- The Code (s23.3) sets out the timeframes within which Scheme Members* agree to comply with the requirements of the Code. Generally, Scheme Members have three months from the date on which they sign up to comply with the requirements of the Code. It has also been agreed that a Scheme Member can become compliant before the relevant time period by unilateral declaration that it is compliant. Disputes cannot be handled by TDR until a Member is compliant.
- Communications with new Members and prospective Members will reinforce the need for compliance with the Code overall, but emphasise that compliance is not an over- burdensome task.
- Information packs are available for prospective Members and new Members. This includes an explanation of sign-up date vs. compliance date.
- Examples of our approach are: *Compliance costs are limited to bringing your own complaints system into line with the Code. Your own complaint handling system needs to meet the standards of the TDR Customer Complaints Code, but if you already have a robust complaint process in place there may be very little – if anything – you will have to change. *There is no formal assessment of Code compliance, however the better your overall complaint system is, the fewer complaints TDR is likely to have against your organisation.
- From the customers’ perspective there is no need to explain compliance, other than to reinforce that all Scheme Members must comply with the Code. In one section of the website however, customers are advised that if their telecommunication company is not a part of the Scheme they can ask for it to join, and also gives them a timeframe within which they can expect their company to become compliant.
- Members who have not completed the compliance period or advised unilaterally that they are compliant will not be eligible to have disputes referred to TDR. Such Members will not be visible on the TDR website and any complaints received by TDR will be considered non-relevant enquiries.
- Individual Members must decide how to handle communications with their customers about membership of and compliance with the Scheme both before and after compliance.
- The Scheme Agent’s** main responsibilities are to encourage membership of the scheme and to provide a service that meets the requirements of its Agreement with the TCF.
*Members of TDR’s service are referred to as ‘Scheme Members’ in the Customer Complaints Code
**The Scheme Agent is FairWay Resolution Limited (Fair Way), who operates Telecommunications Dispute Resolution