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What we do

About our services

What does Sandwell Citizen & Consumer Protection - Business & Consumer do?

Our services include:

  • Offering free advice to consumers through Citizens Advice Consumer Service.
  • Warning the public about scams, unsafe goods and unfair trading practices.
  • Providing advice to traders and, where necessary, carry out inspections at local businesses.
  • Working with partner organisations such as the Police, HMRC, Citizens Advice consumer service, National Trading Standards and Age UK to provide consumer protection and advice.
  • Investigating complaints and criminal offences, taking action (which may include prosecution) in accordance with our Enforcement Policy
  • Enforcing Consumer legislation to ensure traders obey the law.

What does Sandwell Citizen & Consumer Protection - Business & Consumer deal with?

We deal with, but not limited to:

  • 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.
  • Matters concerning sales by weight or measure, such as petrol deliveries, sales of fruit and vegetables and sales of material.
  • Age restricted sales (including tobacco products, alcohol, Nicotine Inhaling Products and fireworks).
  • Illicit or illegal tobacco.
  • Food Standards (including food labelling, allergens and illegal alcohol).

What can we do to help resolve the problem?

We can:

  • Offer 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. If you need to speak to someone for help or advice, please contact the Citzens Advice Consumer Service onlinehttps://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/if-you-need-more-help-about-a-consumer-issue/ or by calling 0808 223 1133.
  • 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.
  • Investigate complaints and, where necessary, prosecute traders that are not complying with Consumer laws.
  • If the trader involved is based outside Sandwell Metropolitan Borough area or our investigations reveal that potential offences have been committed outside this area, 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.

The aims and priorities of the service are outlined in our service plan.

Sandwell Citizen & Consumer Protection - Business & Consumer aims to deliver an effective, efficient and high quality service to improve and protect public health, protect local communities and support the local economy.

What can't we do?

Sandwell Citizen & Consumer Protection - Business & Consumer can’t:

  • 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.
  • Offer businesses contractual advice.