Beaconsfield resident Lona Stewart feels cheated out of $838 after the reclining chair her husband Donald McGurk bought for her mother-in-law cannot be returned or exchanged by Brault et Martineau after it proved to be impossible to use for the 85-year-old lady.
When the chair was delivered to Margaret McGurk’s Chateau Dollard room on Jan. 9, the lady tried it but was unable to sit back up because her legs weren’t strong enough. A maid and a nurse had to get her out of the chair.
Since then, Stewart has been in touch with Brault et Martineau to try and exchange the chair for an electric one that would be easier to manipulate but she was told that there is no exchange or refund by the store and the head office.
“They said that since they delivered the chair, they can’t resell it. I don’t get that because the chair has been sitting in a room. Nobody has used it. It’s a brand new chair. The delivery person put it together in a room. Does that sound right?,” she said.
“If it is their policy, shouldn’t it be advertized? Shouldn’t it be written on the bill that there is no exchange and no refund, that all merchandise is final sale? It wasn’t advertized and it wasn’t written on the bill,” she continued.
Our many calls to the Brault et Martineau head office were not returned but The Chronicle reached the Office de la protection du consommateur to obtain an expert’s opinion.
“First off, all sales are final. A merchant can take back the goods but according to its own policy of returns. Once you exit the store or have made a promise to buy with a down payment, there is nothing forcing the merchant to terminate this agreement and take back the goods unless it is not working properly. But if the product is functioning properly, unfortunately in this case, the chair is not defective and therefore there is nothing forcing the merchant to take it back or trade it,” said press relations officer Jean Jacques Préaux.
Préaux also said since all sales are final, there is nothing that forces a retailer to advertize this state of fact. Stewart hopes her unfortunate story will at least serve as a warning to potential customers of the furniture retailer.