New national guide launched to help home improvement businesses

A new guide to help improve customer service in the home improvements sector has been launched by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).

On an annual basis the home maintenance and home improvement business sector receives the highest number of complaints to Trading Standards. The new guide and additional information on the Business Companion website helps businesses in this sector by providing free, accurate, practical and up to date advice on all trading standards law.

It is important that businesses understand how legislation can affect them and their legal responsibilities to their customers.

Some of the issues that are covered in the new guide include: what to do if a customer wants to cancel a contract; what your legal responsibilities are under a mixed contract; misleading descriptions and the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to settle a matter out of court.

Most of the people who work in the home maintenance and improvement sector are reputable however there are unscrupulous tradesmen who fail to comply with the law. Businesses that carry out shoddy work in peoples’ homes risk being prosecuted by Trading Standards and could face a hefty fine or even imprisonment.

In East Ayrshire the Trading Standards Service is currently recruiting home improvement businesses to a Trusted Trader Scheme which has been introduced to help tackle the problems experienced by some consumers.

Businesses that sign up to the scheme will be vetted by Trading Standards and have access to advice on both civil and criminal consumer protection legislation. The business will be able to display a Trusted Trader sticker on their company vehicle. Their details are also added to a database of Trusted Traders which is available on the Council’s website.

The cost of membership is £100 for a non-VAT registered business and £200 for a VAT registered business.

Businesses can find out more or join the scheme by emailing, calling 01563 576602 or online

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