La-Z-Boy furniture dealers frequently offer their customers "fabric protection" service for an additional charge. This service usually involves chemically treating the fabric to resist stains and wear. Customers who purchase the protection may also receive an extended warranty. But they should be aware that these plans come from the dealers, not La-Z-Boy. The company itself does not offer or endorse such plans.
Though best known as a maker of recliners, La-Z-Boy produces a full range of furniture under about a half-dozen brand names. The La-Z-Boy brand focuses on living-room and family-room furniture, including sofas and sectionals; sleepers; ottomans; coffee, end and occasional tables; and media centers. The company sells La-Z-Boy products both in independent furniture stores and through a network of "branded" retail outlets, including La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries, which are stores devoted exclusively to La-Z-Boy products and La-Z-Boy Comfort Studios, which are special sections of general furniture stores. According to the company's 2011 annual report, the network included 304 Furniture Galleries and 526 Comfort Studios. However, 90 percent of these branded outlets are independently owned franchises. The company itself owns just 83 Furniture Galleries.
Dealers and Company Stance
La-Z-Boy's website stresses that fabric protection plans are sold by independent furniture dealers and franchisees -- not by La-Z-Boy. The company says it neither provides nor endorses any fabric protection plans. It advises customers with questions or complaints about fabric protection to contact the dealer that sold them the plan in the first place.
What Is Fabric Protection?
Fabric protection typically means treating the fabric with a chemical that is supposed to prevent stains from setting into the fibers, keep the color from fading and reduce friction wear on the fibers. Since La-Z-Boy isn't involved in providing protection plans, individual dealers make their own arrangements. Some La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Oregon, for example, contracted with Guardian Protection Products to provide fabric protection service. Guardian's service included treating furniture with an Environmental Protection Agency-approved chemical, supplying a cleaning kit to customers and guaranteeing the protection for five years.
What La-Z-Boy Offers
Dealers sell fabric protection plans as a supplement to the limited warranty available from La-Z-Boy. The manufacturer advertises a "lifetime" warranty on its products, but on a typical recliner, this lifetime coverage applies only to the frame and the actual reclining mechanism. The fabric is under warranty for only a year and even then, the warranty applies only to fabric separation, seam failure and loss of the fabric's "nap," which is essentially the "fuzziness" of the fabric surface. The warranty doesn't cover staining or fading.