THE Buy With Confidence approved trader scheme is now open to membership applications from businesses based in Torbay.
It is being undertaken in partnership with Devon County Council Trading Standards, which has been running the scheme for some time and will be carrying out the work to sign-up traders with support from Torbay Council.
Cllr Robert Excell, executive lead for Community Safety and Transport, said: "This is a great scheme as it benefits both traders and their customers.
"It is open to all business sectors including the motor trade, builders, plumbers, electrical goods retailers and many more.
"The main focus of the scheme is customer care. Members have to demonstrate that, as well as operating in a legal and fair way, they offer a customer-friendly service.
"I am confident that there will be many traders based in the Torbay area who will be keen to apply for membership."
Steve Cox, from Torbay Council's Community Safety Department, said: "Trading Standards is committed to working with applicants by offering advice to help them achieve membership.
"They will receive a visit and audit to check they comply with trading standards legislation and ensure that appropriate customer service procedures are in place.
"References are collected from previous customers and applicants must agree to abide by the scheme's code of conduct, which requires them to follow both the letter and spirit of the law. Criminal Records Disclosure checks will be required for applicants who work in or around people's homes.
"Membership is not given lightly, but if applicants meet all the criteria they will be invited to join the scheme, earning the right to use the distinctive logo to promote their business."
Other benefits of membership include:
Independent recognition of business standards
Increased consumer confidence in your business
Listing on the Buy With Confidence and Which? local websites
Promotional material, including vehicle and window stickers and feedback forms
Membership certificates for display at premises
Information and advice from Trading Standards
Advice and mediation to resolve higher level complaints
There is a £75 application fee collected at audit and a yearly membership fee, starting at £132, is also payable based on the number of staff employed in the business.
Businesses can find out more and apply on-line via www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk or call 01392 381381.
Consumers can check out the website to find Trading Standards-approved businesses and get buying advice.