Consumer Codes Approval Scheme

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Trading Standards Article

(not copyright of Wenman Healthcare)

TSI’s Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS) is distinctly different from other trader-approved schemes. Individual traders cannot sign up to it – the only way a trader can display the TSI-approved code logo is through membership of an organisation whose code of practice has been given the green light by the Consumer Codes Approval Board.The CCAS is facilitated self regulation that aims to bolster consumer protection and improve customer service. This is achieved through the approval and promotion of codes of practice, setting out the principles of effective customer service. The codes require traders to have a robust complaints process that includes low cost alternative dispute resolution.

Overall, the CCAS is designed to reduce consumer detriment – for more transactions, by more consumers, in more circumstances, to be inclusive, independent, sustainable, visible and well understood.

Each code must address those areas of consumer detriment within their sector. Any trader who signs up to a TSI approved code must adhere to the code. This is monitored by each code sponsor with ongoing monitoring of complaints and customer feedback, along with an audit programme.

Consumers can now look out for the TSI-approved code logo when searching for a trader, and be confident that any approved business they chose has a proven commitment to honest business and higher customer service standards.

To maintain a robust consumer code scheme, code sponsors are subject to an annual, full and vigorous audit by TSI-appointed trading standards professionals who take a whole day to look at all systems and processes, and the code sponsor’s membership and complaints databases.

TSI’s blog recently told the story of how two British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) code members helped a disabled scam victim after his scooter was taken by cold calling conmen who demanded £400 for repairs. Their desire to promote the independence and well-being of their elderly and disabled clients meant the victim’s scooter was replaced for free and mobility scooter retailers in the area were advised not to buy from disreputable traders who may be trying to sell the victim’s original scooter.

Sarah Lepak, the BHTA’s director of governance and policy development, explained why the CCAS is important to the industry they operate in, saying “our members are able to set out publicly the standards that they have set themselves when dealing with members of the public.”
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