5 On Your Side

Sofa Ad Not Sitting Well For Johnston Woman

Posted April 6, 2006

— Ads are intended to entice you to visit a business and hopefully buy something. Sherry House found a recent ad for a sofa misleading, but the business disagreed, so she called Five On Your Side for help.

Sherry House saw an ad for a 66-inch leather sofa for $699.

"It was perfect. It's what I've been wanting. It's a recliner sofa, leather, beautiful," she said.

House headed to La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Raleigh.

"You know I had ad in hand and money in pocket. I was ready to buy it," she said.

However, the store was not ready to sell it -- at least not for $699. The 88.5-inch sofa pictured in the ad costs $1,499. A salesman showed her the 69-inch sofa she could get for $699. House said it looked nothing like the one in the ad.

"I was floored. It was a black, leather sofa. Actually, it was like a love seat. It was not even as long as a sofa, and it didn't recline. It was just a very plain, boxy-looking sofa," she said.

House left without buying.

"I just got to thinking about it, and I was like I can't leave this alone," she said.

So House called the manager, Steven Ashby.

"I said you know this is false advertising. And he said, 'Ma'am, it's just a picture.' He said there's nowhere on that ad that says that sofa is the one that's on sale," she said.

Ashby would not budge, so House complained to the BBB and Five on Your Side.

When Five on Your Side called Steven Ashby, he said the ad originally said "sofas from $699." But he said they deleted the word "from" because the phrase "69 inches" clarified it.

But in a letter to the BBB owner, Connie Ashby said "from" was "accidentally omitted." She adds, "obviously, the item pictured in the ad was an 88.5-inch full-reclining sofa, not a 69-inch sofa."

House does not think it's quite so obvious.

"I really think they should give me the couch for the sale price. Because that's exactly what they're advertising in this ad," she said.

That's what La-Z-Boy did. She paid $699 for the leather sofa she saw in the ad.

La-Z-Boy has since changed the ad. It's the same picture, but each piece is specifically priced to end the confusion. It worked out for La-Z-Boy as well. House was so happy with what she paid for the sofa that she bought the matching loveseat and recliner at the advertised prices.


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