Stevenage MP supports The Furniture Ombudsman’s bid for OFT Approval.
The Furniture Ombudsman is proud to have received the support of its local MP. Stephen McPartland MP has written a letter to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in support of TFO’s bid to establish a Consumer Code under the OFT’s Consumer Code Approval Scheme (CCAS).
The Furniture Ombudsman, established with the OFT in 1992, is a membership organisation which aims to inspire consumer confidence in the furniture industry. All of TFO’s Full Member retailers pledge to abide by a code of practice which bestows additional rights on the consumer. Currently, TFO Membership extends to approximately 4,500 stores, with many of the UK's biggest retailers pledging their support for the scheme. To add even more gravitas to its existing code of practice, TFO submitted a formal application to establish a Consumer Code under the OFT’s Consumer Code Approval Scheme in January 2011.
The CCAS aims to raise standards by allowing retailers who have signed up to an approved code to display the OFT Approved code logo to signify that they have promised to provide a higher standard of customer service than required by law, including better protection in the event that something goes wrong.
Kevin Grix, Head of The Furniture Ombudsman explained, “We are keen for our existing code of practice to be recognised as a code approved by the OFT. Having our TFO code of practice approved will allow our members to provide even further assurance to consumers that they will be treated fairly if problems arise following a purchase. Approval will also mean Member retailers will be able to display both the OFT and TFO logos to notify consumers that they are responsible retailers.
Stephen McPartland MP has been a strong supporter of the work of The Furniture Ombudsman for a number of years. Last year he joined Kevin on a tour of Stevenage-based Members speaking with store managers about their commitment to raising standard within the furniture industry.
On hearing of the CCAS application, Stephen McPartland MP, who is also the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Furniture Group, wrote to the Office of Fair Trading to show his support of The Furniture Ombudsman.
Stephen said, “The Furniture Ombudsman does a great job to inspire consumer confidence in the furniture industry. Additional recognition from the Office of Fair Trading through their CCAS would allow them to continue with the good work that they are already doing, which is clearly adding a layer of protection for consumers in an industry which is ripe for self-regulation.”
In his letter to the OFT, Stephen stated, “The more retail members that The Furniture Ombudsman has, the greater the protection there is for consumers who shop within the furniture and home improvement industries. I am keen to support their work and their code application and would be grateful if you would advise me as to when they may see some progress.”