Ireland's Publication for the refinishing & associated Industries

Customer Care – Body Repair Code of Practice

The Vehicle Builders and Repairers Association (VBRA) in the UK recently had the operation of its code approval and conciliation processes scrutinised by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) under the TSI Consumer Code Approval Scheme (CCAS).

The VBRA code is the first code to be formally audited in this way since TSI took over the mantle of code approval from the OFT earlier in 2013.

After a thorough review of the VBRA’s processes, and interviews with the operating staff, the TSI’s report on VBRA’s dealings with customer complaints says: “VBRA’s conciliation process is excellent [demonstrating] that they will provide additional support to consumers… [they] seek out and pay for independent experts to examine vehicles in order to resolve disputes. The very low number of disputes that reach arbitration (none in the last two years) is a reflection of the quality of the in-house conciliation service.

TSI auditors concluded: “VBRA are fulfilling their obligations as a code sponsor and ensure their members comply with the CCAS core criteria and their own code. The in-house conciliation process is excellent and an example of best practice.”

Commenting, Malcolm Tagg, VBRA Director General said “The audit process was painless and endorses that what we have always done, regardless of external Code Approval, is good for customers and adds an extra comfort factor to inform motorists decision to use a VBRA member for their repair. We are fortunate our members are very good at what they do and very few complaints need to cross our desks – testament to the high regard in which they hold their customers and their dedication to getting it right first time.”

Leon Livermore, Chief Executive, Trading Standards Institute said: “It is essential that TSI ensure code sponsors are complying with the requirements of the consumer codes approval scheme and that consumers can be reassured that the high standards of the scheme are being adhered to. I would like to congratulate VBRA on their commitment to raising consumer standards.”