New Leather Sectional Nightmare

souprqtJanuary 4, 2010

Dear Folks-

Like you all - I feel as though I had researched my new sectional to the extreme before purchasing it. We are looking for a sectional for our theater room (we like the idea of a sectional for snuggling purposes as opposed to the traditional armed theater seat versions). We certainly wanted leather with 3 kids (3,7 & 9), and we also wanted the ergonomic design that would have a reclining back, high back but not necessarily the kick out foot rest.

I fell in love with the Ekornes, but with a price tag for about $12g's we had to forgo it. I found another line called Fjords made by Hjellegjerde, almost identical to the Ekornes in quality and structure for about $8,000. Still pretty steep.

We checked out a Macy's furniture store without high hopes and I was inclined just to buy the Fjords. We came across the Rolla sectional made by (or so Macy's said) Elite Leather Company http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=385279&PseudoCat=se-xx-xx-xx.esn_results on sale for $3200 delivered. I wasn't in love with the design (or the fact that it had a foot rest mechanism) but it was very comfortable so we went home and did our research on Elite. We liked what we saw, made in USA, top grain leather, hardwood, excellent warranty, etc.

Called Macy's, talked with the furniture dept again, I was assured that Elite Leather was a wonderful company and we bought it. In the interim, I emailed Elite and asked if they could tell me if there manufacturing process was different for the items that they make for Macy's vs their product they sell in other retail shops. This was their response-

"The Rolla sectional that you saw at MacyÂs is from the Passport Home Collection which is owned by Elite Leather Company. It is a completely different line of furniture that is manufactured in China, not in our Southern California factory. Passport Home is a different entity, and is sold separately and run separately from our Elite Leather line. Under no circumstances do we authorize our retail customers to sell, advertise or promote Passport Home as Elite Leather product.

The Passport Home Collection is made of high quality materials from the frame to the leather. The warranty, however, is not the same as Elite Leather."

Now my question - do I take this info back to Macy's and confront them about 'lying' to me in that they sold me a product not as described, ask for a refund, and continue my process? Should I be nervous about the term 'high quality' and not 'the same'. (The couch isn't due to arrive for another month) I also saw a sectional by Palliser but am afraid of the quality of that product as well! I am angry and confused. Please advise!!!

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warmfridge

If it were me, I'd be nervous enough to cancel the order. What are you going to do if it arrives from China and it's junk? It's not so easy to return a sectional. If Macy's resists, I'd threaten them with a complaint to the BBB and AG about their bait-and-switch ploy and false advertising. JMHO.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 9:07PM
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zugzug

sorry to hear about your troubles!

From the sounds of it you aren't really in love with the sofa (despite it being comfortable). On the other hand, saving nearly $5k versus the more expensive units you were looking at is pretty substantial. You already know that it is not going to be as good as the elite sofa. The question is whether or not it's a good trade off.

If it were me I would contact elite again and ask them if they could tell you some of the differences in quality between the two lines. If you don't like what they tell you, go back to macy's and tell them that they misrepresented what they sold you when they told you it was an elite sofa. If they try to play it off as not being a big deal, show them what Elite told you about the differences between the lines and how you want your money back.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 9:47PM
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jamaraz

I don't know if this helps you but I bought a leather sectional from Macy's furniture 3 years ago and it is holding up well. I'm not sure of the manufacturer but I'm pretty sure I paid under 3k. I bought it for my renovated basement so I really wasn't too picky about the quality. I have to say that it has held up really well and Macy's offered a really decent replacement warranty.

I am currently searching for a new sectional for my upstairs family room and had planned on paying for a "better quality" sectional. However, my basement sectional has held up so well I am considering a similar model for my family room. I have young children as well and they have destroyed my current leather sofa. I am not sure that I want to pay significantly more for a leather couch while my kids are still young enough to destroy it.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 9:47PM
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vampiressrn

I agree with warmfridge...cancel the order now. If you are concerned enough to already be loosing sleep over the product quality and vendor dishonesty, you will always be worried about it and the saving in cost might not be worth the stress you incur.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 12:52AM
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laura11106

I also agree with warmfridge. If you do nothing you will never feel comfortable with the furniture.

Bait and switch is a serious accusation for a national retailer like Macys. You should have no problem getting a refund. They may even offer you a substantial discount if you agree to not cancel the order.

The product coming from China is not the same as Elite. The reason it is outsourced is because Elite is not willing to cut corners on their normal product in order to make it cheap enough for Macys to sell. There are many ways to cheapen upholstered furniture. The leather used is probably of inferior quality. The frames may not be made of kiln-dried solid lumber, glued, screwed, and corner-blocked as Elite is. Elite is a bench-made product, with each piece built individually. China, I am sure, uses a mass-production technique. The tailoring will not be the same. Elite craftsman probably take their time to get everything right, where Chinese production techniques are normally geared to getting as much product out as quickly as possible.

In short, the Macys sectional is no better than sectionals you can find at many other places at the same price. In fact department stores in general have higher markups than furniture stores.

Here is a link that might be useful: Elite Leather Company

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 9:55AM
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zugzug

You know, the others make a good point. There's no harm in cancelling your order now and if you decide you do want it ordering it again. Sure you lose a bit of time, but then you don't feel pressured to make the decision right now.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 10:39AM
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eliteleather

Souprqt-
If you have any further questions please contact me at Mschloemer@Eliteleather.com. Perhaps I can clear up any concerns you may have about your potential purchase.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 11:52AM
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souprqt

Thanks to everyone for such great responses and advice.

Laura- thanks for the link. I actually used that site extensively to research the company before I purchased the sofa when Macy's told me that that was the manufacturer. Everything looked great from warranty, to construction, to the leather, and that it was made in the USA. I bought the sofa based on what I read here. Too bad Macy's didn't tell me the truth.

I have sinced emailed Elite (the last post) and am waiting to hear from them. I think that Macy's will be hearing from me shortly! Guess I should have gone with my gut and bought the sofa made in Norway.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 12:24PM
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souprqt

Ok everyone - everything is kosher.

I talked with Michael at Elite Leather who explained everything to me. Although I won't write it all down here, he basically told me about the process in which this sectional is being made and that it is being made almost exactly like those in the Cali factory. The big differences are the labor costs and the environmental laws. The materials are basically the same as are the standards under which the unit is being made. Elite even has someone in the factory who's sole job is to keep an eye on quality control.

He spent about 15 minutes with me on the phone and answered all my questions. He is frustrated with Macy's and has since sent a letter off to them (a second one at that). With all of this info and being reassured by the quality and value I am getting for this piece I think we will keep the order.

We'll let you know how it works out. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 1:13PM
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ycheng2

I would cancel it anyway. don't be trapped by the deceptive sale's people

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 1:21PM
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jbrauer

Was just at Macy's...turns out they're still advertising these sofas as Elite. They do, however, say they are made in china and aren't the best quality.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 12:22AM
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jergee

souprqt did you end up keeping the Rolla sectional?

We are presently looking for a sectional. We have limited our choices to the Rolla at Macys, and Dillon at Bassett.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 11:00AM
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mitchdesj

It would be great to get a follow up to this thread by the OP.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 8:33AM
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nerdyshopper

When I waas shopping for a high quality fabric sofa, my method of screening was to insist the unit use 8 way hand tied springs and a hardwood frame. When I called our local Macy's about a year ago, they had no sofas that qualified.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 9:43PM
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mills1818_yahoo_com

The section is Junk. The leather will wear out rather quickly. I had mine for a little over a year and it started to fade and chip. I spent 5 months arguing with Macy's about the wear on the -leather. The worry-no-more basically did nothting to help and it was a little over a year for a warranty to cover.

Macy's finally sent out a tech to repair the leather to try and offer some satisfaction and the tech told me that this is very common. My couch has about 5 years of color fade on it in a year and the leather wore away around all the seams.

Hope you had better luck.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 1:45PM
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namichan_ma_gmail_com

I am currently researching info before buying the Rolla Sectional. So Mills18, was the Junk you are talking about the Macy's Rolla?

Any update souprqt on how your Rolla is holding up? Was it worth it?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 2:35AM
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