Trading Standards to help Highland businesses provide new consumer rights

On 1 October the law changes as new consumer rights come into force.  The Highland Council’s Trading Standards team is offering advice and assistance to Highland businesses to ensure that they continue to give their customers a good and fair deal.

The new consumer rights include:

  • A new 30-day time limit for consumers to “reject” faulty goods and receive a refund.
  • Businesses will only have one attempt to repair or replace faulty goods.
  • Brand new provisions for “digital content”, bringing consumer law up-to-date.
  • Claims and promises made during discussions with consumers about services (e.g. home improvements) will be contractually binding on businesses.

Trading Standards Manager Gordon Robb explained: 

“These are the biggest changes to consumer rights in a generation.  We realise that it can be tricky for small businesses to know all the ins and outs of such laws and by assisting our local businesses where we can, want to make sure that they are able to maintain their reputation and give their customers a fair deal”.

Detailed guidance can be found on the Highland Council website Trading Standards pages, where there are also links to complementary guidance provided by partner agencies at: .  Highland businesses with specific queries can phone Trading Standards on 01463 228700, e-mail or write to Trading Standards, 38 Harbour Road, Inverness, IV1 1UF.

Gordon Robb continued:

“We are providing general guidance and advice on request.  However, we want Highland businesses to tell us if we could be doing more to help and whether for example there is an appetite for business seminars or by offering to come and speak to business groups.  In recent years we have held set-piece seminars following changes in the law that focused on distinct business sectors: e.g. the car trade, estate agents and petrol retailers.  The fact that these new laws apply to everyone in retail makes such set-piece seminars much more of a challenge, but by seeking the views of business it is hoped that with their input and support we can satisfy any demand.”

A campaign is also planned to raise awareness among consumers during “National Consumer Week” later in the year.  Trading Standards will team up with local CABs to make sure consumers know their rights in the lead up to Christmas.  For now though, the focus is on helping business to know, understand and follow the new rules.

Highland shoppers who feel they have been denied their rights can receive initial advice from Trading Standards’ partner body, the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on telephone 03454 04 05 06.  Cases needing more detailed advice, intervention or investigation are referred to Trading Standards for action. 

29 Sep 2015