What we do

Currently more than 80,000 calls and enquiries are dealt with each year by Officers of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service. These come not only from consumers with shoddy goods or services, but also traders who are anxious to comply with the law. Our trained and experienced staff can advise consumers of their rights, and also how to resolve complaints.

For further information please contact us via Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06. To contact us online via Consumer Direct please click here and then select Yorkshire and the Humber.

Consumer DIrect operates Monday-Friday 8:00 until 18:30 and Saturday 9:00 until 13:00.


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Controls At Packers And Importers

As a result of U.K. membership of EU, the system of average quantity is used in this country for the packaging of food and many other commodities. Each local authority is required to enforce the law in this respect and officers make visits to packers and importers. There they see that equipment is used properly and test many of the items being produced to ensure, on average, the quantity marking is correct. They also examine food ingredients, product recipes and packing records to check that food contents are acceptable and agree with their descriptions.

controls and packers
Controls and Packers

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False Trade Descriptions

As a result of complaints, or through special investigations, the accuracy of a wide variety of descriptions of goods and services is questioned.

Sales of used cars are a constant problem. Many cases of unroadworthy or misdsescribed motor vehicles are investigated and the practice of altering a vehicle’s odometer to register less miles than has been travelled continues to require the attention of officers.

Counterfeit products are one of the many areas which lead to prosecutions under trade descriptions law, and compensation for complainants is often awarded by the Court.

Counterfeit products
Counterfeit products

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Fibre Content Of Textiles

The description "wool" is an effective selling point when applied to textiles. Despite the decline in the textile industry in West Yorkshire, many local manufacturers still produce wool and woollen products. This local connection is the reason for the Service taking a national lead in the testing of textiles.

The main source of incorrect labelling is Italy where there is a thriving industry which recycles used textile items and produced a mixed fibres yarn. Sellers of garments are reluctant to use the term "Mixed Fibres" and prefer to risk using the name "Wool" or "Cotton" which they admit has considerable commercial advantage. Test purchases of textile products are made which are tested to check the fibre content labelling.

Fibre content
Fibre content

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Credit

Attention is paid to the use and abuse of consumer credit. Traders offering credit have to be licensed by the Office of Fair Trading, a central government department, but the suitability of traders to be granted the licence can be assessed only by monitoring carried out locally.

The advertising of credit is scrutinised to ensure it is not misleading and complies with legal requirements. Particular attention is given to ensuring the A.P.R. (annual percentage rate) is quoted as this allows a true comparison of the cost of credit.

Interest rates of over 5,000% have been charged by unscrupulous, unlicensed, moneylenders. When discovered, these "sharks" are prosecuted by the Service.
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Overloading Checks On Heavy Goods Vehicles

In association with the West Yorkshire Police the detection of overloaded heavy goods vehicles is given a high priority.

Regular checks are made on goods vehicles using West Yorkshire roads. Vehicles found to be seriously overloaded are prohibited from further movement and drivers and owners are usually prosecuted.

weigh bridge
weigh bridge

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Safety Of Consumer Products

All products are required to be reasonably safe and/or have to be made to certain standards. Inspections of goods are carried out at retail, wholesale, manufacturer and importer levels.

Goods are also checked at customs entry points for compliance. Traders are advised on how to comply. Sample purchases are made and submitted for testing. In general, the safety of goods is measured against a harmonised European Standards or its equivalent. Past experience indicates that British made goods are generally of a higher standard than imported goods, particularly those from the far eastern countries. Products which are found to be unsafe are dealt with by suspension of the goods and/or prosecution of the supplier.

fireworks
fireworks

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Retail Checks

Officers visit shops and supermarkets, factories, petrol stations and markets on a daily basis.

Checks on petrol pumps ensure that correct measure is given and the required price information is available to guide the motorist. Price displays in shops and supermarkets are checked as these give valuable information which helps buyers to assess value and protect themselves.

Retail sampling of food is carried out in a programme designed to maintain compositional and labelling standards.

When complaints are received that cigarettes, lottery tickets or alcohol are being sold to under-age children, these are investigated.

retail checks     retails samplings
retail checks     retails samplings

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