BBC Watchdog: Harveys - are you sitting comfortably?


What Consumer Founder
Apr 7, 2008
Harveys, the UK's largest furniture specialist, are sponsors of Coronation Street - one of the most popular soaps on television. It is the 50th anniversary of Corrie and viewers are reminded through Harveys sponsorship that they are the place to go if you want to sit down comfortably. In their adverts Harveys claim that they will 'bring your home to life.

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For many customers, however, Harveys has done anything but. Watchdog has received more complaints about Harvey's than any other furniture store in the UK - a total of 374 complaints since January 2009.

Samantha Charlesworth and her husband ordered over £1000 worth of furniture in December 2009. They were moving to Dubai, and the furniture in the Harveys adverts seemed just what they were looking for. Harveys assured Samantha and her husband that the furniture would be with them at the start of February - well in time for their move abroad. Harveys took their money straight away, but couldn't get the furniture delivered on time so Samantha and her husband had to move to Dubai without it. They requested a refund three months ago, which was finally paid at the end of April. "Dealing with Harveys has been like banging your head against a brick wall," Samantha told Watchdog, "It's not been good at all".

Coronation Street fans Jason and Hayley Ikens ordered two sofas from Harveys in January 2009. They arrived the following month, but one of the sofas was faulty. The reclining seat didn't work. Jason and Hayley had to wait an entire year before Harveys delivered a replacement - only to be given a sofa that was worse than the one before. "It didn't even recline and they didn't even attach the sofa together," Hayley told Watchdog, "they just left it like that". Finally, 15 months after first placing their order, the Ikens got a third - undamaged - sofa delivered.

It seems that Harveys hasserious issues with faulty goods and customer service, and it's not as if the furniture we've received complaints about is cheap.

Pam and Geoffrey Benge paid Harvey's £4,200 for their three piece suite, but after only six months the armchair was broken. Harveys took two months to send an inspector round, only to tell them that they had done the damage themselves. As problems had now developed with all of the items in the suite, Pam and Geoffrey forked out for an independent report to be done by the furniture ombudsman. The report concluded that 'all the joints on the backs of the chair and two sofas are defective'. Harveys finally agreed to give Pam and Geoffrey a refund - and to cover the cost of their independent report. That was on the 29th March, but have yet to pay out.

Harveys, it seems, have a habit of keeping their customers waiting. Yvonne Williams ordered two reclining sofas in October 2009. They delivered them in the wrong colour in January, and she has been waiting ever since for the new ones to arrive.

All of this is nothing for Stephen Marshall though. He ordered some bedroom furniture 17 months ago, in November 2008. Harveys have since made six delivery attempts, but have still not managed to provide Stephen with chests of drawers that are not damaged. This week, nearly two months after they delivered the last set of damaged chests of drawers, Harvey's called Stephen to say they would replace them again. Stephen is now hoping he might get lucky with delivery number seven.

Harveys claims to deliver not only quality furniture but the service to go with it. But for the hundreds of customers who have contacted Watchdog, their experience of the company's goods and services is very different to the one we see on TV.

Harveys have explained to Watchdog that:

'Harveys are extremely sorry that in these instances our service levels fell below our usual high standards. Whilst the cases selected are diverse issues of an exceptional nature, we accept the criticism that the issues raised should have been dealt with more effectively and will be redoubling our efforts to ensure that this is the case in the future.

Harveys is the UK's biggest specialist furniture retailer with a national footprint of over 160 stores. Our delivery network is not just the largest but also the most complex in the UK home furniture market as we sell a diverse range of upholstery, fully assembled lounge, dining and bedroom furniture. We would like to point out that nearly 7,000 home deliveries are made every week and the vast majority are on time, in full and without complaint. In the light of this large and complex system, it is perhaps understandable statistically that more issues may be registered with Watchdog although this is not a situation we accept commercially.

Having these specific instances brought to our attention has enabled us to investigate and resolve them. We are very sorry that the problems have occurred and have apologised to all the customers for the difficulties caused. We are also taking the opportunity to review and audit our procedures as part of our continuous improvement programme to see how these types of issue may be eradicated in the future.

We would like to encourage any customer who feels our service has fallen short of what they should expect from us to e-mail and let us know on so that we may provide them with a rapid resolution to any outstanding issue.'

Harveys - are you sitting comfortably?
Jul 14, 2015
My Harveys fiasco. It all started because we were moving from ireland back to uk. We ordered over £6000 of goods living room suite solid oak table and chairs, sideboard and dresser and display cabinet plus Tv unit all solid oak. I ordered in store November 2014 put deposit down and was assured i would have these items February 2015 when we intended to move into our house. I paid the full amount in January 2015. All seemed to be going ok no info of any thing wrong from Harveys. The week before I arrived in uk was assured all ok.
When i arrived in uk the manager informed me that they did not have my furniture, they had sold it to somebody else, and it would be another 6 weeks before i got my furniture. I cant put down my reply. I agreed reluctantly and was assured yet again all would be well. 6 weeks later the manager said it would be another 4 weeks i said stick it where the sun does'nt shine he said if i cancelled now it would cost me at least 50% of the price he also said i could have cancelled in February with no cost what a dork.So reluctantly agreed to this 4 weeks later i was informed they would deliver Wednesday. Wednesday came i got a phone call they had lost my furniture and they would refund my money. All this time lost and no compensation he also diddled me out of money on the invoice. I have shortened this narrative as it would be too long. You could not make this up and believe it. Would i recommend Harveys "NEVER"
Feb 2, 2018
Order No. BR0576-85767540
I went to Harvey's on Sunday the 28. We needed the 3+2 seated sofas for my Family. They told the delivery is 14 weeks. We signed the document and went home and following we though 14 weeks (3.5month) I stood long as we needed badly. they told us we made the order if we want to cancel to call in n24hours time, otherwise, there will be charge if we want to cancel. We called the following day 6 pm the 29th they were supposed to be open until 8 pm, no one was answering. I called head office they closed at 6 pm and there was message to send email if no one answering I did that. I called the credit company and they said they can cancel the agreement within 3 days if Harvey’s advised them. Tried to call them again they were not answering. I called the following day head office and they apologise for that and the advice to call store directly. I called the store at 09 am, and spoke to lady there, she mentioned they were open until 8 pm, I told her I called twice no one was answering discussed the matter with her and she said send me the email, she gave me 2 wrong mail of the company and after she gave me her personal email and she confirmed that she has received it/.
Today the 31/01/2018 the Manager called me and discussed the matter with him, and told me that I have called after the 24 hours which I did not, also Sunday as fa as I know is not business day and he will not cancel the order,2ndly he called me later and said if I want to cancel I have to pay him £577.00 which is 20% of the order even the order is not yet delivered and is going to be delivered after 3.5 month. I told him I will seek legal advice about and now I need your advice what the next step I should do, and Amy entitled by the consumer law to be penalised by the trader. I find it unfair and in justice. I ask him if he is member if ADR he said no I also asked him if he member of any trading organisation. I advised him I will seek legal advice about this he as I know my rights as consumer Shoppers' rights under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) and will do so if not resolve. Said I can do what I like and hang the telephone.

The trader response that when I called on Sunday the credit company they advised to call the trader directly. Called the Head office on Monday 30/01/2018.09am, after sending the email on Sunday and they advise to call the store directly.
Called the store straight away on 30/01/2018 spoke to sales agent and asked me to send the email that I have send to head office. Tried to send to multiple emails which she gave me I mentioned them as follow:
she said the manager will call you on wednesday the 31/01/2018.
He said no. can you help?