Member Service Spotlight: The National Conciliation Service
Received a complaint from a customer and not sure how to handle the situation? The National Conciliation Service (NCS) is an independent, CTSI certified Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider that can help you prevent detrimental disputes and restore good customer relationships.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a means of settling disputes without resorting to the courts.
Business with ADR services provide reassurance and peace of mind to both member and consumer that if a dispute arises, a conclusion can be found that is typically faster, cheaper and less stressful than taking the case to court.
There are different levels of ADR available through the NCS:
Mediation/Conciliation: where an independent third party helps the disputing parties to come to a mutually acceptable outcome.
Arbitration: Where an independent third party considers the facts and takes a decision that is often agreed to be binding on one or both parties.
Legal Representation: Neither party in the dispute is required to seek legal advice or representation, for example; appoint a lawyer or legal advisor. However, both parties have the right to seek legal or independent advice or to be represented or assisted, by for example; a friend, a family member or a legal representative at any stage of the process
The National Conciliation Service is a fully independent ADR provider, accredited by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) as a provider of ADR, and is a key service within your IGA membership.
Their services are free for consumers to use, and they will work with both sides of a dispute to reach a fair conclusion within 90 days of receiving a complaint. Their current team of case handlers have more than 30 years’ experience in resolving disputes between the motor trade and its customers.
The NCS handles a wide range of cases, including:
- service and repairs contracts of vehicles
- sale contracts of vehicles
- used cars
- lost deposits
IGA members can:
- Promote their NCS membership to customers
- Inform customers about the benefits of dealing with their business as a member of the IGA
- Advise customers of the conciliation and arbitration service, should the need arise
- Solve disputes amicably and fairly, without court hearings
As a member of the Independent Garage Association you are required to provide information about your ADR provider on your website and in any contractual terms with customers. .
If you haven’t added this information to your website or contracts yet, you can copy and paste the paragraph below we have created for you to use:
“We are subscribed to the National Conciliation Service (NCS) which is the UK’s certified automotive retail Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider. As one of our customers, you are able to use the NCS if you feel we have not internally been able to resolve your complaint.
The NCS has been certified by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) as compliant with UK and EU regulations in respect of ADR.”
For more information visit . You can also call the IGA Member Helpline on 01788 225 908 or email if you have any further questions.