Went into DFS Cannock November 2010 to choose a leather suite. Usual 'sale' was on. Looked at all display suites which all looked lovely. None of the suites on offer felt as comfortable as we would like so we went for a 'Jason' combination of a two seater and three seater which was priced at £2000 - more than we wanted to pay but were assured of the superior quality of the leather. The suite arrived in store far earlier than we had originally been advised which made us question whether we were being palmed off with the display suite. We made a journey to the store, our suite was no longer on display, bit disconcerting - don't forget at this point that we didn't even benefit from 'sale' prices. Expressed our concerns to the sales guy who assured us that we were not going to be taking delivery of the display suite but that he could understand our concerns. We were taken through to the storage area and shown two suites, both wrapped up in the same way and assured that ours was quite separate from the ex display one and that DFS don't fob off customers with ex-display suites when they have ordered new ones. We questioned why the display suite had been removed from the shop floor and was told that it was to make way for the new ranges - plausible I suppose. We took delivery of our suite and it looked wonderful and was very comfortable. As all the adverts suggest, the four years interest free credit consists of the first 12 months with no payments so we were very concerned to notice that the leather colour was fading within that first 12 months so before we had even started paying, our expensive suite looked nowhere near as nice as when we had taken delivery. We had even purchased the recommended cleaning product from DFS which consisted of cleaning cloths and leather protection cloths which we had used as instructed. Our suite is supposed to be a rich dark brown. Within that first 12 months, the only parts of the suite that still held their full colour were the rears that were against walls and oddly one seat cushion. I contacted the store and complained. The person who took the call looked up our details and said that the superior quality of the leather used on our suite should not have resulted in any kind of fading or discolouration and that she would arrange for someone to come out and inspect it.
The guy arrived and spent several minutes looking at our suite from different angles. I said that it was if some sun bleaching had taken place and that we were given to believe that this would not happen with the type of leather used. The guy went on to say that his own suite had been sunbleached despite closed curtains. I replied that we had previously owned two much cheaper leather suites (not from DFS) that although they had become less comfortable with wear, they both maintained their looks. Given that we had paid a lot more money this time, we expected that to be reflected in the long term looks and comfort of the suite. The guy suddenly noticed a scuff on the suite and asked if I would mind telling him what it was - I explained that the dog had scuffed it slightly jumping up on it but that my complaint was not related to this and that we took responsibility for that. The man then went on to say that he could not see any colour difference but startedto ask how we had been cleaning our suite (why ask if he thought there was no difference?) Then this man who could see no difference said that he had some special lotion in the car to help restore colour which he went to fetch (again, why would you suggest this is you weren't agreeing that there was some discolouration) He spent a couple of minutes bringing a patch of one of my sofas to a glorious shine but there was not any difference made to the colouring. Then (and this is the really fuuny bit if we weren't talking about £2000) the guy suddenly appeared to have a eureka mement when he declared that we had purchased a two tone leather suite! I was getting annoyed now at the very obvious fobbing off so the guy said he would speak to his manager. He went outside to make the call (surpise, surprise)Then came in and said that his manager had asked him point blank if the suite was faulty, he had said no, so they were leaving the matter there.
I should have sought legal advice over this, but my husband and I work long hours and it is difficult to find office hours time to do this. As things stand, we are mid term paying for an expensive suite that looks awful and it has become more and more obvious that the one seat cushion that has retained its colour is made of a totally different leather than the rest, the texture is even different. We are extremely disappointed and won't be shopping at DFS again and would urge anyone who is shopping for a suite to think twice. Since my experience, I have spoken to others who also say that the life of their sofa was far shorter than the payment term when using DFS. Itis such a shame, since we love our suite comfortwise but it is obviously important that it stays nice aesthetically, and as for 'two tone',not even close, there are many shade differences throughout the suite.
Suzanne Evans, Burntwood, Staffordshire
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