Previewed at the FIT Show, a new, third edition of the Consumer Protection Report has now officially been published. Originally released in 2011, the Report proves that consumer protection is diversifying all the time, with a flurry of new initiatives launched since the last edition. Commissioned by DGCOS, this independent Report includes important updates to aid both consumer and installer understanding.
Author David Herman, FCA, who has many years’ experience working at senior management level within a national double glazing company, comments: “There are a surprisingly large number of organisations in the industry that claim, in some form, to provide consumer protection. But the very number, scope and diversity is part of the problem for homeowners. In particular, a new table will help homeowners see through ‘the smoke and mirrors’ and help them understand what actual protection is being provided by each organisation.”
In his foreword, consumer champion and DGCOS ambassador Nick Ross challenges anyone to contest ‘the essential truth’ of the Report’s findings, adding that “Ombudsman schemes are the gold standard of consumer protection.”
The Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS) and The Glazing Ombudsman (TGO) also go head to head in a direct comparison. “Taken on face value, the two schemes appear to offer the same thing, but in essence the truth is somewhat very different,” explains David Herman. “The role of one scheme is to provide an arbitration facility while the other’s is to provide comprehensive consumer protection with the Ombudsman facility being only one working part.”
David Herman has first-hand experience in the glazing industry and compiled the report from information freely available to consumers. David was previous employed as the Finance Director of Anglian Windows and now helps the Citizens Advice Bureau with consumer rights issues.
The third edition also features a blueprint for an ‘ideal consumer protection organisation’ and an easy-to-read chart to demonstrate how organisations compare against it.
David Herman comments: “Consumer protection operates much like a chain where all the important elements need to be present and linked for it to work, and for consumers to be fully protected. If one link is broken or missing the chain doesn’t work. Organisations that provide some elements of protection but not others risk letting consumers down when they need help most.”
For more information go to www.dgcos.org.uk , or to receive your copy of the Consumer Protection Report contact DGCOS on 0845 053 8975.