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Repair industry misses NCC’s first deadline

The National Consumer Council has held urgent talks with the Office of Fair Trading this week as it emerged the car servicing and repair industry will miss its deadline for a united code of practice.

Stage one of the new code, developed by the Society Motor Manufacturers and Traders was scheduled to be met this weekend. The NCC gave a timetable of action six months ago. If the industry fails to meet the OFT’s Consumer Codes Approval Scheme it will face an NCC supercomplaint*.

Steve Brooker, NCC senior policy advocate, said: “While we are frustrated that our deadline has not been met, we are pleased at the progress that has been made.

“Making a supercomplaint now, when so much has been achieved could jeopardise an early improvement in service standards for millions of consumers.”

The NCC will be holding monthly meetings with the Department of Trade and Industry, the OFT and the SMMT to make sure ‘there’s no sliding back’. Although the NCC won’t be making a super-complaint today, it said it would ‘remain on the table’ if there should be more delays or breakdowns.

*What is a super-complaint?

Supercomplaint: The NCC has the power to submit super complaints under the Enterprise Act 2002. Section 11 defines a super complaint as a complaint submitted by a designated consumer body that 'any feature, or combination of features, of a market in the UK for goods or services is or appears to be significantly harming the interests of consumers'. NCC submitted its first super complaint (on home credit) to the OFT in June 2004. As a result the home credit industry is now being investigated by the Competition Commission.

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