DFS refused to pay for a door damaged during sofa delivery | Money

I ordered two sofas from DFS at Speke (Liverpool) in early May, which cost nearly £3,000. Delivery was arranged in June and I took the day off.

Once they were in the living room I was asked to “put a finger” on a PDA scanner, which I did. At no point was I told that I should have inspected my property for damage, and that this was what I was signing for. Once the staff had left, my son discovered that the living room door would not move; it had been ripped off its bottom hinge.

As I work near the Speke store, I went in to report the damage. I was asked to email pictures, which I did. I later received a call from the Chester manager who said my complaint had been forwarded to him. He said I needed to look for three quotes for having the door replaced from VAT-registered tradesmen and to forward these to pass on to the insurers. A replacement door alone costs £138. I eventually received one estimate after several weeks of emails and phone calls. This was £55 for the fitting but would not cover varnishing and so on. When I contacted the store manager again I was told there was no way that his insurers would pay for this.

After obtaining another quote, I contacted the Chester store manager. He said he had spoken to the delivery team which insisted it had not caused the damage. As I had “signed” the PDA, there was nothing that could be done. As a gesture of “goodwill” he offered £100 then raised it to £138.

Five months down the line I am angry and offended by DFS’s actions and decisions. MB, Liverpool

It’s normal procedure to be asked to sign once a delivery has been satisfactorily completed but, inevitably, people don’t look at the small print. You (not unreasonably) requested a copy of what you had signed via the PDA, but did not hear anything back.

As recommended on its website in response to concerns about delivery, you did contact your local store to discuss the issue. It seems odd, then, that what you considered to be a promise by a senior manager (and a specific instruction to go and get quotes) effectively went up in smoke. Sadly, it does appear to be a case of your word against theirs.

DFS told us that as a “goodwill gesture” it has agreed to pay to replace the door but not the fitting. It says: “We always endeavour to give our customers a positive experience when shopping with us.

“In this instance, MB signed to say he was happy with the delivery and installation of his sofa. Unfortunately, it’s unclear as to how this damage occurred as there is no record of it happening at the time.

“However, we understand the concern of the customer and so, as a gesture of goodwill, we have agreed to cover the cost of the new door.”

Meanwhile, you have had it replaced at your own expense, so you will still be out of pocket. It might also be worth checking the terms of your own home insurance policy, although given the excess this might be punitive.

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