Trading Standards - Fair Trading advice for businesses
Fair Trading advice
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See the Pricing Practices Guide (PDF) from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills for more information.
To find out about 'splitting multipacks', visit our Consumer Advice page.
Distance selling includes buying goods and services over the internet, by phone or by mail order.
Certain information has to be displayed on a website. For a comprehensive Beginners Guide please see the Beginners Guide to the E-Commerce Regulations 2002 (PDF)
The Office of Fair Trading's Distance Selling hub provides guidance for retailers and business support organisations on regulations that affect buying and selling goods and services via the internet, phone, mail order, email, interactive TV or text.
For information regarding consumer rights when buying anything from a website, please see the Citizens Advice website.
It is a criminal offence for a property developer or an estate agent to make a misleading statement about certain property-related matters. For more information download a guidance note on The Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 (PDF).
Trade associations/professional associations exist both to protect consumers and to represent business sectors.
These organisations often work with businesses to help reassure consumers. They may work together on procedures to ensure that consumers can expect a certain standard of workmanship, and that if any issues or complaints arise, they will be appropriately dealt with.
Tradespeople who join these organisations will often be strictly vetted. This can include checks on their workmanship. Successful applicants can be supported in the event of a dispute between themselves and their client. Some organisations even provide a conciliation or arbitration service.
Membership of a trade association can be a great indicator of the reliability of a tradesperson. However, simple checks should always be made.
Before trusting a logo in a telephone directory or on the side of a van, a consumer should consider contacting the relevant organisation to verify a particular membership. This will allow a check whether the trader really is a member, and if so, what checks have been carried out on their work - and whether the association can offer a customer any support if things go wrong.
If a trader falsely advertises membership of an association, contact Citizens Advice.