Members must have an effective customer complaints procedure, understood and implemented by all employees.
Any consumer complaint will be dealt with in a prompt, effective and courteous manner in accordance with good business practice.
A senior person will be nominated within each member organisation, to have overall responsibility for customer complaints. If employees cannot deal with complaints, the case is to be given to the nominated person. Details of the nominated person will be displayed on the premises and given to the consumer where necessary.
Where a complaint from a consumer has been received by any one of the Trading Standards Services, the consumer will initially be referred back to the business to resolve the problem.
Complaints, which, in the opinion of the Trading Standards Service, involve the allegation of a criminal offence, will be investigated in accordance with the enforcement policies of that service, irrespective of membership of the scheme.
If it is not possible to resolve a customer complaint within 14 days, the customer will be given a written explanation of the events, including offers of redress and the anticipated future action. With the customer’s permission a copy of the explanation will be given to Trading Standards. Members will co-operate, acknowledge and comply with advice given by the Trading Standards Service.
If the member is part of any other trade association, which has its own code of practice, the terms of the code must also be followed.
A record of all customer complaints must be kept for a minimum of 12 months from the conclusion of the complaint. Such records must be available for inspection by Trading Standards.
Nothing in this scheme shall preclude either party from seeking redress through legal action in the civil courts.