Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sofa (not) so good....

If you are thinking of buying a sofa from DFS think again. You'll be impressed with their friendly, cuddly advertising, where every one is lying around on beautiful leather setees and virtually sinking into them; pretty ladies lounge on them as they gaze lovingly at their handsome partners in dust free spotless living rooms. It may be that I just had a bad experience with them but when we had a problem with our sofa, which we bought from their Sidcup branch (well before the Tunbridge Wells one opened) ie. the sofa completely collapsed I, admittedly stupidly, took the fabric covering off the back and had a go at repairing it. To my horror what lay under that fabric was a shoddy looking wooden frame which had basically been stapled together. There wasn't a dovetail joint, tenon or bevel in sight; not even so much as a dowel pegging it together. In short cheaply produced, superficial; all gloss and no substance. You might say you get what you pay for, but for around £750, which I think is what we paid for it I thought I could expect better. It is only in the the last few days that I thought I'd put pen to paper (actually it was finger to keyboard) and record my complaint to them, just for the record, and in the hope that whilst they probably have no legal reason to compensate, then they might feel they had a moral one; some hope of that! They were very prompt in dealing with my complaint, I'll give them that, but it was dealt with like a production line enquiry, swiftly, effeciently and cold heartedly. Their response convinced me that mine was not the only letter of complaint by a long stretch! If you want my advice go somewhere else for your lounge furniture, some where that doesn't spend literally millions of pounds on advertising so that it can churn out cheaply produced throwaway garbage like DFS. I'll let you form your own opinions if you can be bothered to read the correspondence below....
My email to their head office:
My wife and I bought a sofa and foot stool from you around seven years ago, at your store in Sidcup, which turned out to be a bad experience which I think may have put us off ever buying from DFS again. We were happy with the purchase originally and impressed enough with the level of service and credit terms etc. However, after three years, the sofa had collapsed as the frame spilt at both the front and the back after only average family use. Surely three years should not be the lifetime of a sofa even in this throwaway age! Rather stupidly perhaps I repaired the sofa with lots of screws which has done the job of at least holding the structure together, albeit sagging in the middle. I am, in retrospect, convinced that this was almost certainly a design fault. More recently the springs have gone on one of the seats; now I am not a particularly large person and have done nothing over these years other than sit in the chair; unfortunately it now feels more like sitting in a bucket!
Believing that I had no cause for compensation after the first year I have not complained about this until now; legally this may be the case, I am checking on that, but is that morally right? The experience has left me and my family with a bitter taste in our mouths about DFS and it would be hard to see that we would ever consider making another purchase with you, which is a shame because the furniture you advertise always looks so eye catching and smart. It's a shame that, in our experience at least the image didn't live up to the reality.
I would be very grateful if you could let me know where I stand on this matter from your perspective and to pass this letter on to whoever else it may concern,

Your Faithfully
Mark Richardson

Their reply today (nb. no names given, just DFS):
"Hello and thank you for your e-mail.We apologise that you have felt it necessary to contact us regarding your order.We have been able to locate your order (37.36840) and can see that this was delivered to you on 1st March 2000. Our suites carry a two year guarantee against any manfacturing defects. We notice from our records that you have not contacted us at any time regarding any problem with your suite and unfortunately after this period of time we would not be able to assist further.Kind regardsDFS

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