Buy With Confidence
Devon & Somerset Trading Standards Service runs the Buy With Confidence Scheme to promote the highest standards of trading across the two counties, for the benefit of both consumers and businesses.
Benefits For Business
If you are a business, find out the benefits of Buy With Confidence here.
Find A BWC Trader
You can find local Trading Standards Approved businesses over at BuyWithConfidence.gov.uk.
Putting Customers First
Businesses who become members of the scheme undertake to operate their company in a legal, honest and fair way. They will also offer a customer-friendly service and respond to complaints in a constructive manner.
The scheme is designed to give customers confidence that they will be treated fairly and legally. This is especially important if you have a problem in a field you rarely deal with, or when an area of business has a mixed reputation. Buy With Confidence helps you to know that the plumber you call is safe to invite into your home, and that the used car salesman you’re buying from isn’t known to be a dodgy dealer.
How Do You Ensure A Business Is Trustworthy?
We have members in many areas of business from all across Devon and Somerset, but they are only allowed to join when we feel confident that they are complying with the law and treating their customers fairly. Each local business that applies goes through a rigorous application programme, where Devon & Somerset Trading Standards personally checks businesses, ensures they are aware of and following the law, and also that they have a good customer service record.
Traders who are likely to be working in people’s homes or with high risk groups (such as children or vulnerable adults) will also be asked to agree to a criminal records check.
Only when everything has been thoroughly verified and Devon & Somerset Trading Standards is confident that this is a business consumers can trust are they admitted into the scheme and allowed to use the Buy With Confidence logo. Membership is certainly not offered lightly.
Is Buy With Confidence Just In Devon & Somerset?
No, BWC is part of an approved trader scheme operated by more than 50 local authorities across the UK. However the scheme’s origins started in Devon, as in 1999 Devon Trading Standards launched ‘CustomerFirst’, around the same time as Hampshire launched ‘Buy With Confidence’.
By the time the two schemes formally merged in 2008 over 20 local authorities were participating. It has continued to expand ever since. You can see a map of the areas running Buy With Confidence on the scheme’s main site.
What Type Of Businesses Are Part Of The Scheme?
All sorts! We have electricians, accountants, plumbers, taxis, builders, chimney sweeps, thatchers, toy makers, hairdressers, shops and everything in-between. There’s a Buy With Confidence member for most of your needs, so head over to BuyWithConfidence.gov.uk to find one.
I’m Looking For Locally Produced Goods, Not Just A Local Business. Can You Help?
We run our ‘Made In Devon’ scheme in tandem with Buy With Confidence, which affirms that a business’ goods can legitimately be said to have been produced within the county (unfortunately the scheme does not currently run in Somerset, although this may change). You can find out more about Made In Devon here.
I’ve Got A Problem With A Buy With Confidence Member!
Whilst we vet every BWC member both when they first apply and on an on-going basis, disputes between BWC businesses and consumers will inevitably arise. If there is a problem, a BWC member is expected to deal with issues fairly and without undue delay.
If the customer cannot resolve the issue directly with the trader and a solution to the problem is not found, mediation may be offered, if appropriate. If you have an on-going problem with a BWC member, report it to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, who will be able to give you advice. They will immediately pass your complaint to us and we will look into it.
Limitations Of The Scheme
The Buy With Confidence Scheme is concerned primarily with the customer service procedures of a business. It should not be considered an assurance of any other aspect of that organisation’s business. The inclusion of a business in the scheme does not mean that the Trading Standards Service guarantees the quality of the goods or service provided nor can we accept any responsibility for any aspect of the work. We are also unable to guarantee the financial standing of members.
The decision to use a particular business rests solely with the consumer. Whilst we make every effort to ensure that members comply with the law, we cannot guarantee that their work will never give rise to a complaint.
To find a Buy With Confidence approved trader, head over to the BWC site.