIRA/the furniture ombudsman but it will cost you about £300.

 

Note that pensioners will use a sofa more than a couple that work full time.

 

By the way - you say relatively expensive and scs - this doesn't gell for me. Relatively expensive for a leather suite is perhaps £6k plus. If you paid less than 2k it was cheap (for a sofa) and you'll need to factor this in for any claim.

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