Moneywise fights for your rights - SCS, npower, JD Sports

SCS won’t replace our faulty sofa

Last November, we bought a four-piece suite from SCS in Swansea for £3,295. Four months later, we discovered that the stitching on one of the cushions had started to unravel. This seemed odd, as the sofa is only used in the evening and we have no young children or pets.

I contacted the Castelan Group, with whom we had been advised by SCS to take out ‘accidental damage leather structural defects’ insurance. After a few days, it wrote to say the policy did not include this problem as “the furniture is still within the first year of manufacturer’s warranty”.

I phoned the store and was told the manufacturer would contact us direct. After some time, as we had not heard anything, I wrote directly to the manager of the store.

In May, a representative of Servico (agents for the manufacturer) visited our home to inspect the sofa. He agreed there was a problem with the stitching and he needed to order the same material so it could be repaired. In July, he came to carry out the repairs. After re-stitching the cushion, he tested it only to discover it came undone. He then tested the stitching on another cushion and this unravelled, too. He did not attempt to carry out any further repairs and photographed the areas of damage.

When my wife suggested that the sofa should be replaced due to the defects, he said it was within our rights to request this and that he would report back to the manufacturer.

By the end of July we had yet to receive a response, so I wrote to SCS’s head office. Eventually, I was told the manufacturer would repair the sofa but, as I had difficulty arranging a suitable time, I was offered cash to arrange the repair myself. I don’t think this is acceptable and I would prefer to have the suite replaced. Can you help?



Moneywise says:

When you buy an expensive item, such as a furniture suite, you expect it to last for years. Clearly, the sofa SW received was not fit for purpose if the stitching was beginning to unravel after just four months.

Although SCS told Moneywise the four-piece suite was a ‘sold as seen shop floor model’, the stitching was not faulty at the time of sale. While the manufacturer was within its rights to offer a repair, when it became clear that the problem was not confined to one cushion, SW was concerned that the problems with this sofa would be ongoing. We agreed and put this to SCS.

The local branch of SCS has now agreed to replace all four items of furniture and SW has chosen another suite, which cost £1,000 more than the original one. SCS agreed to transfer the accidental damage protection to the new suite, which will be delivered in early December.

SW said: “Fortunately, the problem has now been resolved as long as we receive the new suite in December as promised by SCS. However, we have paid an additional £1,000 for what SCS has described as a more superior product. I think the final outcome would have been different if we had not involved Moneywise.”


npower overcharged us and it’s taking months to sort out

Our house was flooded in December 2014 as a result of a burst pipe and we had to move out until July this year. When we moved back home, I provided meter readings to our energy provider, npower, and asked it to produce a bill for the time the property was unoccupied so that I could forward it to our insurer. However, I was wrongly billed for more than £2,000.

During one of my many phone calls to npower, a customer services adviser told me that the company had entered our home without our permission to install new equipment next to our meter. I was very upset to hear this – although it later turned out not to be the case.

Now, more than three months on, npower has only just admitted the bill was wrong but has still failed to provide me with an amended bill. I’ve been on the phone to customer services many times, and promises of callbacks have often failed to materialise. npower has said that the amended bill is on the way and has offered me a paltry £15 by way of compensation. I’ve had a terrible year because of the flooding and feel that npower should have done more to help. I’m also heavily pregnant and could really do without the stress. Can you do anything to help?



Moneywise says:

Moneywise's Fight for your Rights postbag often features complaints from readers about their energy suppliers, and this month is no exception. VT’s problem with npower has been exacerbated by the company’s failure to respond to her complaints in a timely manner and misinformation that has caused our reader distress.

Although VT has now received an amended bill, Moneywise felt that an offer of £15 compensation really wasn’t good enough and approached npower to see if it could be a bit more generous, given the time VT has spent sorting out the problem. It has now offered her £100 as a goodwill gesture, which she has accepted.

A spokesperson for npower said: “I’m so sorry to see the upset this has caused your reader – particularly during her pregnancy. Her account is now correct and we’ve issued a new bill and also offered a further £100 in compensation.”

VT commented: “It has been an extremely frustrating and time-consuming process to get the issues resolved and was particularly worrying for a time to think that an engineer from npower had been in our house without our knowledge. I do feel that if I hadn’t pushed so hard and made so many calls, that npower would simply have never resolved the issues. If it wasn’t for Moneywise, I don’t believe I would ever have received reasonable compensation or an apology.”


JD Sports failed to deliver my online order

In August, I ordered a pair of FS Lite Run 2 women’s trainers (£45) and a Zeno fleece suit (£35) from JD Sports. A short time later, I received an email telling me the order was out for delivery and while I was at work I received a text message informing me it had been delivered.

As no one was at my property at the time, the package obviously wasn’t delivered. I was immediately concerned and phoned the company to tell them. I was asked to fill in a form, which I did and sent back.

I waited a week and assumed the problem would be investigated. I called again to find out what was happening and was told that nothing was being done. I want my order or a refund. Please can you help?



Moneywise says:

Home delivery really is a pain for anyone who works. Problems such as this one will continue to be common until companies wake up and respond to customers’ need for home delivery during the evening and weekends. It’s not good enough for companies to send parcels containing valuable items to people’s homes when they are at work and then fail to offer refunds when items are inexplicably signed for.

We contacted JD Sports to investigate our reader’s matter and, frustratingly, it offered no explanation as to what had happened. It didn’t know what the delivery person had done with the parcel. However, the company did contact our reader soon afterwards to apologise for its delay in addressing the problem. A spokesperson told Moneywise: “I can confirm that a full refund of her order has been completed.”

Our reader said: “I did receive an email from JD Sports saying they will give me a full refund. I was very surprised, as the company was very quick to dismiss me. I don’t know what you said but it worked! I am sorry to say that I will not be buying anything more from JD Sports.”