Some Furniture Warranties May Expire Before Items Are Even Sold

In most cases, when a manufacturer advertises a 3-year warranty, it means three years from the time of purchase. But some consumers are finding out that the warranty clock may have started much earlier, and in some cases could have already expired by the time you purchase a piece of furniture.

CBS Sacramento’s Kurtis Ming has the story of a local family who purchased a pair of recliners that they believed came with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.

In fact, they did come with that warranty, but what the buyers didn’t know is that this particular manufacturer starts its warranty clock from the date of manufacture.

So when the buyers of these recliners tried to get a noise problem fixed, they were told their warranties had already expired, even though it hadn’t been three years since they purchased the chairs.

When Ming checked with the California Furniture Manufacturers Association, it said that a small number of companies do start counting their warranty from the date of manufacture. So if a piece of furniture goes unsold for a long time, it’s possible that the buyer will end up with little or no warranty coverage by the time they take it home.

A rep for the Better Business Bureau tells Ming that he believes it’s misleading to start a warranty before the date of purchase.

“The customer most times does not know the date of manufacture,” he explains. “In effect, the warranty is never a three year warranty, so it’s misleading just at its face value.”

The actual manufacturer of these chairs says that the reason its warranties start so early is because it does a lot of custom work. But the recliners in this case were not custom-made.

When contacted by Ming, they offered to provide the replacement parts for free. And the store that sold the chairs agreed to do the repair without charging the customer, explaining that this warranty situation is “very unusual.”