Anyone know where I stand?

Company delivered wrong coloured sofa...

17 messages
06/03/2006 at 14:23
You couldn't get less running related than this, but you lot are so knowledgeable about everything...

Back in November, I ordered a leather sofa from a company. At the time of ordering it, I was sitting on it in their show room, and it was the colour I wanted, but I wanted a different grade of leather.

4 months' later (today), they deliver the sofa, and it's the right grade of leather but the wrong colour (completely the wrong colour! it's red and I wanted brown!)

The company is saying that, because we signed the order form with the code on it for the red colour, it's our fault, as we should have checked the swatch for the leather against what the sales guy wrote on the form, which we signed.

The thing is - we didn't see a swatch, because we were actually sitting on the sofa in the colour that we wanted. So we didn't ever check the code against anything.

Anyone know where we stand on this? We have sent the sofas back, but they are refusing to refund our deposit because they are saying we should have checked the code.

Can we appeal through trading standards? Any ideas?
06/03/2006 at 16:08
you should off checked before signing!!! don't think you got a leg to stand on!! only a sofa to sit on!!
06/03/2006 at 16:27
If you have a copy of the order form, read the small print. It could be that by signing it, you have agreed to everything written on it. However, if the salesman wrote the code on the form, and didn't ask you to check it, then some of the blame is theirs - although getting them to admit it would be another issue.

Could you ask them for the correct sofa, and maybe negotiate on part of the deposit? Try to be as reasonable as possible, and hopefully they will be too.
06/03/2006 at 19:25
If you were sitting on a brown sofa and as far as you are concerned you ordered a brown sofa and the word "red" never even got mentioned at the time, you should insist on a brown sofa.

If the guy put the wrong code on, it's not your fault, whether you signed the form or not.

Don't let them put the blame on you because the salesman can't do his job properly. It's for him to check he has got his order right, not you.

Insist they perform the contract by giving you a brown sofa, as you ordered, or give you a full refund.


06/03/2006 at 20:02
good luck!

we had something similar when we bought a fairly new second hand car from the main dealer ('quality assured')

When we test drove it, we thought the exhaust sounded like it might be blowing, but were assured by the salesman that anything like that would be picked up on their 110 point check.

When we went to pick the car up, we were assured that it had passed the check with flying colours, although the paper work was 'still in the service area', so we weren't able to see it at the time, they would post it on.

Naively, we didn't push it, thinking - main dealer, must know what they were doing, and they must have a 'reputation' to keep up.

Anyhow, first journey we went on (which happened to be long distance)- the exhaust fell off.

We went back to the garage saying that we had been assured that it was sound - but were told that 'it must have been sound when it was checked' and devloped the fault after it had left the garage - like they day after (yeah, right).

We pointed out that we had raised with them that there might be an exhaust problem before we purchased it (which they didn't deny), but because they had now found the bit of paper (which they hadn't been able to on the day of purchase) saying that it was sound before we bought it, they denied all liability (and actually, there were other problems too- but the exhaust thing cheesed us off because we had told them about it).

After refusing to leave the show room (for several hours) they eventually agreed to partly meet the cost of a new exhaust (but not of our costs of on the road repairs).

just goes to show it truly is buyer beware!

There 'answer' was basically this kind of thing goes on all the time in the motor trade (to which we said, yes but we aren't motor dealers, it's our first car, we were relying on your 'expertise')

hope you get something sorted out.



have you pointed out that the form is really bad, if it didn't confirm your colour/grade choices in words and not just in code (which is difficult to check, unless you have access to their materials.
06/03/2006 at 21:43
i'd point out that you ordered in good faith & expect a level of competence from their sales staff.

I'm pretty sure your consumer rights allow a period of grace on purchases where you can return them -14 days? Yuo might want to look into that.

I'd also let them know you feel duty bound to inform others of their customer service & perahps link them to this thread, maek another on on moneysavingexpert.com or such a site & perhaps inform them that you also intend to write to ombusmen & letters pages in the national press & any magazines they advertise in
06/03/2006 at 22:39
Have a look at <a href="http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/">consumer direct</a> where there is a phone number for a helpline.

Why not lodge a claim to recover your deposit at small claims court. You can do it online and it doesn't cost much. You argue your own case and the judges are often sympathetic to consumers. Sometimes the store doesn't bother to fight once the case gets going.

Good luck.
07/03/2006 at 08:32
thanks so much everyone.

i actually found the consumerdirect website yesterday and called them.

apparently, if you give them a description of what you want, and they then provide something else, they are in breach of contract, even though you signed against what they wrote down. consumer direct gave me the various acts to quote in a letter to the company, so i'm going to be trying that.

the lady i spoke to was adamant that we should not be held to blame for them writing down the wrong code. the word 'red' is mentioned nowhere on the form. in fact, there is a code for the colour and the word 'murano' - which i assume means brown or chestnut in italian. the sofa that turned up had 'rosso murano' written on the wrapping - and the code they have written down is for 'rosso murano' apparently - ie RED! so they wrote down the right colour in words but put the wrong code next to it.

the salesman admitted on the phone yesterday that it was their mistake, but the general manager was basically calling me a monkey for signing something without checking it. checking it against what?! i was shown no swatch to check it against! the general manager was so rude that i asked him to get his managing director to call me - haven't heard anything from him, of course!

anyway, the letter has gone off to them and we will see what happens...

thanks for all your advice!
07/03/2006 at 18:56
Marrone is Italian for brown. Dunno which language 'murano' is.
07/03/2006 at 19:20
He called you a what?

There's nothing wrong with being a monkey, you know...
iron fraggle    pirate
07/03/2006 at 19:50
'murano' might be the grade of leather?
07/03/2006 at 20:05
Waaps -- what even ones that cannae do new linky things..?

;o)
08/03/2006 at 09:27

(sulks)
08/03/2006 at 11:17
Well if you sign something then you might be liable BUT if it is in code (which you can't be expected to know) and the colour is not on there in ENGLISH then I reckon you do have a case because how could you reasonably be expected to check it was right.

Go get them. Don't know where you stand but if you have sent it back then you certainly have nowhere to sit :-)
08/03/2006 at 12:47
I thought Murano managed Chelsea?
09/03/2006 at 11:48
fortunately, we still have beloved old manky sofa to sit on, completely with dried in weetabix and cat claw marks everywhere.

we had an incoherent letter yesterday from the company with no punctuation, very few verbs and certainly no agreement to refund our deposit. our letter to them with all the legal stuff in it will have crossed in the post.

there is no colour written in english on the form - only the word 'murano', and the sofa that turned up was 'rosso murano'. the grade of leather is not written down anywhere in words - it's just part of the code, apparently.

anyway, am determined to pursue them since consumer direct have said they are at fault.

the letter from the company says 'we do not know whose error has resulted in you ending up with a sofa in a colour you do not now want' - making it sound like we have changed our mind?! but anyway, even the managing director is not ruling out that it could have been their mistake. and the salesman admitted responsibility for the mistake.

grrrrr. am muchly riled by the whole thing. particularly as we have already waited 4 months for the sofa and originally they told us 12 weeks...

if anyone wants a 2-seater and 3-seater red leather sofa, there should be one going cheap in a sofa warehouse in s. wales :-)
09/03/2006 at 13:49

From the way you have described it, CM, you are wholly in the right.

I don't think anything turns on your having signed a chit, if the chit didn't actually say 'red' on it in the english language.

Do make a written note for yourself of what the salesman did actually say, when he admitted responsibility for the mistake, so you can quote him at a later date.

Keep badgering them by phone until they send you your deposit back (or supply brown furniture if that is still what you want).

Let us know how this all turns out.


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