Hi, just updating the board on the query I raised above in October. I heeded the advice above and sent two letters. I received pleasant telephone calls from both head office and the branch. An upholsterer manager visited and inspected, again very nice manner, polite and professional, offered the sofa to be repaired, which I declined. He accepted my choice, although did his job and explained thoroughly what a repair would entail. He said that he would contact his manager, who would deal with it. The manager visited me at home and inspected the sofa, again a very nice man. He went over the option of repair, but without feeling under pressure or intimidated I declined and requested a refund. He agreed to a full refund and collection of the faulty sofa. As I had purchased it via finance company, it took about 4 weeks from I reported the fault until I received the money I had already paid towards it (which I did not expect) and my finance cancelled.
I must say after reading a lot of posts on the web about DFS, I was extremely anxious about the prospect of asking for a refund and standing my ground, but I can honestly say DFS staff both in person and telephone assistants were very nice, helpful, professional and sympathetic about the fault. Many thanks to this web site!! And hope this reassures others in similar situations. Good luck!