Jennifer Convertibles: These Pricey Leather Sofas Are Falling Apart


Furniture maker Jennifer Convertibles is getting an earful from customers who say that the leather on their pricey sofas is peeling off in sheets.

The Today Show" spoke to a number of disgruntled customers who complained that their new leather sofas were falling apart after normal use. One customer reported spending $1,700 on a leather sofa in 2005, but that the leather began peeling off in clumps and sheets within a year. Now, the cheap leather is almost entirely peeled off.

Worse yet, the warranty sold with the sofa turns out to be of even more questionable value than the leather: One customer griped that he bought a "leather protection plan" for his sofa, but was later told that it didn't cover peeling leather.

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This isn't a new problem for Jennifer Convertibles. Way back in 1998, the company was ordered by the New York attorney general to compensate hundreds of customers who complained that it delivered damaged furniture and refused to make repairs. And on Consumer Affairs, it's amassed a litany of hundreds of complaints about peeling leather and poor delivery practices.

While the leather protection plan does make it clear in the fine print that cracking and peeling aren't covered, NBC found that salespeople with the company weren't always upfront about those exclusions.

The lesson? Regardless of what a salesperson tells you, always read the fine print to be sure that the warranty actually provides some measure of protection. And before you make a big purchase, check out the company's profile on sites like Consumer Affairs, Pissed Consumer and the BBB to see if their customers wind up happy or not.