We have had calls from a number of our dealers who have received a letter from Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards who are clearly on a car dealer initiative at the moment (letters dated 14 October 2016).
The letter appears to be generic and sent to many dealers and so you wont necessarily get a visit.
However, we are concerned that the letter is giving incorrect information re ADR (Alternative Dispute Regulations). The letter states:
‘Please note you have an obligation since 2015 under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 to incorporate into your ‘terms and conditions’ a named contact certified (ADR) – Alternative Dispute Resolution service and include such information on your website. Regulation 19 (1) & 19 (2).’
This only applies IF you are a member of a Trade Association which requires you to offer mediation as part of your membership. There is no such obligation on any dealer who is not part of any such association and so if this particular Trading Standards office tries to tick you off for not having the information on your website, you are safe to challenge them as the information they have put in this letter is not correct.
Should you have any further questions or information about this letter or visits from Trading Standards we currently have former Trading Standards officers looking into these issues so please contact us.
The officer sending the letter assures that if you have any doubts about the ADR Regulations you can contact him for clarification. However, we would suggest that on the evidence of this letter, you are perhaps best advised to seek advice on what the law actually says from elsewhere.