Consumer FAQs

Since 1st October 2015 it has been mandatory for companies to advise consumers of a certified ADR body when the company’s Internal Complaints Procedure has been exhausted. However, this does not make it mandatory for a company to use that ADR body. Consumers can have confidence that TGAS traders have agreed for any unresolved dispute to be taken by the consumer to arbitration via TGAS for a low-cost fee.

It is mandatory for the TGAS trader to have an Internal Complaints Procedure and they are required to inform you how to refer any unresolved dispute initially to the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) if they are a GGF Member, or to FENSA if they are a FENSA registered firm that has opted in to TGAS.

All TGAS registered traders can be found on our website www.tgas.org.uk.

The Arbitrator can only consider disputes against those Businesses who are TGAS registered traders.

The Scheme applies to applications for arbitration made to the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) in respect of disputes between ‘traders’ (that is, member companies of the Glass & Glazing Federation (“GGF”) or registered firms of the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme (“FENSA”)) and their customers. Prior to the institution of arbitration proceedings the Parties must attempt to settle the dispute through GGF’s conciliation procedure (if a GGF member company) or through FENSA’s complaint process (if a FENSA registered firm) for at least 56 calendar days. If the conciliation procedure or complaint process fails to resolve the dispute the Parties may proceed to arbitration.

Your complaint can only be against a TGAS registered trader.

The Scheme does not apply to disputes where:

  • One or either of the Parties has already initiated legal action, unless that legal action is cancelled by agreement:
  • The claim concerns physical injury, illness, nervous shock or their consequences;
  • The claim is frivolous or vexatious;
  • The claim is for compensation in respect of stress, inconvenience or consequential loss;
  • The claim concerns an application for payment of an amount greater than £30,000.

The service is designed for use without the need for legal representation. However, any party may choose to be legally represented, but must do so at their own cost which may not be recovered through the Scheme or any subsequent legal action.

  1. Check the Business is registered with The Glazing Arbitration Scheme (TGAS) (See - How do you tell if a Business is registered with The Glazing Arbitration Scheme?).
  2. Make a formal written complaint (letter or email will suffice) to the TGAS registered trader. The trader's trade body (GGF or FENSA) will not consider your complaint unless you have done this first.
  3. Make sure the traders complaints procedure has been exhausted.
  4. If you remain dissatisfied with the traders company’s final viewpoint letter/email, then you may complain to the trader's trade body (GGF or FENSA as appropriate). The email addresses and contact phone numbers can be found on the home page of this website.
  5. It is important that you note whether the TGAS registered trader is a GGF Member company or a FENSA registered firm. This is because your complaint will go to the GGF Conciliation Scheme if the TGAS trader is a member of GGF or to the FENSA Complaints Process if the TGAS trader is a FENSA registered firm. GGF or FENSA as appropriate will then log your complaint and forward details of your outstanding complaint to the TGAS trader requesting that they resolve it with you. Where a GGF member company is in FENSA as well as GGF, you are to complain via the GGF Conciliation Scheme.
  6. If the complaint has been referred to the GGF Conciliation Scheme or the FENSA Complaints process for at least 8 weeks and you still remain in dispute with the TGAS trader, then you can initiate the arbitration process through TGAS to settle the dispute. Either ask GGF or FENSA as appropriate for an application form, or fill in the form online on the CEDR website; www.cedr.com./idrs. You will need to send your application form and payment as per the Rules of the Scheme to GGF or FENSA as appropriate to progress to arbitration. The Rules of the Scheme are here TGAS Rules
  7. If a complaint is received by FENSA which relates to non-compliance with Building Regulations, FENSA will take this up directly with the FENSA registered firm and ensure the installation is remedied promptly by the firm so that it does comply. The TGAS arbitration process would then be available for any non-Building Regulations related complaints.

TGAS is a low-cost arbitration scheme. It costs consumers £100 + VAT to take their complaint to arbitration. This is for a “documents only” arbitration. If the appointed Arbitrator decides a site visit is necessary, then a reasonable additional fee will apply. The consumer would then be asked to pay just 20% of this additional fee.

The arbitrator may award that the trader shall reimburse the consumer their registration fee if the consumer is successful in their application. Similarly, if the consumer is successful in their application, the arbitrator may, at their discretion, award all or part of the site visit cost back to the consumer.

The service is designed for use without the need for legal representation. However, any party may choose to be legally represented, but must do so at their own cost which may not be recovered through the Scheme or any subsequent legal action.

The TGAS trader must be given the opportunity to address the complaint and provide an answer to your concerns. It also gives them a chance to settle the matter without you having to complain to their trade body (GGF or FENSA as appropriate), let alone progressing further to arbitration via TGAS. This is usually the quickest way to resolve a dispute.

We suggest that you contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) or a Solicitor.

It is important that you describe in your own words what your complaints are. By doing that there is a clear statement of what your complaint is, so there is the best opportunity for the TGAS trader to address your complaint. Should the complaint proceed all the way to arbitration via TGAS, then it was clear from the outset what your complaint was.

Recordings may be considered with the written authorisation of all parties involved. This is in accordance with the Data Protection Act restrictions.

The Application Form is your opportunity to have your say and provide the evidence to support your claim. All the assigned Arbitrator knows about your complaint is whatever is contained in your application form and any accompanying documents which you submit with it. Therefore, it is in your best interest to prepare your complaint as carefully and clearly as you can, ensuring that all the relevant documents and evidence are provided to the Arbitrator.

Please note that it will not be sufficient for you to merely make an unsupported allegation against a TGAS registered trader. The Arbitrator will need to be convinced that there is some reasonable substance behind any allegation. Any proof that you can provide will help support your case.

When your application is received by GGF or FENSA as appropriate, they will send it on to the TGAS registered trader for them to complete their section of the form and submit their payment. The jointly completed application form and payments are then sent to CEDR, who operate TGAS.

Please click to see a copy of the joint application form.

On receipt of all forms, fees and evidential documents from both Parties CEDR will appoint an arbitrator and inform the Parties of the arbitrator’s name.

Once appointed, the arbitrator will communicate with or issue directions to the Parties through CEDR. Correspondence with the arbitrator must be copied to all Parties.

The arbitration will proceed on the basis of written argument and evidence, which must be submitted in accordance with the procedure detailed in the Rules of the Scheme.

The arbitrator will make an award with reasons, normally within 20 working days of receipt by CEDR of all the papers required from the parties, after considering all submissions and evidence.

CEDR will send a copy of the award to each party and also to either the GGF or FENSA as appropriate depending on the trade body the TGAS trader belongs to.

Any award made under this scheme is final and legally binding on all parties, subject to either party’s right under the provisions of the Arbitration Act to seek leave to appeal.

The Scheme does not apply to disputes where one or either of the Parties has already initiated legal action, unless that legal action is cancelled by agreement.

If a TGAS trader has ceased trading, it is unlikely that GGF or FENSA will be able to obtain the trader section of the arbitration application form back from the company, in which case the arbitration would not be able to proceed.

If an arbitration award is made by TGAS in your favour and the trader then ceases trading, you will then become an unsecured creditor of the trader.

The Arbitrator can direct a TGAS trader to take a certain course of action to rectify the matter. This might include offering an apology or encouraging the trader to revise their procedures so that future failings are eliminated.

In appropriate circumstances, the Arbitrator may make an award by way of a sum of money, however it is to be noted that the TGAS Scheme does not consider claims for compensation in respect of stress, inconvenience or consequential loss.

Where the arbitrator determines that the GGF Member or FENSA registered firm has failed to comply with the GGF Consumer Code of Practice or FENSA Rules as appropriate, CEDR will advise the GGF or FENSA as appropriate who will take appropriate action in line with the relevant Code or Rules.

The Arbitrator can make awards up to a limit of £30,000.

If you are awarded a sum of money by the Arbitrator, unless otherwise directed any amount awarded shall be paid within 20 working days of dispatch of the award to the parties. Such payments shall be made direct to the party entitled to receive it. It would therefore be the TGAS trader who would pay you directly any money awarded.

TGAS covers products and/or installations provided in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

TGAS is for the glass and glazing industry, plus related home improvements. If the GGF member company or FENSA registered firm supplies or installs any of the following, they can be covered:-

Glazing Types that can be considered:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Conservatories
  • Porches
  • Roofline (fascias and soffits)
  • Roof Windows
  • Garage Windows
  • Hardware
  • Blinds

Other types that can be considered:

  • Garage Doors
  • Block Paved Drives
  • Flat roofing
  • Solar PV
  • Solar thermal

The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) has provided ADR solutions for businesses and their customers for over 25 years and currently deals with claims with an annual cumulative claim value in excess of £1.5 billion. Certified by CTSi, CAA, Gambling Commission and Ofcom to provide dispute resolution for consumer disputes, CEDR operates schemes in 12 different sectors including communications, holidays, home building & residential, lotteries, motor vehicles, postal services, renewable energy and water & sewerage. See www.cedr.com/idrs.

The arbitrator will make an award with reasons, normally within 20 working days of receipt by CEDR of all the papers required from the parties, after considering all submissions and evidence.

CEDR will send a copy of the award to each party and also to either the GGF or FENSA as appropriate depending on the trade body the TGAS member belongs to.

Any award made under this scheme is final and legally binding on all parties, subject to either party’s right under the provisions of the Arbitration Act to seek leave to appeal.