Our Remit – What We Can and Cannot Do
Devon and Somerset Trading Standards Service is committed to maintaining legal compliance to help ensure that businesses do not take an unfair advantage over competitors or consumers. This provides a level playing field for all and allows consumers to have confidence in the local economy.
If you require Consumer Advice, wish to make a complaint about a trader or to report a matter to Trading Standards, please phone the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06 or fill out an online form.
If you require Business Advice you can contact us – we will deal with your enquiry within five working days, or check out our online Business Resources. For advice on the licensing of livestock please call the DEFRA Helpline on 08459 33 55 77.
Services we provide:
Enforcement and Investigation – We investigate complaints passed to us by Citizens Advice and enforce Legislation in the following areas: Fair Trading, Product Safety, Weights & Measures, Age Restricted Products, Food Standards, Animal Health & Welfare, Animal Disease Control and Agriculture.
We Provide Advice To Businesses – We can provide advice to Devon and Somerset businesses on a wide variety of legislation and issues (contact us for more info).
Consumer Advice – This is provided through our partner organisation the Citizens Advice Consumer Service.
We Provide Information and Consumer Protection News – We publish a regular electronic mailout service containing useful information for businesses and consumers. Subscription is free. We also maintain a Facebook page and Twitter, updated with consumer and business news. We provide consumer resources such as template complaint letters and useful advice leaflets in our Consumer Section.
We Operate Buy With Confidence – Traders can join our approved trader scheme Buy with Confidence. Consumers can search the Buy with Confidence site for traders who have been vetted and approved by us.
Services We Are Unable To Provide
Advice To Members Of The Public – All consumer complaints should be made via our partner organisation the Citizens Advice Consumer Service. We then use this intelligence to direct our enforcement work. We may not take direct action with respect to your individual complaint.
Obtaining Redress On Your Behalf – Consumers have rights and often if a trader breaks those rights, for example, through providing faulty goods or substandard services the consumer is owed compensation. We do not obtain this compensation on your behalf, however by contacting our partner organisation Citizens Advice Consumer Service you will be given advice and assistance on how to obtain redress for yourself.
Providing Feedback On The Outcome Of Your Complaint – After you have made a complaint or provided information to Citizens Advice we will only contact you if we need further information. We do not usually provide feedback, except where officers intend to take formal action on the basis of an individual complaint.
Taking Action In Civil Cases – Many complaints about traders are about civil matters, for example failing to provide redress when faulty goods are sold. When a breach of the law is civil it does not necessarily mean that the trader has also committed a criminal offence. However, you may well be able to take your own action. If you contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service they will give you advice on what action you can take.