Although we offer an advice service for consumers, our powers are limited as to how much we can get involved in individual disputes. We cannot, for example, order a trader to give you your money back or close a shop down.
What we suggest is that you first try to resolve the matter with the trader. If talking to them doesn't work, put the details of your complaint in a letter to the trader. We suggest that you send your letter with proof of posting from the post office such as recorded delivery post and keep a copy of the letter you have sent. To help you word your letter, there are template letters on the Citizens Advice website.
If your letter fails to resolve the issue, there are a number of other steps you can take.
The first thing to find out is whether the trader is a member of an ombudsman scheme or trade association as they will often operate a Code of Practice for their members and may also be able to help you come to an agreement.
You may need to take the trader to the County Court, which for claims under the value of £10,000 will be heard in the Small Claims Court. Most hearings take place in a meeting room, and most people represent themselves rather than using a lawyer.
Before spending money on court fees though, think about:
You can find further information on how to resolve your dispute by reading CAB's Advice Guide or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.