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Trading standards

Unfair trading practices and pricing practices

If you are a business, you have a duty to not trade unfairly with consumers.

Advice for retailers and those who provide services to the public

If you are a retailer or provide services to the public, you can find out about unfair trading practices law and other trading standards issues on the Business Companion website. The site provides impartial free information, is maintained by the Trading Standards Institute and backed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The content is written and verified by expert contributors, but is not designed to be a replacement for professional advice, and is intended only for guidance.

Visit the Business Companion website for unfair trading practices information (opens in a new window)

If you are unsure how to comply with unfair trading practices law in your business, contact us for guidance using the online form below. Alternatively call us on 01482 300 300 or email tradingstandardsadvicecentre@hullcc.gov.uk



It is better to talk to us before you spend money on products, labelling, offers, promotions and marketing.

Advice for importers, manufacturers, packers, wholesalers and business to business suppliers

If you are an importer, manufacturer, packer, wholesaler or business to business supplier, we can provide you with guidance on legal requirements setting up systems to achieve compliance, best practice and maintaining due diligence systems.

If you are unsure how to comply with unfair trading practices law in your business, contact us for guidance using the online form below. Alternatively call us on 01482 300 300 or email tradingstandardsadvicecentre@hullcc.gov.uk



It is better to talk to us before you spend money on products, labelling, offers, promotions and marketing.

Unfair trading and pricing and the law

There are a number of different laws covering the offering and supply of goods and services.

Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs)
The CPRs set down a general duty on businesses not to trade unfairly when dealing with consumers. A business is trading unfairly if -

  • its conduct falls below a level which may be expected towards consumers
  • it gives false information to or deceives customers, or fails to give important information about a product
  • it uses aggressive sales techniques that use harassment, coercion or undue influence
  • it uses one of 31 banned specific unfair practices

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 also cover the pricing of goods.

They prohibit  traders from giving false or misleading information, or omitting material information, about price or the manner of calculation of the price for a product, where this causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision he would not otherwise have taken.

In many cases, a different transactional decision is likely to mean a decision whether or not to buy a product, but it could include other decisions taken about transactions.

Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 (BPRs)
This regulation prohibits misleading business-to-business advertising. It also controls when comparative advertisements (which is any advertisement which identifies a competitor or a competitor’s product) are permitted.

Visit the Business Companion website for guidance on Business to Business Marketing (opens in a new window)

Other laws

There are other specific laws, for example covering - 

Unfair trading practices inspections and investigations

We check for unfair practices as part of a business inspection. We also investigate complaints from consumers about unfair practices. We do not usually give notice of an investigation.

Find out more about trading standards inspections and other visits

Where practices or conditions are not satisfactory, we may be able to resolve the matter by providing advice and guidance. As far as the law allows, we will take account of the circumstances of the case and the attitude of the operator when considering action unless immediate enforcement action is necessary.

Find out more about enforcement measures

Contact us

Trading Standards Advice
33 Witham
Hull
HU9 1DB

Tel: public enquiries - 01482 300 300 or business enquiries - 01482 300 301
Text phone: 01482 300 349
Fax: 01482 615 572
Email: tradingstandardsadvicecentre@hullcc.gov.uk

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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