Hell hath no fury like those scorned by a crappy couch.
West Elm removed a couch from its website after a piece titled “Why Does This One Couch From West Elm Suck So Much?” was published last week at The Awl. The story generated so much buzz among disgruntled customers the company is now offering some buyers replacements or refunds.
The “Peggy Couch” is a tufted mid-century modern-style sofa with cloth-covered buttons that reportedly pop off after mild use.
The comments reviewing the couch on a photo West Elm posted a year ago, below, are egregiously bad. One says “This is the absolute WORST piece of furniture I’ve ever purchased!!! DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY OR TIME!” while another calls it the “worst purchase ever.”
In her story for The Awl, writer Anna Hezel said she paid $1,200 for the couch, which shortly “began to disintegrate.” West Elm’s customer service sent her a shoddy button-repair kit to fix the couch, she said, and employees assured her that the shelf life of West Elm couches like the Peggy is between “one and three years... with light use.”
Her story ends when a couch leg snaps off during a party and the whole sofa collapses.
The tale served as a rallying cry: Twitter users who own or owned a Peggy began speaking out, saying Hezel’s piece is an accurate representation of life with the couch.
The Peggy is now gone from Westelm.com, with no landing page to even indicate it ever existed. On Tuesday, one West Elm customer service rep told us she couldn’t find the Peggy anywhere in the company’s system; another said via email that we should check back for stock in mid-March.
On Wednesday, West Elm issued a statement to HuffPost, saying they would offer refunds or replacements to customers who purchased the couch after July 2014:
We were sorry to learn of our customers’ experience with the Peggy Collection and have decided to temporarily remove it from our U.S. and Canada assortment – online and in stores – until we can better understand and resolve any issues.
We stand behind the integrity of our products and take customer feedback seriously. Therefore, we are offering owners of defective Peggy sofas, sectionals and chairs, a full refund or replacement for orders placed in the U.S. and Canada after July 2014. Customers with Peggy Collection related issues should contact the special support number (888) 922-7870 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll keep our eyes peeled for the Peggy’s reappearance, but perhaps this just is what happens when you name a couch “Peggy.”
This article has been updated with the statement from West Elm.