Table of Contents

    Hereby you find some agreements  obtained by the Furniture Dispute Commission.

    Spots on sofas.

    Description of the dispute

    Mr and Mrs X fell in love with a two-seater and a three-seater couches in the exposition hall of a well-known furniture maker. Four months after the delivery, the customers noticed that some spots are appearing on the furniture. The tradesman picked up the couches, delivered a replacement of equal value and repaired (colour touch up) the furniture in agreement with the supplier. A few days later, the couches were brought back to the customers, who refused them because they would have preferred to receive an entirely new set. The tradesman refused to provide new furniture and claimed that the discolouration was removed by professionals and was in itself an adequate solution. The Disputes Commission met with the customers and the tradesman and thoroughly analysed the couches. The tradesman claimed he had done everything to satisfy the customers and demanded 250 euros in compensation for the prolonged use of the replacement couches.


    The Disputes Commission followed the reasoning of the tradesman and decided that the couches were repaired by professionals and no longer showed any sign of discolouration, but denied the tradesman’s compensation request.

    Unsatisfactory mattress.

    Description of the dispute

    Mrs Y went to a specialised furniture store to buy a new mattress and slatted base. She made it very clear to the tradesman that she needed a specific, medical mattress due to her back problems (prosthesis). The tradesman recommended her what he claimed was his most appropriate type of mattress, which she accepted. The first night was a real nightmare, but Mrs Y decided to try a little longer to see if the situation did not improve. In the end, she mentioned the problem to the tradesman in a letter demanding the replacement of the product as it did not meet her expectations. The tradesman refused, for “hygiene reasons”, and denied having sold an unsuitable mattress. Mrs Y requested the intervention of the Furniture Disputes Commission (FDC) to annul the sales agreement and demanded 750 euros as compensation for the inconvenience and administrative charges. 


    The Furniture Disputes Commission finds that Mrs Y had specified her needs, which the tradesman does not deny. Moreover, she reported the problem shortly after the delivery.

    Once a tradesman has accepted the specific wishes of a potential customer, he has to deliver a product that meets these criteria. For that reason, the tradesman had to take back the mattress and refund the customer.

    What was ordered?

    Description of the dispute

    Mr Z accepted the invitation of a furniture seller to visit the store on a Sunday. A smooth talking tradesman welcomed him and deluded him with exceptional price cuts, with the promise that if Mr Z orders furniture now and signs the order form, he can still change the style, colour and elements. Mr Z accepted and signed the order form for a set of couches to be delivered within nine months, and paid 900 euros as advance (total amount of the order: 2500 euros). The order form mentioned the possibility to change the colour, style and elements. Two days later, Mr Z found identical couches at a lower price and wanted to cancel his order. The tradesman answered that an order could not be unilaterally cancelled and that, as stated in the general terms, he would keep the advance. The amazed customer contacted the Furniture Disputes Commission for help. The Commission found that Mr Z did sign an order form, but the real question was whether a sale was concluded as well.

    According to the Belgian Civil Code, a sale is concluded when the parties agree on the object and on the price. As the type, elements and colour of the order could still be changed and the delivery date was not precise, the Commission decided that the parties had not yet agreed on the object of the sale.


    As no sale had been concluded, no advance had to be paid. The Disputes Commission stated that the tradesman had to pay back the advance to Mr Z.

    Last update
    6 April 2018