NACO: The Voice of Reason
Since 1996 the National Association of Caravan Owners has provided advice and support to owners of static holiday caravans across the UK. The journey has been a turbulent one, with many battles won on behalf of holiday caravan owners.
For years we struggled with recognition. Park owners would suggest that we were operating ‘out of a back bedroom’ and that we were ‘cowboys’. These suggestions didn’t always have the adverse effect that you might expect. We found common ground with the people that needed our assistance and we quickly grew as an organisation. With the growth of our membership numbers, we began to establish recognition. This was from both national park operators and smaller park owners who could see the benefits of working with us, not against us.
Over the years we established good links with bodies like the OFT and Trading Standards, and this proved to be invaluable when dealing with unfair trading practices. Over the years the relationship with the OFT has become a two-way street. In 2005 when the OFT published their guidance on unfair terms, we were used as the only national conduit for the consumer leaflet: A fair pitch for your holiday caravan.
We have always maintained a very good working relationship with the manufacturers who provide customer support when it is needed. Caravan owners often hit a brick wall when faced with a holiday caravan after sales issue, and we have helped countless members reach an amicable solution to their problems by using our experience, knowledge and contacts within the industry.
In recent years, we have forged strong links with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Consumer Focus who regularly refer concerned caravan owners to us in order that we can assist them with their problem or issue. Our most recent development is a much stronger connection with the National Caravan Council who are clearly fixed on ensuring that the consumer, in this case the caravan owner, gets a fair deal from a fair operator. This is great for our membership and we continue to investigate ways in which our organisations can work together.
Finally, given the tough times that our industry is experiencing we are seeing a big increase in the number of park owners who are turning to us for assistance whilst encouraging their caravan owners to join us. This developing trend is one that we did not expect, but is not without good reason.
Whilst speaking with a member the other day, about a complex set of problems faced by caravan owners at the park, we were described as “the voice of reason”. This struck a chord with us, as throughout the many years that our association has supported caravan owners we have always strived to be reasonable. This means seeing both sides of the story and always being upfront and honest with our advice. Given our position in the industry nowadays, it’s clear that our efforts to assist static caravan owners and promote fairness and transparency have paid off.
Having gained recognition and developed a good reputation it’s important that our membership continues to grow and that people spread the word about NACO. If you’re a holiday caravan owner join NACO today – a warm welcome awaits.