The Complaining Cow doesn’t sit around when solving a recliner sofa problem
In November last year Lorraine bought two recliner sofas from DFS. When they arrived she discovered that one of the recliners didn’t work, the sofas moved and separated and didn’t match. One recliner tipped right over while people were on it. It did it again when her grandson was on it and when her friend’s large dog jumped up onto it too!
Lorraine contacted DFS on the day of delivery regarding the broken recliner. She was told that it could take up to 8-12 weeks for a replacement if the broken one couldn’t be fixed.
Days later she called again about the dangerous tipping of the other sofa and asked for it to be removed. DFS refused to do this. Oddly she was told that the movement was normal and that once reclined you weren’t supposed to move! Not moving when sitting down? Really? In any case, in addition to this absurdity she had been told in store that it was safe for the children if they climbed on it, even when in the reclined position. Lorraine said that DFS staff “didn’t seem bothered that it had tipped with people in it”.
Continuing complaint against DFS
Over the next few days she spoke to a number of people from DFS. She dealt with different people from various departments as she was sent from pillar to post. One of the reasons I always advocate writing not phoning is to avoid this situation. It also ensures that you have your evidence trail. Eventually she spoke to the manager of the store who, when she asked for a refund, told her “that’s not going to happen”. She explained about all the problems with the sofas, in particular the issues with children’s arms getting trapped. The photos and even a video showing the tipping were still not enough to get a refund, according to DFS.
DFS said they would send out a representative to come out assess the sofa.
Then Lorraine got in touch with me….
The Complaining Cow resolves DFS customer complaint
Lorraine had already agreed that DFS could inspect the sofas the following day. So I advised her to write, stating that she reserved her rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. (CRA). The CRA states that if the item is not of satisfactory quality that the customer is entitled to a full refund up to 30 days from point of purchase. Having reported one issue on the day of delivery and another days later, she was entitled to a full refund on both. If you reserve your rights it means that you can still claim a full refund at a later point if the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction.
After 30 days you are entitled to a repair or replacement. A sofa should last a reasonable length of time.
In the meantime… I advised Lorraine to write to the CEO. (Find contact details for CEOs at ceoemail.com) And refer to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and her right to reject the goods for a full refund. I also advised threatening to take the matter to the Furniture and Home Improvement Ombudsman. It costs companies to be a member and for each case to go to an Ombudsman so it is in their interests to resolve issues to avoid Ombudsman involvement. The company needs to be a member of the scheme and DFS is a member.
You can threaten court if the retailer is not a member of an Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme (usually an Ombudsman). It is part of the court protocol, see (The Small Claims Court process made simple) to attempt ADR first. So if the retailer is a member of an ADR scheme the Judge would not look favourably at the case if it has not been tried.
DFS complaint resolved to the full satisfaction of the customer
Within 24 hours, the head of DFS Group Customer Services telephoned. He apologised most profusely and confirmed her sofas would be collected. Lorraine received a full refund of £2,225.
More help for complaining effectively about furniture.
Download Rejecting faulty furniture from a Furniture and Home Improvement member template. (At point of publishing DFS is a member but check on the website
Download rejecting faulty goods template.
For more help on complaining effectively see Top 20 Tips How to Complain!
You can purchase templates to download for complaining about furniture. See Goods, services & delivery complaint templates.
5 Ombudsman myths busted for more information about Alternative Dispute Resolution and how to best prepare and what to avoid.
For masses of information, tips, guidance, laws and regulations and templates GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!
Lorraine’s review of the book is here.
101 Habits of an Effective Complainer has been designed to improve the way you look at and make complaints. Each page gives you a complaining habit to consider and an example of how and why it empowers you to become more effective in getting the results you want.