About two years ago we started the process of redecorating our living room. We added built ins, painted, and started choosing furniture, large and small to fill out the space.
After I chose a color palette, the first piece I picked out was the sofa. After all it was the largest piece in the room and we wanted everything to center around it. I chose a sectional in a white performance fabric, and it was slip covered, not upholstered to make clean up and spot treatments much easier (after all I do have two little ones running around).
Because it was a custom order from a big box store, the sofa arrived in 12 weeks of ordering it. We loved the look and the cover seemed to clean nicely, until it started to pill, and not just in a few spots, EVERYWHERE.
I reached out to the company and explained what had started happening along with photos, surely being a performance fabric, this a manufacturing defect or a mistake. The response I got was, it is user wear and that it was typical. It had only been a couple of months so I was surprised by this response.
A few months later, I insisted again that this should not be happening and it was getting worse by the day. The second response I received was that the pilling will get better over time and that I should use a de-piller every few days to eliminate the unsightly marks. I thought “who on earth has time to de-pill an entire sectional every few days?” Certainly not me.
I went to the store and explained what had happened and asked for a recommendation for a new slipcover, which was going to cost me at least another $1,200, with no offer of a discount from the company. The designer at the store said that she would have recommended the very fabric I had, but now she won’t moving forward knowing that it pills and said I should call the corporate office for the company. So I did.
Although I got through to someone very capable, it took me a year and a half to come to a solution. The company came and picked up the sofa two months ago (a year and a half after I purchased it) and I was promised a full refund. Two months later, I’m still waiting for said refund and I have since ordered a new sofa, although very cautiously, that I am pleased to say was delivered last week.
Although the first damaged sofa was no drop in the bucket, we did pay a hefty price for it, this second sofa was much more money, but came with Sunbrella fabric and a five-year warranty. We did not get white, but we did get an upholstered sofa and upgraded the cushions to a firmer foam. We did our homework, we shopped around, we asked a lot of questions, we took the sample fabric home and tried to stain it and stomp on it, anything we could think of.
This experience has certainly scarred me when it comes to furniture shopping. Only time will tell if the new piece we bought runs into any troubles, but I know now that even though the store may be well trusted and a big name, that does not always equal good quality or good customer service. Now this is not true of every store I’m sure, but the lesson of this story is to do your homework, ask all of the questions you can think of, shop around, ask for personal recommendations on Facebook or through your friend groups, and certainly don’t rush into anything assuming that because it seems like a trusted name that it is.