Trading Standards - Fair Trading
Trading Standards aims to assist businesses to trade fairly through enforcement, advice and education.
The Office of Fair Trading (new window) is a government department who's mission is 'to make markets work well for consumers'. They look at competition between traders, investigate rogue traders, deal with scams and provide general advice on how consumers can deal with problems and protect themselves. They cannot provide advice or assistance to individual consumers or traders. The link on the right will take you to their website.
What to do if you have purchased goods from a company that has ceased trading or gone into administration
- If you used a credit card to purchase goods that cost between £100 and £30,000 then the credit card company may be liable if goods are faulty or have not been supplied to you. This applies even if you have only paid a deposit.
- If you used a debit card, you may be able to obtain a refund for goods that are faulty or have not been delivered through a chargeback scheme. You should speak to your bank to see if you are covered.
- If goods are faulty, contact the manufacturer as there may be a manufacturers guarantee provided with the goods.
- If the company has gone into administration, you can register a claim for goods that have not been delivered or are faulty with the company's administrator. Your details will be added to a list of creditors if the company does cease trading.
- If you have signed a credit or finance agreement to purchase goods and these are not delivered, then the agreement should be cancelled and you should be refunded any payments you have made. You should contact the credit or finance company about this.
- If you have vouchers for a company that has gone into administration, these may not be honoured. You should check with the company whether or not you can use your vouchers. If you can't, then you should contact the administrator to add your details to the list of creditors.
If you require further advice, please contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06.
Trading Standards would like to make residents aware of the various scams surrounding computers and the internet as they are becoming more prevalent in today's society. Below is a selection of the most popular scams but is not an exhaustive list.
Malicious software or Malware is designed to secretly access a computer system without the owner's consent. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, dishonest adware and other malicious and unwanted software. There is no method that can guarantee that your computer will not be infected with malware but there are a number of steps that you can take to lessen the chances of this happening.
1. Install antivirus and antispyware programs
2. Update software regularly
3. Never turn off your firewall
4. Use strong passwords and keep them secret
5. Don't be tricked into downloading malware
Virus Telephone Scam
Cold Callers pretending to be from Microsoft phone to fix a fake computer problem. The cold caller calls asking for the householder and usually quoting their name and address before saying they are from Microsoft and informing the householder that they have had a report from their internet service provider of serious virus problems. They state that if it is not addressed the computer will become unusable and are then directed to a program called "Windows Event Viewer" which contains a list that the average user would think are errors with their computer.
The caller then directs the user to a website and gets them to download a program that hands over remote control of the computer and the caller then "installs" various things to "fix" the problems. It is at this point the caller requests to be paid for the service. There is never anything wrong with the computer, the caller does not work for Microsoft or the internet service provider and the owner of the computer has given a stranger access to all data on their computer.
Phishing Banking Scam
A phishing scam is when the scammer sends you an email purporting to be from a bank/financial institution which asks you to click on a link to open a new window in order to provide personal information. The scammer will have created a look-a-like website which resembles the target company's website.
Be wary of emails that ask you to click on a link and then provide sensitive information. Most legitimate companies would not request sensitive information from customers via email. If you have any doubts at all about the authenticity of an email, contact the company directly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click a question to see the answer.
You do not have to give your name and address if you make a complaint, but it does allow the Council to come back to you to tell you what has happened or to seek further information. Regardless of that, all information is treated with the utmost confidence, and your details would not be disclosed to a trader without your prior approval.