retra is the UK’s leading trade association for independent electrical retailers and servicing organisations.


retra retailers pride themselves in providing quality customer service. If you value good service and the peace of mind it brings, our “find a retailer“ will help you find your local independent retra retailer.


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Alternative Dispute Resolution

This was due to come into force in July but has now been put back to October 1st.

Some of the wording is still a little hazy in terms of is it voluntary or mandatory? I believe it will in reality be mandatory. You will be obliged on any website and in store be required to say who you will use to mediate in a customer dispute that cannot be resolved between you and the customer. We will as always advise in disputes and try to ensure that there is a satisfactory outcome for both you and the consumer. If that fails than you will be obliged to refer the matter to an accredited ADR provider.

There will of course be a cost associated with this so it is to be avoided if at all possible. In preparation for this becoming law we have been researching ADR providers with a view to recommending one to members.

We have been talking to Small Claims Mediation [UK ] Ltd and hope to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding in the next few weeks. You can of course choose to use any supplier you wish but we will hopefully have something in place that you can quote to consumers and put on your website for October if you so wish.

To be clear this does not replace the consumers right to bring a case against you in the Small Claims Court but is an attempt by the government to limit the amount of cases that end up in court. Once we have concluded the negotiation with Small Claims Mediation Ltd we will send out full details .

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Underperformance during a notice period.

We have had a number of calls recently about underperformance during a notice period.

Members have asked what they can do when an employee is working their notice period and there is a significant drop in the performance. As with all instances of poor performance you should investigate the circumstances and find out the reason for the poor performance. You should investigate if there is a valid reason for the poor performance or if it is the fact that the employee is taking advantage of being in his or her notice period? If you conclude that the poor performance is a misconduct issue and amounts to gross misconduct then it may warrant dismissal without notice.

If the employee is persistently disobeying reasonable instructions, then this could be grounds for summary dismissal. You would need to follow your disciplinary procedure as outlined in your “members staff handbook” [available free of charge from retra if you haven’t already issued one] and comply with the principles of the “ACAS code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures”. If the employees conduct falls short of gross misconduct then you will have to decide whether or not you want to let them go before the end of their notice period. If that’s what the employee is looking for then you have to be realistic and accept that whatever steps you take it may not result in the individuals performance improving. The only real action you can take is through the disciplinary procedure if the employee is to stay for their full notice period. There is the fact that any warnings would go on their record and that “could” be communicated to any future employer via the reference process. The negative to all of this is that if you have an unhappy employee who is determined to leave they can do damage to your business whilst they remain in post.

It can cause morale issues with other members of staff and of course if they deal with customers then there could also be reputational issues there if they don’t keep up the normal levels of customer service.

If someone doesn’t want to work for you then I’m a great believer in letting them go where it is practical to do so or at least trying to reach a compromise.

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Calendar of Events

Retra Annual Golf Day- 14 July 2015

Do you have what it takes to be this year’s Golf Day Champion????!!! Take a team of 4 to the retra Annual Golf Day this year and challenge last years winners- retracare!


The annual Golf Day will return to Woburn Golf Club on 14 July 2015.


Don’t miss this fantastic networking opportunity! Rates have been reduced for this year £750 for a team of 4.


With fantastic prizes, an array of different titles to be won, dinner and a charity raffle, there is plenty to be excited about!



Woburn Golf Club Terms & Conditions


Please return your booking form to

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Product Recall Information
For further information regarding Product Recalls of Electrical Appliances from the Electricity Safety First, please link onto the information page on left: