Know What's Covered Under Your Furniture Warranty Plan

NBC 7 Responds to an elderly couple after they bought a new recliner under warranty and the chair began to peel away in less than two years.

How long should your furniture last? In the case of Della and Joseph Scata, they expected their new recliner to last at least ten years. They even bought an additional insurance plan to make sure it would last that long. 

After two years though, it started coming apart. 

The Scata’s bought a bonded leather chair from Jerome’s Furniture in San Marcos. At the time of the sale, they paid extra for a furniture insurance plan offered through a company named Guardsman. When the leather began to peel, Joseph thought he was covered. 

“The store told me to call the insurance company,” Joseph said. “I called and got a letter back that it [recliner] wasn’t covered. What insurance did I buy, I don’t know!” 

The Scata's asked Guardsman, the insurance provider, to fix it but the company said it was not covered in their furniture insurance policy. The policy states 'cracking and peeling of leather' are excluded from the protection plan. 

Fearing the worst, the Scata’s reached out to NBC 7 Responds to see if there was a resolution. 

Although the recliner was not covered by Guardsman, Jerome’s Furniture issued the Scata’s a full refund of $553.97 and donated $300 of Jerome’s Furniture credit to a non-profit of the couple’s choice. 

The Scata’s chose the Alpha Project out of Vista, a group that focuses on helping the homeless. 

For the full story of the Scata’s watch the video above. 

When you purchase a piece of furniture or appliance that comes with insurance or a warranty plan, always know what’s covered prior to paying extra. 

Do your research and make sure to ask whether or not the furniture or appliance you’re buying already comes with a manufacturer warranty. In some cases, the manufacturer’s warranty may cover the major items you fear might happen to your product. 

The Federal Trade Commission offers these tips and questions to consider when debating whether or not to pay extra for a warranty: 

  • How long does the warranty last?
  • Who do you contact to get warranty service?
  • What will the company do if the product fails?
  • What parts and repair problems are covered?
  • Does the warranty cover "consequential damages?"
  • Are there any conditions or limitations on the warranty? 

To read more about what the Federal Trade Commission says about warranties, click here

Bonded leather furniture has been under the microscope of consumer affairs organizations because the type of leather has both pros and cons associated with it, they say. When shopping for your next piece of furniture, remember to ask whether or not it’s made of bonded or genuine leather. 

Genuine leather is made from entire hides from an animal whereas bonded leather is not. It’s made up of pieces of skins that are combined together to make a leather-like material. In a majority of cases the choice between genuine or bonded leather comes down to price. Bonded leather is usually more affordable than genuine leather. 

The Leather Industries of America trade group has accused some retailers of misleading consumers by not disclosing what makes up bonded leather. The trade group also says most bonded leather comes from China and is subject to few U.S. rules. 

It recommends that if you’re looking at buying a piece of bonded leather furniture, figure out what the percentage of leather vs non-leather substances used to make it. 

According to federal guidelines, bonded leather products must disclose the percentage and often do with a label stamped or attached to the product. There is no minimum amount of leather required but some industry experts say bonded leather should have somewhere between 15-20% genuine leather scraps.

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