Published:
15/01/2002
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DFS Stores

Slough
Dedicated Page in the Public Domain
Complainant:
Mr.C. Probert
Town/City of Residence:
Milton Keynes

AN OPEN LETTER OF COMPLAINT
DATE: 20 December 2001
SUBMITTED TO TCCL: 8 January 2002

Dear Mr. Bensley (of DFS).

In March of this year we had delivered a suite in the BIBA range which we had recently purchased from DFS Milton Keynes store, consisting of 2 single seats, a foot stool and a three seater settee. After only a few weeks, both of the chairs started to fall apart.

I phoned up MK branch and they agreed to send over an assessor. On his arrival he agreed that the suite was faulty and condemned it. Just over two months later the suite was replaced. In just a few weeks, the cushions started to come apart at the seems. I phoned the store and again they sent out an assessor.

The assessor came and decided he would have to take one cushions away to be mended. Whilst your representative was there, we told him about the problems we were having with plumping the arms and cushions to keep their shape, ie. it wasn't working. Your representative had a go and yes he did succeed in making the arms look a little better but it did however take him about 1 ½ hrs. to do it, and the next day we were back where we started.

That night the assessor turned up at 11.30pm with the repaired cushion. The next day I phoned your representative directly about the cushioning, and he told me that was the problem with having hollow fibre suites. I'm sorry but my idea of buying a suite is so you have somewhere to RELAX and not to have something that would give you 1 ½ hrs.more work to do each day. Yet again within a matter of weeks, the suite had started to become unstable and falling apart at the same place as before.

I again phoned the MK store and again they sent out an engineer. Once again he said the suite would have to be condemned.

Enough is enough, there is obviously a design fault with the suite, so I asked the manager at the MK store what he could do to resolve the problem. I explained to him that exchanging the suite again was not good enough. He finally came back and said we could choose another suite from the store to the same value as the one we bought.

Over the next couple of months, we made numerous visits to the store, at a cost to ourselves but were unable to find anything in the price range. We finally found a suite in the Sultan range but it was £600.00 dearer, I asked the manager if there was anything we could do on the price. I realised getting the full amount of difference off was expecting too much, but I thought we might be able to come to some agreement.

The manager was adamant that he could not budge from the price, not even a penny to compensate us for our inconvenience. I then asked for a refund and he told me that he could not do that either. I was a bit concerned so I phoned up the Department of Fair Trading and asked for their advice. They told me that I would be entitled to a full refund by law being as the suite was "not sufficient for the job it was designed for" and that DFS as a store had technically admitted to this being as they had condemned the suite twice for the same fault.

Again I phoned up the manager and told him they we were obviously not going to get anywhere and could we have a full refund. He was very reluctant to do this and finally convinced me to come back to the store and try again to see if we could find another suite. We did this and found a suite which, although still being dearer than the original one we bought, was much closer as it was only £100.00 dearer. Still trying to get something for our inconvenience I told the manager ( Simon ) that I would pay the £100.00 difference if DFS would cover the cost of the stain guard which would be about £140.00. He told me that there was no way that he could do that.

On that point I asked for the name of his superior which I am hoping is you. Later that afternoon, the manager, ( Simon ) phoned my wife and explained that DFS would pay for the stain guarding but I could not have the guarantee. I feel that due to the way we have been treated and they way the manager was so adamant there was nothing he could do, I find hard to believe that the suite would have any guarding done at all, and if it did, why could we not have the guarantee. I cannot believe that DFS as Company, would be prepared to cause the bad feeling and press this incident could create, for less than £150.00. I would be grateful to hear your comments on this matter and if there is any solution you can think of to resolve this situation.

Yours a very disatisfied customer
Mr.C. Probert



  Editorial Comments


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previously submitted Consumer Comments
[Important: Read Disclaimer]

It's an anti-stain warrantee that costs £140 provided by Guardsman. It is not only the treatment of the fabic to prevent staining from domestic stains but a 5 year service policy which protects the comsumer from domestic food and drink staining if it should happen. Unless the product is purchased/ registered with Guardsman then you will not have any warrantee on the anti-stain at all. DFS would not be the consumer of the product as it would be applied to your furniture. Thus it cannot be registered with Guardsman. Anti-Stain protection is advisable but it's not a cheap exercise and should only be applied by professional applicators. If I was in your position the offer they have made is perfectly acceptable and is due consideration.
Stuart.... 22 July 2003

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