Our members commit to complying with all legislation, statutory codes of practice or requirements of any statutory regulator applicable to their business activities whilst operating in an honest, fair, professional, and open manner which is in the ‘community interest’.
To help your business meet these terms 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.
- Information about Primary Authority Partnership schemes if we think this is relevant to your business needs. Details about Primary Authority are available on the gov.uk website here
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.
Please note that the amount and the level of bespoke advice we will provide individual member businesses at no additional cost to them is governed by our Fair Use policy. Any advice provided beyond this is at your Scheme Operators discretion or may subject to an additional charge.
Fair Use Policy
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, 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.
What is 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 incur 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, this may incur an additional fee.
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.
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 should contact them in the first instance setting out your concerns. If you remain dissatisfied 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 considering 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.