Consumer advice

Consumer Advice

Where can I get consumer advice about problems with goods or services I have bought?

Our first line advice is provided by the Citizens Advice consumer service. This is a government backed service giving clear, practical telephone advice free of charge. All the advisors are highly trained to give you clear unbiased advice about how to solve your consumer problems.

Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline will;

  • Advise you if you have a problem or disagreement with a trader.
  • Help you make a complaint about a trader that you believe has done something wrong.
  • Provide general advice on how to avoid unscrupulous traders or "cowboys".
  • Explain consumer-related issues such as warranties, buying on credit, Internet shopping, refunds and replacements etc.
  • Provide advice on avoiding trading scams and rip-offs.
  • Direct you to a regulator or other organisation if it is better suited to assist you.

They can be contacted on 08454 04 05 06

What happens if my consumer problem is still not resolved?

If Consumer Helpline advisors are unable to resolve your problem they may refer your complaint, if you live in Stoke-on-Trent, to Trading Standards at Stoke on Trent City Council so that where appropriate we can give you some practical assistance.

We will deal with matters relating to faulty goods and poor quality services. We will give advice to traders in respect of their obligations. We will identify criminal offences and sharp business practices for further investigation and take enforcement action where necessary.

National Consumer Week
Consumers are being urged to get to grips with the new provisions in the Consumer Rights Act to avoid frustration when giving and receiving gifts this Christmas.

Know Your New Rights is the theme of National Consumer Week which runs from 2-6 November, aimed at empowering consumers to shop with confidence and to understand their new rights which they can exercise all year round.

We are also supporting the campaign by helping businesses to understand their responsibilities under the act.

Consumer advice is available from the Citizens Advice consumer service at

Free and impartial business advice on a host of trading standards legislation is available on the government-sponsored website,

Please see the attachments below for business advice - Business companions 2-3


Is there any Self Help Consumer Advice On-line?

Consumers are also able to find easy to follow self help advice on-line at

I organise a community group and would like someone to come and talk to us

Public Protection officers will also provide talks to community groups on a number of safety topics:

  • Counterfeit goods
  • Toy safety
  • Doorstep crime
  • Scams

I need a local reputable trader to carry out work on my home and I don't know who to contact

If you are looking for a reputable trader to carry out property maintenance / renovation it is advisable to follow recommendations from family and friends. Alternatively you can contact Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Trader Register on the link below.

Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Trader Register

Many consumers find it difficult to find a trader they can rely upon when they need building or repair work carried out on their homes. Tales of rogue contractors, be they builders, plumbers, or electricians, cause many people to worry about being ripped off. At the same time, reputable tradespeople that take pride in doing a fair job at a fair price, deserve to be seen as different.

Every year thousands of consumers get ripped off by rogue traders – don’t be one of them.

Trading Standards operates a scheme which provides consumers with a list of local businesses that we have checked. Registered Businesses have committed to a Code of Practice that defines the promises made by the business in delivering goods and services to you.

What level of advice and assistance is Trading Standards able to give me?

Click on the attached file at the bottom of this page to view the Trading Standards Civil Advice Policy.

Related Files: