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Trader Approval Scheme Info

What is TSA?BBC TSA logo larger

TSA list of member traders

Consumer guide to the scheme

How can I find out more?

TSA Customer Feedback Form (PDF; new window)

Trade guide to the scheme


What is TSA?

Trading Standards Approved (TSA) is run by Bedford Borough Council Trading Standards Service. The aim of the scheme is to improve business standards and increase customer confidence in member businesses. Approved businesses have agreed to abide by the terms and conditions of the scheme and have been checked by Trading Standards to ensure compliance.

Each year the Trading Standards Service receives thousands of complaints about local businesses. The scheme is a positive move to improve the way in which traders deal with consumers. There is no place in it for rogue traders who do not care for customer satisfaction or compliance with the law.


Trading Standards Approved List of Members

For a complete list of traders approved by Bedford Borough TSA scheme, please click on the link below.

Please note!  The complete list is 29 pages long, so we strongly suggest you copy the category of traders in which you have a current interest and paste them into a separate document before printing.

Trading Standards Approved List of Members

For a list of those traders approved by the Central Bedfordshire Council's TSA Scheme, please visit the TSA page of their website.

Have you used a TSA trader?  If so, please tell us about your experience.  You can download the Customer Feedback Form by clicking here.  Then simply fill it in and post it back to us (freepost).


Consumer guide to the scheme

Consumers can check with Trading Standards to see which businesses are members of the scheme before purchasing goods or services.

The scheme is voluntary. By joining the scheme businesses are demonstrating a commitment to customer care and fair-trading.

Trading Standards will continue to work closely with scheme members, and will carry out monitoring exercises to help make sure high standards are maintained.

The requirements include:

  • The business complies with the law.
  • Contract terms are fair, in plain English and clearly legible.
  • Pricing is clear, and information about payment methods is provided.
  • No repair or servicing work is carried out without the customer's permission.
  • Parts replaced during repair or servicing are made available for inspection.
  • Itemised invoices are provided.
  • The business operates an effective customer complaints procedure.

 

Approval of a business does not mean that the Trading Standards Service:

  • Can guarantee its financial stability.
  • Has individually checked the quality of any goods or services provided.
  • Gives any guarantee or warranty as to the value for money of goods or services compared with a competitor, or that they will be satisfactory.


How can I find out more?

Our list of member traders covers only those Bedfordshire traders that do business within the Bedford Borough Council's boundaries. However, there is a sister TSA scheme run by Central Bedfordshire Council Public Protection and Trading Standards Service.

For a list of those traders approved by the Central Bedfordshire Council's TSA Scheme, please visit the TSA page of their website.

If you live closer to Milton Keynes and would like to find approved traders in that area, please go to:

Milton Keynes Buy with Confidence Scheme (new window)

For more information on Bedford Trading Standards Approved or to request a hard-copy list, please contact Trading Standards.


Trader guide to the scheme

Benefits

Membership Fees

Terms & Conditions of TSA Membership

Recent amendments to the Terms & Conditions

Approval Procedure

Appeals Procedure

Sanctions Procedure

 

Great benefits for businesses:

Independent recognition of your business standards.

Potential for increased business with consumers encouraged to use local traders.

TSA membership certificate for display and use of the scheme’s logo.

Pre-entry vetting to make sure your business meets the scheme’s high standards.

Promotion of your company as a TSA business with your company name on the Trading Standards Approved list and on the Borough Council website with a hotlink to your company website.

Improved consumer confidence in your business or service.

 

TSA businesses will be able to establish a relationship with the Trading Standards Service based on co-operation rather than enforcement.  Member businesses will have a contact in the Trading Standards Service and you can obtain information on consumer civil law and legislation enforced by the Service.  In addition, we will assist you in staff training where resources permit.

 

Are there membership fees?

Businesses pay an annual subscription fee to join the scheme. We review these subscriptions each year.  For the current fee structure and any other information please contact the service.

 

Approval procedure

1.  An application for approval must be made on the appropriate form or via the Internet.

2.  The Trading Standards Service will acknowledge membership application requests

3.  Assessments of applicants will in most cases involve an inspection of the business premises,      procedures, documents and products.

4.  Any business that does not meet the terms and conditions of the scheme will not be eligible to join it.

5.  The Service may also carry out the following to assess the applicant's suitability to join the scheme:

  • Require the production of customer details in order to seek references for the business.
  • Carry out criminal record/County Court judgment checks
  • Checks on your business’s legal compliance during an audit. 

 

The Service will give due consideration to any complaints/ enquiries made by consumers about you to the Service along with information gathered through the Services normal market surveillance operations. 

 

Appeals procedure

1. Scope
This procedure will apply to appeals against a decision to refuse membership of, and revocation from the Trading Standards Approved (TSA) scheme.

 

2. Procedure

  • Any decision to either refuse or revoke membership by the Trading Standards Service will be communicated in writing to the business concerned. Reasons for the decision will be given, along with information about how to appeal against it.
  • A business may appeal against a decision to refuse or revoke membership to the Head of Environmental Health & Trading Standards.
  • An appeal must be made in writing and received by the Trading Standards Service no later than 21 days from the date of postage of the letter refusing or revoking membership.
  • Appeals are to be addressed to:
    John Molyneux
    Head of Environmental Health & Trading Standards
    Town Hall, St. Paul's Square
    Bedford  MK40 1SJ
  • Following the receipt of an appeal the Head of Environmental Health & Trading Standards will review the decision to refuse or revoke membership.
  • The findings of the Head of Environmental Health & Trading Standards will be confirmed in writing with reasons to the business within 21 days of receipt of the appeal.
  • If the appeal is unsuccessful a further appeal can be made to the Head of Legal Services whose decision is final.

 

Sanctions procedure

Sanctions for failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the Scheme:

  • Where a member fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the scheme we will investigate the non-compliance and then write to them.
  • The letter will identify the nature of the non-compliance and as appropriate what we will do and/or what we require the member to do.
  • Letters will fall into three categories advisory, warning or termination.
  • It is open to the member to follow the appeals procedure if they do not accept our findings.

 

 

Advisory letters

  • This will apply were non-compliance has not resulted in any customer detriment.
  • The letter will identify what corrective action the member must undertake and the date by which this should be completed.

 

 

Warning letters

  • This will apply where non-compliance has resulted in customer detriment but some action or offer has been made by the member to offset the detriment.
  • It will also apply when a previous advisory letter has been sent for the same non-compliance.
  • The letter will identify what corrective action the member must undertake and the date by which this should be completed.

 

Termination letters

  • This will apply where non-compliance has resulted in significant consumer detriment and no reasonable action or offer has been made to offset the detriment.
  • It will also apply when a previous letter of warning has been sent for the same non-compliance.
  • The letter will state that as a consequence the member will be removed from the scheme with immediate effect.

 

Definitions

  • Consumer detriment:  This includes inconvenience as well as financial loss resulting from the non-compliance

 

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