UPDATE [November 26, 2014]: Jordan’s Furniture repaired the ladder for free. The last time it broke they replaced the entire ladder; this time, they replaced the brackets. However, they have refused to acknowledge the design defect which has allowed the ladder to break twice, or the safety risk inherent in said defect. Honestly, I don’t know what’s going to happen when the ladder breaks again, which I assume it will. The repairman who came to replace the brackets said that ladder was designed to be angled much too far away from the bed, and he hasn’t seen any other designs like that, and because of the angle he’s not surprised that the brackets keep breaking. My wife asked if he would put that in writing, and he responded, “They never listen to us repairmen, anyway,” or something to that effect. Now, back to the original story…
I’ve written earlier about two different safety issues with Pulaski loft/bunk beds. As you will see from the following letter, at least one of them still has not been addressed, years after I first reported it to Jordan’s Furniture and they (supposedly) reported it to Pulaski.
October 18, 2014
Attention: Consumer Product Safety
450 Revolutionary Drive
East Taunton, MA 02718
To whom it may concern:
My wife and I bought a Pulaski Build-A-Bear loft bed in February 2008, from your Natick store (sales order number [elided]).
In January 2009, I emailed you (“Service@jordans.com”) about the fact that one of the metal brackets that holds the ladder to the bad had broken, making the bed unsafe. As I wrote at that time:
The fact that this was able to happen strikes me as a serious safety concern, perhaps one that is serious enough to warrant a “recall” of some sort to replace the brackets on all the beds that were sold with the same type of bracket. Something as safety-critical as the bracket holding a ladder should be designed with an extremely wide safety margin, so that it can’t possibly break under normal usage. Clearly that is not what happened here.
In my letter, I asked you to either replace our ladder or send us a replacement bracket. I also asked you to address my larger concern, i.e., the fact that the bracket broke is indicative of a serious safety issue which will impact not just us, but rather all purchasers of this bed model and others with ladders with similar brackets.
Although you did replace our ladder quickly, you dismissed my concerns about the larger safety issue.
I am writing today to notify you that one of the brackets securing the replacement ladder to the bed has once again broken, as shown in the photo to the right.
I do not know exactly when the bracket broke; all I can tell you is that my daughter whose bed this is told me about it a few days ago.
My kids are not excessively wild on this ladder, and frankly, even if they were, that wouldn’t matter. As I noted in 2009, something as safety-critical as a bracket holding a ladder should be designed with an extremely wide safety margin, to ensure that it won’t break even under the stress of wild kids. To build a bunk bed for kids, without taking into account the fact that kids are going to act like kids, would be reckless and irresponsible.
The fact that these brackets are so weak that they break under normal usage is a sufficiently serious design defect that it violates the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose required by the Uniform Commercial Code and Massachusetts law. Therefore, your obligation to repair this defect did not expire with the time-limited warranty that came with the bed, and I expect you to replace the broken ladder, provide me with a replacement bracket I can install on it, or send a technician to my house to repair it.
Furthermore, I once again strongly urge you to consider that if two different ladders have broken for us in this way, then it’s going to happen to other people, and somebody is going to get hurt; indeed, they probably already have. I beg you to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that other unsafe ladders “in the wild” are repaired or replaced with safe versions.
You may contact me to discuss this further by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone ([elided]), or at the address above [elided].
Thank you for your prompt consideration of this matter.