Have you bought a leather sofa? Be careful of the aftercare kit. It could damage your sofa!

2 min read
December 11, 2019

11/12/2019 Bought a new sofa? Did it come with a kit to protect it? Be careful – we’ve heard from tons of people who’ve used the kit given by the retailer, only to discover that their sofa has faded or even changed colour.

Some leather sofas have even had the leather peel off completely after using the kit provided!

What’s even worse is that retailers are then blaming the damage on sunlight. Our users are adamant that they’ve stuck to the instructions – in fact, we’ve heard from multiple people who’ve had the damage assessed by the retailer, only to get conflicting reports on the damage.

What can you do if it happens to you?

Your rights when it comes to faulty goods are clear. The Consumer Rights Act says that if you buy a faulty item, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund. Outside of this time limit, the retailer is allowed to offer you a repair or replacement.

You aren’t entitled to a refund if you’ve bought something that was described as faulty when you bought it, or if you’ve damaged the item yourself.

If you return the items within six months, the burden of proof is on the retailer. They have to demonstrate that the items weren’t faulty when you bought them.

You should expect a retailer to get an expert to check things out. However, there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same thing.

What happens if the retailer says it isn’t faulty?

  • The key thing here is whether the goods are ‘satisfactory quality’, ‘fit for purpose’ or ‘as described’. The latter option is pretty straightforward. Compare the item’s description with what you’ve got and if it’s misleading (not as described), make a complaint.
  • ‘Fit for purpose’ is important to remember because you might not realise an item isn’t doing what it’s supposed to be doing until you’ve started using it, which might be some time after it was purchased. For example, if you’ve ordered blackout curtains that don’t actually black out the light, then you can argue they’re not fit for purpose.
  • ‘Satisfactory quality’ is pretty subjective. To give you an example, if you go to a restaurant and don’t like your food after eating it all you’re not going to get very far. But if you’d asked in advance for a vegetarian option but one isn’t provided when you arrive, they you clearly haven’t been given what you wanted.
  • A good starting point is asking ‘does it do what it says on the tin?’ If not, take the time to explain why you haven’t got what you thought you were getting.

If you’re having problems with a retailer, get in touch via Resolver. You might have better luck! If you don’t get anywhere by talking to the retailer directly, you might be able to escalate your case to the Furniture Ombudsman. They can only take on cases if they’re about items bought over three months ago or if you’ve had a final decision from the retailer.



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