Further to our story last week ‘Incorrect advice on ADR from Trading Standards’ we are pleased to note this week that Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards have sent out a letter to correct the mis-information they sent out to traders last week.
However……the new letter (fig.1) which could have simply said.….’we would like to clarify that the information given out in our previous letter regarding the legal obligation to name an ADR provider in your terms and conditions and on your website is only applicable to dealers who are members of a Trade Association whose membership rules require them to use ADR. All other dealers, have no obligation to participate in ADR other than having a requirement to advise consumers about ADR at the final stage of any complaint’. Instead the already confused dealers were sent the attached, more of which in a later Lawgistics Legal Update.
Staying with ADR for now, the above point is really quite important as many of the new ADR bodies, all of whom have to pay a substantial fee to Trading Standards to be approved and authorised to operate, will charge a dealer to get involved. In many cases the decision of the ADR provider will be binding and so no court will ever get to look at the facts and properly consider the law. This can result in the dealer being forced to pay out on a case for which he has no legal liability and on top of that, being charged up to £350 for the privilege.
Now of course ADR has its place and it is not totally without merit but in many of the cases we see where consumers come to the table believing it is their right for their used car to be as new, ADR is not a cost effective or fair way of resolving matters and so Trading Standards must be careful not to wrongly force dealers into following a part of the law which simply does not apply to them.
*to be fair to Trading Standards, the RMI also gave out the wrong information to traders last week (fig.2). However, they simply corrected it after we pointed it out.
If you have any doubts about where you stand with ADR or the CRA2015 Lawgistics members can contact the legal team.
Trading Standards updated letter regarding ADR (fig.1)
RMI incorrect advice regarding ADR (fig.2)