La-Z-Boy Will Not Honor Their Warranty
Warranty Repair of Recliner/Rocker - Complaint
MONROE, MICHIGAN -- The mechanism on both of my "wall-hugger" recliner/rockers, purchased in the late 70’s is broken. A while back I went to the local Lazyboy store, and the person I spoke to, who's no longer working there, informed me that in California, 'lifetime' means 7 years. I was surprised to hear him say that, as it's in direct contradiction with what's written on my warranty.
Here are the exact words on the Warranty (paragraph 1, emphasis mine):
"Lifetime Warranty on all parts of the patented metal mechanism applicable to all owners of this chair. 'Lifetime' means the useful life of the chair as determined by the user. La-Z-Boy Chair Company will, within 60 days of notice of a claim under this warranty, repair or at its option replace any of the above-mentioned parts".
It's important to note that paragraph 2 of the warranty talks about the 2 year warranty to the original owner on the wood frame with possession of the dated receipt. Clearly a receipt is not required for a claim under paragraph 1, otherwise it would have explicitly stated as it was in paragraph 2.
Sometime in the mid-90’s I had a problem with the chair and took it to a La-Z-Boy store. They too were amused over the warranty. Fortunately, they had a technician who was about to retire that was also a packrat and had the parts needed to fix the chair. Everyone left happy. Recently the chairs became recalcitrant again, so I contacted La-Z-Boy last spring.
Fast forward to 2011. When I contacted the Lazyboy factory CS agent, she insisted I needed the original receipt. However, the warranty clearly says "any owner" and "lifetime defined by the owner". They hadn't actually seen the warranty, so I sent them a copy. After seeing it, they promptly called me letting me know that they WOULD indeed fix both chairs. Nice! They sent a tech out, who took photographs, identified the parts, and tried to order them. A few weeks later I received a call saying the factory would send me the parts they had.
At some point later (prior to receiving the repair parts) I received a call from a different agent who said that "...our 'expert' looked at the photographs and the part that needs to be replaced is part of the wood frame and hence not covered". I found this to be very odd. How can a metal moving part not be a part of the mechanism? After some negotiations, she admitted that the replacement parts needed were no longer in stock, but that they would send the parts that they did have.
When the parts arrived, the technician came back out and immediately identified that the sent parts were inadequate and irrelevant. Upon a direct phone call (in presence of the technician) with Michigan customer service, I was again told that I needed the original receipt for them to do anything. Curious but true. We've come full circle.
I then went to the (new) manager of the local La-Z-Boy store, who said, after reading the warranty, said that he would call his contact at the factory in Michigan. A week or so later he came back with their "final" verbal offer - a 50% discount on any new chair(s) up to $500 max. I fail to see why getting new functional chairs should cost me anything.
I disagree with Lazyboy on this solution, since their warranty clearly states that they will "repair or replace". It doesn't say anything about a discount. I can understand the conundrum- the replacement parts are apparently no longer easily available, and it's probably impractical to replace the entire mechanism with a newer version. But to be honest, that's not my problem. The lifetime warranty is pretty clear. If the mechanism cannot be repaired then the only other option is replacement in whatever form that takes.
We purchased additional La-Z-Boy furniture when we moved to our present home and have been happy with all our purchases until now. I was about to take this to small claims court, but at the suggestion of my daughter and a good friend at Consumer Reports, I will try one more time to resolve the issue directly. I would like to continue to enjoy the chairs (or equivalent ones) that have been in my family for almost 30 years.