The influential Consumer Protection Association (CPA) has announced it has teamed up with the Retail Ombudsman – as it prepares its members and the industry for the new Consumer Rights Act.

The act came on to the statute book on October 1 and affects all retailers of goods, services and digital content and aims to rectify the traditional complexities of UK consumer law – providing consumers and suppliers with greater clarity, protection and confidence when purchasing goods and services.

Drilling down to the glazing and wider construction industry; part of the legislation will see the introduction of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

ADR has been introduced to make it easier to settle disputes between tradesman and homeowners; and will mean that third party mediators will be available to all businesses to help when a dispute cannot be settled directly with the consumer.

The system has been designed to keep minor to mid-level disputes out of the courts and to offer a cheaper and quicker way of solving complaints.

The CPA has been following the legislation closely and will be using the Retail Ombudsman as its ADR provider for its membership base.

Directors at the organisation also met with Nadine Dorries MP earlier in the year, to discuss the changes.

John Travers, director at the CPA, comments: “The thinking behind the legislation is clear as the UK government wants to stop smaller disputes going to court, in order to free up time for more serious cases.

“As ever we are fully prepared and our members can come to us with any questions they have. And going forward, should they opt to go down the ADR route then we are in a position to offer the very best service and support.”

Neville Thurlbeck, director of communications at the Retail Ombudsman, comments: “The Retail Ombudsman is delighted to offer its ADR services to the glazing retail market via the Consumer Protection Association.

“As the biggest provider of ADR in the retail market, we look forward to a long and constructive relationship with all its members and aim to provide them with an extra badge of retail excellence via our accredited membership ‘gold tick’ scheme.”

The new Consumer Act is wide-ranging and also includes changes such as a 30 day time period to return faulty goods and get a full refund; and businesses will now get written notice for routine inspections by public enforcers such as trading standards.

The CPA is recognised by consumers as one of the most trusted resources for finding accredited and vetted installers.

As well as Insurance Backed Guarantees and Deposit Protection; the CPA also offer its members a host of beneficial schemes such as marketing support; sales training help; and quarterly assessment reports that tell members what their customers think about the work they are doing.