Buy with confidence

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CAMBS County Council’s Cabinet is expected to approve a new Trading Standards Buy with Confidence scheme that will help protect local people and businesses across Cambridgeshire.

The ‘Buy With Confidence’ scheme would provide householders and consumers with an online database of local Trading Standards approved businesses who can be relied upon to provide a top quality service. It will be discussed by Cabinet today (September 27).

The scheme would also help to resolve any disputes which do occur and protect businesses from malicious or unfair complaints or disputes over the quality and cost of goods and services.

Buy With Confidence encourages businesses to comply with the spirit and letter of the law and enables them to approach Trading Standards for assistance, as well as providing a support structure to consumers should they have a dispute with a member business.

The scheme rules require various checks on applicants, including that the business is properly licensed, for example with the Consumer Credit or Waste Carriers Licence if applicable.

Checks are also made of public and employee insurance along with checks on complaints received by Trading Standards, searches on the business’s financial standing and the County Court Judgments register, and firms will also be required to have CRB checks for staff who work within people’s homes.

Businesses will benefit from regularly updated advice on changes to legislation, with a dedicated e-mail and telephone contact giving the company direct contact with the Trading Standards Service.

If necessary, Trading Standards will also offer civil advice to both the consumer and the scheme member and mediate between the two parties if a solution to a consumer complaint cannot be found between them.

Cambridgeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, Councillor Mathew Shuter, said: “In the current economic climate it is more important than ever that consumers are well informed of their legal obligations and rights when buying goods and services and are able to be confident that they are getting a fair’s day’s work for a fair day’s pay from businesses they employ.

“Equally, it is important that we offer all the support and advice we can to businesses and suppliers operating in Cambridgeshire. Introducing a ‘Buy With Confidence’ scheme is a demonstration of the way the County Council is trying to support the community and business sector in Cambridgeshire.”

Buy With Confidence schemes already operate in over 40 local authority areas with over 4,500 businesses signed up creating a nationwide network of pre-vetted bone-fide suppliers and contractors. For more information go to: www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk