Approved Coal Merchants
Why use an Approved Coal Merchant?
The answer is simple….. All coal merchants who belong to the Approved Coal Merchants Scheme support and follow the Coal Trade Code. – What can the scheme do for me ?
What is the Coal Trade Code?
The Coal Trade Code began in 1962 as a joint financed venture between the National Coal Board and the wholesale and retail parts of the domestic coal trade. The Solid Fuel Association whose members include the major solid fuel producers/manufacturers and the distributive coal trade now finance the scheme.
Download the Coal Trade Code
Approved Wood Merchants
The Approved Wood Fuel Merchant Scheme is run alongside the Approved Coal Merchant Scheme.
Customers buying firewood from a scheme member can have the confidence that the wood fuel is correctly described and that the merchant will be able to provide basic advice on the safe and efficient use of a wood burning appliance.
The merchant is also obliged to offer levels of customer service in accordance with the standards set by the Solid Fuel Association.
The Approved Coal Merchant’s Scheme is a Code of Practice for Retail Coal Merchants. Membership of the Scheme is voluntary, but 80% of coal merchants belong to it. The Code of Practice lays down certain standards designed to ensure that retail solid fuel customers get a good service from their coal merchant. A coal merchant can only become a member of the Scheme if he/she can satisfy a panel of industry peers that he/she has sufficient knowledge of fuels and appliances, the law relating to retail coal deliveries and matters of safety. The merchant must also satisfy the Panel that customers will be able to rely on good service.
You can find your nearest merchant by inserting your postcode in the box above and clicking the ‘Search’ button.
All coal merchants who are members of the scheme must have a procedure for dealing with customer complaints and any complaints should be addressed promptly. Should a customer not be satisfied with a response to a complaint, the Scheme will intervene to help to resolve the matter. We have a Scheme Coordinator who can usually visit customers if matters cannot be resolved over the telephone, which they often can be.
What sort of complaints might you have? – Sometimes customers are unsure if they have a valid reason to complain. Maybe they have changed merchants and the fuel they are getting is different. Maybe the fuel is very dusty or very wet? Perhaps the manufactured fuel doesn’t seem to burn like the last load. We are happy to listen to what customers have to say and make suggestions as to the cause of the problem. It may be the fuel, the appliance, or how customer is using the appliance. If there is a problem with the fuel, we can ask the manufacturer or the coal merchant to sort the problem out. If we think that there is something wrong with the appliance or the chimney, we can put the customer in touch with a qualified installer or chimney sweep. All complaints are logged and reported to the National Panel. Merchants can have their membership of the scheme terminated if they fail to uphold the rules.
Who Governs the Scheme? – The National Panel (membership on the Area Panels reflect this) consists of senior representatives from the coal producers and manufacturers, the merchants, the wholesalers and most importantly a consumer representative. The Scheme also has an independent Chairman. If a merchant or a customer is not satisfied by the way the scheme has treated them, there is a right of appeal to the Chairman, who will usually investigate with his consumer colleagues, such occasions are however rare.
We hope that you will be entirely satisfied with your fuel, but if you have a complaint, or a query about quality, you can telephone us during normal office hours, Monday to Friday.