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Sofaworks false advertising and faulty goods


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Hi there,

 

Today, I have received an answer back from the Furniture Ombudsman and my claim against Sofaworks was not upheld, which obviously is very disappointing. I am now left with a 2-seater sofa and a footstool which I hardly use as such.

 

I have taken up to have one cushion on the floor (as then it doesn't sag as much as when it is on the sofa springs - the floor providing a harder and more supportive base) and leave the other cushion to provide lower back support. Imagine!!!! Hence, don't really have any use for the footstool.

 

Anyway, I am uncertain as to how the Ombudsman came to their decision. Supposedly they have written to not only the retailer, but also to the manufacturer, and surprise, surprise both would have defended their products, saying that there is nothing wrong with them.

 

I am left rather confused, upset and downright unfairly treated. The 1st letter from the Ombudsman says that ""a conciliation officer will take a detailed look into your [my] complaint and contact you with our initial opinion": this did not happen. They also say "We aim to come to a fair conclusion so it is necessary for us to gather evidence from both parties to the dispute". All the evidence they have "gathered" from me was the application form I have sent at the beginning of October. I have not been visited by anyone to check the furniture for themselves before they"come to a fair conclusion".

 

I had physio sessions for my back and using that sofa (even for short periods) only seemed to have made things worse.

 

I am unsure as to what to do next. Any idea? At I am at my wits end.

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Hi milyne65

 

Welcome to CAG

 

You've started off with what the Ombudsman has says, no doubt quite a bit happened before that. If you could start with when and where you purchased the furniture? How you paid for it? The problems you've had with the furniture? Your communications with the retailer? Any communications with the manufacturer? etc.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi milyne65

 

Welcome to CAG

 

You've started off with what the Onbudsman has says, no doubt quite a bit happened before that. If you could start with when and where you purchased the furniture? How you paid for it? The problems you've had with the furniture? Your communications with the retailer? Any communications with the manufacturer? etc.

 

Thanks for getting back to me so rapidly. I have been trying other avenues in the meantime. Still awaiting to hear from them.

 

I really would like this to be over and done with. My back is killing me.

 

On 26/07/14, I purchase a sofa and a footstool for £649 and £279 respectively, which was delivered on 13/09/14 (one week later than the given date).

After trying a few, and on the recommendation of the shop assistant, I ended up choosing this particular sofa - the Prairie model.

 

All paid for by the delivery date. I've made 2 payments (an initial deposit, then reminder at the delivery).

 

To cut a long story short, as I am sick and tired of regurgitating that story. The product is not as described, contrary to Sofaworks advertising the sofa as providing “brilliant support”, it does not such thing. Where my lower back should rest against the lumbar part of the cushion, it is positioned in the gap between the back cushion and the seat cushion. Therefore, not providing a much needed support. Prior to the delivery of the current sofa, I sat/rested on a quilt on the floor for about 3-4 mths and was rather eager to get another sofa asap.

 

Mr Jason Tyldesley

Cc: Complaint Dept.

Sofaworks

Golborne Point

Ashton Road

Golborne

WA3 3UL

 

 

"Dear Mr Tyldesley and Customer service,

 

Re: 1530793

 

 

I have sent 2 emails to Sofaworks on the delivery day, ie Saturday 13/09/2014, to raise the following issues:

 

· That within 5 mn of the time when the delivery men left, I have noticed a small damaged area (see photo attached) by the right foot (facing the sofa), which seems to contradict the claim on your website that “Natural leather throughout, Sofaworks do not use imitation leather or PVC”.

· That contrary to what I had experienced and been told in the shop, the sofa provides “Superb comfort, excellent shape and brilliant support”. That it does not do, which I have notified Sofaworks on with a note left on the re-delivery invoice handed to me by the delivery men. On that note, I mentioned that the seats tend to sink in and are not as firm as those of the showroom.

 

In the interest of fairness, I would like to say that the service in the shop is good. The shop assistant was polite and helpful; that the sofa does look good (apart from that small damaged area).

 

However, it goes downhill from thereon in terms of customer service. Once the sale has been assured and the good paid for, it is a totally different story. As mentioned above, I have emailed Sofaworks on Saturday, no one has bothered to get in touch via phone or email. Today, Tuesday 16/09/2014, I finally picked up the phone to voice my concerns.

 

Not unusually, I was asked to call another number, which I did, not before being told to read my contract, that no refund is possible. I have a rather simple solution to this issue, in the first instance, why don’t Sofaworks ensure that they do not make false statements; that they ensure that their products is of the quality that they purpot them to be; that they use quality products/materials to build their furniture (ie fillings and springs that provide the right amount of support, leather if the product is supposed to be as opposed to fake leather, that “Solid wooden feet matched to the design” be in solid wood –as it stands 2/4 are in some wood and 2/4 are in plastic, that of the stool are all “solid” plastic etc….). Trying to cut corners is a no win situations, customers get irritated, which ensues a lengthy claim, then they talk around them of their bad experience (not the best type of advertising).

 

I have been told over the phone today, that I will receive the visit of a manager on Thursday 18/09/2014 between 8-9am; that I will receive a phone call the evening before (after 6pm) to confirm the visit and the time of the visit. I did mention that: 1) I would not take time off to deal with issue, 2) I have to leave for work soon after 9am.

 

Should the above mentioned issues not be fully satisfactorily resolved by Friday 26th September 2014, I will not hesitate to log a complaint with a consumer action group, and as a last resort I will go to the Furniture Ombudsman.

 

My consumer rights states that :

1. The good must be fit for purpose

This is what is on your own website and what I was told at the point of selling, having made it clear that it was an essential requirement for me to purchase this particular item, “Superb comfort, excellent shape and brilliant support”,

2. Be of satisfactory appearance and finish

As mentioned in my emails (x2) dated 13/09/2014, small damaged area (see photo attached),

3. Be free of minor defects

See both points above 1) and 2),

4. Be safe of use

Not according to the lower back pain experienced as soon as I seat in this sofa (writing this email, I am in the standing position)

 

So far, it is a very disappointing experience, after waiting for the sofa and having the delivery postponed by a week, I was not expecting this. I was expecting being able to come home and relax in a comfortable sofa. There is enough source of stress in life and can do without this one."

 

 

Furthermore, I have sent my complaint to the Furniture Ombudsman, only for them to rule in favour of the retailer, due to lack of evidence. I am unsure as to how I can convey the lack of support with a picture. Though I did attempt to send a video, but it was readable by the Ombudsman system.

 

In a letter addressed to me by the FO, it stipulates that “our case officers will look at the history of the problem, and, if necessary, examine samples. We may give advice to you or the retailer (or to both) to enable the complaint to be resolved quickly and informally. Where this is not possible we will decide whether we need further information from you or the retailer, or if we need to test or inspect your furniture, before we can make an adjudication decision. If we do, we will contact you and explain this to you. In the majority of cases that we deal with, a test or inspection report is not necessary . Where we do consider that an inspection is necessary, an independent expert will contact you to arrange a convenient time to visit you. If you do not wish to have testing or inspection carried out we can make a decision based on the evidence that has been presented so far. Please not however that we will often recommend that testing or an inspection be carried out so that we have sufficient evidence to support a claim and without this we may not be able to support a complaint”.

 

"Dear Miss ....

Thank you for your e-mail and I am sorry that you feel you do not wish to enter into any verbal discussion.

 

As you are aware, the Service Manager who attended your home on Thursday 18th September fully assessed the furniture and confirmed that there were no inherent manufacturing defects with them.

 

Whilst we understand this is not meeting your personal expectations in terms of comfort, we confirm that under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended), you are not entitled to a full refund.

 

We can only therefore confirm that your only options at this time are as discussed during our conversation.

 

We look forward to hearing further from you after you have had the opportunity to consider these.

 

Best regards

Samantha Greenwood

Technical Services Team Manager

Sofaworks"

 

 

The FO has not offered such inspection to me, for some reason. They just based their decision on the evidence from the retailer. When I contested their decision a couple of times, they emailed to let me know that they were closing the case. As simple as that. (copy of emails exchanged attached). I will be able to provide pdf copies to you of the letters next week, as I do not have a scanner in working order at home.

Edited by milyne65
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I really would like this to be over and done with. My back is killing me.

 

On 26/07/14, I purchase a sofa and a footstool for £649 and £279 respectively, which was delivered on 13/09/14 (one week later than the given date).

After trying a few, and on the recommendation of the shop assistant, I ended up choosing this particular sofa - the Prairie model.

 

All paid for by the delivery date. I've made 2 payments (an initial deposit, then reminder at the delivery).

 

To cut a long story short, as I am sick and tired of regurgitating that story. The product is not as described, contrary to Sofaworks advertising the sofa as providing “brilliant support”, it does not such thing. Where my lower back should rest against the lumbar part of the cushion, it is positioned in the gap between the back cushion and the seat cushion. Therefore, not providing a much needed support. Prior to the delivery of the current sofa, I sat/rested on a quilt on the floor for about 3-4 mths and was rather eager to get another sofa asap.

 

Mr Jason Tyldesley

Cc: Complaint Dept.

Sofaworks

Golborne Point

Ashton Road

Golborne

WA3 3UL

 

 

"Dear Mr Tyldesley and Customer service,

 

Re: 1530793

 

 

I have sent 2 emails to Sofaworks on the delivery day, ie Saturday 13/09/2014, to raise the following issues:

 

· That within 5 mn of the time when the delivery men left, I have noticed a small damaged area (see photo attached) by the right foot (facing the sofa), which seems to contradict the claim on your website that “Natural leather throughout, Sofaworks do not use imitation leather or PVC”.

· That contrary to what I had experienced and been told in the shop, the sofa provides “Superb comfort, excellent shape and brilliant support”. That it does not do, which I have notified Sofaworks on with a note left on the re-delivery invoice handed to me by the delivery men. On that note, I mentioned that the seats tend to sink in and are not as firm as those of the showroom.

 

In the interest of fairness, I would like to say that the service in the shop is good. The shop assistant was polite and helpful; that the sofa does look good (apart from that small damaged area).

 

However, it goes downhill from thereon in terms of customer service. Once the sale has been assured and the good paid for, it is a totally different story. As mentioned above, I have emailed Sofaworks on Saturday, no one has bothered to get in touch via phone or email. Today, Tuesday 16/09/2014, I finally picked up the phone to voice my concerns.

 

Not unusually, I was asked to call another number, which I did, not before being told to read my contract, that no refund is possible. I have a rather simple solution to this issue, in the first instance, why don’t Sofaworks ensure that they do not make false statements; that they ensure that their products is of the quality that they purpot them to be; that they use quality products/materials to build their furniture (ie fillings and springs that provide the right amount of support, leather if the product is supposed to be as opposed to fake leather, that “Solid wooden feet matched to the design” be in solid wood –as it stands 2/4 are in some wood and 2/4 are in plastic, that of the stool are all “solid” plastic etc….). Trying to cut corners is a no win situations, customers get irritated, which ensues a lengthy claim, then they talk around them of their bad experience (not the best type of advertising).

 

I have been told over the phone today, that I will receive the visit of a manager on Thursday 18/09/2014 between 8-9am; that I will receive a phone call the evening before (after 6pm) to confirm the visit and the time of the visit. I did mention that: 1) I would not take time off to deal with issue, 2) I have to leave for work soon after 9am.

 

Should the above mentioned issues not be fully satisfactorily resolved by Friday 26th September 2014, I will not hesitate to log a complaint with a consumer action group, and as a last resort I will go to the Furniture Ombudsman.

 

My consumer rights states that :

1. The good must be fit for purpose

This is what is on your own website and what I was told at the point of selling, having made it clear that it was an essential requirement for me to purchase this particular item, “Superb comfort, excellent shape and brilliant support”,

2. Be of satisfactory appearance and finish

As mentioned in my emails (x2) dated 13/09/2014, small damaged area (see photo attached),

3. Be free of minor defects

See both points above 1) and 2),

4. Be safe of use

Not according to the lower back pain experienced as soon as I seat in this sofa (writing this email, I am in the standing position)

 

So far, it is a very disappointing experience, after waiting for the sofa and having the delivery postponed by a week, I was not expecting this. I was expecting being able to come home and relax in a comfortable sofa. There is enough source of stress in life and can do without this one."

 

 

Furthermore, I have sent my complaint to the Furniture Ombudsman, only for them to rule in favour of the retailer, due to lack of evidence. I am unsure as to how I can convey the lack of support with a picture. Though I did attempt to send a video, but it was readable by the Ombudsman system.

 

In a letter addressed to me by the FO, it stipulates that “our case officers will look at the history of the problem, and, if necessary, examine samples. We may give advice to you or the retailer (or to both) to enable the complaint to be resolved quickly and informally. Where this is not possible we will decide whether we need further information from you or the retailer, or if we need to test or inspect your furniture, before we can make an adjudication decision. If we do, we will contact you and explain this to you. In the majority of cases that we deal with, a test or inspection report is not necessary . Where we do consider that an inspection is necessary, an independent expert will contact you to arrange a convenient time to visit you. If you do not wish to have testing or inspection carried out we can make a decision based on the evidence that has been presented so far. Please not however that we will often recommend that testing or an inspection be carried out so that we have sufficient evidence to support a claim and without this we may not be able to support a complaint”.

 

"Dear Miss ....

 

Thank you for your e-mail and I am sorry that you feel you do not wish to enter into any verbal discussion.

 

As you are aware, the Service Manager who attended your home on Thursday 18th September fully assessed the furniture and confirmed that there were no inherent manufacturing defects with them.

 

Whilst we understand this is not meeting your personal expectations in terms of comfort, we confirm that under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended), you are not entitled to a full refund.

 

We can only therefore confirm that your only options at this time are as discussed during our conversation.

 

We look forward to hearing further from you after you have had the opportunity to consider these.

 

Best regards

Samantha Greenwood

Technical Services Team Manager

Sofaworks"

 

 

The FO has not offered such inspection to me, for some reason. They just based their decision on the evidence from the retailer. When I contested their decision a couple of times, they emailed to let me know that they were closing the case. As simple as that. (copy of emails exchanged attached). I will be able to provide pdf copies to you of the letters next week, as I do not have a scanner in working order at home.

Edited by milyne65
had to remove some details
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Hi milyne65

 

Please don't start further threads. Threads merged.

 

You state the following:- 'I've made 2 payments (an initial deposit, then reminder at the delivery)'.

 

How exactly did you pay? Debit Card, Credit Card etc

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Hi milyne65

 

Contact your Card Provider, ask to carry out a Chargeback. They will send you forms, fill them in, send them back Recorded Delivery.

 

Put your case to them, send pictures etc. They will make it difficult, but persist. The retailer will no doubt be stubborn.

 

http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/problem/how-do-i-use-chargeback

 

Hi Rebel11,

I've paid with a debit card.

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Hi Rebel11

i vaguely read about this on the CAB site i think. It's just that after the Furniture Ombudsman ruled in favour of the retailer, when I really thought that I had a case, I am more than keen to get this over and done with asap.

So, now out of the small court claim and chargeback, which one is more likely to be advisable?

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I would carry out the Chargeback first, the Court will want to see that you've tried everything to resolve the matter. If the Chargeback goes in your favour, then there is no need to lodge a Court claim.

 

Hi Rebel11

i vaguely read about this on the CAB site i think. It's just that after the Furniture Ombudsman ruled in favour of the retailer, when I really thought that I had a case, I am more than keen to get this over and done with asap.

So, now out of the small court claim and chargeback, which one is more likely to be advisable?

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Absolutley. When you fill in the forms, keep it short and concise so they can pick out the facts easliy, if they need further information, they will ask.

 

One last thing... for now, at least... I forgot to mention about the delivery cost. I guess it would be fair to include in the chargeback claim, wouldn't it?
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Hi milyne65

 

If Sofaworks are mis-advertising sofa's, i.e.'advertised the sofa as natural leather when in fact it's made of faux leather'.

 

Lodge a complaint with the ASA:-

 

http://www.asa.org.uk/Consumers/What-we-cover.aspx

 

http://www.asa.org.uk/Consumers/How-to-complain.aspx

 

Also lodge a complaint with Trading Standards through CAB:-

 

http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/extra/contact.cfm?frmAlias=/contact/

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Hello, we are having trouble getting a refund for faulty 2 seater, do you recommend to go though the ombudsmen first before trying the chargeback route with out CC providers

Many thanks

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hello, yes a technician has inspected the 2 seater, we rang up today as no one had been in contact since the visit, (25th April), to be told that they did not send the report to us as in his opinion there is nothing wrong with it.

We have email the CEO and got a call back, but they are sticking with its ok.

The fault is there is not enough filling in the back cushion, (leather 2 seater) and it does not fill the edges, been told since we got the 3 2 1 suite (13th Jan 2015) to dress it every day, but what they mean is beat the hell out of it, this is not what we expect from a new suite.

 

Many thanks

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SW cannot refuse to send a copy of the technicians report. Put it in writing, and tell them you want a copy of the technicians report. They can send this either by post, or more recently, they have been sending them via email. Did you get the name of the SW employee who refused to send the report? Always make sure you get the name of whoever you deal with at SW. The excuse you have been given is a common one regarding the stuffing of the cushions. Once you have this report, you can then challenge them with an independent report of your own. Many have had success with their complaints with SW using this route. What is the name of your suite?

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Good choice !. Have you told your Credit Card provider you are having trouble with SW? Sometimes your CC provider will help regarding the cost of an independent report if you tell them you are challenging SW, they do have a duty of care to you regarding your purchase. However, make sure that the report is done by a company who are not affiliated with the Furniture Ombudsman. That way, it is truly independent.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just an update.

Sofaworks has told me that I need to pay £10 to have a copy of the service managers report!.

Can they do this?

 

TIA

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SW have asked others for £10 for a copy of the report so this is not unusual. Some have ended up paying, while others have not. If you disagree with what SW have told you, you need to see this report. Should you decide to take matters further regarding your complaint with SW, you can add this £10 to the costs you will claim from the company.

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Under filling is a common complaint with SW, and 'dressing' is unlikely to make things better. Have you informed your credit card provided that you have a complaint against SW? Sometimes they can offer to help with an independent report on your sofa. However, getting a copy of your inspection report signed by the technician who has visited you, will show you exactly what is on this report. Do not just take SW's say so as to what the report says.

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