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News - 19 May 2005

New scheme to isolate rogue traders

Brighton & Hove City Council proposes to launch a new ‘Buy with Confidence’ scheme, that aims to promote good traders and by default should protect consumers from the rogues. The scheme will initially focus on household traders but if it is found to be useful it may be extended.

Brighton & Hove City Council’s Trading Standards team wants to compile a list of reputable local traders who provide a good service to customers.

Proposals for the scheme, which is already operating successfully in a number of other areas of the South East, will be considered by the city council’s environment committee later this month (May 26).

If the scheme is given the go-ahead it is expected to be up and running early this summer and will concentrate initially on household traders, such as builders, plumbers and electricians.

The Business Forum would like to see the scheme ultimately extended to include business-2-business as well as business-2-consumer traders. Business scams are a regular occurrence and they not only expose businesses to fraud but the increasing abundance and regularity of such fraudulent activity is making it increasingly difficult for genuine traders to break through the barriers of fear and suspicion created by these fraudsters.

Traders who apply to be included on the list will have to supply references, and stringent checks will be carried out by Trading Standards officers. Customers of traders on the list will be asked to send feedback forms to Trading Standards.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the city council’s environment committee, said: "There are a lot of very good, reputable traders in the city and the proposed Buy with Confidence scheme will let people know who they are. We receive regular requests from members of the public for information about reputable traders they can use and we expect the scheme to be popular with customers and traders.”


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