Jordan’s Furniture warranty: buyer beware

By | December 3, 2008

About a year ago, my wife and I bought an expensive sleeper sofa from Jordan’s Furniture.  Well, actually, our parents bought it for us.  We paid a lot of money for it because we wanted the American Leather sleeper sofa, which has a rather unusual design.  The mattress is actually several separate foam cushions mounted on a solid, segmented, folding platform.  When the bed is opened, the platform is flat and the edges of the cushions push together to form a continuous sleep surface.

The American Leather sleeper sofa is more comfortable than “regular” sleepers because it doesn’t have the awful spring-mounted fabric platform that always sags intolerably, and because its foam mattress lasts long and is firmer than the awful folding inner-spring mattresses in most sleepers.

A few months after the sofa arrived, two manufacturing defects became apparent.  First of all, the seams on one of the cushions began to separate.  Second, the zipper that holds that same cushion to the sofa back was installed incorrectly, such that when the zipper is pulled all the way closed, the tab comes off and has to be laboriously threaded back onto the zipper.  This means that the cushion can’t be zipped all the way and is always loose.  We called Jordan’s and asked them to send a repair technician to look at the problems.

The technician addressed the first problem with a sloppy attempt to sew the seam back together with some invisible nylon thread.  The minute I saw it upon my return from work that day, I knew that it was just a matter of time before the seam split again.  As for the zipper problem, the technician claimed that he couldn’t reproduce it (an odd claim, since it happened for me every time I tried to close the zipper firmly) and therefore couldn’t do anything about it.

Knowing that it was only a matter of time before the cushion split again, I figured that I would just wait until then and then call Jordan’s and ask them to send out another technician (I also didn’t call right away to get them to send someone back because I didn’t want my wife to have to waste another half day waiting for them to show up, and because it was a rather busy period for me as well).  Finally, a month or two before the warranty on the sofa wore out, I called and told them to send someone out.  Not only had the seam split once again, and not only was the zipper tab still coming off whenever the zipper was closed all the way, but there was now a third problem: the same, problematic zipper was starting to come loose from the sofa.

Jordan’s sent another technician, who announced that the zipper could not be repaired, so all they could do was replace the entire sofa, but since that particular sofa model had been discontinued, they would instead give me a store credit for the full purchase price and I could visit the store to pick out a replacement.

I thought this was reasonable at the time.  I assumed that American Leather had simply made minor tweaks to their line and I would be able to pick out a replacement very similar to my own for a similar price.  Bad assumption.

I went to Jordan’s a few weeks later and picked out essentially exactly the same sofa.  Same size (queen), same fabric (the cheapest they sell), even the same fabric color.  And yet, even after the saleslady waived the delivery charge for the replacement sofa, it was still going to end up costing me $420 more than the first one did!  I never could have imagined until I saw it with my own eyes that the price of a sofa could go up by $420 (that’s like 20% of the original cost) in less than a year.

I sent Jordan’s an email message telling them that I thought this was completely unacceptable.  I pointed out to them that the first time we called them about the problems was only a few months after we bought the sofa, so surely it was still available for replacement at that time, and yet their technician failed to fix the problems.  I pointed out to them that under their supposed warranty I was being forced to pay $420 to get a replacement for essentially exactly the same sofa I had bought a year ago.  I told them I didn’t think I should be penalized for the fact that the manufacturer had discontinued the model, and finally, I pointed out that it wasn’t like I had the option to select a cheaper replacement, since the sofa I bought was literally the only one of its kind in their entire merchandise line.

One of their customer service representatives called me back a few days later and offered to split the difference with me, i.e., to give me an additional credit of $210, so that the replacement sofa would cost us only $210 instead of $420.

I accepted their offer with reservations.  I told them that I still felt that the only reason I was being forced to pay for a new sofa was because they had mishandled my previous reports about the problem, and that I didn’t think it was fair or appropriate to penalize a customer because a manufacturer discontinued the customer’s item while it was still under warranty.  I reminded them that there was literally not even one other sofa in their entire store that I could have selected as a replacement that had the same features as the one I had originally purchased.  And finally, I pointed out that if I were to laptop computer, it broke whiole under warranty, and my original model was no longer available, the manufacturer would provide me with a newer model even if it was more expensive (and, indeed, exactly this has happened to me before).

Nothing doing — the rep. insisted that splitting the difference was the best he could do.

Now, I’m glad they did that much.  I have to admit that they were probably legally entitled not to do even that.  This certainly isn’t the worst customer-service experience I’ve ever had.  Still, I can’t help but feel that they should have and could have done better.

P.S. When we bought the sofa, they gave us a handful of tokens for the candy machines in their business office, and we didn’t them all.  I learned when I returned to pick out the replacement that the candy machines are gone.  Does anybody have any creative suggestions for what to do with the tokens? 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Jordan’s Furniture warranty: buyer beware

  1. Bubba

    We have USUALLY been very happy with Jordan’s Furniture. It is a big time commitment to try to find furniture that you like and fits your budget.
    We finally after about 5 months of searching found the sectional we wanted. We were told by the sales person that we should buy the fabric protection as they are no longer making this set and if ANYTHING happens within 5 years they will replace the set.
    We were told that we were getting a brand new set and were very happy to get it. Upon delivery I called them to let them know that some of the bun feet had scratches and one was chipped. Since we had the fabric protection, they would come out and fix it. Well about an 1 hour later JF calls to see if the sectional was delivered, and by the way there is a whole in the left arm! I search and can only find a whole in the right arm so assume that that is the section that is damaged. They will be getting a new one out to me in 5 weeks.
    So I am fine with that….or so I thought.
    Well 5 weeks and the new section comes out ( I had said the night b4, watch them deliver the wrong side) you guessed it! wrong side came, or so I thought.
    Yes I have had the sofa in the house for 6 weeks or so but was not looking for a fixed section on the arm. They actually delivered me a section of the sofa that was fixed. So they must of known that it was damaged. Why would they deliver it?
    They told me the best that they could do was give me 20% back…But why did I purchase the furniture protection to get a damaged couch?
    Not sure what to do…

    Reply
  2. Carl

    I purchased an entertainment center four years ago at Jordan’s. After a few years it started sagging in the middle. It’s sagging so bad now I had to take my TV off of it because I thought it was going to collapse. I paid almost $800.00 for it. I called Jordan’s about it. They came up with a few options (me paying someone to come out and look at it and me paying if it could be fixed). I passed on that one. The other one was to give me a $75.00 credit for a future purchase. I’ve probably spent at least $10,000 in that store. Customer service seems to have suffered since they sold it to Warren. They sent me the $75.00 credit but I’m thinking the quality of their furniture is suffering and it’s time to shop somewhere else.

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      I’d be curious to know how heavy your TV is and whether the documentation that came with the entertainment center indicated a maximum supported weight for the TV shelf. Because if your TV is less than the maximum supported weight according to the documentation, then one could argue that the product has violated the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose and you could sue Jordan’s to get them to fix it or refund the purchase price. The FTC has more information about this.

      Reply
  3. Carol

    You DO know that Jordan’s does not MAKE the furniture, they sell it. So, of a manufacturer discontinues an item, it is not the retailer’s fault…

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      Two points:

      1. If you sell a customer a warranty on a product manufactured by a third party, and the third party stops manufacturing the product and then it breaks within the warranty period, then the right thing to do is to replace the product with an equivalent one at no charge to the customer, not to make the customer pay more just to get a comparable replacement.

      2. Jordan’s is a huge purchaser of furniture. They can, and at times do, control which products continue to be manufactured and which don’t.

      Reply
  4. belle

    Wow, sorry to hear about your trouble but thank you for sharing with us and warning against Jordans.

    I bought a sofa set at Jordans a couple years back, waited 2 months for it to be delivered. Finally when the set was delivered, there was a VERY obvious flaw in the fabric(all over the entire 2 couches). When the tech came out to look not only did he agree that the fabric was flawed but informed me one on the feet was broken in the back(and I should not even be sitting on it)! SAME THING, this model had been discontinued so I could not even have a replacement of the same couch. Do they feed that line of crap to everyone? They also issued me a credit, and I went down to chose a new set. Completely ridiculous, and a complete hassle around the Holidays.

    Reply
  5. jik Post author

    Ultimately, American Leather, not Jordan’s is responsible and AL should have been notified.

    Jordan’s Furniture services the warranties for all the furniture they sell. This is not unusual in the retail world — often even when the original manufacturer provides the warranty, it is serviced through the retailer.

    Reply
  6. Gail

    This is a very odd story since the manufacturer warrants the furniture against defects for 5 years. Ultimately, American Leather, not Jordan’s is responsible and AL should have been notified.

    Reply
  7. Nikolai

    i agree with what you said about the product being discontinued while there are still some that is still in warranty.

    But personally, I believe you got a good deal with them with you adding 210 dollars for the new and most probably better sofa…

    Reply
  8. Rebecca

    Richie’s parents had the same sentiment when they did business with Jordan’s. They were expecting a better experience than they got. They don’t do any shopping at Jordan’s anymore as a result.

    Reply

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