Anyone know where I stand?

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?


  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    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.
  • 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.

  • 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 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
  • Have a look at <a href="">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.
  • 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!
  • Marrone is Italian for brown. Dunno which language 'murano' is.
  • He called you a what?

    There's nothing wrong with being a monkey, you know...
  • 'murano' might be the grade of leather?
  • Waaps -- what even ones that cannae do new linky things..?


  • (sulks)
  • 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 :-)
  • I thought Murano managed Chelsea?
  • 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 :-)

  • 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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