Code criticism is over the top

I am writing on behalf of the BRC to object strongly to your article Money trap guarantees (MW July 26) in which you comment on BRC’s Code of Practice on Extended Warranties on Electrical Goods.

Your article is incorrect in that it states that the BRC code on Extended Warranties, which was produced in conjunction with and endorsed by the OFT, requires retailers to offer manufacturers’ extended warranties. That is not correct and the OFT does not require retailers to do so. What the code does say is that retailers should have on view the terms, conditions and prices of the extended warranties they sell for consumers to peruse. Retailers are free to select the range of goods and services they wish to sell and the OFT recognises this right.

The main objectives of the BRC code were to ensure that details of extended warranties on offer in a store are displayed, that takeaway leaflets for easy comparison are available and that high pressure selling techniques are not used. The code has achieved substantial progress in meeting its objectives and the situation is not helped by articles that seek to draw attention to failure to meet requirements that were not there in the first place.

H A N Clark

Trading Policy Director

British Retail Consortium

London SW6

The Office of Fair Trading has told Marketing Week that while it welcomed the BRC code it did not meet all the demands of its 1994 report into the sale of extended warranties. A second OFT report in January 1996 found that the majority of retailers were not meeting the requirements of the code. Our article highlighted the fact that there are still areas of concern and it is these concerns which the OFT is re-investigating as part of its review of the BRC code.

– Editor

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