Trading Standards

This area of the website contains advice and information for consumers such as advice on purchasing or returning goods and information for businesses about legislation and fair trading. There is also advice for farmers, motor trading companies and information about food, weights and measures, and product safety.

Not in Cheshire East? You can find details of your local Trading Standards office by using the postcode search at Trading Standards Central.

If you are seeking advice and assistance with a matter you are having or you would like to make a complaint against a company, please contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0345 4040506 or via the Citizens Advice online complaint form.

Latest News

New Allergen Labelling Legislation

At the end of 2014, new legislation (the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation 1169/2011) will be introduced that will require food businesses to provide allergy information on food sold unpackaged, in for example catering outlets, deli counters, bakeries and sandwich bars. There will also be changes to existing legislation on labelling allergenic ingredients in pre-packed foods. To see how this may affect your food business please take a look at the Guidance & Notices area of our website where you will find useful information.

New Regulations give Consumers more power

From June 13th 2014 the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 came in to effect. The new Regulations replace The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 and The Cancellation of Contracts Concluded in a Consumer's Place of Work or Home etc. Regulations 2008.

If you are a business and would like some guidance on ensuring you are compliant with the new Regulations use the following links to go to the Business Companion guidance, Off- premises sales, On-premises sales, Distance Sales.

Beware of snake oil salesman promising to lower Coucil Tax, warns Cheshire East Council

Trading Standards Officers are warning residents to be aware of a company offering to help them get their Council Tax reduced.

A series of complaints have been received by Cheshire East Council about a company cold calling people in the Borough, claiming to be able to get their homes re-banded so they pay less Council Tax – or even win back a rebate for them.

Residents have reported that the company sometimes implies it is working on behalf of Cheshire East Council and can carry out the checks – for a fee of up to £165. Yet the Government’s independent Valuation Office Agency (VOA) already allows people to carry out searches of their Council Tax band for themselves – entirely free of charge. The company behind many of the calls is based in the North West and already well known to them.

Cheshire East Council Leader Michael Jones said: “People are being called at home by these ‘snake oil salesmen’ and offered a service that they can already get for free.

“It is particularly galling that they often infer they are working for the Council and that there is a hefty fee for the service. Neither is true. In fact, householders are able to check for themselves and challenge their banding by simply visiting the VOA’s website.”

The VOA ’s advice is to beware of companies that:

  • Charge an up-front fee and then don’t challenge your band on your behalf but blame the VOA for not taking any action
  • Insist you are definitely in the wrong band, when in fact your band is correct
  • Claim they are from the local council or VOA and ask for your bank details so they can provide a refund. You may then find that money is taken from your account
  • Say that the VOA charges you to challenge your band, when you can do this for free
  • Claim that you must, by law, be represented by an agent to challenge your band, when in fact anyone can do this
  • Say that the VOA won’t reduce your band, without the help of an agent, because the government is short of money

The VOA also warns that band can go up as well as down.

Buy With Confidence

Cheshire East Trading Standards has adopted the Buy With Confidence scheme. Buy With Confidence is a scheme which has been put together by a partnership of Local Authority Trading Standards services. The scheme provides consumers with a list of local businesses which have given their commitment to trading fairly. Every business listed has undergone a series of detailed checks before being approved as a member of the scheme. If you would like further information on the scheme please visit the Buy With Confidence website.

If you are a business in the Cheshire East Borough and you would like to join the scheme, please call 01270 685900 or email the business advice team.

Knock Knock 4CE

Cheshire East Consumer Protection and Investigations Officers have been visiting schools across the borough advising young people on the dangers of Rogue Traders. So far we have spoken to 150 young people and provided them with information to take back to their friends and families. You can find more information about it on our Knock Knock 4CE page.

If you are a primary or secondary school and you would like us conduct a talk for your school, please call us on 01270 685900

Primary Authority

Cheshire East Consumer Protection and Investigations will offer Primary Authority relationships to companies based in Cheshire East, where appropriate. To find out more information on the Primary Authority scheme go to the Better Regulation Delivery Office website.

Buying at Home

Regulations for Cheshire Businesses using 'doorstep' and 'face to face' sales methods. For more information see the Guidance and Statutory Notices section.

Important new Legislation for Cheshire Businesses

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (the CPRs) came into force on 26 May 2008 and implement the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD). The aim of the UCPD is to harmonise consumer protection laws across the European Union to prevent business practices that are unfair to consumers, and all Member States are introducing equivalent legislation. The Regulations replace a lot of consumer protection legislation including Part III of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (which dealt with misleading prices), the majority of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968, and the Control of Misleading Advertising Regulations 1988

Shop a Shark

A Loan Shark is someone who lends money without the appropriate licence issued by the Office of Fair Trading. Loan Sharks rarely, if ever, give any paperwork and if payments are missed they often use intimidation and violence to get money from their 'clients'. The Illegal Money Lending Team is here to help. If you have any information, however small, on loan shark activities we can help.

If you have information to provide, go to the Illegal Money Lending Team website.