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HELL for leather

ANDREW and Claire Moffatt were hoping their top quality sofa would be the showpiece of their new home.

ANDREW and Claire Moffatt were hoping their top quality sofa would be the showpiece of their new home.

With promises of a custom-made leather suite, hand-crafted in Italy, the Kingsmead couple believed paying the £3,500 price tag was a good investment.

But they claim putting their trust in Exclusive Leather has brought them nothing but trouble. They have been forced to seal off their lounge from their two young daughters and pet cat for the past two months while they wait for the company to remove the faulty goods.

A constant stream of letters and phone calls in an effort to get their money back proved useless. In an act of desperation Andrew, 36, threatened to take the company to court - and after the Chronicle got involved, the company has promised to refund them.

Problems with the Moffatt's order began as soon as the two-seater and three-seater sofas were delivered to their Calveley Close home in August.

Andrew says the frame of the two-seater was so badly bent the delivery men could not assemble it. He sent it straight back.

But closer inspection of the three-seater later revealed a mass of faults including it being the wrong colour, of an inferior grade of leather and having a rusty frame and 'intolerably loud' noisy motor on the electric recliners. It even came with a European two-pin plug.

After discovering the faults IT consultant Andrew called the Chester-based company to reject the furniture. But, even though he enlisted the help of Cheshire Trading Standards and instructed solicitors, Exclusive Leather said they should accept a replacement suite instead of a refund and refused to take it away.

Andrew said the only alternative was to take civil court action, saying: 'For £3,500 you expect something exclusive. They talk to you about the quality and the craftsmanship, how everything is checked. That seems to be a load of rubbish.'

Andrew contacted the Chronicle after reading a story in our sister paper, the Flintshire Chronicle about how another couple had been fighting for compensation from Exclusive Leather for 10 months.

Exclusive Leather sales manager Gus Joyce said: 'We are investigating why this case has reached this stage, clearly something has gone wrong. We will be offering Mr Moffatt a full re-fund.'

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