Nick Ross, the former Crimewatch and Watchdog presenter, has been signed up as the face of an ombudmsan scheme for the conservatory and double glazing industry being launched from Manchester. The Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS) has been set up by Tony Pickup, who in 1996 set up the Quality Assurance Association, a trade association for contractors.
The Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme aims to offer protection for double glazing and conservatory consumers and double glazing and conservatory installers in a £4.65bn double glazing and conservatory industry. The double glazing and conservatory industry was responsible for 22,000 complaints to trading standards last year.
The DGCOS has already signed up 126 double glazing installers. It is claimed that the new scheme is different from existing consumer protection schemes because installers who sign up for it are legally bound by its decisions.
The DGCOS Compensation Fund will pay out all bona fide claims to compensate homeowners using DGCOS Accredited Installers where traders fail to live up to their promises and the ombudsman has found in their favour. Traders will also have some protection against customers who withhold payment or make unfounded complaints. The double glazing installers also have to pay into a bond scheme to cover compensation if they cease trading.
Nick Ross said: “Consumer agencies champion ombudsman schemes because they give customers real protection. DGCOS is based on similar schemes which have been successful in other industries and are strongly recommended by consumer groups.
“Rogue traders have done serious harm to the reputation of the industry, so restoring confidence is important not just for consumers but for all good contractors. DGCOS can help rebuild trust and mark out the good guys from the cowboys.”