Defective fabric - La-Z-Boy will not help
BEND, OREGON -- Below is the wording used in an addendum sent along with a Small Claims suit to Deschutes County in Oregon on 9-14-07:
This below scenario is regarding a La-Z-Boy sectional couch which we purchased on 11/11/2006 from the La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery in Bend and had delivered to our vacation home in Bend on 12/28/2006. La-Z-Boy was hand-selected by us after careful research. We wanted a combination of product quality and excellent customer care. However, we haven’t experienced product quality or excellent customer care so far and will continue to pursue this until we have gotten a replacement sectional couch. Our current sectional couch is not working out due the DEFECTIVE fabric which is only getting worse as time goes by.
It remains a fact that nobody has wanted to listen to, understand or even validate what the actual problem is with this sectional couch, i.e. the defective fabric. Instead we have been and are being talked to as if we do not know how to properly clean our sectional couch.
Even on the day of delivery, one of the delivery guys agreed that there was already an excessive amount of 'interesting' lint accumulation on the couch and he advised us to clean it with 'one of those green scrubbing pads' which seemed absurd to us. The fabric was red microfiber.
As some months went by, it was increasingly clear to us that the fabric on the sectional couch was impossible to keep up and also the amount of those small white lint knots/balls grew steadily – and they turned out to be impossible to remove, hence the sectional couch looked horrible and felt unpleasant upon touching it – certainly not the soft micro fiber fabric we thought we’d selected.
Please keep in mind that this is our vacation home and we are only there a maximum of every second weekend per month, hence by the time we complained to La-Z-Boy Bend in May 2007 we had only used the couch a maximum of 10 times (i.e. twice a month since January). Also, here are two important side notes: A) We also own red couches in our full-time home. The fabric is red denim and very easy to keep clean and it has remained soft to the touch for more than 5 years now. B) In Bend we own a Dyson vacuum cleaner which yields the best suction power on the market today. Not even the Dyson has been able to help us out as for cleaning the La-Z-Boy sectional couch!
IN-PERSON COMPLAINT # 1 to La-Z-Boy Bend:
Our first complaint happened in early May 2007 when we went to La-Z-Boy Bend in person bringing one of the seat cushions along. After explaining our concerns regarding the appearance and feel of the fabric (the little white lint knots/balls), somebody – we didn’t get his name but presume it might have been the store manager – took the seat cushion to the back room/warehouse area and remained there for 10 minutes. Upon returning he explained that they couldn’t clean the cushion and that they’d submit our concerns to headquarters and get back to us when somebody had made a decision.
VISIT FROM LA-Z-BOY SERVICE DEPT.:
The decision became to send Kevin Pfeifer from Service to our Bend home on May 26th, 2007 to inspect the sectional couch and take pictures. At that time we reiterated how feverishly we’d been trying to clean the sectional couch without results.
After Kevin’s visit we received a letter which we found to be very general and indifferent (i.e. offering no proactive solutions). That letter dated June 4th, 2007 merely gives us a run-down of how to clean our sectional couch. However, no cleaning efforts – and we’ve exhausted all possible cleaning methods by now (our guests and friends have tried to help with a solution as well) – can remove those permanent little white lint knots/balls which have appeared after we began using the couch.
IN-PERSON COMPLAINT # 2 to La-Z-Boy Bend:
The next time we were in Bend, more specifically on Wed. June 20th, 2007, we went to the Bend La-Z-Boy store in person – bringing along the above mentioned letter and yet again a seat cushion from our sectional couch. We wanted to yet again have somebody from La-Z-Boy show him how to bring this seat cushion back to 'normal'. However, during this visit the store manager Allen Pfeifer remained in his office and we were left to deal with Kevin Pfeifer (they are brothers) from Service who seemed indifferent and evasive - and kept referring to the rhetoric in the June 4th letter. During this visit we did obtain a copy of an internal email sent from headquarters which shows that La-Z-Boy does not have a working solution to our defective fabric.
OUR FINAL CONCLUSION:
We think it’s obvious that we certainly do not have a maintenance issue here (not even La-Z-Boy Bend has been able to clean our seat cushions despite us going there twice in person). The truth is that the fabric is indeed defective. It’s a cheap and extremely low-quality fabric type which La-Z-Boy ought to remove from their inventory ASAP. The fabric on the parts of the sectional couch where it comes into contact with users has 'altered' itself after usage has begun and it’s only getting increasingly worse. As mentioned above it has created tiny little white lint knots/balls which are impossible to remove – even by someone with long nails. Our couch looks trashy and dirty at all times – it has nothing to do with us not being able to remove the dirt or hold down the static electricity.
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN:
1) We want a new sectional couch with another fabric type selected by us – and at no expense to us.
2) We want to return our sectional couch to La-Z-Boy Bend and get our entire payment of $4548.94 back – we do not feel it’s fair that you want to keep 20% of our payment in case we return a defective product.
We felt forced to take this to Small Claims - especially after having done internet research and seeing other people's complaints. Also, it seems very peculiar and not random that La-Z-Boy seems to avoid taking action UNTIL the warranty has expired. Another suspicious thing among those other complaints is all the damaged furniture ... endless array of those stories.
Thanks for reading along.