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New laws to make consumer complaints against companies easier

New legislation to make complaints against businesses easier will come into force in the coming weeks.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution legislation (ADR) will make companies pass dissatisfied consumers on to a resolution provider.

It will give consumers greater powers by requiring all UK businesses to tell unhappy customers how to contact a recognised dispute resolution service.

The ADR Law, which comes into force on 9th July, applies to all businesses that sell goods or services to consumers.

The law changes are being dubbed ‘quiet legislation’ by industry experts as until now little was known of how the new rules would work.

But the Government has now appointed the newly named Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) to oversee the implementation of the legislation and to appoint recognised ADR providers across UK industry.

Motoring magazine, Auto Express, welcomed the new rules after announcing that Motor Codes, the consumer arm of the Society of Motor Manufacturers Traders, is among the favourites to be the first motor industry ‘ombudsman’ to operate in this area of consumer law.

Mark Terry, managing director at Motor Codes told Auto Express that while the legislation gives greater consumer power, he said there is little to fear if businesses approach it in the right way and seek to work with their appointed ADR provider.

He added: “In the case of the UK motor industry, Motor Codes is very well placed to provide effective ADR because we have been providing a range of resolution services since 2004 and are currently serving consumers through a network of 8,000 garages across the UK.”

The ADR legislation follows other consumer law changes over the past year to make it easier for unhappy customers to get their complaints resolved.

The UK’s Consumer Rights Bill was given royal assent in March 2015 and consolidates eight existing pieces of legislation, including the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.

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