Freedom Furniture

 Laptop Table II Mobile


Freedom Furniture Laptop Table    1

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Acer Ferrari Laptop   

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Click Here To Watch A Video Demonstration Of A Freedom Furniture Laptop Table Throwing A Stunt Laptop

I recently bought a "Freedom Furniture Laptop Table II Mobile" for my one week old Acer Ferrari laptop.

After checking the screws were tightly in place and re-reading the instruction/warning booklet, I sat down and proceeded to to adjust it.

Little did I expect that one of the adjustment buttons would throw the laptop backwards onto the floor, smashing the screen.

To date their response has been that it was "my mistake" for not watching their in-shop product demonstration (that was never offered to me), and that a little warning sticker _underneath_ the table was "adequate warning" that their table would destroy any laptop on their laptop table. 

The adjustment controls on the table are similar to those on most office chairs.  Given Freedom's reasoning, every person that does not climb underneath their office chair searching for warning stickers before adjusting it's height or angle should expect that they will be thrown backwards onto the floor.  Please keep this in mind if you're considering purchasing any of their furniture.  Their product is clearly unfit for the purpose for which it is sold.

Given that I read the entire instruction manual specifically looking for warnings, I don't think I was given "adequate warning".  The main warning in the instruction booklet is regarding the use of harsh abrasives whilst cleaning it. 

 To date, I've filed a complaint with  Consumer Affairs Victoria, and the following websites:


Correspondance with Freedon Furniture at bottom of page.

Click images for larger versions  


Initial email to Freedom: 

 Attention: Nikki

LETTER OF DEMAND

Dear Nikki,

I recently bought a Freedom Laptop Table II Mobile from the Richmond store. Following it flipping my laptop onto the floor, smashing the screen and rendering it completely unusable, I do not consider it fit for the purpose it was sold and want the laptop's immediate repair or replacement escalated as an urgent priority.

I work for a global computer anti-virus company and my role requires that I have access to my laptop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Having my laptop broken means that I am now unable to properly perform my role until it is repaired or replaced.

Following the very poor customer service I have received from Freedom to date (detailed below), I have taken the time to capture the issues in writing immediately to ensure that this is addressed as a high priority. I have also filmed the table flipping so that you can see how poorly it is designed and will call your Customer Service line to escalate this verbally.

To ensure you are clear on the events, I have outlined them in detail below:

  • 05/04/2006: Ordered Freedom Taptop Table II Mobile from Freedom Richmond. Informed that Laptop Table would arrive in store in one week and that I would be called when it was ready to collect (12/04/2006).

  • 20/04/2006: Received no notification from Freedom, so went into the store to enquire whether the Laptop Table had arrived yet. I was advised that the table would now not be ready for collection until a full month later than originally advised. I received no apology for the delay and inconvenience and no alternative.

  • 04/05/2006 PM: Informed that Laptop Table had arrived.

  • 05/05/2005 PM: Collected laptop table.

    • Assembled it, reading all instructions provided in the booklet both prior to and after assembling it. (I have added these below FYI)

    • Checked that all components were assembled correctly, and that all screws and bolts were fully tightened.

    • Sat down at table with laptop, preparing to use it.

    • Pressed adjustment button to adjust to comfortable position.

    • Laptop table's laptop tray dropped suddenly, flipping laptop onto floor and completely shattering the LCD screen.

  • 05/05/2005 PM: At this point, I returned to the Freedom Richmond store with both my broken laptop and Freedom Laptop Table II Mobile.

  • I spoke with one member of your floor staff.  When she was unable to help me, she called for her manager and while waiting for the manager to arrive, she told me that it was "your mistake" and that I should have watched a product demonstration before using the product. When I told her that I was not offered a demonstration, she told me I should have been given one.

  • Manager arrived, and said it was beyond the scope of what she could deal with and referred me to the customer support line on 1300 135 588.

  • 06/05/2006 (Saturday AM), I phoned customer support and spoke to Daene (sp?). She advised that to escalate the issue, I needed contact the Customer Support Manager, Nikki, through customersupport@freedom.com.au.

Nikki - To show you how unfit for purpose the Freedom Laptop Table II Mobile is, I have placed a demonstration with a replica laptop at the following link:

http://arg.zero.googlepages.com/FreedomLaptopTableIIMobile.wmv.

I expect to be contacted as a matter of priority to have this issue escalated and resolved immediately. You can contact me directly on my mobile – 0413 278 675, or via return email.

In anticipation of your immediate response,

Jason Argo

----

ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS:

* Before you begin to assemble your new peice of furniture, please check to ensure that all parts have been supplied.

* Follow instructions closely as deviation from them may void your warranty and present a possible safety risk.

* It is recommended that assembly is done on a soft surface like carpet to avoid any damage.

* If you experience any problems with your new purchase please phone our Customer Service Hotline 1800 807 416 (Customers outside Australia should contact their closest Freedom store.)

CARE INSTRUCTIONS:

GENERAL

Periodically check and re-tighten any fasteners. Wipe down all surfaces with a clean cloth.

METAL

Do not use harsh abrasives or cleaners. If powder coated finish is damaged, repair as soon as possible. Apply a clear or colour matched nail polish - this will protect the metal underneath from rusting.

PVC

Do not use harsh abrasives, cleaners or timber polishes. To remove stubborn stains, use warm soapy water and a clean cloth. Ensure the surface is completely dry after the stain is removed. Remove any spills as quickly as possibly (sic) as this may damage the material underneath.

----

 After being informed Freedom could not access website.

 Attention: Nikki


I have attached the movie clip listed below, along with several photos of the laptop after falling from the table.  The movie (.wmv) and photos are also available at the page http://arg.zero.googlepages.com/freedomlaptoptable (all confirmed to be valid links).  The .wmv files should be viewable on any Windows machine, but it can be encoded to Quicktime or any other format that enables you to view it.

Please let me know if you need any other information, such as Freedom docket number, etc.

Cheers,
Jason Argo
 

Response from Freedom Furniture 

 
Dear Mr Argo,

RE: YOUR DOCKET NUMBER RIS 3115463

We thank you for your communications dated 15 May 2006 in relation to
your purchase of the mobile Laptop MKII Table.

A warning sticker, which is permanently affixed to the underside of the
desk/table top (which is visible in your video and would also have been
visible during assembly of the product), specifically instructs that
objects (ie a laptop) are to be removed from the top of the desk before
any adjustment is made.

Whilst we regret your dissatisfaction with the product and the
inconvenience you have described to us, as the warning label instructs,
the laptop should not have been on the table when it was adjusted.

The product has adequate warning with the intention of preventing an
occurrence such as this. As the product has not failed we are unable to
assist you with a damages claim.


Yours faithfully,



Nikki Palmer
Customer Service Manager
FREEDOM GROUP LTD
 

Subsequent response to Freedom Furniture

 
Dear Nikki,

I don't consider this is a fair outcome at all.  I read the entire instruction booklet looking for warnings prior to using Freedom's laptop table, and had my laptop screen destroyed as a direct result of using the laptop table.  Adequate warning would have been to include it in the instruction booklet.

The height and angle adjustments are similar to those found on most office chairs.  Given your reasoning, the general public should look underneath their chairs searching for warnings prior to adjusting them for fear of being thrown backwards.  Office chairs are designed to safely support office staff, and I would think that laptop tables would be designed to safely support laptop computers.

One thing I do consider myself lucky for, is that it wasn't my 3 year old niece that pressed the adjustment button.  You've seen the video showing the speed at which the laptop is thrown.  Any small child near the table when a 4kg object is thrown at that speed would be in quite some danger.

Given that my laptop screen was destroyed as a direct result of using the Freedom's laptop table, I think that Freedom should assist in its damage claim.

I've filed a complaint with Consumer Affairs and have submitted the photos/video/emails to www.seven.com.au/todaytonight, and await a response.

Regards,
Jason Argo

PS: Incidentally, if Freedom is considering making a mark III version of this table, the safety could be greatly improved by having two springs leading from under the tabletop to the vertical pole.  This would keep the tabletop more stable during adjustments, but still allow the angle to be easily adjusted. 
 
 

Freedom's response

 Dear Jason,

RE:     YOUR DOCKET NUMBER RIS 3115463

We refer to your further communications of 26 May 2006 in relation to
Laptop MKII Table.

We confirm that there is a warning label affixed to the table that clearly
states to remove all items from the tabletop prior to adjustments being
made.

We believe that adequate warning is provided with the product and
unfortunately we are unable to assist you any further in relation to your
claim.

Yours faithfully,


Nikki Palmer
Customer Service Manager
FREEDOM GROUP LTD

Outcome 

Consumer Affairs have since replied saying that Freedom Furniture are standing by their statement that the sticker under the table is "adequate warning" that their table will destroy any laptop upon it during adjustments (despite the lack of any such warning in the instruction booklet).

I'm standing by my statement that their "adequate warning" is inadequate, and a laptop table that will destroy any laptop placed on it during a minor adjustment isn't fit for the purpose it was sold for.

We'll keep you posted.