Accredited Company Doesn't Deliver and has NO Complaint Procedure

S

smullen

#1
newbies query

Hi,
I'm just been looking around at the ISO 9002 business and have a couple of points/questions from a consumer perspective. BTW I've just been reading about ISO all day and this site is by far the most informative I've seen, anyway...

Say I'm a consumer and I select an accredited company to do business with - and they don't deliver.

Their accreditation means that they should have a complaints process? Say they don't or they don't follow it.

So I want to complaint about it. So I want to take it up with the ISO body. How does the average joe know where to find them?
The quality endorsed ISOxxxx & logo doesn't have a phone number, web address or any other identifying information.

Shouldn't accreditation (besides the pretty logos) demonstrate a means to complain/contact the standards body about any 'quality' failings or to whomever their Registrar is, to ensure only legit, credible businesses are accreditted?

Then again, it is not exactly easy to firstly find a company's Registrar, unless you already know where to look.

Shouldn't the businesses processes be partly public? i.e. Perhaps this companies procedure manual is along the lines of "Take Order", "Take Cash", "Go to Casino" and they follow it to the letter - yet as a consumer I wouldn't exactly be happy with that, even though they had their procedures in place. How do I know if my chosen accredited business is actually following the procedures I expect and not smoking weed somewhere?

At least I'd expect the iso web site to have some information about a complaints procedure - but it doesn't have any references to complaints (How did ISO get accredited?)

Say I do complain to ISO or the business's Registrar, would I get the time of day? Do they often investigate complaints or do they send 'thank you for your concerns' letters out? Do they ever do additional audits or revoke certification?

With this and the apparently large problem with dodgy accreditation around, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that as far as I can tell so far, in practice accreditation doesn't seem to be any guarantee, assurance or insurance for the consumer (or their confidence) and can only offer at best offer 'some sense of security to consumers'.

Have I missed the point altogether, isn't a fundamental principal of the whole buzzword happy business of quality to provide quality outcomes to consumers?
 
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M

M Greenaway

#2
Smullen

Looks like you have quickly recognised the major shortcoming of ISO9001 accreditation - you still dont know what you are getting, and it has little or no bearing onthe actual quality of product or service provided.

Your immediate course of action should really be to take up your specific concerns with your supplier. Also my advice would be to do a lot more in your supplier selection/appraisal than looking for an ISO9001 cert.

Shouldnt be the way I know, but that is the way it is, many of the threads in this forum touch on the reasons why.
 

JodiB

Still plugging along
#3
If you know the registrar's name (ask the company if you don't have a copy of the certificate), it is a small matter to locate them on the internet. Simply www.registrar's name.com usually.

Contact the registrar with your complaint (they will want something in writing), and if the registrar is doing their job then on the next visit that complaint will be sent along with the other paperwork for the visit to the assessor performing the work. The assessor will look into the company's Corrective Action procedure and make sure that it is acting properly. They can use your name or other identifying information to check specifically on whether your complaint with the company was handled according to procedure. If the complaint sends a flag that there is something amiss within the company's processes (bad paint job,etc.) then the assessor can look into that specific function too because he has now been given a clue of something that might not be functioning right.

Other than that, there is nothing that the registrar can do.

If a flood of complaints about a company is received by a registrar, then the registrar will look much more closely at the company's processes and yes, they may uncover a true failing of the QMS which would require action on the company's part to maintain their certification.

As far as what kind of procedures a company has in place, you would be mistaken to think that a company can have any sort of procedures that they want and all they have to do is follow them in order to receive certification. They must follow ISO 9001 for certification.
 
D

David Mullins

#4
Sean,
Lucinda is on the right path.

Go to Standards Australia, and click on the JAS-ANZ register.
http://www.standards.com.au/
Locate the company name your talking about and this will tel you if they're registered, what to, and whom by.
You can then complain to the certifier.
If you don't get any joy, complain to JAS-ANZ.

You might have been reading about ISO quality stuff all day, but, you clearly have a long way to travel in terms of knowledge and understanding.
A little knowledge is a adangerous thing!
 
S

smullen

#5
Thanks for the feedback.

Looking back at my original post - I didn't really explain that I was strictly looking at the issue hypothetically.

The ISO 9001:2000 standard focuses on customer satisfaction, continual improvement & process management. Correct?

David I think you have hit the nail on the head with your comment:

"You might have been reading about ISO quality stuff all day, but, you clearly have a long way to travel in terms of knowledge and understanding.
A little knowledge is a adangerous thing!"

If it is so 'hard' for Joe consumer to learn 'what' an ISO9001 stamp of approval is supposed to give them - and it is so 'hard' for Joe consumer to know how to complain when he isn't given what he would expects - what does ISO9001 accreditation mean to him?

Like Lucinda says, to find the registrat "Simply www.registrar's name.com usually". That's fine for me, being at this forum and all, but what about regular people who aren't at this website?

For example here in Australia, if you have a problem with a bank you can call the banking ombudsman, you can go their website and fill out a form - and whilst I realize the purpose of QM is not solely to 'police' businesses, how credibly is it without an external 'policing' mechanism that is both 'readily available' and transparent?

Example:
ACME makes bolts. They cut costs by making an inferious product and deliberately falsify every document along the way. They are audited every year but pass with flying colours because they are lying, and the auditor is ACME-REG, run by ACME's CEO's brother.

Now Joe Consumers truck's wheels fall off between the bolts are inferior and not to the specifications. Joe would obviously call his lawyer, but in addition to that shouldn't Joe contact whomever 'accredited' ACME?

Now Joe contacts ACME-REG whom accredited ACME. ACME-REG run by ACME's brother says there is no problem with ACME.

Clearly ACME and ACME-REG should lose their accrediation and be banned from every acrediting, or being certified.

So does ISO have a clearly defined mechanism for Joe to complain about this arrangement and abuse of the system?

Judging by ISO's website, they have aknowleged they do have a problem with this sort of activity (a press release on the site), but the release doesn't actually say how to complain.

--
Example 2.
ACME2 makes great bolts and delivers in 14 days. Joe Consumer is unhappy because he didn't get his order for 14 days and complains to ACME-REG. It is a frivious complaint because ACME2 puts "Orders filled in 14 days!" on its invoices, it web site etc.

Even though it is a frivilous complain, is ACME-REG required to respond to it, call ACME2 & conduct an immediate investigation - which in this case would amount to 2 telephone calls?

---
I havent been clear in the purpose of asking these questions. I am simply trying to establish what ISO9001 means to a consumer - in practice - versuses what it should mean. I can see no websites that talk about ISO**** like this, and really shouldn't if be in a FAQ somewhere, perhaps
Q1. 'How ISO9001 cuts costs'
Q2. 'How ISO9001 benefits consumers'

I don't know - maybe I do need to learn more, but these shortcomings seem serious to me. i.e. You should not have to be an expert to find out -what- ISO9001 provides a comsumer with should you? There should be a very simple, readily accessible means to find out whether a process has not been followed etc.

Just my 2cents.

Thanks

Sean.
 
D

David Mullins

#6
Sean,
All that anger!
JAS-ANZ is a better system than most countries have, so start finding out a few facts before ranting and raving.
Are you sure your Australian?
 
S

smullen

#7
David,

No anger here until I visisted the frontpage page of the JAS-ANZ website. Java/Flash nightmare that crippled my computer.

Will go have a beer or something.

Sean
 
D

D.Scott

#8
Sean - I think you are asking some very good questions but unfortunately there aren't any quick routes to a solution.
To start with, ISO as an organization doesn't accredit anybody. ISO simply writes the standard. I think if you look deep enough ISO looks at accreditation as a money making industry for registrars and consultants. The ISO standards are there as a baseline or guide for any good business throughout the world. It gives you a place to start. The fact that someone puts their name on a paper to say my company complies with the standard is supposed to give you, the customer, a warm fuzzy feeling that I have a quality system that at least meets the minimums outlined in ISO.
The actual fact is that, "on this day, in the events they looked at" APPEARED to comply. Every audit carries a disclaimer which says (para.) "I certify everything is fine unless I missed something".
I agree with Martin - your best action is to take it up with the supplier. If you can't resolve it, go somewhere else. That is really the driver to good quality. If customers don't buy from low quality suppliers (accredited or not), the quality will either improve or the supplier goes under.
Lucinda and Dave are right on in refering you to the registration body, but as has been said, there is little that they can do other than monitor.

Dave
 
E

energy

#9
I'll say

smullen said:

Looking back at my original post - I didn't really explain that I was strictly looking at the issue hypothetically.

Example:
ACME makes bolts. They cut costs by making an inferious product and deliberately falsify every document along the way. They are audited every year but pass with flying colours because they are lying, and the auditor is ACME-REG, run by ACME's CEO's brother.

Now Joe Consumers truck's wheels fall off between the bolts are inferior and not to the specifications. Joe would obviously call his lawyer, but in addition to that shouldn't Joe contact whomever 'accredited' ACME?

Now Joe contacts ACME-REG whom accredited ACME. ACME-REG run by ACME's brother says there is no problem with ACME.

Thanks

Sean.
Registration to the ISO Standard will not protect anyone from fraudulant or possibly criminal behavior. Hypothetically, You purchase a UL (Underwriters Laboratory) Approved appliance from a major retail store. It has a large scratch in the cabinet. They refuse to honor your return due to Customer abuse. What do you do? Complain to UL about the retail store's shoddy customer treatment? Consider that Logo as representation of a company that has gone through the registration process. Not protection against criminal behavior by a few. Try to prove it. ISO isn't intended to be an Police Force for an unhappy customer, no matter how important the Customer thinks their complaint is. JMHO:ko: :smokin:
 
#10
ISO isn't intended to be an Police Force for an unhappy customer, no matter how important the Customer thinks their complaint is. JMHO
This might be 'just your humble opinion' energy, but I agree that it is dead on! ISO is not the better business bureau or the local consumer advocate.

ISO and QS did not stop the Firestone tire disaster. Both Ford and Firestone thought they were doing a good job.Their registrar could not find anything worthy of pulling the registration. Even if the registrar is not "Acme's brother', the registrar still might not find any hidden data or problems, whether the data is hidden intentionally or not.
 
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