Trading Standards - Business Advice

Fair Trading

The Isle of Wight Trading Standards Service works to ensure a fair trading environment both for consumers and businesses. Some complaints that we receive are investigated in accordance with our Enforcement Policy (PDF, 159.12KB, 8 pages).

Coronavirus Advice and Support

In response the current pandemic and the recent easing of restrictions,  Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has produced a set of guides to help businesses get back up and running and workplaces operating as safely as possible.

The Coronavirus Bulletins are specific guides providing clear guidance for travel and tour operators, food businesses and the housing and home improvement sector. Guides are updated regularly and can be downloaded free from the Business Companion Website.

Fair Trading is a substantially large area of Trading Standards work and it is broken down into the following subject headings to make it easier to find information about an area you are looking for:

  • Descriptions for Goods and Services.
  • Cancellation of Contracts.
  • Pricing.
  • Counterfeit Goods.
  • Distance Selling & E-Commerce.
  • Hallmarking.
  • Estate Agency.
  • Package Tours and Holidays.       

     

 Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 guidance notes, which came into force on 13 June 2014, replaces the Distance Selling Regulations and provides further requirements for retailers and replaces the Cancellation of Contracts Made in Consumers Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008.   

The regulations provide consumers with a 14 day cooling-off period for most "distance contracts" (those made via the internet etc) and "off premises contracts" (those made, for example, in a consumer's home). They also require certain information to be given to consumers, not only for off- premises and distance contracts but also where consumers make an agreement on a trader's business premises. Traders cannot make hidden charges, and additional charges can only be made with the consumer's express agreement.

Where a trader supplies a service, they owe a duty of care to the consumer and to others who might be affected by their work. If their work is substandard, the duty of care may be breached and the person who suffers a loss may be able  to make a claim. This applies even where there is not direct contract between the parties - for example, where the claim is made by one of the consumer's friends or relatives, or where the trader is a subcontractor who is not working directly for the consumer. The duty of care is similar to the standard of "reasonable care and skill" and it applies to the standard of work rather than guaranteeing a particular outcome.     

Descriptions for Goods & Services

We check the accuracy of statements made by traders which could mislead consumers into buying goods and services which they otherwise wouldn’t have purchased. We do this through responding to consumer complaints, receiving intelligence, routine inspections and project work.

Pricing

We ensure that all goods sold at retail have a price indication and that offers are genuine and not misleading. For further information please read the Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Information guide titled Pricing Practises - go to the links tab above to see the guidance offered by the Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Information

Counterfeit Goods

Trade in Counterfeit goods has a major effect on commercial and economic stability. We enforce legislation which protects the Intellectual Property rights of legitimate businesses. Intellectual Property covers Trade Marks, Copyright, Designs & Patents and Fraud.

The UK Intellectual Property Office gives advice on how to protect you Intellectual Property. If you believe that someone is selling a counterfeit product, please report it to us by clicking on the 'Contact' tab above where you can either send an email message using the 'Send a message to this service' tab or telephone on the number provided.

Hallmarking

We enforce the Hallmarking Act 1973 which requires most goods made with precious metals to be genuinely Hallmarked and that sellers of such goods to display a notice detailing the marks on trade premises.  For further information please click the links provided below:

Estate Agency

We enforce and advise on legislation that governs Estate Agents, namely under the Estate Agents Act 1979 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 which ensures properties are fairly marketed.  We also have a duty to advise and enforce the Energy Performance Certificates Regulations where necessary. It is also a requirement that an Estate Agent belongs to an approved redress scheme.

Package Tours and Holidays

There are specific requirements for certain information to be given to consumers. Money taken by providers of holiday packages must be secured and protected from insolvency. For further information please click the links provided below:

Failure to register use of CCTV equipment.

Failure to register use of CCTV equipment can Lead To Prosecution by the Information Commissioner’s Office. The Trading Standards Service has recently received this important message from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has re-iterated its warning to businesses to register use of CCTV equipment at their premises following prosecution of a bar owner who failed to do so.

A Lancashire bar owner was recently prosecuted by the ICO for failing to register his premises' use of CCTV despite several reminder letters from the ICO. The operator was fined £100 and ordered to pay £250 prosecution costs by Blackpool Magistrates along with an additional £15 victim surcharge.

Licensee should be aware that under the Data Protection Act notification is a legal requirement for organisations processing and collecting CCTV images. Therefore it is important that businesses who operate CCTV equipment notify the ICO, as failure to notify is a criminal offence.

More information on the requirement to notify the ICO can be found on the ICO website www.ico.gov.uk.

For more business advice, free impartial legal guidance for businesses, please visit the Business Companion website.