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Consumer advice and protection

Description of goods and services

Any descriptions of goods and services given by a person acting in the course of a trade or business should be accurate and not misleading. A description can be given -

  • verbally
  • in writing (for example in an advert or brochure, or in an invoice or order form)
  • by illustration (for example in advertisements packaging)
  • by implication

Examples of misdescribed goods and services include -

  • a motor trader winding back a car’s odometer to show lesser mileage
  • a builder falsely claiming to be a member of a trade association
  • a roofer falsely stating that certain work had been carried out

Other specific laws exist to prevent estate agents and tour operators from giving false or misleading statements.

Complaints about food

We also investigate consumer complaints about -

  • accurate food labelling
  • food ingredients
  • food additives
  • genetically modified foods
  • food substitution and adulteration

If you have a query or concern about the description of goods and services or any complaints about food, contact trading standards on 0345 404 0506.

Alternatively email us at

If you have a query or would like to make a make a complaint about a business who you feel may be acting incorrectly, contact us using the online form below -

Contact us  

Trading Standards Advice
33 Witham

Tel: If you are a consumer please telephone 0345 404 0506
Text phone: 01482 300 349
Fax: 01482 615 572

We are open Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, and Friday 9am to 4.30pm. Please note the trading standards office is not open to the public. If you have an enquiry please make this to trading standards by telephone, text phone, email or post.

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The display of third party advertising on this site is not an endorsement or recommendation of any advertiser’s goods or services. The council accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of the advertisements nor the quality of the goods or services supplied.


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