Sutherlands Home Furnishings and their unlawful conduct

It saddens me that I have had to resort to posting on my blog about my terrible experience I have had with Sutherlands Home Furnishings, Durban.  I have tried resolving my issues with them through letters, emails and phone calls and it seems that they are trying to take advantage of the uninformed public with this unlawful and prohibited conduct.

And when I say unlawful and prohibited conduct, it is just that according to the Consumer Protection Act.

Let me explain what has transpired, so that hopefully this can be a warning to any of you considering shopping there, or perhaps if those of you have had a similar experience with them, I’d like to get your feedback.

As most of you know, my business, Portfolio, is an interior design consultancy whereby I assist clients with the furnishing of their homes etc.  Anyway, in a nutshell, a few months back I purchased two tables for a client of mine, apparently the last in the country, for a significant amount of money let me tell you.  The clients’ truck was sent down to the Sutherlands Durban Despatch to collect the tables along with some other pieces. Upon the truck’s arrival, I received a call from a gentleman in despatch to inform me that there was a crack on one of the legs of the tables, to which I made a call to my client to discuss this and we agreed that we wouldn’t want a table delivered that had a defect.

Sutherlands Home Furnishings tried mending this defective leg which I was not comfortable with, I also attempted to find a suitable replacement from within their store which proved unsuccessful, and as result I requested a full refund in order for me to purchase two tables elsewhere, to which they replied, “your request has been declined, due to the fact that the table was not defected, the crack was a natural flaw”! After they had stipulated in one of their previous emails:

“1/ We send the table with the slight crack that has been repaired to our factory and have the repair professionally done and confirm that this will not be detrimental to the table and advise if anything will actually strengthen this joint and will not detract from the asthetics thereof.”

Now this all happened in the beginning of March this year, and since then I have had the help of an attorney friend sending them letters and emails, asking to speak to their attorneys etc, as I have not had any luck getting any useful responses from themIn the end, aside from going the full legal process, it seems we have both hit a brick wall, with no response from their attorney either  – they are refusing to refund what is due to me and are insisting that I have a credit within the store that can be used in the future.

So in the end, I would be forced to either use this so called credit or institute legal action, of which, the latter would be throwing good money after bad money, and would end up costing me a fortune in the process.

I am so disappointed in their manner of handling things and I just hope that no one else has the unfortunate displeasure of having the same dealings with them.

I would love to hear your feedback and comments.


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