Reporting to Trading Standards

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

If you think a business has broken the law or acted unfairly, you can report them to Trading Standards.

Trading Standards use the information you give them to investigate unfair trading and illegal business activity, like rogue traders and scams.

Trading Standards can take businesses to court or stop them operating, but they won’t help you fix your problem - for example, they can’t help you get a refund.

You can get help with your consumer problem from the Citizens Advice consumer service. 

Check what you should report to Trading Standards

You should report a business to Trading Standards if they sold you something:

  • unsafe or dangerous, like an electronic appliance with faulty wiring or food past its use-by date

  • fake

  • not as described - for example, you bought a package holiday but something advertised wasn’t included

  • you didn’t want to buy - for example, they put pressure on you

You can also tell them about a business if:

  • they scammed you - for example, you paid for something online that you didn’t receive and you couldn’t contact the seller

  • they tried to stop you using your legal rights - for example, they said you can’t return faulty goods

  • they weren’t clear about the price or added on extra costs - for example, they advertised theatre ticket prices without booking fees

  • they sold products to people who looked underage without asking for ID - for example, alcohol, knives or fireworks

  • they didn’t carry out work properly - for example, kitchen fitters left your home in a dangerous state

Report a business to Trading Standards

To report to Trading Standards, you need to contact the Citizens Advice consumer service. 

We’ll pass your report to Trading Standards and we can also give you advice about your problem. You can:

If you contact us using the online form, we’ll get back to you within 5 days.

What happens after you've reported to Trading Standards

Trading Standards will use the information you give to decide if they’ll investigate. They’ll only contact you if they need more information.

Even if Trading Standards don't contact you, they might use your evidence to take action against the business in the future. For example, if other people make complaints about the same business.

Get more help with your consumer problem

If a business isn’t helping you fix something that went wrong, you could:

  • try making a formal complaint

  • get help from a dispute resolution scheme

  • take them to court

Find out more about how to fix your consumer problem.

As a charity, we rely on your support to help millions of people solve their problems each year. Please donate if you can to help us continue our work.

Help us improve our website

Take 3 minutes to tell us if you found what you needed on our website. Your feedback will help us give millions of people the information they need.

Page last reviewed on 11 November 2019