Why is there a Fair Use Policy?
Buy With Confidence is happy to provide most of the Trading Standards and Civil Law advice that members need as part of their membership. However, in order to ensure this service is provided fairly to all members and that all members can continue to receive this service at no additional cost, a Fair Use policy is needed. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the majority of businesses can continue to receive free advice without larger businesses or those with more complex needs monopolising the resources available to deliver this service
What is still always included Buy With Confidence membership?
In most circumstances (see below for exceptions) businesses are entitled to a minimum of four sessions* of the following types of advice per year. This bespoke advice will be provided directly to a Buy With Confidence business by a Trading Standards service, for no additional costs, on request:
- Civil Advice (advice on consumer law, dealing with customers and customer disputes)
- Trading Standards Legislation
- Dispute Mediation (only offered when a business’ reasonable endeavours to find a solution have failed). Due to the resource intensive and sometimes protracted nature of Dispute Mediation, Buy With Confidence reserves the right to count each dispute resolution as two or more sessions.
Other arrangements for Trading Standards advice, and/or more than four sessions may be included in your Buy With Confidence membership at the discretion of your local scheme operator. This may include an additional charge.
If you also have a Primary Authority relationship with your Scheme Operator, the arrangements for that joint package of support may include provision for certain types of advice to be delivered as part of the Primary Authority element of the package.
What are the exceptions to the above?
For businesses with more than 50 employees and/or which operate from multiple premises, the Scheme Operator may come up with a bespoke arrangement based around what sorts of advice they will provide for free as part of the Buy With Confidence membership and what must be paid for. They may also decide that due to its statutory nature, advice provided through a Primary Authority Partnership arrangement is not included as part of Buy With Confidence.
There may also be rare situations where a Scheme Operator can legitimately refuse to provide Civil Advice or Trading Standards legislation, if they believe that providing that advice is likely to cause an unreasonable resource burden or reputational risk, as defined by them. They may also have to decline to provide advice if court proceedings have already been instigated.
These exceptions will not affect the vast majority of Buy With Confidence businesses, who will continue to receive the same level and quantity of service they always have.
If there are any other local deviations/exceptions from this Fair Use Policy, they will be detailed below
What if I feel my Scheme Operator is denying me advice that should be included in my membership?
If you feel your Scheme Operator is unfairly denying you access to advice that should be included in your membership fees, you can appeal to the Buy With Confidence Central Operations Group by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
They will investigate the issue and decide whether the Scheme Operators’ actions are reasonable in light of this policy. If they decide in your favour, they will either get the Scheme Operator to provide the advice, or provide it themselves.
*A session is classed as providing the necessary support and advice around a single, discreet issue. This can vary depending on what the requested support is. For example, a session could be classed as a single phone call to provide requested advice on a piece of Trading Standards Legislation, or a check of Terms & Conditions. Your Scheme Operator can decide what is defined as a ‘session’ at their discretion, based on these guidelines.