I received a call today from someone who was referred to me by Havertys Furniture’s customer service department. The gentleman explained that he sat a bible with a leather cover on his new nightstand before he went to sleep, and when he removed it the next day… it was stuck to the top. After he peeled it away, an impression of the grain and shape was left in the surface of his nightstand top.
Havertys had dispatched a technician earlier, who ultimately called the service an “in home damage”.While the customer did something that damaged his furniture, the real question is, “who should be held responsible?”… the customer, the retailer, the manufacturer or perhaps the bible. After all, he had owned this bible for many years, and had laid it down on his old furniture many times with no reaction.
The bible’s cover, in fact, was not leather at all. It was vinyl. Some modern synthetic finishes found on furniture today chemically react with chemicals found in plastics including vinyl. I have seen 10 year old CD cases melt into new cocktail table finishes, model car tires leave the perfect impression of tire tread on top of a dresser, lamps with a rubber non skid pad on the bottom of the base stuck to the furniture, and even a dryer sheet that was on the bottom of a stack of clothes react to furniture finishes.
The only thing that can be done to repair something like this is to part order a top, or completely strip and refinish it once something like this happens. Neither of which is a good option to someone who just spent a lot of money on new furniture. There really is no way someone could know if something already in their home may not “like” the new furniture. So should an unknowing consumer be held responsible for this type of damage?
My answer is no because it could happen to anyone.
Be very careful after you purchase furniture that you check it within the first 30 days after delivery. If you are going to place a lamp on the top of a piece, make sure it has FELT on the bottom rather than a rubbery non-skid material. Never place Drawer liner material (that loosely woven stuff that has been dipped into rubber) underneather a TV or DVD player in order to prevent scuffs on the top. I would even recommend a cloth runner to be placed under a clock radio if tit has small round rubber feet on the bottom.
If it has happened to you, then chances are it has happened to others as well. Don’t be afraid to call your retailer’s customer service department to find out your options.