Scammers, rogue traders and lousy service providers are all over the news, but there are ways to hit back. One often forgotten way to do this is to get in touch with your local Trading Standards department.
If you’re concerned about the trustworthiness of internet retailers, feel you’ve been door-stopped by rogue traders or think your local high street shop has tried to pull a fast one – have you told your local Trading Standards department?
Although the Office of Fair Trading and Financial Services Authority are often most visible when it comes to the fight against rogue traders, Trading Standards’ departments are the unsung heroes of the consumer protection world.
While they may not be able to reunite you with any money you’ve lost, they can play a role in ensuring that others don’t get caught out by the same tricks.
Trading Standards have teeth
Trading Standards departments – or ‘weights and measures’ as they were once known – have been around for well over a 100 years. But as they operate largely on a local level, they don’t tend to have the profile of other national consumer-focused organisations.
Yet, everyone has a Trading Standards in their local area. And while officers don’t have the resources to investigate every case that comes in the door, they are looking to identify and act upon identified trends.
Although their first step is usually to apply pressure on companies to conform to better standards, they have the teeth to take enforcement action if necessary.
At Which? we’re liaising with Trading Standards to investigate, highlight and pursue questionable firms that are seeking to take advantage of consumers.
Have you had any success reporting rogue traders to this unsung hero? Plus, if you have any issues you want to share with us below, we’ll be sure to pass them onto Trading Standards.