Nobody goes into business with the expectation of enduring a deluge of customer complaints. The vast majority of business owners are conscientious and professional, and when something does go wrong, there can be a tendency for business owners to take it personally, both out of consideration for the business’s reputation and the wellbeing of the customer affected.
Many businesses of all kinds will go to great lengths to ensure that their customers are satisfied, and will bend over backwards to remedy a complaint if it does arise – after all, a happy customer is a returning customer.
It is inevitable though that sometimes complaints will occur which can’t be easily resolved.
It is also an unfortunate fact that the used car industry is consistently at the top of the list when it comes to customer complaints. This is perhaps unsurprising when you think about it; a used car is a fairly complicated piece of technology with which any number of mechanical problems could occur; it is likely to be among the most expensive purchases a consumer will make in their lifetime; and last but not least, people entrust their own safety and that of their loved ones to their cars, and are sure to feel a sense of anger if a potentially dangerous mechanical fault does crop up.
According to Leon Livermore, Chief Executive of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), “Unfortunately, car complaints remain among the most numerous type of complaints to consumer protection bodies. It’s a fact of life that cars can break down. Business must make sure that it is open and transparent with consumers and conform to its legal responsibilities before, during and after sales.”
CTSI, along with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), have therefore published a new guidance booklet designed for used car dealers.
‘Car traders and consumer law: Guidance for dealerships’ is divided into sections covering the key points of consumer law and the obligations of used car dealers to their customers.
The guide includes information on:
· Complying with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs)
· Obligations under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA)
· Obligations under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (CCRs)
· Obligations under the Price Marking Order 2004 and the Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012
· Obligations under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015
The guidance booklet has been produced as part of CTSI’s Business Companion website, a free online resource designed to offer information and guidance to businesses of all sizes about their responsibilities towards consumers.
Livermore says: “Together we can build a better used car industry for both consumers and business. It all starts by reading this guide.”