Who are we?
Coventry Trading Standards is part of Regulatory Services at the Council. We work together with Environmental Health (food and health & safety), the Licensing Team, and Housing and Planning Enforcement.
Who do we provide services to?
- Residents of the city of Coventry who have a problem with goods or services.
- Traders and businesses based in the city.
Why have Trading Standards?
We are responsible for enforcing a wide range of laws on the supply and distribution of goods and services and our job is to protect the public and honest businesses from rogue traders and illegal practices. Consumers have a right to receive value for money and traders and businesses should not be subjected to unfair competition from those operating outside the law.
What does Trading Standards do?
- offer free advice to consumers through Citizens Advice consumer service.
- we warn the public about scams, unsafe goods and unfair trading practices.
- provide advice to traders and carry out inspections at local businesses.
- work with partner organisations such as the police, HMRC, Citizens Advice consumer service and Age UK Coventry's Trusted Traders scheme.
- investigate complaints and criminal offences, taking action (which may include prosecution) in accordance with our Enforcement Policy.
- enforce government legislation to ensure people obey the law.
What sort of things does Trading Standards deal with?
- problems with goods supplied and services carried out by a trader.
- doorstep crime and rogue traders.
- gathering information on scams and issuing relevant warnings.
- safety of consumer goods.
- false or misleading descriptions of goods, prices, services and property.
- product counterfeiting and copyright.
- consumer credit and loans; debt collection practices.
- age restricted sales [ tobacco products, alcohol, solvents, knives and fireworks].
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute have created a short video focusing on just three of the above impacts of the Service.
What can we do?
- Give advice to local traders about what consumer protection laws apply to them and how they can stay within the law.
- Provide, in partnership with the Citizens Advice consumer service [CAcs], free advice to consumers on their legal rights when buying goods or services.
- Record all enquiries and use the information to help us identify the issues of most concern to local residents and businesses. This is a vital part of our intelligence gathering work.
- Use our limited resources effectively in an "intelligence led" approach where complaints will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. This means we are not able to investigate all enquiries but will concentrate activities on those issues causing the most problem.
- If the trader involved is based outside Coventry or our investigations reveal that potential offences have been committed outside the city, we will pass the details to the trader's local Trading Standards team to deal with as they see fit.
- If we are dealing with your complaint, we will keep you informed and contact you when the investigation is over.
What can't we do?
- Demand refunds, replacements or apologies from traders or close them down; or take civil court action on your behalf.
- Pursue a complaint where there is no legally valid reason.
- Give out complaint information on a trader or any other information not already in the public domain.
- Provide an opinion on the quality of goods or a trader's quality of service.
- Help with enquires about industries that have their own Regulators or Ombudsman Schemes to deal with complaints [such as insurance, telecommunications, utility companies]
- Help with questions about personal injuries or the sale of land or property
- Deal with matters on food safety, hygiene and quality. These are dealt with by colleagues in Environmental Health who can be contacted on 024 7683 1850.
- Provide consumers with initial advice by telephone, e-mail or face to face - Citizens Advice consumer service provides this service and pass on those needing specialist help to us. Resources permitting and in appropriate cases we will contact you to advise you further.