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OFT changes delay launch of CarWise code

Minor, last-minute changes to the CarWise code requested by the OFT will delay its launch, RMI tells members.

RMI chief executive Matthew Carrington has written to member firms advising them that the OFT has asked for minor changes to the draft CarWise 'good garage' code of practice – which means that it has yet to receive Stage One approval, unlike the VBRA's code covering collision repairers. It is now likely to be at least late summer before the CarWise scheme is fully approved so that member garages can display the 'OFT approved' logo for the scheme. The OFT says it normally needs nine months to test monitoring and complaint resolution procedures before a Stage One approval can be turned into a Stage Two approved self-regulation scheme.

The OFT was to have launched a consumer awareness programme on the CarWise and other consumer codes earlier this month. It will now promote each specific scheme separately – when each is finally approved. - The OFT is encouraging consumers to use their powers more. In s new advertising campaign launched today, it is advising people, “Don't be embarrassed to negotiate on price and ask for a better deal, and if the goods or services are not up to scratch, then complain. The OFT's youth-targeted advertising campaign has been designed to reach out especially to young consumers and those about to make major purchases. The OFT says “it is widely recognised that the UK economy is increasingly driven by consumers, but (it) wants to give that process a push.

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