Trading Standards hung with their own (pedantic) Petard*

For the most part we endorse the work of Trading Standards Officers around the UK and applaud their efforts in bringing the “genuine rogue” to task.  Sadly, on occasions, some officers think of the car industry as a “soft touch” when it comes to enforcement.  After all, even the best of car dealers will sell the occasional second-hand “lemon” and this simply cannot be avoided.  Similarly, no matter how diligent one is, it is very easy to advertise a model of car as having a particular feature, function or attribute – only to find that the only one ever to not have such a  feature, function or attribute – is the one that has just left your forecourt!  And you’ve sold it to someone whose local Trading Standards office is on the way home!

The writer has also noticed in recent weeks, Trading Standards Officers taking exception to some terms and conditions that appear on our clients’ websites and have demanded their removal.  In one case, a Trading Standards Officer objected to a clause that they felt was unfair and informed our client that it had to be removed.  We pointed out that the very same term was used in TWO separate services that the council were themselves providing and which appeared on their own website!  Suddenly they went quiet.

Another Trading Standards Dept sought to explain why a term had to be removed from a trader’s website – only to be reminded that they themselves have APPROVED the exact same clause for a business in their area and with whom they have a Primary Authority** relationship.

And now we have another Trading Standards Department demanding that a client must not charge customers for providing them with a HPI check.  Suffice to say that we have made it clear that we do not agree with them there either!  This one is ongoing – we will let you know what transpire...

*Being harmed with the very device with which you intended to harm another.
**An arrangement whereby only one Trading Standards Department is to give advice and assistance to a business.


Authors: Jason Williams

Published: 31 May 2018


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