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Help on its way for consumers complaining about traders in West Yorkshire

Posted 05/06/19

West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service is now authorised to help consumers in a bid to resolve their complaints with traders in the county. The service covers Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield.

Approval to provide Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services was granted by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute under arrangements delegated to it by the Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

General consumer disputes, including those relating to the motor trade, home maintenance, consumer goods and services are covered by the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service scheme, so long as:

  • consumers have exhausted the trader’s complaints process
  • the dispute hasn’t already been referred to the courts or another ADR provider
  • the claim is between £100 and £50,000
  • the claim was referred to the scheme within 12 months of the trader saying that it was unable to resolve the complaint

Andy Allen, ADR project leader at the CTSI (the ADR auditing and awarding body), said: “Whilst many purchases and services provided can go smoothly, the internet is also peppered with stories about things that have gone wrong. CTSI is pleased to see another local authority taking the initiative and becoming an approved ADR scheme.

“West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service is joining an expanding ADR environment and we hope that other local authorities will continue to set up such schemes or have existing schemes approved.

“It’s worth taking a pragmatic approach if something isn’t quite right, but if you do have a valid complaint and feel that your trader isn’t resolving it to your satisfaction, there is now another avenue for consumers to go down.”

Legislation now requires UK traders to inform consumers of an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) body to help consumers resolve their complaints, if they’ve already been through their own customer service procedure. The ADR body must be relevant to the sector in question. The legislation came into effect in October 2015.

CTSI is appointed by the UK government to audit and approve bodies which meet requirements of the consumer Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Regulations (The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes – Competent Authorities and Information – Regulations) 2015.

There are currently 45 approved ADR schemes, everything from retail to parking, to higher education, furniture, the motor industry and will writing. More information is available from https://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/main/?event=main.adr.show2

ADR is a range of processes that offer parties easier, quicker and more cost-effective methods to resolve complaints compared to the court process. To become an approved body to which traders can send consumers, an organisation providing ADR has to be audited and prove that it meets the regulations’ standards.

CTSI’s Andy Allen added: “Originally this ADR initiative came about as a result of a European Directive following the recognition that the court system was too slow and expensive as a practical way of dealing with consumer disputes. The reality is that more people don’t go to court, so this is an alternative to doing nothing.”

ENDS

 

 

Notes to Editors

West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service

West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service: West Yorkshire Joint Services is led by a joint committee and delivers a number of shared services on behalf of the five district Councils within West Yorkshire – Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. Each of the five districts provides funding to the Joint Committee based on its population as a proportion of the whole of West Yorkshire. One of these services is the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service.

Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)

CTSI is a training and membership group that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally.  We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities. CTSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses. www.tradingstandards.uk

CTSI is also appointed by the UK government to audit and approve bodies which meet requirements of the consumer Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) directive.

For further information please contact the CTSI press office on 01268 582206 or 074980 47545 during office hours.

  • Legislation now requires UK traders to inform consumers of an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) body to help consumers resolve their complaints if they've already been through their own customer service procedure. The ADR body must be relevant to the sector in question. The legislation came into effect in October 2015.
  • Consumers should use an ADR scheme when they have failed to resolve a complaint, when they have already gone through a company's customer service procedure and when they are thinking of enforcing any consumer rights. At the moment traders (and consumers alike) don't have to use the ADR scheme, although the law requires there to be an ADR scheme in each sector. If you are a trader selling to a consumer then there needs to be an ADR body.
  • ADR is a range of processes that offer parties easier, quicker and most cost-effective methods to resolve complaints compared to the court process. To become an approved body to which traders can send consumers, an organisation providing ADR has to be audited and prove that it meets the regulations' standards.


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