Report 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.
What should you report to Trading Standards
You should report a company to Trading Standards if, for example:
- they misled you into buying their products or services
- they sold you unsafe or dangerous items
- they didn’t carry out the work properly, for example, their work left your home in a dangerous state
- they sold you fake or counterfeit items
- they pressured you to buy something you didn’t want to buy
- they sold you a car that wasn't 'roadworthy' (it would cause danger if it was on the road)
You can also report retailers to Trading Standards if you think they have broken rules on products that cannot be sold to children, for example the display of tobacco. Trading Standards can issue a fixed penalty notice for some offences.
How to report a trader to Trading Standards
Call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline and tell them you want to report a trader to Trading Standards. The consumer helpline will assess your problem and pass it on to Trading Standards if it's appropriate.
If you live in Northern Ireland, you'll need to contact Consumerline and tell them you want to report a trader to Trading Standards.
Citizens Advice consumer helpline
Telephone: 03454 04 05 06
Textphone: 18001 03454 04 05 06
Telephone a Welsh-speaking adviser: 03454 04 05 05
Textphone a Welsh-speaking adviser: 18001 03454 04 05 05
Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Closed on bank holidays.
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. Find out more about call charges.
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 or write to the consumer helpline - make sure you mention that you want to report a trader to Trading Standards.
What Trading Standards do
Trading Standards will 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.