Hi all, we purchased a modular lounge with recliners and the 2 recliners that we sit on everyday have detriorated to the point we have already replaced them.
The total cost for this suite was around $3400. The leg rests were extremely difficult to close and within the first year the recliner lever broke so the retailer sent a “tech” out to assess. He sprayed the mechanisms and tinkered a bit, replaced the release lever and declared he could not really do anything about the “difficult” reclining.
Another year passed and we contacted the retailer again about the same issues plus the padding in the leg rests and lumbar had deterirated and we were almost sitting on the wooden frame. We received no response. Then COVID happened, another year passed, the padding had completely flattened, the opener broke again, the springs on the legrest snapped and finally they offered to repair it - at their cost. We do not want to spend more money on it.
I understand that this offer to repair is a sufficient as it is not a major fault. WA Consumer Protection could not make a ruling and we are left with the last option of the Magistrates Court.
Before we give it away…I want to test this story in the Choice Community and I ask you…who replaces a $3400 lounge every 3 years??? Would we have a better chance of full replacement if we framed the complaint as design fault? The loss of padding is obviously related to the difficult closing of the leg rest (we had to really kick it back with force). Should I accept that “because it was made in China” it will not last as long as my 20 year old, made in WA lounge and move on?
Some retailers have been what I shall term difficult when trying to press them on ACL rights.
3 years in some households would be 10 years in others, failures such as the springs, handles and similar might be considered design or manufacturing issues. If they are willing to repair this might be the best outcome without you having to fork out even more money at the moment. It would give you some time to investigate and save towards something more durable that meets your needs. Another option may be to pick another lounge (not necessarily at the same retailer) and ask for some compensation for you old one and use that towards the new purchase?
You certainly could press for a refund but this may require Court action and no certainty exists as to outcome.
Hi @Shazzalotski, welcome to the community and it appears that you have bought an inferior quality lounge, a wolf dressed up in sheep’s clothing.
A $3400 lounge would be considered of moderate quality (not ‘cheap and nasty’, and not expensive). A reasonable person would expect a moderate quality lounge to last many years, and a lot more than 3 years. Possibly 15+ years.
It sounds like there could be a quality issue with the lounge and it also appears that the retailer/manufacturer may know this if they are willing to repair the problems which now exist.
If you had known that the lounge had quality issues, you would not have originally bought it. Under the ACL, a consumer has rights especially in the case where there are serious faults and they should not have existed. Possibly one would be acceptable, but not three or more different faults.
I agree, but it may be worth writing to them formally using one of the ACL template complaint letters to see if a refund can be provided. As a point of negotiation, it may be worth considering accepting a 80% refund…say 20% cost for 3 years (say request a refund of $2900 - $500 in effect being a ‘rental’ for the use of the lounge over 3 years). and assumes that lounge has a life of about 12-15 years. A life of 12-15 years could be seen as reasonable for a lounge of this value. This may sway in your favour for a refund.
To also give an expectation of the life of a cheaper lounge, Ikea offers a 10 year guarantee on all their sofas and armchairs. It could be expected that your lounge would be of similar or better quality, which indicates that it should last at least 10 years without any faults or defects. A lounge lasting 3 or less years is unacceptable. I would also be using the Ikea warranty as part of your argument in relation to expectation of life.
Our made in Brissie lounge set cost about double yours, but we also have 2 made in China leather chairs that have weathered quite well at 4 years, so just because it was ‘made in China’ does not mean it was necessarily bad quality.
That being written one does not always get what they pay for, and it reads as if your lounge may not have been the best built from day 1, contributing to its early degradation. I second all of @phb’s comments.
But even our 2.5 seat recliner had a problem with its Dunlop padding at about 5 years on just from sitting on it and surprise, Dunlop’s impressive looking [super premium] foam warranty was not worth the paper it was written on in the context of fixing up the lounge piece.
The manufacturer offered to rebuild the entire lounge if I paid freight to the factory, but the shop offered to ‘fix’ the padding locally for a very modest pickup-delivery charge, which we accepted. It is another 8 years on, total all up of 13 and counting and it is doing well.
One caveat which I learned from experience is warranties and guarantees on furniture are not always what they seem because there are usually fair wear and tear exclusions and usually an ‘acceptable’ amount of padding compression that can become subjective if not explicitly listed. Following on, if a manufacturer touts the foam supplier (eg Dunlop) and their warranty, it may only cover the foam piece and not the work to replace it unless the manufacturer covers the work, which is not always a given.
Bottom line is if you proceed, be careful when referencing warranties because if you ‘misquote’ one the ‘defence’ might use it to claim you are being unrealistic.
Please let us know what you do and how you go, or if you want additional comments.