Sofa so good for ‘too heavy’ Leeds OAP who won settee refund

Michael Woolf, of Shadwell, who has won a �2,000 refund for his sofa. PIC: Tony Johnson
Michael Woolf, of Shadwell, who has won a �2,000 refund for his sofa. PIC: Tony Johnson
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A pensioner deemed too heavy to sit on his new sofa is sitting pretty at last – after winning a £2,000 refund.

As first reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post, Michael Woolf, 77, from Shadwell, Leeds, was told by furniture retailer Barker and Stonehouse that his 15st weight was to blame for his cushions constantly falling flat.

He was also told the two-piece settee from the store’s Canterbury range was designed for lounging – not dining – and criticised for eating off his lap in front of the television.

Now Mr Woolf, who has since taken his complaint all the way to the Furniture Ombudsman, is celebrating a windfall after the company offered to give him back his money after reading the findings of an independent assessment.

The old suite was removed yesterday, and a new one is on order, albeit with another furniture store.

Mr Woolf, who along with wife Barbara has been battling for 12 months for this result, said: “An upholsterer from the ombudsman’s office sat on the settee and said he couldn’t believe how bad it was.

“He asked what I wanted and I said I wanted my money back.

“So he sent his report on to Barker and Stonehouse and last week I received a letter saying as a gesture of goodwill they were prepared to refund all of it.”

He added: “When I sit on my sofa it’s like sitting on the floor.

“And for £2,000 it was just not good enough.”

The ombudsman’s detailed report compared the experience of sitting on Mr Woolf’s sofa to “sitting in a hole” and criticised the lack of structural support.

It concluded that the cushions were of good quality and the issue lay with the supporting springs.

Barker and Stonehouse were ordered to replace it.

Days later a letter arrived from the furniture firm apologising for the “hassle and stress”, and offering Mr Woolf his long-awaited exchange or refund.

Mrs Woolf said: “The hole crux of the matter has been that Barker and Stonehouse’s ‘time-served inspector’, who is supposed to be a qualified upholsterer, never spotted this problem.

“Their customer service leaves a lot to be desired and they could have saved us a lot of hassle by listening to us a year ago.”

The YEP contacted the headquarter of Barker and Stonehouse but it declined to comment.

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