I took on The Range after I spent weeks chasing £1,200 refund for ripped and damaged sofa | The Sun

SHOPPER Jane Owen was fuming when the £1,200 sofa she bought from The Range turned up with the wrong legs and rips in the seats.

The advert on The Range's website promised a five-seater sofa with "expert upholstery".

But this was a far cry from what she got delivered in January year.

When Jane slotted the sofa together, the sections didn't fit properly – the middle seat was lower than the two side seats, and it looked wonky.

The legs on the middle section also didn't touch the floor – which meant the sofa was unstable.

The stuffing was poking through holes in the sofa, and there was a big rip in the back.

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The legs were also completely different colours – some were silver and square, but some were round and brown.

"It looked absolutely ridiculous," shop assistant Jane, 51, from Cornwall said.

"The material was so flimsy and thin – there was a rip at the back.

"We clipped the compartments together but the brackets looked like they had been put in the wrong place – so the sofa was at a different height.

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"It was poor quality."

"It looked nothing like the advert I saw on The Range."

Luckily, she hadn't thrown her old one out yet, so they still had a sofa to sit on in the lounge.

But the only place she could put the broken sofa was in her snug room, where the staircase was on the lower ground floor.

It meant every time she needed to climb the stairs, she needed to shimmy around the sofa.

"It was really annoying, it was in the way," Jane said.

It would be weeks before Jane would get a refund, which is when The Sun stepped in.

Jane paid for her sofa using the Buy Now, Pay Later service, Klarna, and had already paid £120 in the first instalment.

She applied immediately for a refund for the sofa the same day it arrived on January 3, and sent photos of the damage as evidence.

Jane said The Range told her to go its supplier, Simply Eleganza.

The Range’s refund policy is that if you buy a product from one of its retail partners, it is down to them to issue you with a refund.

But little did Jane know that while it says that on its website, that’s not the case according to the law.

Under the Consumer Rights Act, the retailer that you bought your goods from – which was The Range – is responsible for issuing the money back, not the supplier.

Jane contacted Simply Eleganza, and was told for weeks that there wasn't a courier in her area that could pick the sofa up.

In the meantime, Jane asked Klarna to freeze any further payments, which it agreed to do.

It was finally picked up at the beginning of February – and Jane expected a refund to be confirmed promptly.

But for weeks, she was left in the dark about getting her money back.

"I emailed nearly every single day – I was worried about being charged on my Klarna account," Jane said.

After The Sun stepped in, The Range confirmed there had been a delay issuing Jane's refund, and she would get her money back in a week.

It means Klarna will no longer take any further instalments for the sofa either.

"I'm really happy it's been sorted – it's got rid of all the stress," Jane said.

Your refund rights using buy now, pay later services

If you're using buy now, pay later services, you should be aware of your refund rights.

You need to check with the retailer about its buy now, pay later refund policy, as it will vary.

It should explain on its website how to make a return and on what basis it'll accept exchanges.

In most cases, the buy now pay later provider will expect you to keep up with repayments, even if you are having issues with your refund.

"It’s a good idea to keep a note of all your correspondence with the retailer, i.e the date, the name of the person you spoke with," Moneycomms personal finance expert Andrew Hagger said.

"If you are getting nowhere then speak to your BNPL provider and explain your issue – they may be able to pause your repayments or in some cases speak to the retailer on your behalf to try and resolve but there’s no guarantee they will do this," he added.

You won't be covered by certain consumer rights using buy now, pay later.

As you're not using a credit card, you won't receive the protection of section 75 of the consumer credit act.

It means if something goes wrong, you're covered for a refund by your credit card provider.

However, shoppers will benefit as tougher regulation on these services.

An eight-week government consultation is currently underway, which aims to to reduce the risk of financial harm for around 10million customers.

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The rules that are being proposed will mean:

  • BNPL providers need to be approved by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Lenders must ensure loans are affordable
  • Lenders must give consumers key information about their loans
  • Consumers will be able to complain to the Financial Ombudsman
  • Firms will have to put details of repayments clearly and upfront on products

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