Just been listening to a tale of woe about a sofa. Righteous indignation on behalf of my friends impells me to convey the gist of the tale. Here goes.
In July - July 7th, to be precise, two householders decide to buy a sofa - locally, to support the local small-town economy. Heart of Home seems to promise what they want, so they place an order and pay £1,000. "Six weeks", they are told. Six weeks pass. When they ring to ask where their sofa is, they are told it will be in a few days. But no: a few days later they hear that the sofa doesn't actually exist yet as the manufacturers have run out of materials.
A few comings and goings later, my friends think they'd like their money back. All this time, they have been sitting on picnic chairs. They have sore backs and painful bottoms.
No money can be returned. "Try Trading Standards", they are advised. No joy.
It is now December. Solicitors are involved. They cost money. So does court action. The local paper doesn't publish their letter - can't go upsetting local business, now, can we? They even stage a mini-demo outside the shop, but apparently have to desist. Now the shop has "banned" them from entering.
So if you find yourself in a small seaside town considering a purchase in a shop called "Heart of Home" ?
But how is it not theft to hang onto someone's money for six months in this fashion?