The LRQA ban on any incoming email from the Oxebridge.com domain is ridiculous, and likely a serious violation of ISO 17021. They did it in response to a complaint submitted by Oxebridge, after it was learned that LRQA may have issued a “driveby” ISO 9001 certification to a company it knew had been previously circulating counterfeit certificates under their name, illegally using the LRQA and UKAS logos.

Cutting off all form of communication from a complainant is not in keeping with the ISO 17021 rules on complaints handling, needless to say, to they are going to have a devil of a time defending that to UKAS, now that the complaint in their hands. (Prediction: they will say it was to stop spam, even though LRQA received probably less than four emails from Oxebridge in the past two years.)

Now the ridiculous ban, still in place after a month, is only hurting LRQA. Not only does it continue to make them look bad regarding the processing of formal complaints, now it’s even stopping me from sending notices that they can benefit from. Well, not stopping me, but making it annoying.

Today I sent all the CB members of the International Association of Accredited Registrars (IAAR) an “Open Letter” blueprinting a course on how to get the ban on ISO 9001 marks for products lifted. If achieved, CB’s — including LRQA — would benefit from massive public exposure to their logos and services. (I make the argument on why this is a stupid rule here.) You can download a copy of the Open Letter to IAAR Members here (PDF – 578 kb.)

While I was able to send this paper to every IAAR member, only that of LRQA was returned, with the familiar error message that Oxebridge emails have been blacklisted. (I just sent it again via the Oxebridge Gmail account.)

The blacklist decision — apparently driven by the UK office’s Dennis Ives — is so shortsighted it’s remarkable he still has a job. This also means that Oxebridge can never send them a client referral or talk to a sales rep.

Whatever. Despite blacklists from dimwitted CB’s, I will nevertheless keep working to see them survive, because at the end of the day, we all serve the same clients, and are all part of one big, happy, dysfunctional family. LRQA is just like the little misbehaving kid banging his spoon on the table and having a tantrum.

About Christopher Paris

Christopher Paris is the founder and VP Operations of Oxebridge. He has over 30 years' experience implementing ISO 9001 and AS9100 systems, and is a vocal advocate for the development and use of standards from the point of view of actual users. He is the author of Surviving ISO 9001 and Surviving AS9100. He reviews wines for the irreverent wine blog, Winepisser.

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