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Damaged furniture and property during delivery

Q: I recently had some furniture delivered to my house. The delivery people dropped a flat-packed bookcase on my marble stairs. When I opened it, I noticed it was damaged. One of my marble stairs was also chipped during the delivery. I immediately complained to the furniture company about this. The latter are assuming responsibility for the broken bookcase and told me they would replace it free of charge. However, regarding the chipped stairs, they are denying responsibility and instead told me to take it up with the delivery company. When I contacted the delivery people, I was told that accidents happen.

What are my rights?

A: If the delivery of the furniture was included in the sales agreement, then the company where you purchased the furniture from is responsible for delivering you the furniture as originally agreed and without any damages.

Hence, in this case, the seller is obliged to replace the damaged bookcase free of charge and is also responsible for any damages caused by the delivery people during the delivery of the furniture. You may therefore complain to the seller and ask for compensation for the broken stairs. Should the seller refuse any of these responsibilities, you may lodge a complaint with the Office for Consumer Affairs.

On the other hand, if the purchase of the furniture did not include delivery – but this was contracted separately with the delivery company – then your claim for compensation for the damaged bookcase and the damaged stairs should be addressed to the delivery company.

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