As the new consumer legislation comes into force today, TrustMark, the only government-endorsed scheme for all trades in and around the home, today announced a new ‘primary authority’ partnership with Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards to provide assured advice for it’s Scheme Operators and TrustMark registered firms.
The collaboration will enable TrustMark to obtain trustworthy regulatory advice on any consumer issues relevant to the domestic repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) sector and, where required, develop bespoke information for the TrustMark registered firms. The first project is already underway, drafting joint guidance on the new Consumer Rights Act 2015, which will be available shortly.
TrustMark is also offering more protection to consumers with Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), another significant consumer law change which is coming into force today. By being an approved ADR provider, TrustMark’s Scheme Operators and registered firms are now compliant with these new requirements and have the option to offer their customers a clear, simple and low cost dispute resolution alternative to formal legal action should things go wrong. This will be available for contracts to the value of £100,000 and both parties will be able to use the service as a ‘pay as you go’ with no annual fee or costs.
Steve Ruddy head of service for Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards, said: “Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards believe Primary Authority is an excellent way to support businesses. We are delighted to welcome TrustMark as our latest Primary Authority Partner and the new Consumer Rights Act provides a great opportunity to demonstrate how we can work together in practical way to help their members.”
Simon Ayers, CEO of TrustMark, said: “We welcome these new consumer laws – the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and ADR – which are now much clearer and easier to understand for both consumers and businesses, as well as helping them to avoid disagreements. It is vital that we have transparent rights to help homeowners make better choices, save time and money when they employ tradespeople to carry out work around their homes. Our partnership with Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards marks a significant collaboration and we are now able to support and advise our registered firms with their compliance with the changing consumer laws coming in today.
“By providing our Scheme Operators and registered firms with either the assured advice they need on consumer issues or an alternative method of dispute resolution, can only be good news for the homeowner and the very many excellent tradesmen and firms trying to build businesses, increase consumer confidence and a create a better reputation for their trades”
Primary authority offers businesses and organisations the opportunity to form a legally recognised partnership with one local authority, which then provides robust and reliable advice for other councils to take into account when carrying out inspections or dealing with a non-compliance. The scheme is a common sense Government initiative to cut red tape and support economic growth through better regulation, it is overseen by the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO). Providing assured advice under the scheme enables businesses to confidently make informed decisions about their future and investments.