Retiree sees red over mould on new wardrobes

Devaraju showing a photo of one of the three wardrobe units which were affected by mould.

A RETIRED Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) officer’s joy of finally moving into his own home was marred when the wardrobe units he bought from a furniture store became ridden with mould.

R. Devaraju said he bought several furniture items including three wardrobe units costing RM5,697 from the shop in Taman Nusa Bestari, Johor Baru, on Feb 1, 2023.

“Other items that we bought from the shop included a sofa set, dining table and TV console,” he said when met outside the Johor Baru Consumer Claims Tribunal at Menara Ansar.

In total, Devaraju and his wife bought furniture worth RM17,500 from the shop.

The 61-year-old claimant said the furniture was for his new double-storey house in Bandar Dato Onn, Johor Baru, which he moved into after living in the police quarters for over 37 years.

“I told the salesperson that we only wanted wardrobes that were resistant to mould,” he said.

Devaraju said the salesperson guaranteed all furniture sold there were free of fungus and had promised to take back the items if they became mouldy.

However, the claimant said mould started to grow on the wardrobe units after several months.

“We informed the shop about problem but they refused to replace the wardrobe with new ones,” said Devaraju, adding that there were no issues with other furniture bought from the shop.

A store representative, who attended the hearing, told the tribunal it was not stated in the sales invoice that the three wardrobe units were resistant to mould but the claimant still went ahead to buy them.

“We even sent our workers on Jan 9 this year, to the claimant’s house to spray antifungal chemicals on the affected furniture,” the respondent said.

Tribunal president Lee Chee Thim ordered the respondent to return RM5,697 to the claimant within two weeks, and for the claimant to return the three wardrobe units.

The respondent, however, said the company was only willing to refund the sum paid provided the claimant deleted negative reviews which he posted online.

Lee ordered Devaraju to take down the reviews posted by him and also reminded the respondent that the company could be fined up to RM50,000 if it failed to adhere to the directives given by the tribunal.

Those needing assistance in regard to tribunal matters can call 07-227 1755/1766.

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