Trading Standards and their Double Standards

Give some people just a little bit of power and where does it go?  Straight to their egos in some cases.

We often see Trading Standards Officers taking the side of the consumer and departing from their roles as guardians of fair play and equity.  Take the example we had just the other day, where an officer from one Trading Standards Office wrote a long list of terms and conditions that he wanted either removed or re-worded.

It is fair to say that we robustly defended such demands for the most part.  We pointed out that one clause that they want removed, is exactly the same as on the website of two separate main dealers in the same area as both our client and their Trading Standards.  And if it is good for the goose then the gander may derive an equal benefit!  

This particular Trading Standards Department also act as Primary Authority for a major book and stationery retailer.  Primary Authority is where any and all issues or complaints about that business goes through one designated Trading Standards Department only.  That Department works with and oversees all aspects of “fair trading” with that business.  When asking our client to remove a term that that they thought was unfair, they must have overlooked the very fact that one of their team must have specifically approved the precise same term for another business that operates in their area and nationally!

Hoist by one’s own petard methinks!

Lawgistics Members can get advice on this and other legal matters by contacting the legal team on 01480 455500.


Authors: Jason Williams

Published: 05 Aug 2019


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