A pensioner with a chronic heart condition has been left devastated after a furniture company went bust just two days after demanding the final balance on his new sofa suite be settled.
Ronald Mason and his wife Elizabeth, from Lochend, had been expecting the delivery of their new suite last Thursday after Fabb Sofas in Straiton called them on Tuesday requesting they pay the remaining £877 outstanding on their bill.
The couple, who moved into a new flat that week, went down to the store on Tuesday evening to pay but now the pair are £1900 out of pocket and have to sit on flimsy fold-down garden chairs in their living room.
Retired driver Ronald, 66, told the Evening News: “I feel like I’ve just been robbed.
“They took my money one day and shut down the next. I’m retired – what am I supposed to do?”
When Ronald, who has diabetes and underwent a double heart bypass 13 years ago, tried to call the store after waiting in all day for the delivery, he heard a recorded message informing him the business had gone into administration.
“I’m just so down about it,” he said. “We went down every week until the suite was paid for. We even chose the new carpet to go with it.”
Fabb Sofas was founded by DFS billionaire Lord Kirkham in 2016 and had nine branches across the UK. According to administrators PWC, 185 staff members have been made redundant with 15 from the Edinburgh store and warehouse.
According to the Fabb Sofas’ website, the limited company attempted to find a purchaser to bail them out but had to appoint administrators after failing to do so. When PWC were contacted they assured the Evening News that all customers would receive letters detailing the options available to them. They revealed that they were in ongoing discussions with a number of suppliers about fulfilling existing orders but were unable to disclose how much Fabb Sofas owed their creditors.
The Citizens Advice Bureau advises that customers fleeced by limited companies owned by shareholders who have restricted responsibility may be able to sort out their complaint with the liquidators.
Plans to auction off display stock to claw back some funds were posted online. Ronald said: “It’s shocking that they’re auctioning off stock. Why can’t they just give us our suite, or pay us back the money?”
Ronald and Elizabeth, 65, paid for the grey two-seater couch and checked cuddle chair with savings from their pensions and Elizabeth’s part time job at a printers. They’ve even lost the £50 delivery fee and £140 care plan.
Ronald has been left anxious and unable to sleep after his ordeal, which could have serious implications on his health. He said: “The doctor told me that if I got too stressed my heart could just give out. I’ve got to try and keep calm and not get too upset.
“It’s all just knocked me for six.”