TODAY we bring you a mystery that might tax the investigative powers of Hercule Poirot himself.
It started back in September 2012, when Ann Atkinson, had Carpetright, of Kilmarnock, fit carpets in her house in the village of Muirkirk, East Ayrshire.
It was a big job. There were two flights of stairs, two landings and six bedrooms to be carpeted.
It was done and all looked fine…for a few months. But then a few frayed bits appeared at the side of the carpets. Then a few more.
It only happened with the stairs and landings, but quite quickly there was a two-inch margin where the carpet was reduced to the backing material.
There was, Ann thought, clearly something wrong with the carpets or how they were fitted.
She complained to Carpetright.
And, give the carpet firm its due, it came to replace the carpet.
The job looked fine, as it had the first time, for a little while…before the fraying started again.
This was puzzling. What could cause carpets to fray? Ann was taking care not to vacuum too vigorously, or brush too hard. The previous carpet on her stairs and landing didn’t fray like this.
But it got so bad there was a danger of tripping on her staircase. There were loose strands of backing material and wide bands of bare threads. She got back in touch with Carpetright.
Investigations were made but no answers found. The gripper rods and underlay was examined, but seemed OK. So another, better quality, carpet was put down. The third attempt to solve the problem.
It happened again.
Within a year the fraying was as bad as it had ever been.
Ann informed Carpetright again and was quite taken aback when it suggested some sort of insect infestation might be to blame.
She swiftly called in her local council’s environmental health department at her own expense. They made an inspection and Ann is the proud owner of a certificate which states “No infestation of insects in property”.
Whatever is going wrong, the carpet isn’t being eaten by bugs.
Carpetright got serious.
In February 2016 they paid for a full re-fit, even allowing Ann to select a new shade of carpet as she had redecorated since the original fitting.
It was a high-quality carpet and the firm got in a master fitter from the carpet fitting governing body – the Flooring Industry Training Association – to oversee the job.
New underlay and new gripper rods were put in and, when the job was finished, representatives from the company inspected to ensure every aspect had been fitted properly, checked and completed to the highest standard.
That was 21 months ago and the carpets, as you can see from our pictures, are once more badly frayed and bare at the edges on the stairs and on the landing.
Carpetright is baffled, Ann is baffled – even Raw Deal is baffled.
Ann, understandably, just wants a carpet that doesn’t fall apart. Carpetright feels it has done all it can, having laid four carpets.
Toni Adams, head of customer experience at Carpetright, told Raw Deal: “We’ve been trying to resolve this for a number of years.
“We’ve investigated all elements – the product, the fitting, we’ve considered environmental factors in the house – all to no avail.
“After spending considerable time and money on multiple replacements and refitting, we’re at a loss to see what to do further.
“We sympathise with Mrs Atkinson and hope she uncovers whatever is causing this problem, it’s certainly not something we’ve come across before.”
It remains a true mystery.
Do you have any idea what is wrong with Ann’s carpets? Surely someone must have seen this sort of problem before? How did you fix it? Are you a carpet-fitter with the experience to solve this problem?
Email the Raw Deal team on firstname.lastname@example.org