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LEATHER LORDS (e.l.s.) BIRMINGHAM

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Be VERY wary of spending your money in LEATHER LORDS (now trading as e.l.s. I believe) - it's opposite DFS, Camp Hill, Birmingham. It's owned by same people as ELS (Exclusive Leather Sofas) in Cannock. If you check out all the problems under the ELS thread you will see exactly what I mean.

We ordered 2 sofas end of 2009, paid deposit, quoted 16 weeks delivery from manufacturers in Italy. We paid the balance when we were told sofas ready. Day before delivery, we were told only 1 sofa had arrived. When it did arrive, completely wrong colour - we were told "they sometimes look a bit darker, it will fade". Fabulous, just what you expect when you spend thousands - a fading sofa.

Promised new pair of sofas within 6 weeks - suddenly decreased from 16 weeks?? - but lo and behold, no news for over 2 months. After chasing it up - you will never get any contact unless you make it yourself - were told there was another problem - sofas wrong again, a 2 seater and a 3 seater, we had ordered 2 x 2 seaters. They said they could get us 2 more sofas within 2 weeks?????

At this point, I cancelled the order. Firstly told - no refunds. "We know all about the Sale of Goods Act, but we don't do refunds". Then promised refund on day loan sofas collected. Then promised refund 14 days later. Then told policy is 21-28 days. Guess what, 2 months after refund promised, still no cash! Trading Standards have intervened, and have basically been given the same runaround that we have. The excuses have been - person who should have done refund has left. It'll be done next week. It'll be done next week (again).It's stuck in the system. The cheque's in the post! Person who writes cheques is on holiday!

The next step is Money Claim Online, the online version of Small Claims Court. It seems the only way to finally get moving on this, otherwise you will wait forever.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not set foot in this store, do not spend any money here. The sofas are apparently not made in Italy, but up north in the UK, quality is poor, and if you do get your sofas, woe betide if you have any after sales issues.

Read the blogs on the ELS thread, it goes on and on and on. Pay special attention to the name Jayne Bolton, and the words that come out of her mouth. Not much truth there. If this stops just one person spending money in this store, I will be well happy. But the more the merrier!

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I'm in the same boat have you got your refund?

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Hi there, so sorry to hear about yet another victim of these unscrupulous [problem] merchants. I claimed against Leather Lords on 28th July, via Moneyclaim Online, it costs £80. The claim is deemed served after 5 days, which was Monday 2nd August. I have now filed a Certificate of Service - form N215- which advises the court that the claim has been served. Leather Lords has until 16th August to either admit claim, pay claim, or dispute claim. If they do not respond by that date, I am entitled to request judgement against them. If necessary, I may have to pay further costs to get bailiff equivelants to seize goods if they will not pay. However all these costs are charged to them - presuming judgement is against them.

So I wait patiently (again) for action.

It seems to me that this is there favourite way of getting cash - telling you that your order is ready and asking for the balance. My husband has contacted Ed Doolan, and I am contacting my local MP, as well as local radio. Anything to get some publicity to warn people - I can't believe that they are STILL getting away with it!!!!!

If they have gone over thier 16 week delivery promise, I think you are entitled to refund under Sale Of Goods Act - check with Trading Standards first. Even though they ignore Trading Standards to all intents and purposes, at least you can start the ball rolling if you need to claim as I have. Let me know how you get on. Good luck!

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hi, i placed an order for a corner suite and was told 10 - 12 weeks delivery. i paid 250 deposit and have told them i will not pay another penny until my suite arrives. i have been told numerous excuses, boat delayed, stuck at the docks, it will be with you in 2 weeks, then another 2 weeks, then another 2 weeks etc... i have now been waiting over 8 months and still not recieved my suite. last time i spoke i was assured it was waiting to be shipped up from the docks and i would 100% deffinitely recieve it by this friday and the manager would be phoning to confirm delivery on monday 9th august. obviously he didnt phone so i phoned them and was told the manager was out and it was held up at the docks. it will be with you in another 2 weeks. that will be in to the ninth month

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Hi Gary,

I would say you are well over due cancelling this orer under the Sale Of Goods Act - not that they will take any notice! Contact your local Trading Standards and take advice, you will prob have to put in writing giving 28 days for delivery or you will demand refund. Then my guess is you willl have to go down small claims as I have - Leather Lords no doubt hoping that you will give up before then. But please get hold of Trading Standards, they will advise you of correct process. Good luck, let me know how it goes. If more of us got round to suing these scumbags, then maybe we will put them out of business!!!!!!!

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I'm another disgruntled customer of Leather Lords in Birmingham, who now appear to be trading as Exclusive Leather Sofas. Leather Lords were unable to correctly fulfil my order so I cancelled and have been waiting for a refund of nearly £3000 for over 4 months. Trading Standards have intervened, but Leather Lords just seem to hold them in contempt and have not fulfilled promises made to them regarding our refund. We've now issued court proceedings and hope that this is succesful

 

I have now filed a report regarding Leather Lords and Exclusive Leather Sofas on actionfraud.org.uk. I'm not sure if they are acting fraudulently, so I will let the experts investigate and decide.

 

Action Fraud is the place for you to find out about fraud. the UK’s national fraud reporting centre. If you’ve been scammed, ripped off or conned, there is something you can do about it - get in touch with them.

 

Here are a couple of definitions of types of fraud from their web site :-

Advance fee fraud is when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise

 

Long and short firm fraud is when a seemingly genuine business is set up, but has the intention of defrauding its customers and suppliers. Long firm fraud is when the business has developed a good reputation and credit history, while short firm fraud happens when the bogus business has been in operation for a few months. Short firm fraud is often internet related. Fraud relating to bankruptcy and insolvency can involve companies fraudulently trading immediately before being declared insolvent, phoenix companies or illegal trading while suspended

As I say, I'm not saying Leather Lords or Exclusive Leather Sofas are acting fraudulently, but when you read these definitions it does give cause for concern and needs to be investigated. If you too have had a similar experience, record details of your case on actionfraud.org.uk. The more cases they get to hear about, the more they are likely to do something about it

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its now 9 months since i ordered my sofa. i was told it was being delivered to there warehouse today and once it was checked the manager was going to phone me before 5 to confirm a delivery date. he obviously hasnt phoned so i have been trying to call since 4 o clock and it is just ringing. i will keep you posted if anything new happens

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Hi I should have received my sofa today from the Cannock branch - it hasn't arrived as yet. I have been down to the shop and it's locked up completely and looks as if it isn't open for business. I immediately contacted Trading standards and they have advised me to contact the finance company, which I've done. Finance company have already been informed by ELS that I have received my goods and have started to take payments!!!!!! So legal action for theft, fraud etc etc seem to be a potential. The Birmingham store has also been out of contact all day too - so what's going on?? I suggest that everyone starts contacting Trading Standards and finance companies cos it doesn't look to me like we are going to get any sofas from this company at all - unless they've taken a 16 week holiday to Italy

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Had my cheque back last friday from ELS birmigham and today found out it had been cancelled.

 

Arrived at the shop to find it closed and informed by harveys and DFS that they had gone bust despite taking thousands the weekend from they Bank holiday sale where i was told they would only except cash that weekend.

 

So £1200 i will never see again

 

>>>>

Edited by dx100uk
no pers info please

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What can I say? If only I had known how crooked the company was before I bought my sofa from them.

 

Heres my story. Ive just got my first place, an appartment in birmingham city, (Im currently doing my A-Levels) and am in the process of kitting out the flat. I can usually see through BS and read people before they open their mouth but being with my father and being my first time buying something significant independently , we let our guard down.

 

After tediously walking through showroom after showroom we drove into ELS parking lot, empty, on bank holiday weekend... Alarm bells. Walked in and only one salesman was present, 'Gus', who didnt smile. We walked around and I and my father fell in love with a cream 'L' shaped soft leather suite for £1199 - sofa, chair and footstool-showroom ex-model. Went home and came back to buy it the next day. Paid with credit card, the only good decission but its something he swears by when buying expensive items. They told us it would be delivered wednesday , free of charge. Great! I documented and took pictures of all current marks and scratches incase a few more turned up in the moving process. Wednesday afternoon came , and sure enough there was our sofa! We had informed 'Gus' that it may not fit through the hallway because of its elbow shape, and he reassured us if it didnt we could come straight back and chose another - weird! why so friendly and helpful? sure enough it wouldnt fit, and i was heart broken.

 

Went back to the showroom later on that day and theres Gus half grinning, half shocked. "Hey, I just heard it wouldnt fit! no worries, just spoke with the boss, hes just been in, and he must be in a good mood but he said its not a problem, we'll order you the exact same one in sectional form which will take 12-14 weeks and in the mean time we'll lend you this one and we'll deliver it tomorrow all for no extra cost" he said as he lead us over to an even bigger sectional showroom model. We thanked them but i quickly pulled my father aside. I said " the one we bought was a showroom model and was reduced from 3000 something pounds, how is it they can lend us a bigger one and order a new one for such a low price! Ive lived in the caribbean and miami and those experiences have taught me the hard way, people dont do something to help you or go out of their way for you unless it benefits them more than it does yourself. I told my father this but we said, oh well, they delivered the other one, must me true to their word, and put it down to a huge markup on factory items.

 

The whole way home i was getting more and more suspicious as i thought it through and my father and I had a long conversation. We concluded we would see what happens when they brought the loan-a-sofa and then get them to confirm that we wouldnt be liable for any marks or damage as this was the only benefit I could think the boss would get out of it.

 

This never happened, I sat on my ass all day, on the floor cause we have no chairs, while my father was in london, waiting for them to arrive.At 11am we called and asked for an approximate time for delivery, we were told mid day, the delivery men were at a house somewhere taking out a window to get a sofa in. At 4pm, both myself and my father got a call from 'Dave' saying the men were still at the house getting the window out (5 hours later? i dont think so) and the delivery would either be late or early in the morning today. I told the man no, I wanted it tonight! I dont care how late, ill wait up, i wanted it tonight because the red flag had been waved infront of my face with them being at the same house for 5 hours. Unfortunately, I didnt relay this info to dad and he told them , morning would be fine..

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.. (sorry accidentally pressed post) so i got up early, which is hard for me cause im still jetlagged from a several month miami holiday and sat and waited till 11am. I then proceeded to call them, continuously untill 2pm. My father called to ask how the sofa was and i explained the situation, by now my temper getting the best of me. He suggested they had gone out of business or by now after i had checked the internet and read the reviews, they were ignoring the phones because of too many disgruntled customers. Despite my fathers suggestions to stay at home, Im the one who gets 'ass into gear' and things done as i can negotiate to get what i want. So i hopped into a taxi, while being hopping mad.

 

Got there to see the shutters down. I instantly left and decided to wait till my father returned home. We then both drove up there after calling the credit card company to cancel the payment so that my father could get as much information as possible to put on the claims form. My father stayed in the car while i went into Harveys next door.

 

They instantly remembered me (even though i hadnt spoken to them when i had looked around their showroom). Their faces told me i wasnt the first person of the day to come in not to buy one of their sofas. I asked, you wouldnt happen to know what happened next door would you?

"yup they've gone bust"

"I thought so, Ive just notified the credit card company"

"Wow you're lucky, you're the first person who's been in here today who's said they paid in credit card" - (i feel so sorry for all of you who have lost money through paying by cash or debit or cheque.. Its awful! I would be reeling and feeling to burn down their showroom but that would be no help, ill explain why.. My sympathy goes out to you, however my father informed me buyers will be at the bottom of the list of those to pay back and you should prepare yourself that its going to be a long battle to get it back... sigh... smh)

Anyway , I then said

" I think I might just break in and take my sofa since theres no way they're bringing my money or my sofa to me, you wont say anything will you?!"

"I dont think you'll have much luck, they were emptying the place out all of last night, there is nothing left!" they then went on...

"The daily mail (i assume they mean birmingham mail) were around this morning to collect 10'000 pounds for advertising."

I said, "If only they had delivered the sofa to me yesterday"

"They weren't making any deliveries yesterday. The delivery men were in and out but they told them no deliveries were to be made yesterday."

They then said " the staff and delivery men hadn't been paid for months, they were working on promises. Any company that changes their name 3 times in one year, they're no good! Didnt we warn you?"

"Ha! I wish you had!"

 

Reflecting on it, the guy will probably drop 'ELS' and walk away leaving all debt and customers behind and open up a new one with a new name. Beware! He could even have the nerve to open it in the same building. He isnt liable with a Ltd. comany for any expenses of the company owed to customers or problems that arrise, the company is liable but if he gets reported enough times, the police will prevent him from opening any more businesses. Everyone persue him to the furthest extend you can! Fraud agencies and court proceedings. Im going to write to every newspaper I can and I advise you do to the same! This man has to be stopped!

 

My heart goes out to all that saved and put their heart into ther new sofas, people like gary should be rounded up and put somewhere far away from england, Somewhere like antartica wearing only a pair of pink flowery panties, so they can freeze to death. Them and the big issue sellers, one who i heard discussing to a friend of mine (a friend of his) that he was taking a holiday to spain next week - I didnt know the big issue was that profitable!

 

In reflection we are extremely lucky, We didnt get stuck to a loaned sofa, we didnt pay by cash, we had the insurance of the credit card. We didnt get stuck with the showroom model only to find it collapses next week with no company to get a refund or repair from. The money has been suspended and pending investigation, we'll have our money back to go shop somewhere else. Its a life lesson for all of us, i guess we just have to count our losses and be weary and spread information so that it doesnt happen again.

 

I really am sorry people, my heart goes out to you! Spread your story on here, i found writing helps getting my frustration out knowing it can help others.

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Any further developments on the Leather Lords saga? I'm being treated exactly the same as the other posters £1000 out of pocket. Have they gone into administration? Surely they have trading illegally and fraudulently. Can their business activities be investigated, any ideas where the best place is to register a complaint.

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Trading Standards need to be contacted by all affected - contact your local County Council for the number. They will give good advice on how to proceed. If finance or credit cards involved those companies must also be informed asap by telephone but also in writing. The finance company used by ELS have already started to take payments for my NON delivered sofa, so anyone waiting for delivery with a finance agreement needs to check that it hasn't been actioned already. Good luck to all.

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i have just been to there store and can confirm they cleared out on friday

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Hi, I am not in the least surprised that they have done a flit, I was dreading and expecting it. My claim against Leather Lords/els had got to the Warrant of Execution stage, on 25th August - this means that bailiffs were due to call and collect the debt owed to me (£3000), or seize goods. Not aware yet if they managed to call on Leather Lords before they cleared out...... I will let you know as son as I hear. But yes, everyone has to do what ever to publicise these shysters, do contact Trading Stanards, do post items on consumer forums and contact your local paper, MP, radio station. These fraudsers have been doing this for years and years, how can this be allowed???????

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I have been a victim too. I paid £3000/- about four months back through my debt card, and on Friday came to know that the store has been closed. Prior to that I have been ringing to inquire about the delivery date but nobody came back to me.

Should the police be investigating this as a fraud? I absolutely agree, these people should not be allowed to get away.

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As someone else has mentioned earlier, we should all contact Trading Standards - though what they can do now they have disappeared I'm not sure - and also actionfraud.org.uk.

 

They will surely be interested in this company. Though I have a sneaky feeling that these people operate to within a hairs breadth of the law, and know exactly what to do to get away with it time after time. I will continue to update as and when I have news to report.:mad2:

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Not sure if this is appropriate for Lether Lords/ELS, am not an expert, but on actionfraud website, there is a section on "Phoenix companies" - companies who go bust, undervalue the amount of their assets to reeuce liabilty, then set up as a new company with same directors. Worth a shot reporting them.

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i checked there details at companies house today and els ltd is still showing as an active company. i was surprised to notice that leather lords is still also active evn though they were "taken over" by els months ago. sounds a bit fishy to me. if anyone has any info regarding the company, staff names etc.. i would be very interested in gathering as much info on them before i talk to trading standards

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Hi, yes they are both still live on Companies House - Leather Lords at Bham and ELS Cannock, I am monitiring both companies. There was recenty a director change at leather Lords, to ....

 

Both companies seem to swap secretaries & directors etc on a fairly regular basis.

Edited by dx100uk
sorry no pers info

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Hi all

Edited by jipcus

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yes, where is my settee? have they cleared the shop out? do you have a set of keys? are they re-opening?

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your settee i cannot help about i am afraid

Edited by jipcus

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Hi

 

I am also another Customer that has been effected, there is another forum called Exclusive Leather Sofas on this website, there is more information I have posted for Customers trying to get there money hope it helps.

 

By the looks of it, it is a Family run Business, ex Business, I think this needs to be passed onto the BBC eg. Watchdog or Rogue Traders.

 

Good Luck to everyone.

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Does anybody know who the Administrator is so we can claim back from?

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