Articles and Insights

technology grant

4th August 2020

The government has announced a new £20m IT funding package for small businesses to use to upgrade their technology, equipment and hire professional advisors. The technology grant has been announced to help small businesses through the coronavirus crisis. These businesses […]

29th July 2020

With the announcement of the impending Green Homes Grant in September, many homeowners and installers are gearing up ready for installations. However, it’s not only homeowners that should be assessing the energy efficiency of their properties but Buy to Let […]

Claims managament

28th July 2020

Claims made easy It is clear that Covid-19 is negatively impacting the UK economy. Some businesses have suspended trading momentarily, some are scaling back operations and some have merged with other companies or ceased to trade completely. Given the uncertain […]

28th July 2020

Latest research suggests that more than half of homeowners in the UK are planning to apply for the Green Homes Grant, the government’s latest scheme. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the grant in July’s budget as a part of the government’s […]

Phishing and cyber security

21st July 2020

As part of our guides on cyber security, we’ve put together top tips on how to avoid phishing attacks based on advice from the NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre). AVOIDING PHISHING ATTACKS In a typical phishing attack, scammers send fake […]

Customer service

14th July 2020

The latest report* on customer service across the UK economy from the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) shows that customer satisfaction has pretty much remained flat over the last year. The UKCSI is an independent, national benchmark of customer satisfaction […]

CTSI resolution

9th July 2020

The Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS), of which QASSS is an approved member, celebrates five years of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) consumer regulations and its achievements during this period. The scheme aims to promote consumer interests by setting out the […]

construction talent retention scheme

8th July 2020

QASSS who manages the HICS, HIES and DGCOS consumer protection schemes welcomes today’s announcement from the Chancellor confirming support for the Construction Talent Retention Scheme.  Formally launching later this month, the Construction Talent Retention Scheme is a partnership between industry […]

carbon emissions green recovery

8th July 2020

The Chancellor today announced a package of measures to support jobs and invest in a ‘green recovery’. The ‘Plan for Jobs’ includes job creation by bringing forward work on £8.8 billion of new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects. Green Homes Grant […]

complaints root cause analysis

3rd July 2020

According to an Ombudsman Services Report, it is estimated that UK businesses lose around £37 billion every year due to poor customer service and mismanagement of complaints. Businesses should capture information on all customer interactions for analytical purposes, particularly when […]

Work Safe campaign

3rd July 2020

The ‘Work Safe – Safe Work’ campaign has been launched to help guide and reassure homeowners who are looking to employ tradespeople in and around their homes in a post-COVID lockdown world. As lockdown restrictions begin to ease across the […]

sustainable innovation fund

29th June 2020

The Sustainable Innovation Fund at almost £200 million is designed to help businesses across the UK drive forward cutting-edge new tech and recover from the impacts of coronavirus. Government investment to support innovations ranging from AI systems managing city traffic flows […]

carbon emissions green recovery

29th June 2020

Nearly £80 million investment from government to reduce carbon emissions from industry and homes. First phase to help heavy industry go green, helping to cut energy costs, protect jobs, and cut carbon emissions. New green homes programme will retrofit homes […]

password protection cyber security

26th June 2020

As part of our cyber security guides based on NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) advice, today we look at password protection. PASSWORD PROTECTION Your laptops, computers, tablets and smartphones will contain a lot of your own business-critical data, the personal information of […]

home improvement

25th June 2020

Recent research from Insight DIY commissioned by Safestyle brings good news to the home improvement sector with 55%% of Brits prioritising plans to update their home as the Covid-19 restrictions continue to be eased. The survey showed that 62% of […]

construction

22nd June 2020

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced new measures to be introduced this week to help the construction industry boost building and return to work safely, including the extension of planning permission deadlines, flexible working hours on construction sites and changes […]

mediation

18th June 2020

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and is a process to settle disputes without the need for litigation. Mediation can help resolve issues after a consumer and business has reached a deadlock. So why use mediation to […]

Mobile technology cyber safe

18th June 2020

As part of our cyber security guides, QASSS has put together a quick guide based on NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) advice to help businesses become more cyber resilient. In this article, we look at mobile technology. MOBILE TECHNOLOGY – STAYING CYBER […]

Complaint Handling

17th June 2020

Good customer service has always been important, now more than ever given the rise of social media and review sites. Quick and effective complaint handling will help you turn customer complainers into brand advocates, helping to increase brand loyalty and […]

Malware cyber security

17th June 2020

As part of our cyber security guides, today we look at quick tips to help protect your business from malware or malicious software. PROTECTION FROM MALWARE Malicious software, or ‘malware’, is software or web content that can harm your organisation. […]

good complaint handling

16th June 2020

Answering customer complaints effectively and quickly can turn unhappy customers into true brand advocates. Even the most vocal and complex complaints handled well, will see your customer advocacy increase across the board. Your strategy should be to win hearts and […]

cyber security data back up

15th June 2020

QASSS has put together a quick guide based on NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) advice to help businesses protect themselves and improve their cyber security. In this article, we look at backing up data. BACKING UP YOUR DATA Think about how much […]

home improvement

9th June 2020

Latest data shows that the Citizens Advice service dealt with over 47,000 consumer issues and complaints relating to the home improvement sector over the last 12 months to April 2020. What is also disappointing for the sector is that out […]

Dispute resolution

9th June 2020

A study* by BEIS (the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) highlights the positive benefits of using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) on complaint handling practices. Traders who have used litigation do not appear to have become more responsive to […]

Number of complaints per product

9th June 2020

QA Scheme Support Services (QASSS) have revealed their latest dispute resolution statistics, giving additional insight into the different types of complaints that their home improvement consumer protection schemes DGCOS, HIES and HICS received over the last year. Their Alternative Dispute […]

business interruption insurance

8th June 2020

As reported in May, the insurance industry has been coming under increasing pressure (from both class-action lawsuits and court action by the Financial Conduct Authority) for their refusal in many instances to pay out Business Interruption Insurance claims to companies […]

Alternative Dispute Resolution

3rd June 2020

Not many businesses are aware that they have an obligation to signpost consumers to a competent ADR provider and tell them whether or not they are prepared to use them to deal with the dispute. We’ve put together a handy […]

cyber-attack

3rd June 2020

The National Cyber Security Centre has produced guidance for SMEs on how to prepare a response and plan recovery after a cyber-attack. In this article, we look at how to prepare for cyber incidents. 1. Prepare for the most common […]

covid-19

31st May 2020

On 29th May, the Chancellor announced that the government’s COVID-19 Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be extended as well as confirming the next stages of the furlough scheme. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said, “Our top priority has always been to […]

home improvement

29th May 2020

Recent research reveals that two-thirds of consumers have revised their travel plans for 2020, with over 40% planning to divert that money to carry out home improvement work. Additional research also reveals that the UK is planning to spend around […]

cyber resilient

28th May 2020

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched further online advice to support SMEs to ensure their companies are cyber resilient, particularly given the increasing risks of cyber attacks and fraud during and post COVID-19. Businesses are being urged to […]

Effective complaints handling

28th May 2020

In the early days of lockdown, consumers displayed a great amount of patience and were sympathetic to delays in the handling of complaints given the serious practicalities that many firms faced at the start of the pandemic. However, as time […]

People strategy

21st May 2020

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we are all human beings who still need to socialise and feel part of something greater than ourselves. It is inspiring to see how the world’s population has come together in support […]

Complaint impact cost

21st May 2020

It goes without saying that effective handling of complaints and good customer service has always been important. Given the rise of social media and review sites, we now have a wide choice of tools and channels to immediately call out […]

the samaritans

21st May 2020

At QASSS, we are very proud of our very own good Samaritan, Adrian Simpson, Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs. Adrian devotes his spare time to the Samaritans as a listening volunteer at the Medway, Gravesham and Swale branch. Adrian […]

Finance

19th May 2020

The government has announced changes to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) today including an increase of the borrowing limit from £50m to £200m. However, firms who want to borrow more than £50m will face certain restrictions until […]

Protect workforce

19th May 2020

Safety in the workplace As the government as of 11th May has now issued an update for a safe return to work and as soon as is practicable, workplaces in England should follow the new “COVID-19 Secure” guidelines. Our summary […]

Business Operations

15th May 2020

Company operations have been pushed to limits at both extremes, with businesses either not having enough capacity and stock to meet new levels of e-commerce demands or businesses who are having to scale production or services right down in a […]

Rising cost litigation vs mediation

15th May 2020

In the UK we are avid users of litigation. Going to court and suing someone has often been the method of choice when trying to resolve a dispute. This continues to be the case when it comes to the purchasing […]

Post COVID-19 finance planning

13th May 2020

Despite government measures to support businesses, the impact of COVID-19 is intensifying with the potential for a significant economic downtown of uncertain magnitude and duration. Immediate focus now for most businesses will be on securing finance and grants and managing […]

Protect workforce

13th May 2020

Back to work – safety in the workplace In England, the government as of 11th May has now issued an update for a safe return to work, which includes tradespeople and the home improvement and renewable energy sectors. As soon as […]

Complaint handling awards

11th May 2020

Earlier this year, before lockdown, we were delighted to take home two awards at the UK Complaint Handling Awards 2020 held in London for the Best Complaint Handling and Best Complaint Handling Team of the Year – Initiative. Hosted by […]

Customer service

11th May 2020

Many companies will have had to adapt quickly with a sudden shift to remote working to ensure they can still service their customers at speed whilst maintaining quality. Companies that have remained open may also have had to adapt to […]

Business Insurance

6th May 2020

Has your claim for business interruption insurance been rejected? Insurers are coming under increasing pressure for refusing to pay out claims to companies that have been devastated by COVID-19. So much so that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has vowed […]

plumbing and heating

5th May 2020

New research from the plumbing and heating sector suggests installers are rapidly finding new ways of operating, particularly those who feel comfortable offering essential ‘emergency’ services to householders, although cashflow is the no 1. concern. Eureka! gathered views from over […]

finance business grants

4th May 2020

A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. Yesterday, the government announced that up to £617 million would be made available, which is an additional 5% […]

IT solutions

1st May 2020

Never before have IT professionals had to oversee the wholesale movement of entire teams to remote working, whilst ensuring continued productivity, continuous data back-up, utilising new technologies and maintaining system resilience and security. What COVID-19 has highlighted is that many […]

covid-19 business loans

27th April 2020

The government has announced new measures for small and medium-sized businesses affected by COVID-19. The coronavirus ‘bounce back’ loan is 100% guaranteed by the government and will be available from Monday 4th May. The details The Bounce Back Loan scheme […]

qasss post covid 19 planning

27th April 2020

COVID-19 has changed the way we work, socialise, consume and communicate. It has created uncertainty and changed behaviours and beliefs. But what will happen in the home improvement and renewable sectors post COVID-19 in the recovery period and what will […]

Technology Keyboard

23rd April 2020

Creating a truly agile workforce is where those employees included, can effectively work from anywhere at any time. It allows for optimum productivity and efficiency, where the ability to react quickly and concisely to requests, either internally or externally, is […]

Home improvement survey

21st April 2020

The NHIC in conjunction with QASSS carried out a digital survey from 26th March – 3rd April 2020 to provide a snapshot of the initial impact of the virus and resulting lockdown on the home improvement sector. The results of […]

Business support

21st April 2020

The government has launched a new ‘support finder’ tool will help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic. The ‘support finder tool’ on www.gov.uk […]

QASSS future fund COVID-19

20th April 2020

The government has announced further measures to help innovative companies remain viable during the coronavirus crisis. The “Future Fund” is designed to ensure high-growth companies receive enough investment to remain viable. It will provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging […]

COVID 19 Scams

20th April 2020

We previously published advice on how to avoid malicious COVID-19 ‘phishing’ emails and SMS messages in our campaign, ‘think before you click’. Unfortunately, these scams continue, and the deceptions are particularly callous, with cybercriminals preying upon people’s fears, insecurities and financial […]

Furlough Scheme

15th April 2020

QASSS welcomes the news that thousands more employees will able to receive support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) after the eligibility date was extended to the 19th of March 2020. Under the scheme announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak […]

business interruption insurance

15th April 2020

    QASSS welcomes a letter issued by the Financial Conduct Authority today telling insurers to pay out on business interruption claims where there is cover and without delay. In a ‘Dear CEO’ letter, from Christopher Woolard, Interim Chief Executive, […]

QASSS business loan

13th April 2020

Although the scheme has not launched yet, we’ve put together a short summary outline of the government measures to support larger businesses via the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS). What is the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme […]

Cyber Security

8th April 2020

QASSS has put together the following quick guide based on NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) advice to help businesses protect themselves and avoid being caught in COVID-19 scams. To download our pdf guide on cyber security, click here. RISK MANAGEMENT […]

2nd April 2020

We are in extraordinary times and we want to support you and your business as much as possible during this period. Hopefully your accountants will be supporting you through this time, but to help your business, colleagues and friends, we’ve […]

30th March 2020

To help our network and installers across the industry, we’ve put together an ‘operational trading’ update on the main retailers and trade counters in home improvement showing availability and details around ordering and deliveries for emergency and key supplies. We’ll […]

27th March 2020

The new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme is designed to support the self-employed who have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus, whereby the government will pay a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last 3 years, […]

25th March 2020

We are in extraordinary times and we want to support you and your business as much as possible during this period. We’ve put together a business round-up with advice and updates on a number of key areas to help you […]

25th March 2020

Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees Legislation will be introduced to allow small and medium sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for […]

25th March 2020

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salaries for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. What it means: HMRC […]

24th March 2020

VAT Businesses will be supported by deferring VAT payments for 3 months. The deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. All UK businesses are eligible. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will […]

24th March 2020

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) The new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to working capital (including loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance) of up to £5 million in value […]

23rd March 2020

Does standard business interruption insurance provide cover for businesses who are not able to operate due to the effects of Covid-19? Business insurance policies are designed to cover standard risks and are therefore unlikely to provide cover for the effects […]

23rd March 2020

Cybercriminals are taking advantage of this unprecedented situation which has led to a huge spike in malicious COVID-19 ‘phishing’ emails, which attempt to trick users into clicking on bad links. Leading to loss of money or sensitive data. These emails […]

21st February 2020

The Living with Beauty Report, launched in January 2020, proposes a new development and planning framework in the building environment. The overriding recommendation is that “Government should align VAT on housing renovation and repair with new build, in order to […]

17th February 2020

Ofgem’s plans are primarily focused to ensure that the energy supply infrastructure is in place to deliver net-zero 2050. Ofgem’s tools are price controls, subsidy allocations, consumer information, advice and empowerment (in partnership with CAB). The plans do not go […]

5th February 2020

Consumers who have experienced a problem with a business that they have been unable to resolve on their own can take legal action, which is both time-consuming and expensive, but consumers are turning to the growing number of Alternative Dispute […]

31st January 2020

Impartiality is the fundamental requirement of a mediator; whose role consists of resolving a conflict between two parties who disagree. Their role is not to take sides but to reach a fair conclusion that both parties are happy with. Mediation […]

QASSS Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedure

13th January 2020

At QASSS our alternative dispute resolution process consists of pre-ADR, 1st stage ADR and 2nd stage ADR. If a compromise cannot be reached and both parties are at an impasse, QASSS will elevate the case to the independent Ombudsman. To […]

7th November 2019

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a service that is used to resolve disputes between consumers and tradesmen, preventing the need to go to court. When undertaking a home improvement project, the last thing an installer and homeowner wants to think […]

28th October 2019

Despite Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) being an important consideration when undertaking a home improvement project, many people have never heard of it or misunderstand how it can help. That’s why there are plenty of myths surrounding ADR. But don’t panic, […]

28th July 2019

Although Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is not always compulsory when resolving a dispute in the home improvement sector, there remain some important obligations for those who do and do not, provide ADR. Despite the current lack of legal obligation, many […]

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