Responding to the publication today of the government’s Consumer Landscape Review, Motor Codes, the provider of OFT-approved codes of practice for the car industry, welcomes the announcement that the government-backed self-regulatory model is set to continue as a key means of delivering consumer protection.
Changes proposed in the review include:
- Trading Standards Institute (TSI) to establish successor to Consumer Code Approval Scheme (CCAS) from April 2013.
- Creation of National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) to deliver strengthened enforcement of consumer protection and combat rogue traders.
- Creation of Competition and Markets Authority as a successor to The Office of Fair Trading and Competition Commission.
- Citizens Advice to take on OFT’s responsibility for delivering consumer information and advice.
Consultation on the future of voluntary consumer codes of conduct concluded that continued self-regulation, rather than legislation, coupled with a clear, structured advocacy route for consumers was the preferred way forward. Chris Mason, managing director at Motor Codes, believes that Motor Codes is well-placed to provide a solid support mechanism for motorists:
“Having gathered feedback from tens of thousands of motorists through satisfaction surveys and significantly reduced consumer complaint volumes through the inception of an independent advice service to support that offered by Citizens Advice, Motor Codes has shown the value to consumers of effective self-regulation.
“Motor Codes already has strong a working relationship with Trading Standards, with Ron Gainsford OBE, TSI chief executive, chairing our compliance panel. We look forward to working with TSI enhancing the current consumer codes model and will continue to offer support to Citizens Advice through our established advice and conciliation service.”
Motor Codes operates OFT-approved codes of practice under the current Consumer Code Approval Scheme for new car sales and service and repair and its network numbers almost 7,000 subscribing garages nationwide. Its advice line currently handles around 10,000 calls per year; this advocacy service resulting in just a 7% requirement for formal conciliation cases from all contacts.