Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Saga of "Frankenchair"...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

Three years ago, Mama Bear and I decided it was time for new furniture. 

Our old furniture from Jennifer Leather had served us well over the the last 17 years, but it was showing its age...springs broke, and new kittens had destroyed the side of my chair.

So we did some searching, made the rounds to the local furniture stores...before finally deciding on a set from Be Seated Leather in Rochester, MI.

We went with them for several reasons:
  1. Made in the US.
  2. steel frame (we were told)
  3. Lifetime warranty (we were told)
Now this set was not top of the line, but for us it was kind of pricey...but we didn't mind paying for quality, right?


Our set consisted of an electric reclining sofa ($1,700.00) and an oversized electric "King" reclining chair ($1,500.00)!

So we paid our money, placed our order and waited the month and a half for delivery.

It arrived while I was at work, they brought it in, assembled it...tested it.

It looked just like it had in the showroom, Kathy was was all good!

Until I got home...

Like a sign from the Gods, suddenly Kathy's side of the couch inexplicably stopped working. As with anything electrical, the first thing you check is "did it come unplugged from the socket" (always a possibility when you own cats). Nope, plugged in...

So we pulled it out to look underneath. I discovered the problem almost immediately. The electrical system was modular. 
There is the cord that plugs into the wall, which also plugs into the transformer. The transformer is hard wired to a splitter going to the two motors, the motors have a cord hard wired to them that plugs into the splitter. THEN there is the power button that plugs into the opposite side of the motor housing! If any of these come unplugged...nuthin'! That was the problem...

Over the next week, one or more of these came unplugged disabling the couch or the chair.

It was a sign from the Gods...."GET RID OF THIS SHIT NOW!!!"
But, like most mortals I ignored them.

First I tried electrical tape, nope! Duct tape, huh unh! Gorilla Tape (think duct tape on steroids, 3X stickyer and 5X stronger), nyet!
Finally in desperation I super glued the connections together, modularity be DAMNED!!!

Foolishly I believed I had won my battle with the furniture, but they were insidious...waiting their moment to strike again!

Everything was fine for a few months, then out of nowhere my chair ceased working, with the footrest extended...

I could feel it laughing at me as I crawled my fat ass out of I turned I could swear the cushions formed a malevolent grin! I checked all the connections, all were intact...the thing's possessed!!! 

Undaunted I continued to use the chair until I could get a call in for a repairman. Then just as suddenly it started working again, it was toying with me.

A month later it stopped again, in the down position this time...and refused to work again. This time I got the service call in, they sent me a new switch, transformer and cables. I replaced the switch, back in business!

A month after that, it quit again....this time the transformer was to blame, but since I already had a spare I was up and running in no time.

This seemed to anger the spirit of the chair even more...but it was waited until I was putting on my shoes to go to work.
When CRACK!!! The left side of the seat dropped 3"....GREAT!

This necessitated a visit from a repairman. Though we asked for an AM appointment, he did not appear until after I'd left for work at 2pm! After 4 hours of scratching his head, hemming and hawing he finely left the chair half ass repaired, not fixing the issue with the springs. Seems the wooden frame had broken.....HOLD UP, WHAT?? We were told this furniture had a steel frame, "Oh no, this is all wood. The recliner mechanism is steel..."
Well no shit!!! Anybody here EVER see a recliner mechanism that was NOT made out of steel??? Anyone???

6 months after THAT it was the right hand sides turn to do the same thing, and another call to the company to get the frame repaired yet again. "Well your furniture is no longer under warranty."

"But there is a lifetime warranty on it, that's what you told us!!!"

"The LEATHER has a lifetime warranty, as does the recliner mechanism....NOT the frame."

"Well that is certainly not what you led us to believe, AND you told us that it had a steel frame! Which is why we bought it in the first place!!!"

"Look, I can hear you're upset...tell you what, we want to keep you happy so we'll repair it one more time...but we can't keep fixing this thing."

"Well I don't want that other guy back here...he creeped my wife out, came late and stayed for four hours."

"No problem we got a 'new' guy."

So this repairman comes, tears the chair apart, says he'll take the part home and rebuild it, be back on Thursday. Thursday came and went, no call...Friday, Saturday, Sunday...nothing.
Monday morning I called the shop "Oh, he'll be calling you..."

He did...Wednesday, to tell me he'd be back next Tuesday or almost two full weeks...the thing was affecting him as well!

While we were waiting, the couch broke in much the same way! You got to be fucking kidding me?!?!?

Comes on Tuesday, "OOPS! I split the wood, I'm gonna have to glue and clamp it...I'll be back tomorrow to put it all back together."

He was, when he finished he admonished us to stay off it for 48 hours as he used more glue and wanted to make sure it set. We gave it 72.

Three days later it broke in the exact same place...

I was LIVID!!! In three years we've had more trouble with this furniture that stuff we'd had for 17 years!!! That we paid a lot less for!

This time, I skipped the Asshats at Be Seated Leather and got my own repairman, Larry at Clarkston Furniture Repair LLC, money back guarantee if not completely satisfied!!!

Larry, came do battle with the beast! He tried his best but only fought it to a draw! He's gone back to his shop to attempt to rebuild, with OAK this time, what was previously white pine!

So it sits in the corner, watching me...
I feel the malevolence rolling off of knows it's time is almost done!!! 

Larry promises he'll return by the weekend. 

With oak, craftsmanship, and a sprinkling of Holy Water he will defeat my Demon chair!!! 

If he is successful, next we exorcise the couch!!!

Be Well Folks!

Beastly Bear


  1. That's just bullshit man. I'd be pissed off too. :( Shoddy workmanship and bait & switch. So wrong. You should give them bad reviews any place you can...BBB, Yelp, Angie's List, etc.

    1. Never again JoJo, I asked Larry what brand furniture he has been called the least to repair, without hesitation he said Lay-z-boy!!! So when we are finally fed up with this, we'll definitely be checking them out.

  2. I was gonna' say. Lay-z-boy is the way to go with recliners. I'm not a fan of recliners - husbands tend to find them and never get out of them.. ;) - But.. The ones we had were Lay-z-boys and my sis has Laz-y-boys. Never a problem. And your wife is much braver than I because if my husband wasn't home no man ever came into our home, repair work or not. Too many freaks out there.

    1. Coulda, woulda, shoulda MiMi! Next time...
      She had weapons handy MiMi, should she have need of them. :-)

  3. Okay Joe, I have to ask this question...What on Earth could have possibly made you think that adding circuits, wiring, transformers, motors and plugs to reclining furniture was a good idea. You know what the purpose of furniture IS right? To flop our entire body weight on to it as hard as we can, to kick down foot rests the minute we wish to punctuate a point to our children. Adding machinery to these pieces of furniture is a BAD idea! I can't get a simple motor on a dvd player to last and it is stationary and nobody sits on that!

    I think it is time to waive the white flag and buy some new furniture that is not so sophisticated!

    1. OK, in my defense the guy says "Do you have a cat?" Two we replied. "The beauty of the electric action is it allows them time to get out from under when you go to close it! Otherwise if you just whip it down you could crush your pet, you don't want that..."
      For $100 extra a piece we figured we'd try it! NEVER AGAIN!!! LOL