a pensioner who took on furniture giants ScS has won the latest round of a long-running battle against the retailer.
Jack Jones complained about a £5,000 suite brought from the Sunderland-based chain.
Jack, 78, and his wife Rita, 74, of Sheriff Hill, Gateshead, said a repair failed to resolve a complaint about sagging cushions.
But, as we reported earlier this year, he felt the complaint hit a brick wall because ScS are not in the furniture ombudsman scheme.
However, the ombudsman did carry out a report which found Jack’s complaint to be justified and suggested another repair.
Non-members are not obliged to listen to the report but ScS said they would have another look at the case.
The report said: “The consumer’s complaint is justified.
“The cushion has softened excessively and has been previously repaired by the store by fitting a booster pad under the seat which is not a satisfactory repair as it does not improve the support of the original cushion.
“The technician recommends a new seat interior and booster pads to be removed.”
Jack said he was pleased the report came out in his favour and vowed to continue his battle.
He said: “I had a meeting with trading standards, they took a copy, and said they would be in touch with ScS to see what they were prepared to come up with.
“We are just waiting to see what the next move is.”
If ScS had been a member of the ombudsman service it would have had no choice but to act on the report.
The company says it has not joined up because it prefers to deal with customer complaints on its own.
Legal and compliance manager Ian Allcock said earlier: “Simply passing our customers to another company to deal with is merely absolving our continued commitment to resolving our customers’ concerns directly, swiftly and promptly.
“Furthermore the Consumer Rights Act introduced in 2015 is very clear on our obligations to our customers making the use of ombudsman services increasingly redundant as a third-party service to resolve customers issues.
“We strongly believe, together with always adhering to our customers’ rights, we have the knowledge, skills, expertise and customer focus to deal with our customers directly as we have done so successfully over many years and weill continue to do so – but have decided not to sign up to these ombudsman services.”
He said there was no legal obligation to sign up to any ombudsman service.
A spokesperson for ScS said: “Goods were delivered to Mr Jones in May 2016. He raised concern regarding a ‘sinking’ cushion in February 2017, and a qualified technician carried out an inspection in his home.
“In his opinion, the interior had settled in line with use, and the weekly dressing and maintenance was demonstrated to Mr Jones.
“We have always confirmed to our customers, whilst we are not members of the Furniture Ombudsman, all reports carried out by them would be further reviewed and investigated.”
Later ScS said they would carry out out the recommendations in the report.
A spokesperson said: “Whilst our upholstery manager agreed with the technician’s report that this was wear & tear (favoured seat), the Ombudsman’s report does conclude that the seat is soft and recommends new seat interior.
“As confirmed previously, whilst we are not members of the Ombudsman, we do adhere to their reports. Mr Jones was contacted on receipt of the report, to confirm a new seat interior is on order.”