Trading standards - news
We all may have home insurance, but do we actually know what it covers? Now may be a good time to check your home insurance policy and make sure that it satisfies all your household needs. Don’t just assume something is not your responsibility without checking it first. It is even the home owner’s responsibility to ensure all garden trees and shrubs are kept under control so that no damage is done to their neighbours’ property.
Recent examples have incurred massive costs in damages, where spreading roots have caused damage to a neighbours' property.
If you have overgrown trees or shrubs, get an informed opinion from a qualified tree surgeon, making sure that you get recommendations from family and friends or check our Approved traders in Bracknell Forest list (PDF, 1418kb) and avoid any nasty surprises.
Scam Awareness Month - May 2014
Trading standards have seen a massive boost in complaints this year making an increase around 25 per cent nationwide. As not everybody reports all the scams they have seen, the Citizens Advice Bureau estimates as much as 4 million people could be scammed each year.
The Trading Standards Institute has labelled May 2014 as Scam Awareness Month creating awareness and warning consumers about fraudsters preying on hard-up households.
Most scammers are smart and people are just as likely to be conned over the phone and via text messages as they are through emails and websites. This is most common with financial documents or websites, so extra special care should be taken when using any secure financial information.
New analysis suggests that, on average:
- over a third of scams (34 per cent) were over the phone
- almost a quarter of scams (24 per cent) were through visits to a website
- 16 per cent were letter or fax scams
- one in ten scams (10 per cent) were through emails
Make sure no scam is left unreported and contact either Trading Standards or the CAB on 08444 111444 if you are suspicious.
For more information, please visit the Trading Standards Institute website.
Food hygiene standards - April 2014
Did you know all restaurants, takeaways, pubs and other places selling food get a rating for food hygiene, known as the Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme? Each premises is given a rating from 5 (the best) to 0.
You can see all the ratings for Bracknell Forest on the Food Standards Agency website. If you're doing well, it's a great way to recommend your business, and if it's not what you want then just talk to the Environmental Health Team about how you can improve.
Phone scammers - March 2014
Trading standards officers are warning residents to be aware of telephone calls from scammers trying to obtain customers PIN numbers and handing over their bank cards.
These scammers operate by pretending to be from your bank; they inform you that your bank card has been used fraudulently and ask you to hang up and redial your bank to ascertain that their call is genuine. However, the fraudsters remain on the line. So, when you think you have got through to your bank you are in fact still talking with the impostor which is when they ask you to give them your PIN number to verify your account. Finally, to obtain your card, they offer to send a courier round to your house to collect the card in person.
Please remember that banks never ask for your PIN number. This is unique to you and should never be revealed to anyone.
Used and abused or previously cherished?
Second hand cars are one of the most complained about products to Trading Standards and Citizens Advice. With this in mind Bracknell Forest Trading standards, in conjunction with Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), have just conducted a check of used car dealers across the borough.
The good news was that after visiting 10 premises and inspecting 23 vehicles, no major issues were found. Whilst all vehicles conformed to the legal requirements, advise was given on low brake pads, brake fluid and tyre treads as well as illegal modifications such as dark tinted windows.
If you have issues with a car bought from a second hand car dealer, in the Bracknell Forest area, please let us know by contacting us via the Trading Standards enquiry form.