Almost all of us have already encountered complaints about purchased goods. Complaints are not avoided even in the world of upholstered furniture or covers that have shown a defect. However, it is often in this area that customers draw attention to deficiencies that are not a reason for a complaint. So let's take a closer look at what (cannot) be the subject of a complaint, what to notice and what to watch out for, if our complaints are not to be just a waste of time.
According to the Slovak Trade Inspection, every consumer has the right to products and services of normal quality, as well as the right to file a complaint. Obligations of sellers in the complaint procedure are regulated by the Civil Code Act no. 40/1964 Coll. as amended and Act No. 250/2007 Coll. on consumer protection and on the amendment of Act no. 372/1990 Coll. on offenses as amended.
The seller is legally responsible for the quality of the goods sold towards the consumer, and he is responsible for defects that he knows about, but also for those that he did not know about - but there are exceptions here as well. These include defects that have arisen due to natural wear and tear or improper use of the item. The wear characteristic of the given material is not considered a defect. It also makes no sense to claim a fabric that you used incorrectly, or a seat that your children made a trampoline out of.
The seat and therefore the cover must be used for the purpose for which they were made. Otherwise, the user of the product assumes responsibility for damages.
In the warranty conditions of the sellers of upholstered furniture, you will encounter certain restrictions, which concern, for example, suitable placement or compliance with maintenance instructions and have an impact on the application of a claim. The most common ones are:
The warranty does not cover defects if the product has been exposed to sunlight, causing color changes on the product and fading, or if the product has been exposed to chemicals, sweat, or if it has been damaged by pets , for example.
Loss of color due to sunlight or damage resulting from inappropriate use (e.g. tearing of fibers by a thrown object on the cover) are not grounds for a complaint.
Especially with these restrictions, you have to remember that by choosing the upholstery fabric , you already determine the conditions under which you can use the sofa. There are upholstery fabrics that are only suitable for occasional use, and there are upholstery fabrics that can withstand daily intensive use. Are the fabrics more or less colorfast, elastic or inelastic, etc. If, for example, you choose a fabric with low resistance to abrasion for the cover of a sofa that you use intensively on a daily basis, the fabric will naturally start to show signs of wear very quickly, or defects from use, you will certainly not succeed with a complaint. The reason is that the upholstery fabric was not built for the load you put it through.
Upholstery fabrics may differ somewhat from the original samples. . The maximum deviation in pattern repetition for sample fabrics is 3% compared to the original sample. If the deviations of colors and structures are within the limits of national and international standards (STN EN 14465 Textiles. Furniture textiles. Specification and test methods), it is not a material defect.
Are you going to complain about the upholstery fabric because of the piles? You probably won't succeed, because the formation of lint is mechanically conditioned and does not represent a defect in the material. A sure sign that the lint was caused by the rubbing of foreign material on the sofa (decorative pillows, blankets...) is lint of a different color than the cover itself.
Lints of a different color than the cover indicate the effect of another textile product on the cover (image source: awfullybigadventureblog.com).
If you are buying uncut fabric, or If you are buying the upholstery fabric separately (that is, it is not part of another product, such as sofas, armchairs...), then it is good to know that any defects in the upholstery fabric must be in accordance with the applicable upholstery standards. The 1st class covering material must not contain more than 8 defects in a normal 50 meters. At 6.25 meters, a maximum of 1 piece is allowed. In the case of plush and fur covers, the shine caused by the inclination of the hair or visible at a certain angle of view is not considered a defect.
With loose upholstery, the cover of the set has a wavy appearance, and the formation of waves on the seats, backrests or armrests is not a reason for a complaint, as it is a model-related phenomenon. These parts do not have in-depth stitching, and you can optically smooth out the corrugations with the palms of your hands. With firm upholstery, the cover is fixed and stretched tightly during upholstery. If a small curl develops during use, this is usually due to the stretching of the cover material, which is not a reason for complaint, as opposed to the release of the cover.
Wood defects must not reduce the strength of the parts and must not affect the properties of the product. The inadmissible ones include falling out and warped knots, damage to wooden parts by insects or rot, and surface cracks deeper than 1 mm or curvature exceeding the permitted tolerance of 0.2% of the length of the part. If you want to complain about creaking, make sure that the furniture is level and that there is sufficient air humidity in the room (45-55%).
For seats, the warranty usually covers defects in material or workmanship (unevenness of seams, inappropriate use of threads, inconsistency in color and texture of visible surfaces, degradation of the upholstery structure, poor attachment of spring elements...). Report mechanical damage to the cover or seams that is visible when receiving the product in writing immediately. If you discover a defect in the product, you should not continue to use the sofa and immediately exercise your legal right to claim. In the event that you caused the defect yourself and it is an unauthorized complaint, the seller usually reserves the right to charge you for all costs associated with the product complaint.
Sources of information used: soi.sk, n-i-s.cz