Furniture Village - no returns *unless* you buy it online

I am beyond disgusted today.  The outlaws (you know, much more fun than inlaws) bought a new dining table set from Furniture Village.  The table looked a bit big but they thought it would fit their space well.  When it arrived, it simply was too big for them so they enquired about returning the table although they would like to keep the chairs.  Seems logical - the table itself is on sale at the moment and you can buy it individually (Emily table here).  Furniture Village in Staines said no.  They had the terms and conditions. Once you buy something and it arrives in your house, it is 'second hand goods' and thus they cannot return it.  They are therefore £799 out of pocket with a table sitting in their lounge that they can do nothing with.

I looked on Furniture Village's website.  It says, in clear print, "Free returns to 40 stores throughout England".  I phoned up Furniture Village.  "Ah" says the young man I spoke to "that is only if it was bought online".  So, if I buy it online I can return it?  "Yes" he says.  I can get a full refund?  "Yes" he says.  I take the phone number and managers name at Staines and ring the store.  The manager is with a customer so I speak to a lady there.  She has spoken to my father-in-law about this and already told them they cannot return the item as it would be seen as second hand now and used. I say it is not used but she says they don't know that.  "But" I say "if they had bought it online, they could and get a full refund, correct?" She agrees and says distance selling laws are different.  I am confused.

I buy it in store, it is delivered. It's too big. I cannot return it as it is 'second hand goods'.

I buy it online, it is delivered. It's too big. I can return it and get a full refund.

For both of these scenarios, Furniture Village have no idea if it is 'used' as the lady said or not, yet one allows a full refund.

The manager is supposed to be calling me.  I doubt he will as I explained to the lady that I am now passing this to the media - handy really as my husband works in TV and has lots of journo contacts who would love this story.

What irks me even more about this whole thing is that my outlaws are in their 80s and are not in the habit of buying online. In fact, they don't do it. They like to go out and shop and pick things up.  Therefore this seems 'generationally biased' and ageist towards them as they are not used to doing everything on their PC.

Let's see what the journos and Watchdog think of this shall we?

16th January 2015: I am absolutely delighted to tell you that Furniture Village have been in touch with the outlaws and are collecting the table and giving them a full refund!


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