When running your business, it is important to stay within the laws of trading standards.
This will protect your business, saving you from costly mistakes, and may even improve your customer service.
Whilst your principal concerns may be in what you offer and where your target market fits in, trading standards laws will want you to see things slightly differently. They are concerned with:
What you sell – this can be broken down into three types of items sold:
- Goods – You are responsible for the goods that you supply and must make sure they are of satisfactory quality, fit for their intended purpose and as described when you sell them. You need to understand under what circumstances your customers are entitled to a refund, repair or replacement and if delivery is part of your service. If so, this must be completed on the agreed delivery date or without undue delay if an exact time has not been specified.
- Services – if you supply your customers with a service then you need to make sure this is carried out with reasonable care, within a reasonable time and for a reasonable price. Only work that has been agreed with the customer should be carried out and any additional work required will need the consumer’s permission before you go ahead. If a customer is unhappy with the quality of your work you are obliged to put it right with no further charge and are legally bound to honour any free guarantees you offer.
- Digital Content – if you supply digital content – such as computer programs, apps, music or movie downloads or streaming – you will need to make sure it is fit for purpose, as described and of satisfactory quality. If your customers are supplied with faulty digital content they may be entitled to repair, replacement or refund.
Where you sell
- whether you sell your goods, services or digital content from premises such as a shop, in the consumer’s home or via distance selling (i.e. mail order or internet) you must provide customers with certain information before the contract is made. For example, you must obtain their agreement if you wish to charge for additional goods or services and customer helplines must cost no more than the basic rate.
How you sell
- when selling goods, services or digital content you will need to understand the contract between yourself and the consumer and ensure that the terms are fair. You must not mislead customers or act aggressively, so remember to keep your product descriptions accurate and give customers all the relevant information they need to make an informed choice. Pricing information must also be clearly indicated, without customers having to ask for it.
Worcestershire Trading Standards
Businesses in Worcestershire who are worried about complying with trading standards should contact the local Trading Standards Office. Worcestershire County Council Trading Standards professionals act on behalf of consumers and businesses. They advise on and enforce laws that govern the way we buy, sell, rent and hire goods and services.
These laws cover a wide area, which includes: consumer safety, counterfeit goods, product labelling, weights and measures, under-age sales and animal welfare.
Worcestershire Trading Standards are now responsible for firework licensing, petrol certification and performing animals. All other items are covered by Worcestershire Regulatory Services.
For further assistance please contact: