MORAY Council has agreed to bring in an approved merchant scheme to help protect vulnerable consumers from fraudulent merchants.
Members of the Planning and Organizational Services Committee have agreed to start a council-branded Trusted Trader scheme to give residents access to an up-to-date directory of local businesses that operate with good consumer protection standards.
More than half of local authorities in Scotland are currently working on certified trader schemes which aim to increase consumer confidence, promote good practice within local businesses and help protect people from fraudulent traders.
Committee Chair, Adviser David Gordon said: “I welcome the development of the Moray Trusted Trader scheme which will recognize reputable local traders and support consumers to make an informed decision about who they trade with.
“It is hoped that with the introduction of the system, there will be a decrease in the number of complaints filed against trade standards by residents who have experienced poor quality service from a disreputable trader.”
Since January 2020, the Council’s Commercial Standards team have dealt with 100 complaints relating to services including building work, gardening/landscape, insulation work, roofing, double glazing, heating installation, painting/decorating, hallway work, fitted kitchens and bathrooms. The total cost to consumers has been estimated at over £550,000.
Consumers will be able to search for certified traders, who have been vetted by Trading Standards, on the Trusted Traders website, as well as view reviews and comments left by previous customers. The National Helpline will support those without internet access.
The initial cost of £2,000 to set up the Moray Trusted Trader Scheme with Trusted Directory Services (TDS) will be covered by the Board and subsequently funded by an annual subscription fee paid by the companies. The council will work with local business organizations to promote participation in the system.
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