Merton Council

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Fair trading

If businesses trade fairly then consumers can be confident when buying goods or services. A fair trading environment also makes sense for traders because when everyone is following the same rules no-one is disadvantaged.

Shoppers at Centre Court Shopping Centre

What we do

We monitor business activity in Merton to check that it is complying with fair trading law. Examples include:

  • checking estate agents’ boards and property descriptions
  • inspecting used cars
  • investigating complaints about overcharging
  • verifying descriptions of goods and services
  • dealing with scams
  • visiting jewellers to check hallmarking
  • monitoring internet retailers based within the borough

We enforce criminal legislation and will take further action if we find something wrong. This ranges from offering advice to a trader through to prosecution in the most serious cases.

What you can do

You can let us know if you have a problem with a trader and you think they may not have treated you fairly. Please call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06. You will be offered advice on your query and the matter will be referred to us if necessary.

Business advice

If your business is based in the borough and you need advice on consumer and fair trading matters, you can contact us directly at trading.standards@merton.gov.uk. You can also visit the Everything Regulation website which covers all major Trading Standards legislation.

For comprehensive and up to date guidance on how to deal with customer complaints, refunds and returns visit the Sale of Goods Act (SOGA) hub website. All the training and promotional materials provided are available to access online or to download in a variety of formats.

The law

On the 26 May 2008, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (the CPRs) became law. The Regulations replace a lot of consumer protection legislation including the majority of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968.

The CPRs prohibit trading practices which are unfair to consumers. They outlaw:

  • 31 banned practices such as making false claims of trade association membership, claiming that a shop is closing down when it is not, falsely stating that a product is only available for a limited time
  • misleading actions and omissions (leaving out important information)
  • aggressive practices

There is also a general duty not to trade unfairly.

The Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 (the BPRs) protects traders from misleading advertising and misleading comparative advertising. If you are a trader and require more information on this, please contact us at trading.standards@merton.gov.uk.

Related websites

Contact us

Trading Standards
Merton Civic Centre
London Road
Morden
SM4 5DX

Email: trading.standards@merton.gov.uk
Tel: 020 8545 4018

Consumer Advice

The Citizens Advice consumer service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues. Visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06.

This page was last updated on Friday 3 May 2013