Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme


Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme

The DGCOS, or Double-Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme, was established in early 2010 to provide an independent regulatory body for UK’s double glazing and conservatory industry.[1]

The DGCOS was launched in May 2010 with the backing of consumer advocate Nick Ross – a former presenter of BBC's consumer program Watchdog (TV series).[2]

Contents

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.[3]

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.[4]

Vetting standards

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[5]

DGCOS is an independent organisation paid for by installers and does not charge consumers.

Benefits

Consumers 
  • a free quote for a DGCOS member
  • a pack which explains the protections offered by the scheme[6]
  • 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.[7]
Traders
  • 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[7]

Response

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.

Notes

  1. ^ Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme website, http://www.dgcos.org.uk/
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Window Base Project Manager Database http://www.windowbase.info/
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ Fenestration News, article of the '"Peace of Mind" pack, http://www.fenestration-news.com/News/NewsItemRSS.aspx?id=6947
  7. ^ a b DGCOS website, full details of what it offers to consumers, http://www.dgcos.org.uk/about_benefits.html

External links

Official Site

News

Trade



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