Family firm first to be approved
Published Friday, 13 July 2012
A family-run plumbing company is the first in Scotland to be certified under the approved trader scheme.
David Baxter & Sons Ltd, Plumbing and Heating Engineers, based in Stonehouse, has been formally recognised by Scotland's first Buy with Confidence scheme.
Designed to boost consumer protection and promote fair trading practices, the scheme is the largest one for local authorities in the UK with up to 60 councils now members.
However, South Lanarkshire is the first to take up the baton north of the border.
And the council's Divisional Trading Standards Officer David Templeton is confident the reputation of the scheme will boost consumer confidence.
David said: "We wanted to bring in good, hard-working businesses and showcase what they do well, whilst creating a signpost to the consumer that Buy With Confidence can provide the peace of mind they need when choosing a business or tradesperson to work with.
"Ultimately our plan is to create a database of reliable approved businesses or traders in every sector.
"Most of all we want to marginalise the cowboys, and promote good, fair dealing practices in South Lanarkshire.
"Buy With Confidence takes the risk out of the process for the consumer and provides quick and easy redress if things do go wrong."
David Baxter, his brother Philip, and David's wife Lynn - have been at the helm of the company since 2003, having previously been partners with David and Philip's dad, also David, who started the business back in the early 1970s.
According to David good customer service has been key to the company's success through the decades, and the ethos of Buy with Confidence is "the perfect fit" for their family firm.
David said: "The best advertising isn't what you pay for, it is word of mouth. You just can't put a price on an endorsement from a customer.
"We are confident in what we were already doing as part of our everyday service but the assessment for Buy with Confidence is a welcome rubber-stamping for us."
It can be difficult as a business to operate in an environment where many are seen as rogues or cowboys. The Buy with Confidence scheme tells the public that the people whose job it is to protect consumers are doing so.
Councillor Hamish Stewart, the chair of the council's Community Services Committee, who presented David Baxter & Sons Ltd with their Buy with Confidence certificate, said: "The fact that South Lanarkshire is the first authority in Scotland to introduce the scheme shows our genuine commitment to consumer protection and fair trading.
"As any consumer knows, in this age of rogue traders and scams, choosing a reliable and trustworthy tradesperson or business can be a minefield.
"Buy with Confidence will provide the assurance that people need to make decisions and, to me, that is a resource that you just can't put a price on.
"I very much hope the introduction of the scheme will move consumer protection and confidence in South Lanarkshire to a new level. There is also much for the business community to gain from this and we look forward to working with them going forward."
Any business operating in South Lanarkshire can apply to become a member of Buy with Confidence.
They will be subjected to rigorous background checks and audits. If and when approved, the business can then access support and advice and benefit from promotion from their local authority.
Applications can be made at www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk
For more information please go to our Buy with Confidence page or call Trading Standards on 01698 455696.