- Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme
The UK's double glazing and conservatory sector
The Double Glazing and Conservatory Industry in the UK is large, with 14,000 window, door and conservatory companies operating.
An investigation by consumer magazine Which? indicated that the UK's double glazing industry had a lack of transparency regarding prices, acknowledging the importance of the industry ensuring that all traders were reputable.
DGCOS ensures all member businesses have gone through a 12-point vetting process which includes:
- submitting references of 10 jobs completed in the past 12 months
- ensuring professional contracts are in place
- that they offer insurance backed guarantees for at least 10 years
- that they are fully covered with public liability insurance
DGCOS is an independent organisation paid for by installers and does not charge consumers.
- a free quote for a DGCOS member
- a pack which explains the protections offered by the scheme
- a 10 year guarantee
- a Deposit Protection Certificate
- an insurance-backed Guarantee
- free access to industry inspectors, mediators and an ombudsman
- a compensation fund which will pay out bona fide claims to compensate homeowners where traders fail to live up to their promises.
- Protection to its members' businesses in situations where customers withhold payments or make unfounded complaints, allowing them to claim for unpaid contracts in cases where the Ombudsman has found in favour of the installer and the customer refuses to pay
There has been a lot of debate on whether the industry needs an organisation like DGCOS, especially amongst the double glazing and conservatory bloggers - some writers have been very supportive of the organisation whilst others have questioned the way the DGCOS operates.
- ^ Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme website, http://www.dgcos.org.uk/
- ^ Architect's Data File, http://www.architectsdatafile.co.uk/pressrelease/pressrelease.aspx?companyname=Double+Glazing+and+Conservatory+Ombudsman+Scheme+(DGCOS)&title=Nick+Ross+launches+new+consumer+champion+for+the+double-glazing+%26+conservatory+trade
- ^ Window Base Project Manager Database http://www.windowbase.info/
- ^ Article in The Guardian reporting on the issue which references the article in Which? http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/jun/23/window-firms-misleading-public
- ^ The Independent, reference to the 12-point process in the second paragraph, http://www.independent.co.uk/money/spend-save/tide-turns-in-fight-against-the-rogue-double-glazers-1968949.html
- ^ Fenestration News, article of the '"Peace of Mind" pack, http://www.fenestration-news.com/News/NewsItemRSS.aspx?id=6947
- ^ a b DGCOS website, full details of what it offers to consumers, http://www.dgcos.org.uk/about_benefits.html
- Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme, Official Site, Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme
- BBC News, 04/05/2010, 'Ombudsman to tackle rogue glaziers', http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8658917.stm
- The Guardian, 23/06/2010, 'Major window firms attacked for 'misleading' public', http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/jun/23/window-firms-misleading-public
- The Independent, 09/05/2010, 'Tide turns in fight against the rogue double glazers' http://www.independent.co.uk/money/spend-save/tide-turns-in-fight-against-the-rogue-double-glazers-1968949.html
- Which?, 'How to buy Double Glazing', http://www.which.co.uk/advice/how-to-buy-double-glazing/double-glazing-sales-and-quotes/index.jsp
- Crain's Manchester Business, 05/05/2010, 'New double glazing ombudsman opens office in Manchester', http://www.crainsmanchesterbusiness.co.uk/article/20100505/FREE/100509959
- Manchester Evening News, 04/05/2010, 'Don't Have Nightmares About Double Glazing', http://menmedia.co.uk/news/business/s/1238767_dont_have_nightmares_about_double_glazing
- Lancashire Evening Post, 05/06/2010, 'Conservatory firm customers will not lose money', http://www.lep.co.uk/news/conservatory_firm_customers_will_not_lose_money_1_63870
- Northwest Evening Mail, 14/06/2010, 'Consumer Champ Backs New Scheme, http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/action-desk/consumer-champ-backs-new-scheme-1.720280?referrerPath=news/action-desk
- Trading Standards Institute, http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/extra/usefullinks.cfm?frmAlias=/useful/
- Construction Online, 05/05/2010, 'Nick Ross launches new consumer champion for the double-glazing & conservatory trade' http://www.construction-online.net/news/2010/05/nick-ross-launches-new-consumer-champion-for-the-double-glazing-conservatory-trade/
- Glass and Glazing Products Magazine, 05/05/2010, http://www.ggpmag.com/newsitem.asp?newsID=403
- Architect's Datafile, 25/05/2010, Architect's Data File, http://www.architectsdatafile.co.uk/pressrelease/pressrelease.aspx?companyname=Double+Glazing+and+Conservatory+Ombudsman+Scheme+(DGCOS)&title=Nick+Ross+launches+new+consumer+champion+for+the+double-glazing+%26+conservatory+trade
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