Monday, June 11, 2012

THE WRETCHED CHAIR EPISODE

Reuphostered Lift Chair -Front View
Looks Good. Not Even Padding on Top
Top; Extra Padding Was Added at to
Front Back & Seat at Extra Cost.
The days and weeks have been so full I have not had time to post, a few minutes to peruse your posts, and a pocketful of duties large and small. It seems with my chronic maladies and age, what used to take 30 minutes takes half a day.

My daily written "to do" list is never empty. Sometimes I rant at my infirmities/inadequacies. But I must remember I am functioning at some level; many others my age are not as fortunate.

In early posts I have alluded to a number my infimities making sleeping in a standard nor adjustable bed most uncomfortable, such as severe spinal osteoporosis, a slipped lower disk(s), asthma/COPD/breathing and heart rhythm problems. We have adjustable beds, but it is an extra long which does seems to lift head and knees adequately for my husband, but not short-stuff 4'10" me. There probably is not one made to fit me.

However, there are lift chairs which have come to my rescue for both resting, sleeping, and relaxing in front of  TV. I have worn out one lift chair, and replaced it with a top-of-the-line infinite position with heat and vibration, and other features.

Underside Back Flap - Original Was Completely
Finished on the back.
The infinite position lift chair was in a small size, still a tad larger than I need but I could adjust myself, comfortably enough. It was divine to sleep without constant tossing and turning to find a position comfortably to rest, as well as breath better and surprisingly also not as many irregular heart pitty-pats.

In short I LOVED THIS CHAIR! Heavily used, in 5 years the fabric was FRAYED, DISCOLORED, NEAR THREAD-BARE!

Enlargement of back of Back Flap
Shoddy work and Velcro
Since it was a high-end priced lift chair, I was torn between replacement and reupholstery. I checked prices of new chair which have increased about $200 for same features and a newer size, depending on brand of petite or junior petite. But upholstery was $500 less.


I mulled over the dilemma. My mother did not believe in upholstering furniture. We used it, in whatever condition it degraded, until we could afford a new one. Fabrics often were faded, not in vogue and often did not blend with changing decor. We waited until we could afford, which meant pay CASH.


Since none of the high end chairs are in local medical sales businesses (all are special order), I leaned toward upholstery. Top of the line chairs are not in demand in a rural poor areas; persons only use them for as long as they may need to recover from back, knee or hip surgery, and then sell them. Hence they buy less expensive lift chairs with minimum add-ons.
There were upholstery businesses in a town 50 miles from me, but a nearby town (16 miles) also had three upholstery shops, one of which had a reputation of very good work. I picked up sample fabrics and finally decided one. The chair had only had one service call, to replace one of two hand controls. No work was done beneath the chair where the main mechanisms and wires are connected.


Sloppy Replacement of Wiring Mechanism
The business courtesy is to pick up the furniture and deliver it when it is done. This chair has two motors that operated certain parts of the chair independently. Every feature on the chair was working perfectly when the chair went out our front door.

After pick-up I was called in two weeks the chair was ready to return home as soon as I paid $700 for it, first trip into the nearby town.

Now the wretchedness begins!. First a lot of velcro was used on the chair in the back. I don't mind velcro, although it appears to be used to cut sewing time, but I do mind sloppy fit and bunching fabric which may have not been cut as neatly as possible.


Sloppy Fit; Velcro Does Not Align
Unfinished Edges, Fraying, and
Poor Fit at Inside Corner; Bumper
Legs Missing on Delivery
Then a $200 motor went out. The repairman, who also is the dealer who sold me the chair, and I, noticed the wiring was hanging in a tangled mess under the chair, and a connection box containing a circuit board for heat and vibration was broken and glued back together, hung with a twistie over a frame bar. Apparently clips used to hold the wires neatly out of the lift mechanism had been eliminated. Everything was loose and tangled, knotted and disorganized.
About a month after the motor went out, I turned on the heating pad....NO HEAT, and the bumper feet (2)  on the back of the chair were missing.

A second trip by same repairman who felt the broken  box is the culprit, probably the circuit board. The upholstery shop did offer to place the heating pad in the chair free, as it entailed tearing open their work. I also mentioned the bumper feet.

By now the owner was becoming irate with my complaining. He said he would bring them out next time they had a call in my town about 16 miles from his shop.

By now I am getting hot under the collar,too. I said, "and when will that be?"

He said, "I said when we have another call out there."

I lost my cool and said, "that could be 100 years from now."

Right Back Corner; Velco d0es not Match and One Piece
Is Not Long Enough for Neat Closure, Some Bunching
of Material; Fraying, and Bumper Leg Missing at Delivery.
He lost his cool, and said, "it will be a 100 years if you keep talking. I will throw the bumpers in the wastebasket and forget about the whole matter." He hung up with further comment.

I later called and said I would pick the bumpers up myself and my husband could surely figure how to put them on. The owner backed down and offered to come out after work the same day, but I refused, picked the bumpers up without incident and wrote that place off any place I would recommend.

At 75 I still am seeing how wise my Mother (and Daddy) may have been. We can afford a chair, and I simply should have done it. There is the problem of dispensing with, or selling the older ones.
Improper Fit ofMaterial- There Is Bunching or Folding
of Material at Several Spots on the Chair.
This chair still works....till something else goes wrong. So I am taking my time deciding. I may look for a person in need of a chair and cannot afford one. I will tell this person the history so if it crashes and burns, I will not be accused of falsification.

It is entirely possible these chairs are a lot like electronics or heavy appliances that work well set up, but when moving is necessary, sometimes a lot goes wrong.

This saga is not over for me. But the sage with upholstery business anywhere is. I'll keep the adage of my mother in mind. "Use it till it quits." I fondly remember a cranky, aged, heavily used electric clothes washer would occasionally refuse to run after loaded. She would stand in front of it each time to see it was going to cooperate and run. If it did not, she gave it a swift kick, and it would start. This worked for an indeterminate time; I guess oneday she punted instead of  kicked  which was the last straw and it died.

5 comments:

Jinksy said...

I agree, there comes a time when 'New' is the best solution!

Arkansas Patti said...

Wow, how smart I thought you were at first to go the reupholster route. What a nightmare and they should refund your money.
Do you have a local TV station with a comsumer watch dog segment? Maybe they could make them make it right.

rosaria williams said...

I know this!
We have had to purchase new because the repairs-if and when they could occur-cost almost as much as a new item.

faye said...

I hate the ordeal that you went through... That is why I prefer to do like your mother...use it til it quits then replace it... Bob is a firm believer in giving all things electronic some gentle taps with his favorite wrench... No matter what the problem

Sandi McBride said...

And my favorite? The Hens and Chicks...of course!
Sandi