Consumer scheme launched in Argyll and Bute

The national 'Buy With Confidence' consumer scheme has been launched in Argyll and Bute.
The national 'Buy With Confidence' consumer scheme has been launched in Argyll and Bute.

A new scheme has been launched across Argyll and Bute which aims to provide consumers with a list of approved local traders.

The Buy With Confidence scheme, already used by a number of local authorities across the UK, provides consumers with a list of approved traders - local businesses that have given their commitment to fair trading - in their area.

Traders who are members of the scheme must have been vetted by Argyll and Bute Council’s trading standards team, must be committed to trading fairly and must deliver a high level of customer service.

For members, the Buy With Confidence initiative gives them the independent support and advice of trading standards, helps to promote their business and reduces the threats posed to legitimate businesses by rogue traders.

So far only two traders have joined the scheme - Helensburgh painter and decorator Hugh Smith and Lochgilphead-based electrical contractor APE Solutions Ltd - but the council is hoping more will follow once awareness of the scheme spreads among the area’s businesses.

Alan Morrison, the council’s regulatory services manager, said: “We’re very pleased to be launching this scheme. It gives consumers in Argyll and Bute a list of traders that we endorse, that have undergone a number of detailed checks and who are supported by good references.

“Practices of businesses in the scheme, such as our first two members, who we are delighted to have on board, meet consumer protection requirements. People know that by using these businesses they will not be disadvantaged; there are appropriate measures in place to protect them. People should keep a look out for the BWC logo.”

In order to become a BWC member, a business must apply or be recommended to join the scheme and must then pass a set of tailored background checks.

Membership of the scheme is not given lightly – amongst other checks, each applicant will have their complaints history reviewed and will receive a visit from trading standards.

Good references are required from previous customers and applicants must agree to abide by the scheme’s code of conduct, which requires them to follow the letter and spirit of the law.

There’s also a £95 fee for a year’s membership of the scheme, with a further £25 for a disclosure check per employee.

More information is available here; if you’re interested in joining the scheme, call Argyll and Bute Council’s trading standards team on 01546 605519.