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More MS news articles for August 2003

New code to fight rogue traders

August 1, 2003

A new code of practice* could be “a milestone” in the battle to prevent the mis-selling of assistive products to disabled people.

The British Healthcare Trades Association has published a draft version of a code for consultation and hopes to have it approved by the Office of Fair Trading. If approved, the code will have legally enforceable sanctions.

Its publication came after a string of critical reports last year accused some firms of employing high pressure sales techniques.
The draft version of the code of practice includes recommendations for a minimum seven-day “cooling-off period”, which would allow customers a week to return the product if they decided it was not suitable.

And it would stop companies making misleading claims and using high pressure sales techniques.

Maggie Winchcombe, acting chief executive of the Disabled Living Centres Council, welcomed the draft code and predicted that companies that did not sign up to it would become “increasingly isolated”.

“It’s very comprehensive and I welcome the opportunity to support an initiative that will help our users in our network feel more confident about who they might recommend to prospective customers.”

Ray Hogkinson, director general of the BHTA, said: “I think it is going to be a milestone for the industry.”

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