Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

La-Z-Boy problems

with 7 comments

Really consider carefully whether a La-Z-Boy is a good purchase—particularly west of the Rockies, where prices are substantially higher.

I got a new El Dorado—wonderful chair—in March. There was considerable delay in filling the order—about six weeks—and the dealer was unable to track the shipment at all: he simply had to wait for the warehouse, which did not answer emails (and, he said, he could not call them). That was a bad sign.

But I did get the chair in March, and it was wonderful until December, when the seat cushion broke. That is a relatively short lifespan, given the cost of the chair. But it is covered by a lifetime warranty, so a service man come to my apartment, took notes from the documentation under the chair, and ordered a new part right at the end of the December. I was told it would take around 5 weeks.

After six weeks I started calling the local (San Jose) service center to find out when it would arrive. They could not tell me, and they repeatedly emailed the factory for information, but those emails were never answered. Apparently this is just how it works within La-Z-Boy: no one seemed surprised, and I was advised simply to accept that.

It did finally arrive two weeks ago, and we schedule a man to come out and install the new parts. He was a very nice guy, but he said he had never worked on this model before.

It seemed okay, but as I sat in it after he left, it became obvious that something was seriously wrong: first, when the foot rest is raised, the chair back falls back and will not stay upright. (I have adjusted the tension springs, but that does not help.) Formerly, I could have my feet up and the back would remain upright so I could lean against it. If I wanted to recline, I could do that with more pressure. Now it reclines about 6″-8″ with no pressure at all.

Also, when I do lean back, the seat and back sort twist: they tilt down to the right and left side raises up.

And, oddly, the seat seems higher: my feet no longer quite reach the floor when the chair is upright. Bigger cushion? Cushion not fully seated? Dunno.

This is all very uncomfortable, so (since I know the guy is here in town today) I called the service center to see whether he could come back and fix it. No, he cannot. The earliest he can return is just over 3 weeks from now—and, of course, it’s unclear whether he can fix it.

I could not get an earlier date, and I was frustrated. The service center did explain (several times) that there was nothing they could do. The idea was just that I accept it. I asked how I could escalate the issue, and they gave me a number that’s presumably at the home office in Michigan.

I called to register the complaint, but I doubt that any complaint was registered. The women I talked to (I was transferred once and accidentally disconnected my call once) were all very nice, but all they said was, “There’s nothing we can do,” “I’m sorry, but we really can’t help,” and so on.

I did ask them to let management know that this is intolerably bad service, and if they don’t fix it, eventually word will get out and their sales will fall off a cliff, and they nicely told me that all calls are recorded. I think they thought that was the best answer to my complaint. Other than that, it was a series of very pleasant and polite restatements of “We can’t help you.”

So I have a chair that’s horribly uncomfortable now—worse than with the broken cushion—and it will be just over 3 weeks before someone takes another crack at fixing it.

My advice: Do NOT buy a La-Z-Boy. When I complained to the guy who installed the new seat and cushion that the chair’s cushion had broken after just a few months of use, he commented, “They don’t make them like they used to.” And I would agree: they sure don’t. And the service, though polite, is abysmally poor. No one really cares, so far as I can tell.

UPDATE: Acting on the comment below, I looked up Stressless chairs, found they had a local dealer, and visited. They are indeed comfortable, come in three sizes (S, M, L, with me needing a Large), and seem quite comfortable. The footrest is not integral, so a minor inconvenience, but the chair is quite comfortable. Stressless chairs are made in Norway, La-Z-Boy in China, so that perhaps accounts for some difference in quality.

I’ll wait the three weeks for La-Z-Boy to deign to reappear and fix my chair, but if that’s unsuccessful, I’m getting a Stressless. Lesson learned: La-Z-Boy is OVER.

Written by LeisureGuy

5 March 2015 at 10:31 am

Posted in Business, Daily life

7 Responses

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  1. All I can say is “Stressless” . They are expensive but they hold their value and you can find deals online

    jay352

    5 March 2015 at 10:46 am

  2. A question. Where exactly are La-Z-Boy chairs made? The trials you have endured sound awfully familar.
    The exact same situation here in the Land of Smiles – where the La-Z-Boys are made locally. And yes, the same seat/spring problems. My final comment – “They ain’t what they used to be!”
    Good luck.

    Chris R

    5 March 2015 at 5:18 pm

  3. My information is that La-Z-Boys are now made in China. Stressless chairs (definitely worth a look) are made in Norway. I’m going to wait the three weeks for the next visit, and if I can’t get a satisfactory fix, I’m going to throw in the towel. Expensive lesson.

    LeisureGuy

    5 March 2015 at 5:53 pm

  4. Our sofas and recliners are all Stressless. While deceptively light, they are sturdy and well made. When it comes to a recliner though, nothing beats the Zero Gravity Chair (The Perfect Chair by HumanTouch is the original). Mine is 12 years old and has carried this rather large carcass for thousands of hours. It saved my life after back surgery as it was the only place I could comfortably sleep. At least worth a look and a test-sit. You can immediately feel the weight coming off your back as you recline. Only problem is that it’s very easy to fall asleep in it! There are now many imitations and the original is pretty pricey, but I do tend to go for the best as it pays off in the long run. http://www.humantouch.com/perfect-chairs.html

    Steve

    7 March 2015 at 6:17 am

  5. I’ll definitely take a look. One issue is that I do like to have my feet somewhat elevated but my back more or less upright, or with a very slight lean. The (old) La-Z-Boy and the Stressless allow that back—the back lean is optional and adjustable—and with the Zero Gravity Chair it looks as though elevating the feet requires reclining the back. Is that the case?

    LeisureGuy

    7 March 2015 at 10:32 am

  6. It is true that the legs and body move in unison, always maintaining the same geometry in the spine and hips. It takes a little getting used to but once you experience it and then try to sit in your previous “comfortable” position you realize how uncomfortable it actually was. I had the same experience with my Aaron chair which while it always felt super comfortable, I eventually realized that it was hurting me because the rim of the seat was putting too much pressure on he nerves in my legs. In any case, YMMV and you must try it to see it it’s for you.

    Steve

    7 March 2015 at 12:32 pm

  7. Nearest store is in San Jose. I’ll definitely take a look. La-Z-Boy did indeed manage to send out a customer service rep this Thursday, so the wait is one week rather than three. I hope this one can fix it.

    LeisureGuy

    7 March 2015 at 12:41 pm


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