We will offer you advice on:
- The requirements of the legislation we enforce
- Practical steps to achieve and maintain compliance
- Your responsibilities to customers
- Sources of advice and information relating to other legislation relevant to your business
- Compliance with the Conditions of Membership of the Buy With Confidence scheme. Some council’s will operate Primary Authority Partnership schemes which may require you to enter into an agreement by which you receive an agreed level of service, including advice, for an agreed fee. Details about Primary Authority are available on the gov.uk website here
It is a requirement of the scheme that you:
- Comply with the legislation applicable to your business (3.5 in the Terms and Conditions)
- Respond appropriately to consumer complaints (3.10 in the Terms and Conditions)
- Comply with reasonable guidance as provided by us (3.13 in the Terms and Conditions)
Where we offer advice on compliance with legislation we will identify that legislation and the steps that you should take to comply. We may also identify best practice, relevant guidance published by us or other bodies, and provide you with relevant written information, links to websites etc.
Once we have identified these requirements we can then help you identify what you need to do to ensure that you achieve and maintain compliance. Exactly how you do this is largely for you to decide, after all you know how your business operates far better than anyone else, but we will expect you to show us what steps are in place.
Specific Consumer Complaints
Where we provide you with guidance in respect of specific customer complaints we will:
- Seek to agree a common history of events and facts
- Identify matters where there is no common ground
- We may, in practical terms, suggest a reasonable solution
- Where we suggest a solution this cannot in law be binding on either you or your customer as ultimately it is for the court to decide where the responsibility for resolving the issues lies. However there are considerable numbers of previously decided cases and we will refer to these when giving guidance
Sometimes it can be unclear where the legal liability lies and if so we will tell you.
Local Authority Advice Services For Consumers
Consumer advice is available from the national consumer helpline run by Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133 and the vast majority of local authorities will refer calls to this service.
Most authorities will then accept referrals from Citizens Advice in specified circumstances.
Information on the service provided by your local authority will typically be published on the local authority website; if not please ask your scheme administrator.
Who Will Provide Advice?
If your local authority runs and administers the Buy With Confidence scheme themselves, advice will be provided by your local Trading Standards service. If your local authority does not run the scheme or has passed administration of it to another authority, advice will be provided by another Trading Standards service. In these circumstances, it cannot be guaranteed your local Trading Standards department will agree with the advice given, but if that may be the case, we will do our best to ensure you are informed of this when you seek advice.