Help! My three-piece bonded leather living room set from Abbyson is peeling

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By Christopher Elliott

Jeri Lynn Wentz’s new living room set from Abbyson is peeling. Why won’t BJ’s Wholesale Club help her? (The photo above is the actual Abbyson sofa)

Question

Last year, I accepted delivery of a three-piece bonded leather living room set from BJ’s Wholesale Club that I had ordered online.

A few months later, I began noticing that the set was peeling in areas that would incur the most wear, like the armrest. I immediately reached out to the manufacturer of the set, Abbyson. They responded by asking for a receipt of the set. They’ve ignored my email asking for an update regarding utilizing the manufacturer warranty, which is still in place as the set is under a year old.

I also contacted BJ’s customer care and emailed many photos. I’ve called many times, always being promised a return call from anywhere from 24 hours to “three to five business days.” It never happened.

I spoke to one floor-supervisor after the other. Nobody did anything to help us, and we never received any “we are working on this, please be patient” phone calls either.

Recently, I saw a news report about peeling bonded leather couches. I was shocked to see a set in the news footage that appeared to be the one I have.

I contacted MasterCard since I used it to make the purchase and have extended warranty protection, but since it is still under warranty with Abbyson, they can’t do anything. My husband and I saved a while to purchase this set.  I’m so frustrated by anyone’s lack of concern that I am almost in tears.

Obviously, I don’t trust the product at this point. I would like a refund so that I can purchase another living room set. Can you help me? — Jeri Lynn Wentz, Hamilton Square, N.J.

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Answer

I’m so sorry your furniture is falling apart. Of course, Abbyson should have replied to your request and then either fixed or replaced your furniture. And BJ’s Wholesale Club should have stood behind the purchase, too.

I did a little digging on the peeling furniture problem, and it turns out there were warnings about this issue back in 2016. I’m not saying you should have known about this, but if you had, would it have changed your purchasing decision? Maybe. (Here’s how to fix your own consumer problem.)

Good furniture shouldn’t peel. I mean, that’s pretty obvious. But when a manufacturer or retailer hears about this kind of trouble, they should fall all over themselves to fix it. Instead, they gave you the silent treatment. That would really chap my hide. (Related: Maybe that Bluesmart luggage purchase wasn’t so smart after all.)

Contacting BJ’s on your behalf

If none of the people at BJ’s had the courtesy to respond, you could have escalated your problem to one of the executive contacts. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of the BJ’s Wholesale Club executives on my consumer advocacy site. You can find the Abbyson executives on its site. Email addresses appear to be firstname@abbyson.com. In other words, the email for Abbyson’s president, Yavar Rafieha, would be yavar@abbyson.com.

Fortunately, none of that was necessary. I contacted BJ’s on your behalf, and it agreed to take back the set and offer you a refund.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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