Posted by Julia Roxan on 30 May 2017

“I bought a handbag for £100 thinking it was a top designer brand but it has turned out to be a fake. How do I report the shop to Trading Standards?”

If you think a company has broken the law or acted unfairly, you might be able to report them to Trading Standards.

You should report a company to Trading Standards if they, for example:

  • misled you into buying their products or services
  • sold you unsafe or dangerous items
  • didn’t carry out the work properly, for example, their work left your home in a dangerous state
  • sold you fake or counterfeit items
  • pressured you to buy something you didn’t want to buy
  • sold you a car that wasn't 'roadworthy' (it would cause danger if it was on the road)

To make a report to Trading Standards call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506 (Textphone: 18001 03454 04 05 06) and tell them you want to report a trader to Trading Standards. The Consumer Advice helpline will assess your problem and pass it on to Trading Standards if it's appropriate. 

Calls to the helpline cost up to 9p per minute from a landline. If you're calling from a mobile, it'll cost between 3p and 40p per minute - if you have inclusive minutes, it's the same as calling a landline. 

An adviser will answer your call as soon as possible, usually within a few minutes. Once you're speaking to an adviser your call should take an average of 8 to 10 minutes. Be prepared to tell the adviser details of the problem and the company’s name and address.

You can also use an online form via the Citizens Advice website www.citizensadvice.org.uk  or write to them at Citizens Advice Consumer Service
2nd Floor, Fairfax House, Merrion Street, Leeds, LS2 8JU - make sure you mention that you want to report a trader to Trading Standards. 

Trading Standards will then decide whether to investigate your problem. If they do, they might contact you for more information and evidence. Depending on what they find out, they might take action to stop the trader from acting unfairly. For example they might educate the trader about the law or take legal action against them to stop them from trading completely. Even if Trading Standards don’t contact you, they might use your evidence to take action in the future.