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.

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.

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Attention all men! I have been buying Tommy Hilfiger clothes for 30 years and I have experienced a major problem. In 2006, I bought three pairs of pants that have a 6 1/2 inch zipper fly, which is perfect. In 2012 I bought three more pairs and the zipper fly is only 5 1/2 inches. I am a normal size male but in order to urinate, I now have to drop my drawers because the shorter zipper puts pressure on my urethera and doesn't allow me to completely evacuate my bladder Six months ago, I called to complain and I haven't heard back. I am pissed.

September 09 2013 at 7:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That's what happens when you don't buy something made from substantial leather from the US or Europe. The Chinese version of leather is a thin skin bonded to fabric.

September 09 2013 at 2:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jon Alva Murphy

Typically by today's standard of poor quality and craftsmanship.
Chinese imports have flooded the global trade and commerce. We are unmistakeably being taken as consumers by allowing this country to import inferior manufactured products. My theory is to just quite buying China's market.
Every day, something is produced in China and we lamely let ourselves become prey to an economy that is based-upon manufactured goods that are worthless.

September 09 2013 at 1:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've got a leather couch and two Leather Lazy Boy recliners that have the color coming off them in certain areas. The couch smelled from the day they brought it in. I told them it has a terrible smell like it was made from the ass end of the cow and they came over, looked at the couch and took it back to ART VAN. They said they restained it and the spot was covered but there were drippings running down the side of the arm that were now dried and frozen in drip form. It looked stupid, still smelled and stinks to this day. I even got paranoid and thought they packed the cushions with poop or something but There's nothing in them or under the couch. Just a bad smell from the leather that can't hold it's color! After we had our wood floors redone, I could smell the wood from the sanding and ,mixed with the poopy couch it smelled like I was in a barn! Stupid Art Van won't make good on their furniture so beware.. they sell you high priced GARBAGE that stinks and the dye job sucks! The two recliners do not smell. They are losing color in areas as well but at least they don't smell like crap! I hate my couch and I'm stuck with it until it falls apart and we are forced to buy a new one. I seriously want to shove it up Art Van's butt! It smells like ass so it might as well go back there! ugh

September 08 2013 at 11:39 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Gina's comment

I am sure it was not the ass of a cow. More like the ass of 2 legged vermin, namely human.

September 09 2013 at 12:39 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I too had a Lazy Boy leather and in less than a year the stain was bug to Lazy Boy.

September 09 2013 at 12:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's not just foreign furniture. When I used to cut foam for the furniture business the most costly brands like Flex Steel and Lazy Boy had the lowest standards. Most companies only would allow one glue seem. I have seen Flex Steel use 1/4 lamanets for a 5 inch piece for seats. That's 20 glue seems across the length. I have also seen drops that were 1/4 X 2 x 4 be glued together to make large enough pieces to cut to size be used. Pure trash. Don't be too proud to unzip the cushion to look for glue seems and other such trash used. It is your money after all.

September 08 2013 at 11:38 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

What do you expect with all the jobs going to China. Good furniture used to be made in America by hard working Americans but now, all the jobs in America are going to the Chinese, Mexicans, and other third world countries so the rich owners can make more money and pay less taxes while Americans lose jobs and we end up buying junk from those other countries with cheap labor and cheap material. BRING THE JOBS BACK TO AMERICA. "AMERICANS, BUY AMERICAN or do without and force the big factory owners to return to AMERICA!

September 08 2013 at 11:23 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

"Bonded leather" is the kind of "leather" that will do this. It is a canvas-like material with something like 'shaved' leather--very thin--glued onto it. Never buy bonded leather ANYTHING. It deteriorates with age (very little aging) and especially with flexing movements that furniture would endure. My REAL leather couch is twelve years old and looks great. The company I bought my sofa from skimped on the framework---within two weeks of purchase the framework started dropping bolts and screws that held it together. I had to flip it upside-down and replace hardware and glue weak joints---none of these things were covered under the "warranty"--in fact the wording in the warranty for "defects in materials or workmanship" did not apply because they said it was purposely MADE cheaply and it wasn't a defect for the framework to loosen or fall apart.

September 08 2013 at 11:18 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Terry's comment

I agree. A real leather couch would cost a lot more than $1,700. The not so real leather is called pleather. It is wise to ask if it real leather or not.

September 09 2013 at 1:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

in 1995 i purchased a sleeper sofa and a chair/ottoman from jennifer sofa's in north olmsted,oh.
the sleeper started to fall apart a wire or spring sort of came through the mattress so i called the :sofa man" and he came out and said it was not covered under J. Sofa's BUT if it was from macy's there would not be a problem. the cough wasn't even a yr old. we used that sofa until everything was not usable anymore and pitched it!
well we went to jc penney's furniture and purchased a chair,couch + loveseat that DID NOT work out any better within a few months the top of the couch was denting in so the furniture man unziped the upper parts and through cotton balls in. now we didn't even have this payed off yet the seats are all dented in and the recliner(specially ordered ) so it would not hit the wall when opened quit opening. by then the warranty wore off and the dogs use it. the only thing that held up was the microfiber. it has a very thick coat on it. comments are welcome!

September 08 2013 at 10:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Stores don't explain clearly what "bonded leather" is. "Bonded leather" os a substance made of bits of leather processed into a sheet and glued onto a fabric backing. "Bonded leather" can consist of as little as 17% leather. This is like taking a single Steak-Ums, pasting it on a slice of bread and calling it filet mignon. Anyone who purchases "bonded leather" should insist on a warranty against the leather separating from the backing. In other words, if a person can't afford leather, buy fabric.

September 08 2013 at 10:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jerseysue1's comment

Sounds like processed foods.

September 09 2013 at 12:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dr. Doula,Sharon

Best furniture store is Mikes Dinette! (Not sure if they sell sofas)...
We bought our tables & chairs there; they stand behind their furniture 100%.
Great to deal with, very friendly & won't pressure the customer into buying anything that doesn't fit your budget...Located in Boro Park, Brooklyn....individual attention & the nicest sales people My friends had more problems with exchanging furniture in dealing with larger chain stores than the mom & pop stores...They even upholstered my folding chairs with the same material as my dining room chairs, for when we have extra company.

September 08 2013 at 9:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Dr. Doula,Sharon's comment

How can they be the best furniture store if you don't know whether or not they sell sofas? Real furniture stores sell all kinds of furniture for your house. Not just tables and chairs. Hope you don't make medical decisions the same way.

September 08 2013 at 10:34 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ejljr's comment
Dr. Doula,Sharon

Uhm, NO, a store that specializes in dinettes & dining room sets & upholstering chairs need not sell sofas too...(I did find out that they do not in fact sell sofas). It's sort of like specializing in medicine; if you can figure this out~
I need not defend my position to you. Back to the OR.

September 09 2013 at 5:52 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

Best furniture store in town is the Goodwill. You can purchase old, but good and sturdy furniture from yesteryear.

September 09 2013 at 12:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to briblajan's comment
Dr. Doula,Sharon

Right........Bedbugs, vermin, mouse & human droppings, left over foods, urine stains...
Goodwill is a hazard to one's health...Better off buying cheap fabric furniture that's new!

September 09 2013 at 8:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down