Smart Consumer: Leather sofa drama
Della contacted Smart Consumer about the very bad luck she has had with her sofa.
The story begins in September 2009 when the fabric on the first sofa she had bought the previous December began to crack and peel.
When Della contacted the shop where she had bought it, the store offered to replace it with the same model, but she opted instead to pay extra so that she would have a better quality, real-leather sofa.
After waiting for some months, it was delivered in February this year and Della was delighted with it.
But not for long.
It was a case of déjà vu when in April the seams began to rip.
After complaining to the shop, the sofa was replaced.
Imagine how Della felt when soon afterwards the leather on the replacement sofa began to tear again.
This time, the shop is not offering a replacement and she is at the end of her tether.
When you buy a product it should be of 'merchantable quality' and you would expect a sofa to last a long time with normal wear and tear, without any ripping occurring.
But the material on Della's sofa is damaged.
Is this normal wear and tear to be expected after a short time frame, could the sofa be faulty or was it misused?
Smart Consumer contacted the shop, Hegartys in Buncrana, and they were happy to call to Della's house to examine the sofa.
They concluded that the sofa was not faulty, and that given the location on the sofa where the damage occurred, they believe that misuse or wear and tear has caused the problem.
If the sofa is not faulty, then the shop has no legal obligation to provide a remedy. They say there is no fault, but Della believes there is, and so the situation has reached stalemate.
If Della wants to pursue the matter further, the next step would be for her to write a formal letter of complaint to the shop.
Depending on their reply, the next step after that would be to submit a small-claims application. The procedure will cost €15, which is non-refundable, and the application can be made online at www.courts.ie.