Smirthwaite is a member of The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA), an inaugural member of the Trading Standards Institute’s (TSI) new Consumer Codes Approval Scheme being launched today to give customers greater confidence.
As a member of the BHTA (the UK's oldest and largest healthcare association, founded in 1917), Smirthwaite is signed up to standards that go beyond our legal obligations in terms of the service we offer. That means customers can expect expert advice on the type of product that’s right for them, clear information about pricing and their cancellation rights, and no pressure selling – ever.
The Consumer Codes Approval Scheme has been given the Government’s official backing by Consumer Minister Jo Swinson, who said it will boost consumer confidence and encourage economic growth.
TSI Chief Executive Leon Livermore said: “The Government recognises the importance of this new scheme, which comes with an important sting in the tail. We will be reinforcing the fact that failure for any trader to comply with an industry code, whose logo they display, is a criminal offence for which they could face fines or imprisonment. We're not going to be shy in tackling some of the biggest industries that cause the greatest problems to consumers.”
More than 15,000 traders have already signed up to one of nine approved codes of practice. Consumers will be able to look for the TSI Approved Code logo, or search a dedicated database at www.tradingstandards.gov.uk, for a member of an approved code in their area.
The new scheme includes a Consumer Advisory Panel, but also a permanent position for Citizens Advice on the Board. Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said: “We deal with over a million consumer problems each year and know how difficult it is for people to find a seller they can trust, the Approved Trader Scheme will help to combat this.”
BHTA Director General Ray Hodgkinson MBE said "We want consumers to be able to buy with confidence by going to BHTA member companies. We have powers to investigate and report on any complaints involving our members. The Code of Practice sets out the standards that they must meet to demonstrate best practice in their business dealings.
"We are delighted that our code has already achieved approval under the new Trading Standards Institute's Consumer Codes Approval Scheme. This means that our member companies must trade ethically and professionally."