Just to add to the discussion. My wife & I helped my mother claim in 2011 from CSL as "leather" was peeling and frame was bowing, after 12 months and much to-ing and fro-ing they recovered the suite. now in 2015 the leather is peeling worse than ever and not just in the head area, the sofa manual recliner has also ceased to fiunction. We are in the process of going through it all again.
This time I contacted the furniture ombudsman who is as much use as a cardboard car jack! CSL now sofaworks are without doubt the worst company ever to deal with, do not take my word for it, in 2014 my wife and i claimed against Harveys for the same issue of leather peeling, we had 4 inspections (3 Harveys sent) and one inspector stated he no longer does any work for sofaworks as he was pressured constantly to reject claims and he has first hand experience of their underhand tricks to avoid at all costs doing any rectifications. The inspector we hired was not cheap, but he committed on the report he was prepared to go to court on oath to back up what he said. Harveys subsequently gave a full credit after 3 years but we will never buy from a large outlet again.
The irony is my mother had two beautiful bespoke hand made sofas from a small company in Stockport and just wanted a change as she had had them for over 15 years, they still looked like new and no sagging either. The company in Stockport even came out after 10 years as a castor had fell off and they repaired it for free - now that is customer service. My mother is disabled and does not need this grief, she regrets every single day selling her sofas to buy the rubbish from CSL/Sofaworks.
I have had dealings with ombudsmen before who gave dreadful advice in a mortgage complaint many years ago and it is my experience they will consistently favour the supplier in a bid to close things down ASAP. I have only included the ombudsman this time as my parents are fast approaching the "fit for purpose" timeframe and i wanted their input, never mind the repair was in 2012, a year was lost pursuing last claim, the 6 or 7 year window for claims is always from the original purchase date which I find punitive. therefore we are not going to accept a repair this time and are prepared to go to court.
My advice to anyone is plan your approach, dated letter/follow up when required/commit to court proceedings/etc... Do NOT become disheartened or give up, this is what they want. Follow all the required procedures otherwise they will be used against you. Itemise every cost, I have successfully billed for time, or used it as a bargaining tool, so when their customer service manager wants to come out for a £50 charge I bill them for £50 for taking time off or travelling or writing letters. I once managed to wipe out a £500 claim from a sports club by sending them identical billing to respond. I am sure it a grey area and i find even if there is no precedent allowing you to charge, most companies do not know either.
My wife and I are becoming quite accustomed to standing up for our consumer rights, we have rightly compained when needed and sought recompense when appropriate, having lived overseas for 15 years i can assure everybody we are bottom of the league when it comes to customer service in the UK, we need to do soemthing about it.....rant over!!