In association with the City of Edinburgh Council
Trusted Trader

Complaint and dispute resolution process

As a Trading Standards vetted Trusted Trader, all members have agreed to abide to a dispute resolution process as set out in the Trusted Trader Code of Practice.

If a consumer is unhappy with any work carried out by a member of the Scheme, the trader must agree to comply with the dispute resolution procedure detailed below. However, if the trader is a member of another Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service through a Trade Association or other body, complaints may be referred to that service for independent adjudication and the Trusted Trader Dispute Resolution Process will not be invoked.

Trusted Directory Services (TDS) will manage the initial dispute resolution between parties and will escalate to the relevant agencies as required. The City of Edinburgh Council is using the facilities of Ombudsman Services Ltd (The “ADR entity”) to handle any disputes between Trusted Trader members and customers, where these cannot be resolved at an early stage.

Complaint process

  • in the event of any dispute or complaint between a trader and consumer, both parties should try and resolve the issue directly
  • the trader should be allowed a chance to resolve any problems using their own complaints procedure, which must be sent to the consumer on request
  • any details of the complaint or issue needs to be made in writing to the trader. This can be either as an e-mail or as a letter
  • if the complaint remains unresolved, either party may contact TDS with details of the complaint and request assistance
  • TDS will respond to both parties within five working days
  • TDS will consider the complaint, and where appropriate provide a recommendation to resolve the dispute
  • Trusted Trader members must communicate fully with TDS staff throughout the process of dealing with any dispute
  • any dispute which cannot be resolved by informal means will be referred back to the trader, who will send a final deadlock letter, setting out their position and any final offer. At this point, the consumer may accept the final offer or take the case to the ADR entity, details of which will be in the letter, or take action through the civil courts.
  • members agree to handle disputes through the Trusted Trader ADR entity and will cooperate with the ADR process
  • disputes which are referred to the ADR entity will be dealt with according to their procedures. More information can be found at Ombudsman Services provide an independent, impartial means to resolve disputes outside of the courts
  • decisions of the ADR entity are binding on members. Consumers are not bound by the decisions of the ADR entity
  • the use of the Ombudsman Services is included in Trusted Trader membership and free for consumers
  • if at any time, the consultation of an independent expert is required, for example for inspection or testing, agreement will be sought from both parties about the arrangement of such a consultation including payment.
If you wish to make a complaint, please ensure you have communicated first with the trader as outlined above, then add as much information as you can, including your name and contact details. Please e-mail:

Responding to a complaint

  • TDS will ensure every complaint and dispute is investigated impartially
  • traders must fully cooperate with requests for assistance relating directly to the complaint or dispute
  • remember to keep all responses professional and factual
  • if attempts at mediation are refused or prove unsuccessful, then escalation to the Ombudsman Services will lead to a binding decision for the trader.

If you are unhappy with a decision

Please direct your concerns in the first instance to the TDS Customer Services Director with details of your complaint or issue, e-mail with a subject line of Customer Services Director.

This will be acknowledged within two business days and then thoroughly investigated.

Alternatively you can address any complaint to:
Edinburgh Trading Standards
Business Centre 2.03
East Neighbourhood Centre
101 Niddrie Mains Road
EH16 4DS