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Fair use policy

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There are some instances where queries to our advice might require more help. Read our fair use policy.


What is the fair use policy?

  • If your co-op has a contact package, this allows you to contact our expert advisers up to 10 times a year. 
  • Sometimes queries can take longer as the issues are more involved and that's where this fair use policy applies.
  • This policy helps your co-op get the most out of the contact package and makes ensures our advisers can provide you with advice at the right time and in a format that suits you best.

1. Making contact

Contact Package holders can contact Co-operatives UK in the following ways:

By calling 0161 214 1751

By sending an email to [email protected]

We ask that only your co-operative’s 'principal contact' (the person designated as the main point of contact for Co-operatives UK) uses the contact package or provides written consent for another individual - and that they comply with this policy.

2. What is a contact?

Each new enquiry, received by telephone or email, will be deemed a contact. If an enquiry is responded to in full, then all subsequent enquiries will be treated as new contacts. An enquiry should be a one-off enquiry where there is a specific question that requires a response. If the enquiry is deemed too detailed or wide in scope to be dealt with under the contact package, we will inform you as soon possible.

We reserve the right to provide a response to an enquiry through the contact package and then provide a quote to undertake any subsequent work. Contacts cannot be ‘added together’ as a block to enable you to access more advice related to one enquiry.

3. Receiving a response

Upon receipt, your enquiry will be directed to the appropriate Co-operatives UK staff member. We will endeavour to respond to all forms of contact within 48 hours of receipt and provide a full response within 48 hours of sending the receipt. Where this is not possible, we will always provide you with an estimated response date.

We will respond either by telephone or email and may, in some circumstances, suggest a more personal response is given to your co-operative (either by electronic means or face-to-face).

Face-to-face contact will be provided at our offices at Holyoake House in Manchester only. If you require any advice to be provided at a different address we will discuss with you any additional costs associated with this.

Where we feel that the enquiry cannot be dealt with under the contact package we will inform you of this as soon as possible. In such circumstances we will provide a quote for the provision of a paid for advice service as soon as possible.

4. Advice from our preferred partners

If your enquiry cannot be dealt with in-house we may suggest it is dealt with by one of our preferred partners (e.g. a firm of solicitors or accountancy firm). This was previously known as the ‘legal surgery’ member benefit.

We will always gain permission before forwarding your enquiry to a preferred partner. If your enquiry is dealt with by a preferred partner we will endeavour to provide a full response within five working days by email/letter. Each enquiry dealt with by a preferred partners is subject to a two-hour limit. If additional advice is required we can introduce you to the preferred partner directly in order for you to discuss additional support needs and whether you wish to engage with them directly.

5. Fair Usage

Use of the contact package (over the period of one membership year[1]) is subject to certain restrictions:

  • You may utilise up to 10 contacts in total
  • Of the 10 contacts, no more than two may be dealt with through the provision of advice from a third partner
  • Out of the 10 contacts, no more than two may be dealt with through face-to-face meetings
  • Advice provided by a third party organisation is limited to two hours per contact, unless expressly authorised
  • The contact package is as an “add on” to membership. Access to the benefits under the package are dependent on your co-op remaining a member of Co-operatives UK

6. Monitoring

Co-operatives UK will monitor your contact package usage and will let you know when you are close to reaching capacity. You can then decide whether to purchase another contact package for the remainder of the membership year.

Co-operatives UK reserves the right to offer flexibility over the use of your contact package - in discussion with you - to ensure you receive the right advice, at the right time and in the most appropriate way for your co-operative.

Last updated Jan 2021

[1][1] A membership year runs from 1 January to 31 December

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