Measure twice

23 05 2007

(Edited title from “Measure once” to “Measure twice”)

Two months ago – not long after we’d moved – we realised that my old sofas were doing neither of our backs much good. And we didn’t have any spare beds, so I had a brainwave… as you do! Why not give away the old sofas to someone needing furniture, and replace them with two sofa beds? Great idea…

So when we were in Bunbury (90 mins away) back in March, we tried out various sofa beds at Harvey Norman’s and picked one that we liked for back support, back height, solid arm rests, choice of fabric colours, and that had an innerspring mattress (not a foam slab) for the bed part. Oh, and it was a one-touch operation to fold it out too – no leaning in and getting snapped up by the jaws of a sofa bed! We chose our colour, paid a deposit, ordered and paid for fabric protection, paid $88 for delivery to Bridgetown, and were told it would be about 2 months before delivery. That was OK as we had to get rid of the old sofas first.

After lots of phone calls (including one to get the dimensions of each sofa), FINALLY the sofas arrived this afternoon. They looked great – but they wouldn’t fit through the front door of the house!!! The back door is even narrower and the laundry door is the same width as the front door but with even less ‘wiggle room’ than the front door. The delivery guy suggested we get a glazier in to remove the front window – seriously! This in a town where it can two weeks for a tradesman to come, and that only after a few phone calls. We sure weren’t going to leave those sofas on the front porch – and nor did we entertain the idea of taking the window out! We’d have to do it all again when we left this house.

I made a call to Harvey Norman’s in Bunbury – fortunately it was before 5pm and they were still open. I spoke to the manager and he said they’d take them back and give us a refund – less another $88 freight as they had to be put back on the waiting truck and delivered back to the Bunbury store.

What a bummer! I was *so* looking forward to those sofas – and I was especially looking forward to being able to loll about and read a book in comfort flopped on a couch. And to have guests stay. Alas, it is not to be. I don’t know what we’ll do next. The current seating arrangements (dining room chairs) aren’t suitable for us or for guests, even just guests for the evening.

BTW, the problem wasn’t with the dimensions I had – the guy at the store happily called me and gave me the width and depth. It was the height of the back – the one measurement I didn’t have or ask for – that was the critical one. I guess if we decide on sofas again, we’ll make sure that the back height will fit through the door too!

Maybe we’ll just go to single lounge chairs… Beanbags, anyone?

Meantime, we’ve experienced one of the downsides of living in a country town. This little exercise has cost us $88 each way in freight ($176) + fabric protection we can’t use ($199), a total of $375 that’s just evaporated into thin air. Bugger!

Update (6 June 2007): I got the refund cheque from Harvey Norman’s in Bunbury today – and they only charged for the freight to and from. They refunded us the $199 for the fabric protection! That’s service.


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4 responses

23 05 2007
smartman

maybe you should buy a tape measure?

23 05 2007
sandgroper14

I guess the problem was it’s been some 25+ years since I last bought a sofa, and since then I’ve lived in older houses with big door frames. I was focussed on whether they’d fit *in* the house, not whether they’d even fit through the doors… But full credit to Harvey Norman – they were quite willing to take them back and refund our money. I didn’t expect a refund on the protective treatment or the initial freight – and didn;t ask for one either. However, while I had no choice but to pay it, I thought that the extra charge for the freight back (on a truck that was contracted to Harvey Norman Bunbury and thus doing an empty backload) was a bit of a burden.

Yes, next time I’ll take a tape measure and full dimensions of the door opening!

25 05 2007
Craig

I feel your pain! While I didn’t purchase new furniture, getting our existing stuff into the rental house we have here was a nightmare.
Some items had to be carried up stairs at the back of the property and brought through a sliding door, while the rest required me to actually take doors off hinges to get things in.
Annoying.

What ever happened to decent architecture where doors were roomy enough to accept the basics in furniture?

21 07 2007
Catching up… « At Random

[…] an appointment on Tuesday and popped in to a furniture store to see if they had any likely sofas (yes, the sofa saga continues…). They had one that suited our needs – and it was a sofa bed too! And they could deliver it the […]

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