Trading standards advice to businesses
We advise businesses on Trading Standards laws they have to comply with to ensure they are trading fairly.
The legislation provides a level playing field so that businesses do not need to seek a competitive advantage through unfair trading which can lead to situations where consumers lose trust in the market place.
Legislation provides a framework for businesses so that you can assume that your competitors are, in general, applying truthful descriptions and prices to their goods.
New protection for consumers came into force in 2008, replacing several pieces of consumer protection legislation. The regulations introduce a general duty not to trade unfairly and seek to ensure that traders act honestly and fairly towards their customers. They apply primarily to business to consumer practices, but elements of business to business practices are also covered.
Where do consumer rights come from?
Most consumer rights come from the Sale of Goods Act. Goods must:
- comply with descriptions
- be fit for their purpose and
- be of acceptable quality which means free from defects taking account of the circumstances of sale
Visit the Trading Standards Institute's (TSI's) Sale of Goods Act hub (external website) for comprehensive and up to date guidance on the Sale of Goods Act for retailers and business support organisations.
TSI's Distance Selling hub (external website) provides guidance for retailers and business support organisations on regulations that affect buying and selling goods and services via the internet, phone, mail order, email, interactive TV or text.
The Enterprise Act allows us to seek undertakings from businesses that are acting unfairly in their dealings with consumers. If we do not gain voluntary compliance we can apply directly to the courts for an order. Breach of an order may lead to heavy penalties for contempt of court.
Retailers are required to display labels showing the energy efficiency of light bulbs, refrigerators, washing machines and some other electrical appliances. All producers have a duty to minimise packaging used in the distribution and sale of their products. We can advise businesses on how to comply with these laws.
There is also legislation designed to protect legitimate business such as the Trade Marks Act and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.
How is advertising controlled?
Most adverts are controlled by the advertising industry although we can also take action. There is one specific statutory control - The Consumer Credit Advertising Regulations. This is the source of all of the technical detail needed in credit adverts. Further information is available from the Office of Fair Trading (takes you to an external website).
For more information contactTrading Standards
Tel: 01592 583141 Contact Trading Standards online