Home Computer: Direct marketing code of conduct launched

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The Independent Online
A new trade body is launched today at the Computer Shopper Show at London's Olympia that could help the tarnished image of the mail order industry.

The eight founder members of the Personal Computer Direct Marketers' Association - Centreprise International, Colossus Computers, Dan Technology, Evesham Micros, Kamco, Mesh Computers, Time Computers and Viglen - claim a joint turnover of pounds 150m and an estimated 15 per cent share of the direct sale market. The association hopes that by today another half a dozen suppliers will have signed up.

The association's most visible aspect will be a Customer's Charter, to be published with members' magazine adverts and marketing material. This comprises 11 'golden rules', stating that the member company has been in business for at least two years, will not debit the full amount of the sale by credit card until at most three days before delivery, offers money back if the customer is not satisfied and will abide by arbitration in an irreconcilable dispute.

The Code of Practice will bar from membership companies with directors from previously failed firms where customers have lost money. And in a move to counter a common consumer complaint, the code also requires prices to be quoted inclusive of VAT.

The PCDMA can be contacted at: PO Box 48, Royston, Hertfordshire SG8 6JS.

The Computer Shopper Show continues until Sunday.

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