A useful Q&A for everything you need to know about working with the BHTA
If you have a question about the BHTA or our members, check some of the frequently asked questions found below. Alternatively, you are welcome to contact us and our expert team will be happy to provide any information, advice or support.
Why should I buy from a BHTA member?
Buying from one of our members provides you with a range of benefits as a consumer. All of our members choose to sign up to our Code of Practice, requiring them to go above and beyond their legal obligations when selling products and services.
It means our members commit to standards and practices designed to protect you, ensuring the company you are buying from is ethical and trustworthy.
Also, by buying from a BHTA member, it means you are able to turn to us in the event of a dispute arising between yourself and one of our members. We have the power to hold our members to account, and work to resolve issues for both parties without the expense and stress of legal proceedings.
Best of all, we provide our mediation and conciliation services completely free to you.
To check if a business is one of our members and commits to our Code of Practice, look out for the BHTA logo on the company’s website, shopfront or literature. You can verify that the company is an active member by checking our ‘Member Directory’.
Is there a charge for raising a complaint through the BHTA, even if the BHTA does not find in my favour?
No, there is no charge to you at any stage in the complaints conciliation or the arbitration process, regardless of the findings.
Am I able to stop the complaints process at any point and will there be a charge?
Yes, you can inform the BHTA at any point that you no longer want our assistance, and withdraw your complaint.. There is no charge to you at any point, even if you withdraw your complaint.
Will I need a solicitor during the complaints process?
No, we provide a service designed for use without the need for costly legal representation. Our expert team will work with you throughout the process and can provide free advice and support to you or someone on your behalf.
If I am unsatisfied with the findings of the BHTA, is it binding or can I take my complaint elsewhere?
The findings of the BHTA are not binding and you have the opportunity to take up your own independent court action, or we can refer you to the Independent Arbitrator.
How long will it take the BHTA to resolve my complaint?
We endeavour to close complaints and reach amicable solutions between both parties as quickly as possible, to avoid undue stress. However, the length of time taken to resolve a dispute can vary depending on the complexity of the case. Throughout your complaint, our expert team will keep you informed.
What happens if a company cancels their membership during a complaint process?
A condition of a company being a member of the BHTA is committing to adhering to the Code of Practice, and promising to abide to the findings of the association.
If a member does decide to cancel their BHTA membership before your complaint has been resolved, we will no longer be able to assist you and your case will be closed.
In the event this happens, you still have your legal rights and have the option to take the business to court. Importantly, however, this would be at your cost.
Any future applications by the company to re-join the BHTA may be rejected.
How does the BHTA remain impartial?
Our Code of Practice is audited by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute to ensure we are meeting the rigorous requirements set out by its Consumer Code Approval Scheme. It is the only code in the healthcare and assistive technologies sector to have been approved under the scheme.
What should I do if I have a dispute with a company that is not a BHTA member?
If the company you have a dispute with is not an accredited member of the BHTA, we are unable to launch an investigation. However, you do still have options.
If you believe the company you have purchased from has broken the law, you can also contact Trading Standards. Check the Government’s Trading Standards Finder to locate a Trading Standards office near you to complain about illegal sales activity.
I am disabled, do I qualify for VAT relief on products / services?
If you’re disabled or have a long-term illness, you will not be charged VAT on products designed or adapted for your own personal or domestic use. Also, you will not be charged VAT on:
– the installation and any extra work needed as part of this – repairs or maintenance – spare parts or accessories
Importantly, to buy a product VAT free, both the product/service and your disability have to qualify.
For VAT purposes, you’re considered to be disabled or have a long-term illness if:
– you have a physical or mental impairment that affects your ability to carry out everyday activities, for example blindness – you have a condition that’s treated as chronic sickness, such as diabetes – you’re terminally ill
You do not qualify if you’re elderly but not disabled, or if you’re temporarily disabled.
You will also need to confirm in writing that you meet these conditions and the product supplier may give you a form for this.
– adjustable beds – stair lifts – wheelchairs – medical appliances to help with severe injuries – alarms – braille paper or low vision aids – but not spectacles or contact lenses – motor vehicles – or the leasing of a motability vehicle – building work like ramps, widening doors, installing a lift or toilet