‘I spent £10k on matching sofas from Heals and one is the wrong shade of grey’

Dear reader,

You sent me photographs of the two “silver grey” sofas and fabric swatches in question and although I am no colour expert I could agree that they were different.

As you had bought them to sit side by side in the same room, you noticed that they did not match every time you walked in, causing you great annoyance.

This fault would have been entirely unacceptable from a pair of cheap Ikea sofas, let alone designer ones from Heal’s costing £10,000. Vitra, an ultra-chic furniture brand, prides itself on its carefully curated colour options, recognising that this is of great importance to its design-­conscious customers.

However, no company is immune from manufacturing mistakes, which is what appears to have happened here. But what matters to customers most is the way faults are dealt with. As you bought this sofa through Heal’s you have been dealing with it instead of Vitra and I suspect the latter company is horrified by the way this has been handled.

As you raised your complaint within 30 days of receiving the sofa, you should have been entitled to a refund or exchange under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. As a reputable retailer, Heal’s should be well aware of this.

I must say, though, that this isn’t the first time I’ve been disappointed with Heal’s behaviour when furniture it has sold has turned out to be faulty. In 2019 it refused to fix or exchange a pathetic excuse for a cocktail sofa, which cost £2,000 but had become badly sunken after just six weeks. Its inaction left the customer, myself and The Telegraph readers deeply unimpressed.

Happily, Heal’s was somewhat more receptive to my involvement this time around. It got in touch with Vitra to arrange a solution. It has now offered to reupholster both sofas free of charge in the correct grey fabric, so they will match perfectly.

Although you are somewhat baffled by this resolution, as you think it will be more hassle for Vitra than simply giving you two new sofas, you are happy to accept. I hope you will be happy with the new covers, but please let me know if you encounter any further problems.

A spokesman for Heal’s said: “In this case we have been in conversation with the customer to reach an outcome that works for both parties and have involved the input of an independent assessor as well as the brand that manufactured the sofas the customer purchased. We are very pleased to have found a resolution to this case that has been accepted by the customer.

“As a trusted retailer, if a customer’s experience falls short of their expectations, we will always endeavour to work with the individual to reach a satisfactory outcome.”

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