The Trading Standards Service seeks to ensure that the residents
of the county borough get a ‘fair deal’ by enforcing a wide range
of legislation relating to pricing, consumer credit and the
description of goods, services and property.
Officers check the prices and description of
goods and services offered by local businesses and investigate
complaints from the public where they believe they have purchased
misdescribed goods, services or been overcharged.
Fair trading covers a wide area of consumer
protection law such as the Property Misdescriptions Act,
Consumer Credit Act and many more Acts of Parliament besides. The
primary purpose of this type of legislation is to ensure
'truthfulness of trade' thus preventing consumers being misled
during contractual negotiations for goods and services.
We ensure that all goods and services are
correctly described, that goods are price marked and that the
prices are not misleading, and that traders comply with consumer
credit, hallmarking, estate agents and trade marks legislation.
This work can include:
Checking garages to make sure that they
correctly service or repair cars
Testing clothes to check that they are really
cotton and not synthetics.
Other examples of consumer fraud include the
investigation of goods for sale by traders pretending to be private
individuals and the sale of pirate or counterfeit computer
software, clothes, music, videos and DVDs.
How would I spot a copy?
This can sometimes be very difficult as
criminal traders are becoming very good at counterfeiting. The
Trading Standards service suggests that you use the following tips
to spot suspect goods:-
Where is it sold?
Is this a place where designer goods would
normally be found? If you saw a Rolex watch at a car boot
sale, chances are it’s a counterfeit.
How much does it cost?
Most designer goods sell at quite high prices,
if a good is much cheaper than in authorised stockists, it probably
is a copy.
Is the quality comparable with the original?
Look at the clarity of the tag, the finish on seams and
embroidery. Any defects probably should start alarm bells
Remember – if it seems to good to be true, it
Property Misdescriptions Act 1991
This Act is designed to regulate those persons
in the course of estate agency or property development business who
falsely describe or make misleading statements in relation to land.
This includes amongst other things descriptions in relation the
address and location of a property, room sizes, easements and