Truth in Selling
In today's marketplace promotion plays a vital part in the sale of products. ' 2 for the price of one ', ' buy cheaper elsewhere and we'll refund double the difference ', ' low mileage vehicle ' are frequently seen in shops and garages up and down the high streets. It is our role in Trading Standards to ensure that the consumer is protected from traders who make untruthful claims.
We carry out regular inspections and surveys to ensure that claims made in relation to goods and services are correct. These can range from a cars mileage which may have been 'clocked ' - turned back many thousands of miles - to hotels described as being ' only 400 metres from the beach ' when in fact it is considerably further away.
If misleading information as to the price of goods or services is given to consumers it is our job to investigate and if necessary prosecute offenders.
Truth in Lending
The purchase of goods and services by the use of credit facilities has dramatically increased over the last twenty years. It is the job of the Trading Standards service to enforce the Consumer Credit Act, which protects consumers in credit matters.
Just about everyone involved in the business of lending money has to obtain a Credit Licence. These are issued by the Office of Fair Trading and are only given to fit and proper persons. It is illegal to trade without a licence. Also holders of a licence whose actions are to detriment of consumers can have their licence revoked.
Examples of traders who operate without licenses include loan sharks. These people prey on the vulnerable in society and charge 1000% interest on their loans. We have seen examples where benefit and family allowance books have been taken as security on loans. A new unit that specifically deals with loan sharks has been funded for 3 years by the Department of Business and Regulatory Reform. The unit operates on an all Wales basis and has a 24 hour helpline:
Helpline: 0300 123 33 11.
We also police advertising of credit. If you have to put your home as security on a loan we ensure that the advert warns you of this. Also we ensure that the adverts are truthful in relation to the A.P.R (Annual Percentage Rate) charged.
Finally we are also able to provide advice and assistance to consumers who have signed credit agreements and are unsure of their rights when it comes to cancellation or withdrawal.
If you feel you have been misled with the purchase of any goods or services please do not hesitate to contact us using the contact details at the bottom of this page.