CTRO™ Registered Trader Scheme Code of Practice
The CTRO™ Registered Trader Scheme has a Code of Practice.
It is difficult for consumers (especially those who are vulnerable), to know if they are dealing with traders who comply with legal obligations, operate in a fair and honest way and offer high standards of workmanship. To tackle such problems, we launched the CTRO™Registered Trader Scheme. Every member of the scheme signs an undertaking that they will trade fairly and agree to adopt certain working practices. All consumers who employ a Registered Trader agree to enter into the CTRO™Trading Standards Service mediation process and also agree to be contacted by CTRO™ in the event of dispute.
The aim of the scheme is to ensure a consistent level of service, which both reflects good practice and satisfies most customers whilst promoting standards which traders also regard as reasonable.
As members of the scheme, CTRO™ registered traders must consider the scheme’s purpose in terms of providing protection for CTRO™ consumers. In return, member benefits include regular, targeted promotion of the scheme through various mediums and use of the membership logo on documentation and short-term advertising.
The legal rights of the trader and the consumer are not affected or excluded by this scheme.
The Code of Practice
- To abide by the Code of Practice and the principles and spirit of the scheme.
- To ensure that all staff understand the code and their legal obligations and those members provide appropriate training where necessary.
- To trade fairly and provide a quality, professional service to consumers at a fair price.
- Only to accept work which they are competent to undertake.
- To be committed to acting in an environmentally responsible manner, disposing of waste according to the appropriate legal requirements.
- Not seek to take advantage of vulnerable consumers.
- To ensure that no person is discriminated against or refused service on the grounds of age, race, gender, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or religious belief.
- Never to seek business by cold calling or use high pressure sales techniques.
- To notify the Trading Standards Service of any significant change of the business, e.g., a change in the nominated representative or change of ownership.
- To provide customer feedback questionnaires whenever work is carried out.
- Not to make any advertising claims to the effect that the business is approved or guaranteed by the CTRO™ Trading Standards Service.
Legal Requirements and Contracts
- To abide by all criminal legislation and all relevant civil law obligations.
- Specifically, to comply with the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.
- To provide clear and accurate information on cancellation rights, including any rights which are in addition to legal requirements.
- All advertisements must comply with any relevant advertising code of practice and/or legislation.
- All businesses dealing with gas related products must be on the Gas Safe register and must be able to demonstrate that they are so registered.
- Similarly those dealing with electricity must be either NICEIC registered or recognised under an approved/registered competent person scheme.
- To comply with relevant building regulations and planning law.
- To have adequate insurance to cover potential loss or damage to a consumer’s property. Evidence of public liability insurance is required.
- Completion dates to be agreed in advance of conclusion of contract.
- To offer flexibility and choice of delivery dates and times.
- To supply all goods and services contracted for within a reasonable time.
- To give advance notice of any delays where possible.
- To offer suitable alternatives when delays occur and ultimately appropriate remedies.
Customer Complaints Procedure
- Members must have an accessible, user-friendly and reasonably charged after-sales service.
- Members must have in place an effective customer complaint procedure which is clearly communicated to customers. It must address response times to customer complaints and it must prescribe maximum times for initial response etc all of which should be documented.
- Members agree to the customer complaints procedure and agree to co-operate in full with CTRO™ in the mediation process and with any appropriate intermediary consulted by a consumer.
- Any call out charge shall be made known to the customer prior to the visit being made. A written schedule of works and a written quotation shall be given to consumers. Any charge for this must be made known to the consumer.
- To always use a written contract or invoice, including clear terms and conditions.
- If a guarantee is offered, it must be in writing and very clear as to what is included.
- Where additional guarantees/warranties are offered, it must be clear that these are optional and additional to consumers’ rights. It must also include details of who is responsible for the guarantee or warranty.
- To provide an invoice or receipt showing full details of work carried out including parts supplied and labour and other costs inclusive of VAT.
- To provide itemised bills.
- To produce all documents in plain English.