After falling in love with a Brazilian Slate Honed Hearth in a local showroom, we decided to purchase one from a local stone manufacturer (where the showroom sourced it from). We stressed on the phone that we wanted to ensure it had no patterns in it (like the one in the show room) but they stressed that they couldn't guarantee that there wouldn't be 'some' variation. Unfortunately, to our disappointment the slate hearth has lots of unsightly marks which appear to be stains or water marks, as seen in the pictures below:- http://i.imgur.com/iN9LsB4.jpg [url]http://i.imgur.com/kJ03Ts9.jpg [/url]
Everyone we have spoken to agrees with us that this looks like water marks - not natural tone variation. We have asked the local stone manufacturer if they would let us exchange or get a refund but they are refusing to do this - stating that we warned about the natural tone variation. Unfortunately because this is honed, we have been told that there is nothing we can do to hide these marks.
Are there any slate experts online who can confirm if this is natural tone variation or water stains? The company stated on the phone they were using a new machine to cut this hearth - perhaps this is what caused the problem. We did not see the item before paying it (they insisted on payment before they cut and honed it), as we were happy with the recommendation from the local showroom. When we collected it the picked up an invoice stating us that they cannot accept refunds based on 'share' variations - something we didn't know until we collected the hearth/invoice!
Where do we stand from a consumer rights angle? Are we entitled to a refund or exchange? Surely there is a threshold to 'natural' tone variation and there should be some quality control to what they produce.
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