The Furniture Ombudsman (TFO), the Stevenage-based organisation which helps to raise standards and specialises in providing Alternative Dispute Resolution solutions for consumers and retailers in the furniture and home improvement industry, has published its annual review for 2012.
This year was the 20th anniversary for the body, which was established in 1992 with the Office of Fair Trading. Since then over 40,000 cases have been referred to the Ombudsman and the office handles around 1300 complaints every year. Of those cases, 53% were upheld (in full or in part) in favour of the consumer, whilst 47% were upheld in favour of the retailer.
Kevin Grix, Head of The Furniture Ombudsman, said that this year has seen higher awareness than ever before of TFO and its role. “Our message this year has been very strong,” he said. “Consumers are empowered more than ever to choose who they shop with,and know their rights. Retailers recognise this and want to offer the benefits of TFO membership to their customers.”
More qualified staff and more training courses delivered also characterised the year, he said, “The organisation is thriving, and continues in its aim to deliver a first class, modern and relevant service to both industry and consumers alike.”
For more information on The Furniture Ombudsman and to watch a short film explaining The Furniture Ombudsman service, visit www.thefurnitureombudsman.org.