Frequently asked questions

 

Q: What is a Consumer Code?

Q: How does a business become NCC Approved?

Q: What is the benefit of buying from a NCC Approved business?

Q: Why have the Codes and schemes been established?

Q: Who governs the schemes?

Q: What happens if I have a complaint?

Q: What happens if a business is found to be in breach of the Code?





Q: What is a Consumer Code?

A: A Consumer Code sets a benchmark of business and customer service standards that Approved members are required to follow. The criteria used in all the Codes that underpin the NCC Approved schemes closely mirrors the government’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) Consumer Codes Approval Scheme and broadly assesses how a business:

  • Markets and advertises its products and services
  • Handles requests for information from consumers
  • Guides consumers through the buying process
  • Conducts the sale and handover
  • Introduces and fulfil warranties
  • Delivers an aftersales service
  • Responds to complaints



Q: How does a business become NCC Approved?

A: After a member signs up to the scheme, a comprehensive on-site evaluation of existing procedures is carried out by an independent assessor who reviews these against the Code criteria. If there are any elements that do not comply with the Code these must be rectified and evidenced to the assessor before NCC Approval can be granted. Thereafter, NCC continually monitors compliance of all NCC Approved businesses through various methods (e.g. desktop checks, targeted compliance monitoring, mystery shopping) to ensure that compliance is maintained.





Q: What is the benefit of buying from a NCC Approved business?

A: By being NCC Approved, a business demonstrates to existing and potential customers that it makes a conscious and tangible commitment to protect their interests, treat them fairly and honestly, operate to best industry practice and maintain high standards. To be NCC Approved is to:

  • Provide a greater level of consumer protection and rights than is required by law
  • Deal in an open, honest and fair manner with consumers
  • Have a user friendly customer complaints procedure
  • Commit to delivering high standards of customer satisfaction
  • Operate a process of continuous improvement based on customer feedback




Q: Why have the Codes and schemes been established?

A: The NCC scheme and Codes are designed to improve consumer protection and to promote and protect the interests of NCC members. They also align with the Government’s ambition to rein in costly state regulation and allow industries to focus more on growing their markets than complying with red tape. The Government still wants industries to maintain high standards of customer care and fair provision of goods and services, but has been encouraging this through self-regulation, using Codes based on the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) Consumer Code Approval Scheme.





Q: Who governs the schemes?

A: The schemes are managed day-to-day by the NCC, supported by an independent assessor team, and overseen by an independent Policy Board with consumer interest representation. The Policy Board is responsible for ensuring compliance standards and has a range of sanctions at its disposal to ensure that compliance is maintained.





Q: What happens if I have a complaint?

A: Each Code details complaint handling procedures but initially all complaints will be considered by the business concerned. If a mutually agreeable resolution can’t be found, the NCC offers its own Informal Dispute Resolution services and if this is unsuccessful, the unresolved compliant can be escalated to an Independent Case Examiner who will normally make an adjudication. For further information, there is a complaint guidance document available under “Downloads”.





Q: What happens if a business is found to be in breach of the Code?

A: Dependent on the breach (or non-compliance), the business is given an opportunity to remedy the situation. Timescales and actions on how to remedy the non-compliances will be agreed. If the business doesn’t respond appropriately within prescribed time limits, the breach is reported to the independent Policy Board which has a range of sanctions at its disposal. These range from warnings through to cancellation of NCC Approval and NCC membership.

Consumer benefits of buying from a Code of Practice scheme approved business

If you are dealing with an NCC Approved Dealer you are safe in the knowledge that...

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NCC Dealership


Business benefits of becoming NCC Approved

Sets your business apart from your competitors and demonstrates you work to open, fair and honest business criteria set out by the NCC Industry Codes of Practice.

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