A recent survey conducted by Squaretrade, a U.S. provider of product protection plans (part of the Allstate insurance group) suggests that more than half of American households have damaged a piece of furniture in the past year. That’s a lot of spills, breakage, dents, rips, and burns. We’re not surprised.
For the past 40 years, we’ve learned how Canadians have found innovative ways to mess up their home furnishings. As Canada’s largest provider of furniture protection plans (we also look after appliances and mattresses) our days are spent helping consumers clean, repair, fix or replace their home furnishing items when an accident occurs.
That same Squaretrade survey also found that more than half of all furniture issues involve stains – usually from juice, coffee or alcoholic beverages – and often caused by adults (not the kids or pets). That matches our experience as well.
What the survey really highlighted is the cost of damaged furniture. To restore furniture, customers can spend as much as $287USD on average – oftentimes, more than half the product’s original purchase price.
In our experience, customers really want to have their furniture looking great, particularly when it gets near the holiday season when friends and family start visiting. Turning a cushion over or covering a soiled area with a blanket may be one way to solve a stain issue. We think there are better solutions.
More than 80% of the stains we are asked to remove usually involve common household products and customers aren’t at all embarrassed to tell us how the stains happened.
Nevertheless, we’ve developed some really great products that help remove stains quickly. In fact, our products work so well, customers often call back and ask us for more. (How messy is their life?)
And when the annoying stain is too large or isn’t able to be eliminated using one of our proprietary products, then we turn to professional methods to get those nasty blemishes removed.
Finding a talented professional who knows how to clean or fix furniture can be difficult and expensive. Having a furniture protection plan can help alleviate that challenge because we know the good technicians and those who take pride in their work.
When an item can’t be repaired and requires replacing, the traditional approach has been to exchange it with the same item, especially if it was purchased as a set.
But even that is no longer the case today. With furniture fashions changing so often, customers don’t feel compelled to be “matchy-matchy” – which probably accounts for the eclectic, mix-and-match trend to furnishing their home.
Our teams take pride in finding solutions for our customers who find themselves in a messy furniture situation. For us, the more challenging the problem the better. To paraphrase a well-known insurance company, we’ve seen a few things so we know how to solve almost anything – especially when it comes to furniture, appliances, and bedding. After all, it’s what we do and we get it – we’re homeowners too!
By Brad Geddes
Brad Geddes, CEO & President of ZucoraHome regularly shares insights about the Canadian home furnishing market, changing consumer behaviours, and the process he’s leading to transform ZucoraHome into a smarter living business that leverages IoT (Internet of Things) technologies with professional home services.