The Trade Network For Qualified Gardeners

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Terms and Conditions of Membership

1.0 Introduction

1.1 The Gardeners Guild LLP (OC323424) provides services to qualified gardeners. These services are intended to give members access to services that they could not cost effectively access by themselves.

1.2 The Gardeners Guild is not member-owned but is a privately owned, for profit commercial service provider (also known as a trade Network).

1.3 The Gardeners Guild is non-political.

1.4 Membership of The Gardeners Guild requires businesses to adhere to these Terms and Conditions. Prior to becoming a member, applicants will be asked to read and sign a declaration to this effect.

1.5 The Gardeners Guild is concerned with the distinction of qualified gardeners and provision of practical business support, it does not directly address wider issues such as the overall quality of the goods or services provided nor the financial standing of the business. Whilst it may take into account activities which fall within the remit of regulatory agencies it does not in any way audit or assure these activities.

2.0 General

2.1 The Gardeners Guild reserves the right to alter or amend these Terms and Conditions at their discretion. Any changes will be notified to members as soon as is reasonably practicable and published on the website.

2.2 The Gardeners Guild is a registered trademark and trading name of The Gardeners Guild LLP a national network of qualified gardeners. Registration number OC323424. Registered office: The Gardeners Guild, 34 Boulevard, Weston Super Mare, BS23 1NF. Write to The Gardeners Guild, PO Box 627, Weston Super Mare, BS23 9LP.

2.3 Membership is only available to businesses that carry out a significant proportion of their business within the geographical boundaries of The Gardeners Guild, currently the UK.

2.4 Members will have the option of withdrawing their membership at any time by contacting The Gardeners Guild. Entitlement to refunds of any fees paid will be considered on an individual basis.

2.5 Member contact details, customer mailing lists, The Gardeners Guild itself and associated media, assets and businesses at all times remains the sole property of The Gardeners Guild LLP (OC323424).

2.6 Both The Gardeners Guild and members warrant that they will not deliberately contravene any Act of Parliament or take part in any illegal activity.

2.7 Members are required to be polite and courteous to partner organisations and their staff as well as the staff and representatives of The Gardeners Guild.

2.8 If you are a member of a trade association which has its own code of practice the terms of that code must also be adhered to at all times.

2.9 General codes, standards and guidance issued by relevant authorities, for example the Office of Fair Trading, must be adhered to at all times.

2.10 You must notify The Gardeners Guild of any:

2.11 Such notifications may result in a need to reapply for membership. Failure to notify The Gardeners Guild of any of the above will be regarded as a breach of these terms of membership.

2.12 In terms of adherence to The Gardeners Guilds Terms and Conditions of Membership, you will be held responsible for all employees and subcontractors working on behalf of your business.

2.13 Membership of The Gardeners Guild is not transferable except at the discretion of The Gardeners Guild. Any change of ownership or directorship must be notified at the earliest opportunity.

3.0 Acceptance

3.1 An application for membership must be made on the appropriate form which will be acknowledged within 10 working days of receipt. Applicants must satisfy the acceptance criteria applicable at the time of application.

3.2 If your application for membership is unsuccessful, you will be offered advice on any further actions necessary to fulfil the acceptance criteria.

3.3 The Gardeners Guild reserves the right to refuse membership to any applicant. The Gardeners Guild’s decision shall be final.

4.0 Data Protection Act 1998

4.1 Applicants accept that in determining their application The Gardeners Guild may request information about their business from other organisations and that this service may disclose details, on enquiry, about the status of their application.

4.2 By submitting this application form you have agreed that this service may make the enquiries listed below without breaching your rights under the Data Protection Act or other applicable legislation. As part of the approval process, checks may be made on applicant's previous history in relation to (but not limited to) any of the following:

5.0 Annual Renewal

5.1 Membership will expire after 1 year and will need to be renewed on an annual basis.

5.2 The Gardeners Guild reserves the right to refuse membership at its sole and absolute discretion.

6.0 Cancellation

6.1 Members accept that membership will be cancelled and member benefits lost in any instance of illegal trading, trading that would reasonably be regarded as unfair trading or any behaviour that is likely to damage the reputation of The Gardeners Guild and its members at the sole discretion of The Gardeners Guild.

6.2 Members accept that membership will be cancelled or access to member services suspended without notice for unreasonable use or abuse of member services.

6.3 When applying the logo or wording to your stationery, adverts, vehicles etc. please remember that if your membership should end for any reason, permission to use the logo and statements will be revoked with immediate effect. All documentation indicating membership shall be returned to The Gardeners Guild within 14 days. This may also result in your business having to amend adverts; vehicle livery etc. The Gardeners Guild will not be able to accept liability for any costs involved in taking this action.

6.4 All documentation indicating membership of The Gardeners Guild shall remain the property of The Gardeners Guild and shall be returned in the event that membership ends. Customers responding to advertisements on the basis of the logo e.g. via Yellow Pages must be informed of the withdrawal of membership.

6.5 Important: Unauthorised use of logos or statements could result in your membership being terminated and may constitute a criminal offence. The Gardeners Guild Logo is a registered Trademark. The Gardeners Guild reserves the right to take legal action against an individual or business which miss-uses the mark.

6.6 Members permit The Gardeners Guild to use member comments and feedback received for marketing purposes even when membership has expired unless directly requested not to.

7.0 Revocation of Membership and other Disciplinary Measures

7.1 The Gardeners Guild reserves the right to revoke membership with immediate effect:

7.2 Should there be a significant breach of the terms of membership.

7.3 If there is a change in relevant circumstances for the business which may affect their approval. These may include, but are not limited to; changes to senior staff, changes of suppliers, new products or services, new premises, convictions and county court judgement, bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings. Such changes may result in a revocation of membership or need to reapply for membership.

7.4 Upon information supplied by any other regulatory agency (or similar) which casts doubt upon the suitability of any particular business to be a member.

7.5 The Gardeners Guild may decide to suspend membership until such time as a full investigation can be concluded. It may also suspend membership in order to monitor whether a particular business remains suitable for membership.

7.6 Where membership is suspended or revoked The Gardeners Guild will provide the member with a written explanation of the reason for its action.

7.7 Membership will not be suspended or revoked, nor will an application be refused for reasons other than those specified in these terms or as a result of other action which is likely to bring The Gardeners Guild into disrepute.

7.8 As an alternative to suspension or revocation of membership The Gardeners Guild reserves the right, where considered appropriate, to implement other disciplinary measures (for example, a written warning).

8.0 Fees

8.1 An annual fee is payable in respect of each entry in the member register.

8.2 The Gardeners Guild may introduce or amend any fees or charges pertaining to membership in writing upon the annual renewal of each member. Written notice shall, in this context, include publishing any changes upon The Gardeners Guild website.

8.3 Should The Gardeners Guild cease trading, appropriate proportional reimbursement of membership fees will be made. No reimbursement will be made in respect of advertising material or documentation.

9.0 Freedom of Information Act 2000 Disclosure of Information

9.1 You agree that where reasonable, information about the status of your membership may be disclosed to interested parties including the general public. This information may include (but is not limited to) details of compliments and/or complaints received. All such information will be handled sensitively and consideration will be given to the interests of the business as well as the integrity of The Gardeners Guild.

9.2 The Gardeners Guild is required to comply with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in relation to any information held by it. All such information held in relation to individual members will be treated with discretion, however, an explanation of the legislation and its implications can be found at The Information Commissioner's Office: www.ico.gov.uk

10.0 Customer Service

10.1 Your business will be committed to trading fairly and providing a good quality customer service at all times. You agree to comply with the spirit as well as the letter of these terms and all relevant legal requirements.

10.2 You will not restrict consumer's statutory rights in any way.

10.3 You will not seek to take advantage of vulnerable consumers, where necessary and reasonably practicable you will offer additional assistance to ensure that all aspects of the transaction are fully understood.

10.4 Where appropriate, you will provide, in advance of the contract clear and accurate information on key terms and conditions. Consumer contracts must comply with the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999 and any relevant guidance issued by the Office of Fair Trading.

10.5 You will make any "call out" charge or "minimum charge" known to the customer prior to a visit being made and ensure that your charges are clearly understood by the customer before you commence work.

11.0 Training

11.1 Your business will ensure all staff are competent for the work they carry out, have knowledge of relevant civil and criminal law.

12.0 Advertising and Promotion

12.1 All member businesses will receive an entry in the member register.

12.2 All members must indicate their membership to their customers. For example, this may be done by using the logo on stationery and in advertising etc. Any consumer who makes a complaint to the business must be informed of membership immediately. Failure to adhere to this term will be considered a breach of this code of practice, and may amount to a breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

12.3 You must undertake that all promotional material shall be clear and truthful and will comply with any relevant advertising legislation or national advertising code of practice.

12.4 You must not undertake cold-calling of consumers.

12.5 You must undertake not to engage in high pressure selling practices.

12.6 Acceptance of a business for membership of The Gardeners Guild does not indicate in any way that all of the businesses products or services comply fully with the law. No implication to this effect must be made in any promotional material.

12.7 The Gardeners Guild reserves the right in its absolute discretion to refuse to publish certain member details.

12.8 The member will notify The Gardeners Guild immediately of any changes so that our records are always kept up-to-date and accurate.

12.9 Because membership includes an advertising service you should be aware that from April 2008 it is against the law to make a false or misleading statement in any advertisement. The Member shall hold harmless and indemnify The Gardeners Guild and its officers, employees and subcontractors from and against all actions proceeding cost, claims, liabilities and losses (including legal costs) including indirect or consequential loss (including loss of revenue or profit or loss or liability in respect of any third party claim) arising out of:

13.0 Customer Complaints

13.1 If it is not possible for you to resolve a complaint the customer should be given a clear explanation as to why this is the case. You will offer to refer the matter to the Trading Standards Service on behalf of the customer for impartial advice.

13.2 Members must have an effective customer complaints procedure in line with the following:

13.3 It is the responsibility of the member to resolve all complaints about their business.

13.4 Any complaints will be dealt with promptly, effectively and courteously, in accordance with good business practice and these terms of membership. The business owner shall be deemed responsible for the management of customer complaints.

13.5 All customer complaints will be recorded.

13.6 An initial response must be made to any customer complaint within five working days.

13.7 If it is not possible to resolve a customer complaint within one month of receipt, the customer will be given a written explanation by the business detailing why the complaint has not been resolved and what steps are being taken. If a member believes that a customer complaint is unjustified this may take the form of a full written explanation from the member's perspective.

13.8 Where it has not been possible to resolve the complaint, you must offer to refer the complaint to your local Trading Standards Authority. Alternatively, if the customer requests it you should provide them with the contact details of your local Trading Standards Authority.

13.9 If necessary the Trading Standards Service will be able to offer civil advice to both parties.

13.10 Members will co-operate with the Trading Standards Authority or any other formal intermediary consulted by a consumer in an attempt to resolve any complaint.

13.11 The Gardeners Guild does not provide a mediation or conciliation service but may decide to do so at its discretion.

13.12 The customer will always retain the right to decline use of any service offered and retain the right to seek redress through the court system.

14.0 Publicity

14.1 The Gardeners Guild will maintain a publicly available website which will contain information about The Gardeners Guild and will allow viewers to search for member businesses by geographical area, listings will include your business contact details and a link to your website.

14.2 The Gardeners Guild will provide access to van stickers advertising your membership of The Gardeners Guild.

14.3 The Gardeners Guild will provide you with an electronic version of the membership logo for use in your own advertising and promotional material.

14.4 The Gardeners Guild will seek to promote its services at relevant events and presentations given and attended and in appropriate written and broadcast media.

15.0 Regular Advice and Assistance

15.1 An e-mail address and a telephone contact will be provided for members' queries about The Gardeners Guild or its services. The Gardeners Guild will seek to respond to enquiries within 48 hours.

15.2 The Gardeners Guild will produce a regular e-newsletter which will inform you of recent developments, new legislation and other current industry matters.

15.3 The advice given is of a general nature and is provided for general guidance and assistance. It is not intended to advise or instruct you on the specific requirements of your particular business. Accordingly The Gardeners Guild will not accept any liability for loss or damage suffered by you or another party as a result of reliance being placed on the information supplied. Adherents of any advice offered by The Gardeners Guild does not infer compliance with any legislation or laws of the land.

16.0 Member Logo

16.1 As an accepted member you are required to publicise that you are a member of The Gardeners Guild and will have permission to use the member logo.

16.2 The Gardeners Guild member logo was specially created to achieve a strong identity and as such must not be redrawn, reshaped or altered in any way. The logo should always be presented as large as comfortably possible, as strong branding and a consistent approach is essential.

16.3 The logo must only be produced in the official colour format (where possible) or in grey scale (black & white) for a single colour print.

17.0 Use of the logo

17.1 You will be provided with a copy of the member logo, which can be used in the following ways:

17.2 In the case of approval limited to a specific location, branch or branches, the logo shall not be used in a way which implies approval of the whole organisation.

17.3 The wording and logo should not be altered in any way as to be misleading or give undue emphasis to any aspect.

17.4 If you wish to use the logo in any other way, please contact us for approval first.

17.5 Use of any other TGG Logo is not permitted within the terms of your membership unless specifically stated in writing by The Gardeners Guild.

17.6 Unauthorised use of the membership logo may be a criminal offence and may also result in the cancellation of your membership.

17.7 The Gardeners Guild reserves the right to amend and change the logo as required and at its sole discretion.

17.8 Members are not obliged to display the member logo. Should any amendments be made to the member logo by The Gardeners Guild, replacing the member logo anywhere displayed by the member will be at the members own expense.

18.0 Promotional Wording

18.1 As well as using the logo, you may wish to publicise your membership of The Gardeners Guild by making a written statement in your advertisements etc. Once your business has been accepted, permission is given for the following statements to be used in connection with your membership.

18.2 Other statements are not acceptable for use, some examples are listed below, this is not a definitive list:

18.3 If you would like to use any other phrase, please make sure you contact us first in order to obtain written permission.

19.0 Services

19.1 Member services can be withdrawn at any time and without notice.

19.2 Member services can change at any time and without notice.

19.3 Member services are subject to reasonable use.

19.4 Members accept that membership will be cancelled or access to member services suspended without notice forunreasonable use or abuse of member services.

19.5 Access to member services ends when membership ends.

20.0 Limits to our liability

20.1 Please note that The Gardeners Guild will not be liable to you for any indirect or consequential loss (whether for loss of profit, loss of business, depletion of goodwill or otherwise), costs, expense or other claims for consequential compensation whatsoever (howsoever caused) which arise out of or in connection with your use of this and any linked web site. Under no circumstances will The Gardeners Guild LLP personnel or any other organisation involved in creating, producing, maintaining or distributing the website be liable for any loss of: