Trading standards - news

Supreme consumers - October 2014

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling that a consumer who entered into a doorstep selling contract was entitled to cancel his contract and get his money back when a trader failed to tell him about his legal right to cancel.

The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department which has taken over many of the responsibilities from the Office of Fair Trading in upholding consumer rights, including stepping in on Supreme Court judgements to protect consumer interest.

Some tips to remember:

  • traders must provide information about the right to cancel for consumers entering into contracts in their home
  • traders must also provide information for any other non-business premises other than your home
  • you can cancel the contract within 14 days of receiving the notice
  • if no notice is given, you have 1 year and 14 days from the time which the cancellation period would have otherwise started

Plumber prosecuted - October 2015

Trading standards have successfully prosecuted a trader falsely claiming to be a member of Bracknell Forest’s ‘Buy with Confidence’ scheme along with another plumbing associations and various bogus qualifications.

The successful prosecution lead to a total £2,620 fine for contravening the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 amongst other things. In addition he was also ordered to pay all of the council’s costs and compensation to his victim.

Trading standards are here to enforce public and consumer rights which means, where necessary, prosecuting the unscrupulous traders. This case is a success for Trading standards and community protection in deterring those who misrepresent themselves to local communities.

For full details please see the new release; Plumber prosecuted following false claims.

Recalls - August 2014

We know that it is not always convenient to return a recalled product, especially if it is an item you rely on using every day. But, the recall notices are there to keep consumers safe!

The small inconvenience of returning a recalled item is worth it when you consider the potential hazards a faulty product can make, for example, dangers of injury, illness and reactions (in the case of unsafe food), electrocution and fire.

Why not check the sites below to see if you have been affected?

Trading Standards Institute

Food Standards Agency

Overloading your sockets? - August 2014

Most people use extension leads in their homes often using 4-way bar adaptors to increase the number of appliances that they can plug into a wall socket. Or, even create a daisy chain plugging one adapter into another creating yet more. Although there is space to plug in four appliances, this does not mean it is always safe to do so.

Different electrical appliances use different amounts of power. To avoid the risk of overheating and possibly fire, you should never plug into an extension lead or socket appliances that together use more than 13 amps or 3000 watts of energy. Typically, heated appliances, for example hair driers and hair straighteners, use far more energy than others meaning simultaneous use should be avoided.

Use the online socket overload calculator and plug in some typical household appliances to see the effect on the load. The calculator is provided by the Electrical Safety Council to help you to avoid overloading your sockets and reduce the risk of fire.

Visit the Electrical Safety Council website for more home and appliance safety tips.

Distance selling - July 2014

The Sale of Goods Act gives us certain consumer rights but greater protection is given where products are purchased at a distance. There is now even greater protection for internet shoppers, meaning we don’t always have to see before we buy.

The new regulations have extended the cancellation period from 7 working days to two weeks. Should you change your mind after you have received the goods, you can return them to the trader within the cancellation period. However, you will usually be responsible for the cost of returning the item.

Guidance on the new regulations

Overloaded vehicles - July 2014

In July this year two cases of overloaded vehicles in Bracknell have gone to court. In one case, both the driver and the company for whom he worked were prosecuted fining the company a total of £1,345 for a vehicle 46 per cent overloaded. In the second case, the owner was fined £1,972.50 for a vehicle 43 per cent overloaded.

It is the responsibility of all road users to ensure their vehicle is not overloaded. Make sure you know what you put in the vehicle and the vehicle’s manufacturer weight limit. These cases are a reminder that it is not only the employer and the owner of the overloaded vehicle that are liable to prosecution; it is also the driver.

Assuring insurance - July 2014

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 and avoid any nasty surprises.

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