Useful tip from user 'mev9':
There's a 'secret' to getting companies to live up to their obligations under the Consumer Guarantees Act.
When you've reached a stalemate with a customer service representative (whether it's face-to-face in a shop or on the phone with a call centre, etc), the next step is to ask who to send a written complaint to. You need that person's name, job title and address. Then (yes, I know it's the 21st century!) write them a letter.
Make the letter crisp, businesslike, specific and polite. Write in quality, standard English. Don't be tempted to use it as an outlet for your frustration, don't make it emotional or sarcastic, and don't try to pretend you're in some way 'offended' or manufacture a sob story unless it's genuine.
The first (short) couple of paragraphs should clearly explain the situation and include any reference numbers, etc, the receiver will need to investigate your complaint. The next paragraph should inform them of how they're in breach of the CGA. Finally, inform them a] what you expect them to do to resolve the problem (be realistic and keep within your rights as per the CGA!), and b] tell them when you expect the problem to be resolved by (usually 14-28 days, depending). Finally, inform them that if the problem isn't resolved to your satisfaction by the date you specified, you will raise a claim with the Disputes Tribunal without further notice.
Send the letter same day or next day, by FastPost if the receiver is in a different town. Last of all, if the problem still hasn't been resolved, file the Disputes Tribunal claim the very day you said you would.
As LinuxUser said, customer service is frequently atrocious in this country, in ways that consumers simply wouldn't tolerate in many other countries. I wish people wouldn't let companies get away with breaches of the CGA. In my experience, the process I've described above works every single time, and everyone can do it. By pressurising these companies to change how they do business you don't just help yourself - you help everyone.
Edited by TomSahz, 21 May 2014 - 08:57 PM.