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Getting to the Kernel of the issue with a £995 Loaf table | Money


I purchased a Kernel extendable table from online store Loaf. I paid £995 plus £39 for delivery. It was described as solid ash yet it turned out to be a large piece of plywood with a thin (5-6mm) layer of ash. The company offered an exchange for another table or a refund. But what galls me is that they’ve been advertising it as solid. I would never have chosen it had I known how it was constructed but it is not possible to view it anywhere.

I still have the table because, despite my disappointment, I haven’t found anything else I like the look of as much and I can’t face the hassle of returning it and finding a new one.
CM, Stowmarket, Suffolk

This underlines the difficulties of buying items like furniture online without always being able to check the actual quality and finish. Loaf – which was founded in 2008 by Charlie Marshall, who made it his mission to open “the most laid-back store in Britain” – does have physical stores but your table was not displayed.

Loaf says it was disappointed to hear you weren’t happy and confirmed it had offered an exchange, or full refund. By law, retailers are responsible for making sure the products they sell are accurately described.

However, it admitted straight away it was at fault with its description, saying: “We have to put our hands up; it was an oversight and we have corrected it [on the website].” It says it uses “around 7mm of solid ash and back[s] it with a separate sheet of plywood. Rather like oak engineered floorboards, this creates a much better quality, more stable product as it allows for the nature of wood: expanding and shrinking from temperature or moisture, which can otherwise cause cracks and warps over time”.

It adds: “Our aim is to make products which we’d all want in our own homes and will last for years. So thank you for helping us improve our communication.”

You decided to return it for a refund. The Kernel table is now in the clearance section so it was over-priced, or unpopular, or both …

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at [email protected] or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to terms and conditions



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