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NGRS Lose in Court Again
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Untrue and Misleading Claims yet again from the
National Guild of Removers and Storers.

UPDATE - The NGRS has now complied with the ASA's demands and have rewritten the false and misleading claim on their website.

Anybody who's been following the antics of the NGRS over the years won't be at all surprised to hear they've been at it again.

Having made wild and unsubstantiated claims a few years ago the NGRS were chastised by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and told to remove an advert in which they claimed "No other organisation or firm comes close to matching The Guild and its Members when it comes to consumer protection measures". The claim was quite obviously completely untrue.

This time the NGRS claimed on their website that only people who used NGRS members were protected by “the only totally independent and free dispute resolution service in the removals industry and membership of RIOS”. Once again, this was a completely untrue statement on at least 2 points:

1. As the NGRS are well aware, all members of the British Association of Removers (NGRS' rival and a true not-for-profit trade organisation) belong to the Property Ombudsman which really is an independant ombudsman and covers all aspects of moving home.

2. The RIOS (Removal Industry Ombudsman Scheme) is hardly an independent ombudsman scheme representing the Removal industry. For a start, only members of the NGRS can be members of the RIOS so it quite obviously does not represent anywhere near a large section of the industry. Not only is it only open to members of the NGRS but one of its board members and current director is actually Martin Rose (co founder of the NGRS). Mr Rose' son, Kieron Rose, is actually a Director of the NGRS. And, as if that weren't enough, one of the RIOS past secretarys was solicitor Andrew John Coyle - a surname that will be very familiar to anybody involved in one of the countless cases of misguided litigation instigated by the NGRS. Andy Coyle is also a solicitor and is a director at Lennons Solicitors in Amersham, Bucks. It is extremely dificult to see how the RIOS can possibly be 'independent' when its links to the NGRS are so close they probably hold joint Christmas parties.

3. According to the Ombudsman Association's rules: "In the case of private sector schemes, the Association is opposed to the fragmentation of redress schemes within a single industry. The Association prefers there to be a single Ombudsman within an industry. Where more than one scheme is established within an industry, the Association will normally only afford recognition to the scheme or schemes to which a substantial number of firms in the industry belong." - Therefore, under these rules, the RIOS does not even meet the criteria for belonging to the Ombudsman Association! The Ombudsman Association have now been informed of this fact in order that they may review the RIOS membership in due course.

4. In my opinion the RIOS serves only to act as a marketing tool for the NGRS. It does this by giving the false impression that it independently helps regulate a large section of the removal industry when in actual fact it does little more than provide a hyperlink to the 'find a remover' page on the NGRS website. Its close bond with the NGRS together with its lack of any non-NGRS members means it is just another tier in the NGRS complaints procedure.

Should the litigious NGRS wish to comment on this article then they are more than welcome to do so. Any relevant response will be published in full. Any threats of legal action will be treated in the usual manner.

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