No couch, no problem?
May 1, 2012 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Couch arriving much later than expected (over a month), having guests up before then, best options?

I ordered a sleeper sofa from an independent furniture store and was told it would arrive in up to 5 weeks. Week 4 (last week) I called to find out the status and was told the couch was delayed due to a shipping issue and would arrive in another 3-4 weeks.

Problem: I am having around 4 house guests (we are all female mid-twenties) up to my tiny apartment in 2 weeks.

Temporary living room furniture: 2 uncomfortable wooden chairs, a fabric side chair and a blow-up mattress.

1) Renting a couch? Can you recommend a good (affordable and reputable) place in Toronto to rent a couch for a weekend? (I did do a little looking online, but some have websites with prices and some just have call us numbers, looking to see if anyone has used the services before and can recommend one).
2) Any other options?
3) Alternatively, does this really matter? How would you feel about sitting on a blow-up mattress, that you will eventually be sleeping on???
posted by devonia to Home & Garden (16 answers total)
Being in your mid-twenties and travelling to another city, to visit a friend and stay in her small apartment, is not the time to complain about the quality of sleeping and sitting accommodations in your friend's apartment. No matter how good your furniture was, there'd still be an aspect of "sleepover party" to the weekend, so you may as well embrace it.

Unless these friends are notoriously high-maintenance and you anticipate spending the whole weekend listening to them complain (... in which case maybe I'd rent a hotel room instead of a sofa, but that's just me)
Or unless one of these friends has a medical issue that would make sitting and sleeping on/near the floor a real problem.
posted by aimedwander at 7:47 AM on May 1, 2012

Unless you're really in love with the specific couch you ordered, you could try cancelling the order, getting a refund, and buying a couch from someplace else with quicker delivery times. However,

Alternatively, does this really matter? How would you feel about sitting on a blow-up mattress, that you will eventually be sleeping on???

I'd feel fine about it. Your friends will understand!
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:49 AM on May 1, 2012

Yeah, I would explain the problem to the store and say that you need to cancel the order unless they can somehow help you out.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:53 AM on May 1, 2012

Another vote for calling the store. See if they'll let you borrow a floor model or something until your couch arrives. If they are reluctant, explain that you will otherwise need to cancel your order.

But in answer to your other question, I would not really mind sitting on and sleeping on a blow-up mattress if I'm staying with a friend.
posted by goggie at 8:11 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Unfortunately, it is standard procedure in import furniture sales to lie about estimated delivery dates, and it's not unusual for staff to routinely quote lead times at the point of sale that halve the true waiting time. It sucks, but it is absolutely endemic; it's done because there's a belief that if you tell the customer the real lead time, they'll find it so unacceptable they'll either leave and go to your competitor (who will quote a shorter, more palatable lead time—which will of course be a lie) or harangue you until you finally promise a shorter delivery date (which is usually impossible, and therefore a lie). It's awful, but it's how the industry seems to work.

Because delays are expected, sofa bed stores usually have a small number of 'loan sofas' available for particularly aggrieved customers. Ask nicely, but if they resist, apply some pressure. Be aware, however, that a loan sofa probably won't be the same product as the one you have on order (so you may have to check delivery access) and won't be new.

Even if you end up getting a blow-up mattress, make sure you leverage this delay into a discount off your final payment—or, if you've already paid in full, ask for something to be thrown in as a goodwill gesture (e.g. a couple of throw pillows).

A few people have suggested cancelling your order. That probably won't be easy. The company will likely resist, and the sales paperwork is usually designed to be as vague as possible about estimated delivery dates. The terms and conditions will often try to make it seem that you have fewer consumer rights than you actually do. And if the piece on order is in any way bespoke, that will actually affect your legal right to cancel. However, threatening to cancel—even if you don't really plan to—can obviously be a bargaining chip in getting a loan sofa and/or discount.
posted by hot soup girl at 8:33 AM on May 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

So long as you don't have pets that would disturb me, I would have no problems sitting on/sleeping on an air mattress. Do check with your friends first. They may be more finicky than I am.
posted by myselfasme at 8:39 AM on May 1, 2012

If I'm visiting you then it's not to sit on your couch. And I really prefer air mattresses to sleeper couches anyway.

In the dorms all beds were treated as couches anyway. This isn't too different.
posted by theichibun at 8:45 AM on May 1, 2012

Air mattresses are OK beds but poor chairs. Some other kind of seating might be a good idea, even if it's just a couple directors chairs or something.

If you keep your eyes open, it's the end of the college school year. Back in the day I managed to acquire a like-new couch because some people in my apartment building were graduating and were just going to put it on the curb. Not sure what the bed bug situation is like in Toronto (or if there even is one there) so some caution may be appropriate.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:49 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

A blow up mattress is better than any sofa bed.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:50 AM on May 1, 2012

Get some camping chairs to sit on, sleep on the air mattress, negotiate a discount or freebies from the furniture place. It may help to let them know you'll be telling this story to all your friends, as they sit on camping furniture, BTW.
posted by SMPA at 8:57 AM on May 1, 2012

Your friends are most likely not going to care at all. Maybe if y'all were over 35 sure, but nobody expects their friends to have fancy furniture in your mid 20s.
posted by manicure12 at 9:09 AM on May 1, 2012

Inflatable beds have come a long way from squeeky pool floats. My brother and I used to trade around a temporary bed similar to this for guests. Our parents stayed on it for three weeks at one point and they were quite happy. You even dress them with proper linens. They look exactly like a bed when assembled, but fold up to fit in the back of your closet afterwards. They take about 30 minutes to set up.

They are expensive, however.
posted by bonehead at 9:11 AM on May 1, 2012

How would you feel about sitting on a blow-up mattress, that you will eventually be sleeping on???

There's no way that's going to be comfortable. Too low to the ground and no back support. Air mattresses are good enough for guests to sleep on, but they make for terrible seating.

Maybe get a free or cheap couch off of Craigslist, and then put it back on Craigs when you don't need it anymore?
posted by 23skidoo at 9:18 AM on May 1, 2012

If you've got limited floor space, I'd say don't inflate the mattress until the sleepers are ready to sleep. I'm in my 40s and still perfectly fine with sitting on the floor (a cushion is nice, sure) when visiting friends if there's not enough chairs to go around.
posted by rtha at 10:07 AM on May 1, 2012

If you want a temporary couch, don't rent one. You can get a decent couch on Craigslist for $50. Looking at my local Craigslist now, there are several leather couches (less likelihood or stains/odors) in decent shape for under $100. That would definitely work for a stand-in for several weeks until your real couch gets there, and then just put that one back online, or donate it.
posted by catatethebird at 10:37 AM on May 1, 2012

Hey, thanks for the answers, I'm going to try calling the company to see about a loaner.

Bed bugs are unfortunately a real and big concern in Toronto, so I am not comfortable getting a cheap couch from craigslist for that reason.
posted by devonia at 11:01 AM on May 1, 2012

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