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DFS: Faulty product, Not as described, Caused personal injury.
Member Name: scorpion36
Advantages: Responded when threatened with legal action.
Disadvantages: Non-existent customer services, store staff would not take responsibility.
On 9th January 2011 we went to the Parkgate branch of DFS in Rotherham. Having seen a suite on the DFS TV advert. They also had one on the shop floor. It was the Light Brown Oskar large sofa, footstool and chair. Having previously been "stung" by sofa warehouse in Sheffield we decided to ask questions before agreeing to a sale. We were reassured by the sales assistant, (Neil Pilling) that the suite was of the highest quality and we would not have any issues at all with the suite. We arranged to pay by the pay-in-full in 12 months option as if we did have any issues we wouldn't have lost any money. Again we were re-assured by Neil that we wouldn't have any problems and that if we did, we could return it. Feeling confident we signed the agreement.
On 25th February 2011 we took delivery and were very happy with the suite.
On 23rd May 2011 my wife was reaching under the sofa for her mobile phone when she cut the back of her wrist on something sharp! On investigation we found it to be a bracing spar underneath which had split and come through the base. The wood used was badly knotted, not the sort of quality you would expect on a £3000 piece of furniture. My wife was heart broken.
I contacted the store and told them that we require the suite collecting as we were told it is of the highest quality and it clearly is not. They said they would send someone to assess the suite. After taking another day off work, the technician came out to look at the fault. He explained that he could fix it, replacing the piece of wood. It would have to be collected and we would be left with a temporary replacement. I told him that is not acceptable as my wife suffers from allergies and having furniture in the house that has probably had pets on it at some stage could cause a severe reaction. I also told him that we didn't want it fixing as it would be effectively bodged up, that's not what we signed for!
I complained in writing to the store manager with no response so took advice from the Furniture Ombudsman. They told me to write to the store. I wrote to them, threatening them with legal action citing Faulty Product and Not fit for Purpose causing personal injury.
On 31st August 2011 the suite was eventually replaced with another new one. After taking another day off work for collection/delivery we thought the replacement was a different shade but put it down to lighting conditions at the time. By night time with the room lights on it was obviously a different colour. Instead of Tan, like the one on the TV advert, in the showroom, in the brochure and as previously delivered, it appeared Reddy-Brown!
I again complained to the store so they sent the technician out again to assess it. He came with swatches and insisted that they only do Brown and Red and that ours is a shade of brown I pointed out the Red dye in the folds of the suite and compared them with the swatch. He said we would have to take it up with the manager.
On 18th September 2011 we took the footstool to the store to show the store manager and compare it with the one they had collected. I took photos for evidence. The store manager said he was happy we did because he can see for himself the both suites are clearly Brown. I explained that one was Tan (as was the ones advertised) and one was Reddy Brown. He said "when you order Brown, you get Brown, it could be any shade of Brown". I told him his manufacturer obviously has no quality control.
On 3rd October 2011 I wrote to head office in Doncaster again threatening legal action citing Not-as-Described, that we will charge for storage until it is collected and a claim for personal injury.
On 7th October 2011 the suite was collected after further phone calls to the customer services dept. The driver refused to give me a receipt to say he had collected the suite. If I hadn't videoed the collection I would have no evidence to say it had been collected by DFS! All along I have taken pictures and written to DFS as talking to staff has no effect, they also tell lies. We were told by the receptionist at Parkgate that our original suite had gone back to the manufacturer for repair however when we visited the store, it was in the stock room. The store manager explained that it was now fixed so I pointed to the piece of wood stuck out of the bottom! How can you do business with these people, they cannot be trusted.
DFS has cost us dearly in loss of earnings. I also loose my monthly bonus if I take a day off work. My wife has suffered a personal injury which could have been more serious.
DFS customer service is very poor to non-existent. I have had to chase them up almost on a daily basis to get anything done. After contacting my home insurance company, I was advised to take legal action as we have a good case. I also had to tell DFS to notify their credit underwriters, (Creation) that the contract had been cancelled. If I hadn't, we would have been hit with a £3000 bill in January for a suite we didn't have!
We are now finally rid of DFS and will never use them again. The experience has affected us to such an extent that we feel compelled to tell everyone about how bad their service and products are.
Summary: A totally bad and costly experience.