Chris Mason - Motor Ind Codes
Mark - no soap box, we do need coverage but I don't know why you think any discounts have been given. Not true, one subscription price for all, £75.
I'll happily set up a subscription for UKAT network if you wish but you'll pay the same as a large VM network or a single sole trader.
The regulators, consumer lobby and government required us to produce a new code 'for the entire sector' which is something that doesn't currently exist. ATA is excellent for the individual and the Bosch code is excellent for the Bosch network etc.
We continue to work on these difficult matters with the associations and the sector but there is no definitive answer at this stage.
Graham - many relevant points but I must clarify again that this is not a revenue generating exercise. The business needs to sustain and as we go forward we will review and reinvest as we see fit but believe me it is no a cashcow.
Subscriptions are set and there is no intention to increase them or any other associated fee.
Remember that this is self regulation, we take the subscriber on a self certification basis; who are you, what are you, what do you do and what do you have. This covers the basics, business premises, insurance, planning permission etc. We then check that is correct through the welcome visit (which is free of charge) and the ongoing compliance checks.
Also, with the advice line (freephone) and the conciliation service and customer surveys (freepost) we get to find out pretty quickly who is able and who isn't. Then those that can't or won't raise their game are expelled creating a separation of those that can and will and those that can't or won't.
Trading Standards are already involved in the process as will be the OFT, so ultimately, and this is my coverage point - we create an environment that you are talking about in your second para. Good guys in business and the bad out of business, as the customer will drive this once we get the coverage.
I agree with you, it's been going on for too long - so lets get it sorted out by doing the right thing. Where it's not right, we'll work on it as we progress and get it right. That's the beauty of self regulation - we get to work it out and are monitored in operatin by the OFT who set the rules and approve it.
Simon - I think your points are similar to Grahams above. You need to consider this as a different approach, self regulation is about inclusion for those that can and will and exclusion for those that can't or won't.
Sounds to me like if you look at the Code requirements, for you it will be a case of confirmation of what you are already doing, but within that reassuring your customers and potential customers that you are bound by a code and should anything go wrong (infrequently as that may be), you have made provision for them to get advice and a swift resolution should it get that far. And you can't say fairer than that.
Additionally the code will gain full oft approval status during 2009 (we currently have the first stage and are now going through the process of providing the OFT with operational evidence as is the requirement of their approval process), at which point all subscribers will be able to use the OFT approved code logo and refer to such in their marketing etc.
I think it will provide you with value from the start, and as we build the brand and the various other initiatives it will only become more so.
Shaun - in brief, the RAC Inspection Services are well qualified for the purposes of the code evaluation.
Agree with point about united front, thats why I'm here!
Cheers again, good to have the discussion and I hope this feedback is of some use.
Apologies for brevity, none other than usual reasons i'm afraid...
All the best
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