So, the situation with my couches continues. In January 2011, a friend’s house flooded -along with half of his suburb – and he lost all his possessions. While many of our friends rallied around to help with the clean up effort, me and my lack of physical capacity for such things, decided to donate to the cause – some couches for them to use until they got back on their feet. It was a 10 year old corner suite, but in very good condition and I loved that couch. Obviously this meant, we found ourselves purchasing new ones… a little sooner than we would have liked, but we were happy to help.
And what a cluster fuck that has turned out to be… our old couch was fantastic, these new ones have been dreadful. They came with eight cushions, which almost immediately began to fray and have threads pull on them in an unsightly manner – I ended up putting half of them away in the cupboard so I could pull them out when we had guests and they would look nice and not bedraggled. Then one of the arms of one of the sofas seemed to collapse in on itself and the rest of them have became soggy. Then, the final straw, which set this process in motion, a broken beam protruding from UNDER one of the sofas, resulting in a collapse under the seat. Additionally, we had noticed, that that the fabric had been pilling somewhat, so I purchased some nice throw rugs to put on the seats to protect the fabric. However, over time this does not seem to have helped, and the threadbare/pilled sections now have torn and ripped threads in them. It seems we have bought couches that are probably meant to be purely decorative… as Harvey Norman have told us that the fabric is not covered under the warranty we purchased if you are OLD OR FAT. Yes, you read that right. Read on to see how the saga is playing out… this is the latest in a string of emails, tweets and attempts to contact Hardly Normal head office to have this issue resolved. 🙁
“Dear Jenni Franz,
I am following up on the couch warranty claim that I put in process with you on 27th of April. A representative from Action Upholstery did come and see the couches in question on 8th May, and I feel that more than two weeks is sufficiently long enough for a course of action to be undertaken, or at the very least for your department to have advised me on what is to occur.
To recap, the sofas were purchased at Harvey Norman Carindale for $2,847.00 (Invoice no: 698515), on 30/07/2011 and were delivered in September of 2011. One of the sofas has a beam that has collapsed from underneath it, and has an arm which has likewise suffered a loss of structural integrity. Additionally all four arms of both sofas have become ‘spongy’ and feel as though the sofa arms are going to sink in. Further the fabric on the seats, and to a lesser extent the arms and backs of the sofas are ripped and torn even though they couches have been in use for only 3 years and 8 months and have a 5 year fabric warranty.
You have assured me the structural failure of the frame of the sofas is covered under warranty, however you previously advised that that the fabric will NOT likely be covered. According to your previous email, if the users of the couches are considered ‘elderly or larger sized’ and therefore not agile enough to use the couches in an appropriate manner – then the fabric warranty will be considered VOID, due to persons of this type, ‘shuffling forward in the seat to get out of it’ causing pilling and subsequent tearing and ripping of the fabric. It seems the expected lifespan for this fabric is considerably less than the warranty your company was prepared to sell it with – but particularly if users are considered OLD or FAT. I was aghast at your preparedness to even think this of your customers, let alone put it in writing, as below – and your representative from Action Upholstery was likewise nonplussed at this assertion.
Further, the upholsterer agreed that a consumer should be able to reasonably expect that a fabric, used under normal wear and tear conditions, should reasonably be expected to outlive the warranty period with which it was sold. At no time during the sales process and subsequent purchase transaction, did anyone from your sales team advise that this fabric was not considered dependable for regular domestic use, nor was any indication given that it was not sturdy enough for persons who might arbitrarily be considered OLD or FAT! I am astounded that you would treat your customers in such an ill-considered discriminatory manner.
This entire situation is completely unacceptable. From the lack of communication during this warranty claim process, to your refusal to pass on the name of the manufacturer of these items – I am fairly confident that had I bought a vacuum cleaner at Harvey Norman – you would want nothing to do with the warranty process at all and would be fobbing me off to a manufacturer with all haste.
I have previously lodged my concerns with Harvey Norman Head Office an was advised that the Franchisee and a Regional Manager would be in contact with me regarding this matter – however since those assurances took place at the end of April and I have heard nothing from ANYONE at Harvey Norman, either locally or regionally, I now have as little faith in those assertions as I have in your own store’s customer service capacity.
Please be advised that my expectations are as follows: that these couches will be collected within the week, that the structural damage on each couch will be rectified, that the couches will be recovered in a fabric that is more durable for regular domestic use which might reasonably be expected to last five years regardless of whether OLD, INFIRM or OVERWEIGHT persons might be using the products. Alternatively, I would be amenable to them to being returned for a full refund of the original purchase price as I am completely appalled at this situation and the diffident treatment I have received thus far.
if this situation is not completely resolved in the next four weeks to my satisfaction, I will be taking this matter further on advice that I have already taken from the ACCC.
So pray remember, if any of you are going to purchase anything from Harvey Norman that they have the worst possible post-sale customer service in the business. The ACCC told me they hear problems about them ALL the time and are constantly trying to advise customers of what to do – however it would seem many customers don’t have the time, inclination or wherewithal to see complaints through. Well, HN have picked a fight with the wrong girl… I have nothing BUT time, motivation and the wherewithal to turn this into a complete social media shit fight. and as you all know, once I have the bit between my teeth – I never give up.
Oh and do feel free to retweet this ridiculous tale – no one should be discriminated against like this (especially seeing the representatives in question have never seen us, nor have they seen the immaculate state of my OCD like home!)
I would strongly recommend people avoid shopping at Harvey Norman at all costs!