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Do I have any return rights after a partial refund?


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Hi,

 

I brought 2 sofas from Furniture Village on 20th December 2015 for the total price of £1000, they were on offer after being ordered by another customer and rejected on delivery due to a colour difference.

 

We paid by debit card on the day but didn’t take delivery until the 5th January 2016, at the time we had a complete house refurbishment so stored them until early March 2016, 5 years’ warranty was standard then, now 10 years.

 

In July 2016, we noticed the stitching coming apart on 2 seat cushions and on the sofas fame (one sofa), we called Furniture Village and asked the procedure for repair’s.

 

We were informed that even though they still stocked the model type, they no longer dealt with the manufacturer therefore couldn’t offer a repair or replacement, they did however offer a credit note to the value of the purchase price, they also offered a refund to the purchase price.

 

I advised Furniture Village that we had the sofas coated for stain protection (cost approx. £200) and my wife had brought some ridiculously expensive cushions / accessories to match the sofas (£180) I had receipts for everything, therefore taking a refund would leave me out of pocket nearly £400.

 

I was asked to email my thoughts and what options I would like to take over the next few days.

 

I asked on the phone and in a following email if they had experienced any problems (advised, no problems), I requested a replacement, if that was not able to be done I requested a goodwill refund of £600 to allow me to get the 2 cushions repaired, I also noted that if the £600 was refunded I would take responsibility for future repairs to that sofa, I included pictures of the cushions.

 

A few days later I received a call from their customer complaints manager who advised that she had spoken with the manager of the store and was unable to offer a refund of £600, they would offer a goodwill refund of £400 due to the fact they could not replace the sofas or repair them.

 

We had 2 companies come to look at the sofas and with quotes more than double the original purchase price no repair had been done, roll on to February 2017 both sofas are ready for the skip.

 

All 4 seat cushions have split / come unstitched, I don’t mean a little gap, two of them have come apart by at least a foot in length, you can’t turn them over as the stitching has come apart both top and bottom, the other breaks are between 3 – 7 inches.

 

Also, the rear back cushions which aren’t attached to the frame and just lent on have also come apart (3 out of 4, so both sofas and again by 4 – 8 inch breaks on the seem).

 

Also, the stitching on both frames have started to become undone, showing the frame.

 

I phone Furniture Village in January and explained that this was unacceptable, you might be able to excuse one as a manufacturing problem but two? and with every cushion coming undone in a year, I requested they pick up the sofas and offer the refund, I would have to swallow the protection and extra accessories costs.

 

I was asked to send in pictures, I sent them and waited a week, I called back and was advised the matter had been passed to complaints they would call me in 72 hours, I waited 2 weeks, again I called them….

 

here we are late April, I have been told that I agreed to a fall and final settlement of £400 (I didn’t), I advised I had the email with my offer to them, this was rejected and they advised that head office had agreed that they have no liability, I had effectively waived my warranty.

 

I mentioned that the goodwill payment was for two cushions on one sofa, and now all cushions across both are faulty as well as the frame, the fault had been identified in the first 6 months, admittedly we are now over 12 months, 2 months of that was trying to get a reply!

 

Furniture Village would not offer any further assistance and mentioned I could speak to the furniture ombudsman, I could find the details online.

 

Thoughts?

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Your story is rather cluttered but I gather that you bought some sofas, the stitching started to cause problems. You try to negotiate a £600 settlement in full and final on the basis that you would be responsible for any further deterioration in the suite.

 

They refused and only offered you £400.

 

Now the suite has deteriorated even further than you had imagined.

 

They are now saying that by rejecting the offer of £400 you have accepted responsibility for everything.

 

If this is correct then they are talking nonsense.

 

I wouldn't worry about any ombudsman. Especially not a furniture ombudsman scheme. It's all weak and limp-wristed.

 

I would make sure that everything is completely documented and photographed. That you get full evaluation for repairs and also a comparative evaluation for replacement – including satisfying all of the other expenses such as stain proofing which you have had carried out.

 

Present the company with the two options and given 14 days to sort it out or you will sue.

 

Then sue.

 

If you're not prepared to take this action then don't bluff

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HI BankFodder,

 

Thanks for your reply today, we brought 2 x 3 seater sofas both are now unusable, and require completely recovering which is not viable based on the original purchase price.

 

I had contact with the retailer when two cushions on one sofa had started to come apart - I tried to negotiate a £600 settlement on that sofa offering to take on future repairs.

 

They refused but as they they couldn't replace (our first request) and wouldn't repair they sent a £400 goodwill payment which we received.

 

Since both sofas have completely fallen apart in just over 12 months, I have now requested the difference of £600 and asked them to collect, they then said the £400 waived all rights to replacement, refund or repairs.

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they offerde a refund and you declined that. You then prattled on about a partial refund. you then decide you dont want this either and then you still talk about it when they withdraw that offer.

All of this doesnt change your statutory rights and that the sofas must be of merchantable quality and fit for purpose but you have very much muddied the waters and probaly confused the company as to what you do actually want.

If you want a refund the company can make an allowance for the actual enjoyment you got out of the sofas so if you had 6 months fault free use and they are expected to last 10 years that means they can knock £50 off the original cost. If you dont make it clear that this is your preferred resolution then you wont get a refund. They should also offer repair or replacement. Repair is not practicable so replacement- either similar goods at a similar value ( it can be more and you dont have to pay the difference but something of higher spec can incur you paying the extra). I wouldnt be accepting a credit note as it is basically worthless unless you see something completelydifferent that you fancy at the time like a new bed.

So stop talkng and start writing, copies to store manager and HQ setting out briefly when you bought it, what went wrong with them and when exactly that was and what you want them to do about it. Avoid all the busines about the partial refunds or you will confuse the issue opnce again and screw your claim if you cant get an agreement. make it clear you are relying on your rights under consumer law (take the effort to look into what bit applies to your case)

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Thanks Ericsbrother,

 

Didn't prattle on about a partial refund, that's the point of my post.

 

- After six months had one sofa that started to fall apart

 

- I asked for a £600 refund, if this was agreed I would take on responsibility for any future repairs on that sofa, the other sofa was ok at that point

 

- They declined my offer, but DID send a £400 goodwill payment (I received £400)

 

- Now both sofas are completely unusable

 

I contacted them about the other sofa and tried to get resolution, was advised the £400 payment was a full and final settlement (not agreed by me)

 

Which leads to my post title, does a partial refund remove any further rights to repair or replacement, based on the above notes.

 

No point me stop asking questions and start writing if it's pointless.

 

Thanks as always

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