The benefits of consumer protection
By Fasial Hussain, chief executive, DGCOS
As we have seen over recent months, difficult economic conditions, high interest rates and an increase in the cost of living have resulted in some unscrupulous traders potentially taking advantage of consumers.
In addition, difficult trading conditions have put pressure on installation companies who have seen their fixed costs rise and some, including big names, have ceased to trade. This has created a perfect storm of circumstances under which consumers are more vulnerable and more likely to experience difficulties in their door, window and conservatory installations, potentially leaving them out of pocket and/or with incomplete jobs.
At times like this, the team at DGCOS is at the forefront of the consumer experience, which gives our team a real insight into the importance of consumer protection for them, installers and for the wider industry and economy.
The benefits to homeowners of consumer protection schemes like DGCOS are clear. Using an accredited supplier for home improvements gives them comfort that the installer has been vetted by an independent organisation. They can be safe in the knowledge that they are being treated in a fair and responsible way with all the protection that using a DGCOS member brings, including a consumer advice line, deposit and stage-payment protection insurance, an insurance backed guarantee, alternative dispute resolution and access to an Ombudsman, should the installer meet all of DGCOS’s required conditions.
A DGCOS member also gains from being part of the scheme. DGCOS membership will help enhance a good reputation which leads to more recommendations, new leads and an increase in profitability.
They also benefit from a range of support services from DGCOS which helps them to run their businesses efficiently. These services help installers at every stage of their journey from getting started, marketing and digital, selling, installing, customer service and satisfaction, and an annual review. Each stage is made up of multiple benefits that DGCOS offer to their members.
If we can maintain high standards of product and service through schemes like DGCOS, it creates a dynamic, competitive market, leads to innovation and quality of product, fair pricing and high levels of customer service.
If we want a healthy and sustainable industry with a choice of products at competitive prices and high delivery of service to homeowners to ensure profitability, we need to recognise the importance of consumer protection.