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Press releases 2008 -

The British Association of Removers receives code approval from the OFT

26/08    22 February 2008

The British Association of Removers (BAR) has become the first trade body within the UK professional removal sector to successfully secure OFT approval for its code of practice under the OFT's Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS).

The BAR is a trade association for professional removal and storage businesses representing over 650 members in the UK, ranging from small family businesses to multinational companies. The OFT only approves codes that have proved effective in safeguarding and promoting consumers' interests beyond the basic requirements of the law.

Consumers will be able to look for the OFT Approved code logo when looking for a removal business in order to gain the benefits of the BAR OFT Approved code, which includes:

  • financial protection, including money back guarantees of up to 150 per cent, if a BAR member were to cancel a removal at short notice, or if a member business ceases to trade
  • an obligation on all members to use fair terms and conditions, including clear and concise information on cancellation and postponement rights and charges
  • formal procedures for dealing with consumer complaints, with a conciliation service if a member's own complaints procedure does not resolve an issue, and
  • an independent disciplinary panel to ensure that the code is complied with and effectively enforced.

Mike Haley, OFT Director of Consumer Protection, said:

'I congratulate the British Association of Removers on its work in driving up standards for consumers in the removal and storage industry. Consumers can be confident that where they see the OFT Approved code logo they will receive a high standard of customer service.'

Robert Syers, BAR General Secretary, said:

'We are pleased to have achieved OFT codes approval, which reinforces and raises standards and offers consumers better protection.'

NOTES

1. The OFT's Consumer Codes Approval Scheme consists of two stages. During Stage One the code must meet the OFT's published core criteria, which contain measures designed to remove or ease consumer concerns about undesirable trading practices. In Stage Two the code sponsor must prove that its code lives up to the promises made in Stage One by demonstrating that the code is being effectively implemented by its members and that consumer disputes are properly resolved.

2. BAR originally submitted its code for assessment under the OFT's code approval scheme in July 2003 and completed stage one on 16 January 2006. See press release 18/06 for further information. For more information on BAR, see the BAR website.

3. The Enterprise Act 2002 (Part 1, Section 8) gives the OFT powers to approve and promote consumer codes of practice that meet the OFT's core criteria. The OFT's Consumer Codes Approval Scheme aims to promote and safeguard consumers' interests by helping consumers identify better businesses and to encourage businesses to raise their standards of customer service. 

4. The Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) received approval for its code on 27 September 2004 (see press release 153/04), the Vehicle Builders and Repairers Association Ltd (VBRA) received approval on 13 October 2004 (see press release 169/04), the Direct Selling Association (DSA) received approval on 16 December 2004 (see press release 209/04), the Ombudsman for Estate Agents Company Ltd (OEA) received approval on 8 September 2005 (see press release 170/05), the Carpet Foundation received approval on 2 January 2007 (see press release 01/07) and Robert Bosch Ltd (Bosch) received approval on 9 July 2007 (see press release 98/07). Code sponsors who have completed Stage One and are working towards approval of their consumer code are: MVRA Ltd (see press release 09/05), Debt Managers Standards Association (DEMSA) (see press release 121/05), Safebuy (see press release 37/06), British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) (see press release 108/06) and the Renewable Energy Association (see press release 160/07).




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