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Carpet Foundation secures approved-ADR status

The Carpet Foundation has become the only government-approved Alternative Dispute Resolution supplier in the UK carpet industry.

‘Consumer law has changed, and all retailers now legally need a dispute resolution process. If they do not have one, retailers must, legally, tell their consumers. Carpet retailers who are not in the Carpet Foundation can still use anyone for disputes, but they must tell their consumers that their ADR supplier is not approved by the government. Carpet Foundation retail members are now automatically covered but other retailers are not so fortunate. They will have to find an ADR supplier,’ said Andrew Stanbridge, Carpet Foundation chief executive.

‘We do not make the law – but we, and our members, do comply with it. The law is now even more firmly on the consumer’s side. However, for our members, it is very much business as usual. Others, however, are not so fortunate. There will be no hiding place for them either. Sticking their heads in the sand will only lead to trouble for them. Our retailers can now use this as a major competitive advantage and we will be encouraging them to do so: they are ahead of the game.’

Gaining government approval took a year to achieve, involving copious paperwork, an on-site inspection and audit of systems by Trading Standards Institute. The Carpet Foundation is required to publish, every quarter, on its website, the number of conciliations and arbitrations it has undertaken in the period – and the results. They will also be audited annually to ensure compliance and integrity.