The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) has announced the launch of an independent ADR Scheme, as a response to the EU ADR Directive established on October 1st.
Alternative Dispute Resolution, such as arbitration and ombudsman schemes, are being promoted by the Government under the EU ADR Directive.
Whist the Directive will not make ADR mandatory, it will establish a “business obligation” for all businesses who sell to consumers to comply with. This consists of:
In essence, the trader must provide the consumer details of an ADR provider but does not have to agree to use ADR.
GGF has responded to the EU ADR Directive with the launch of The Glazing Arbitration Scheme (TGAS) to provide an easy solution.
Available free to GGF Member companies, the scheme will be the primary ADR initiative for the glass and glazing industry.
Membership of TGAS will also be available to FENSA registered firms who wish to “opt in” to ADR, free of charge until the end of 2015.
TGAS is operated independently by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), a Trading Standards Institute Certified ADR body which previously worked on the GGF Arbitration Scheme.
TGAS combines GGF’s previous Arbitration Scheme and The Glazing Ombudsman Scheme (TGO).
Consumers will be signposted to TGAS by the Citizens Advice help desk being set up to take consumer enquiries regarding ADR.
However, consumers will have had to go through the GGF Conciliation Scheme or FENSA complaint process for at least 56 days and still be in dispute before being able to progress to arbitration.
Brian Smith, GGF Director of Home Improvement, commented: “After consultation and feedback from GGF Member companies, it was evident that an arbitration scheme was preferred to an ombudsman scheme.
With an ombudsman scheme it is free for a consumer to progress their complaint and the decision is binding on the trader but not the consumer. However, with arbitration like TGAS the consumer has to pay £100 to progress their dispute to arbitration, and the decision is binding on both trader and consumer.
The Members felt that TGAS would weed out vexatious and frivolous claims from consumers. We are very happy to continue our excellent relationship with CEDR, and would emphasise that with TGAS the parties can always be certain that the dispute is being handled by a professional arbitrator who is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, which will ensure a fair and just decision in all cases”.
Glass and Glazing Federation
40 Rushworth Street
t: 0207 939 9101
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