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Consumer rights

Advice and information on rights when shopping for goods and services and dealing with faulty goods, on scams and rip-offs.

Shopping rights

Consumer Direct

The Consumer Direct website gives help and advice for consumers in Great Britain. There is advice on topics such as holidays, buying electrical appliances and using estate agents; information on particular situations or issues like buying on credit, counterfeit goods and doorstep selling; and practical help with how to complain.

Office of Fair Trading (OFT)

The Office of Fair Trading publishes a range of consumer advice for shopping in the high street, shopping from home and shopping over the internet.

It provides advice on specialist areas such as buying a computer, secondhand cars, extended warranties, pawnbroking, ticket agencies and internet auctions.

Trading standards

Local authority trading standards also issue consumer advice. Many will provide individual advice for people living in their area.

Their site also provides contact details for all trading standards departments around the UK.

Sale of Goods Act - faulty goods

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has a useful factsheet on the law and faulty goods.

Find advice to consumers

The following link will let you enter details of where you live and then take you to your local authority website where you can find out more.

Scams and warnings

Scams

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) publishes information on recent internet, postal and doorstep scams.

Rip-off tip-off

Rip-off tip-off was set up by local trading standards to encourage members of the public to report traders who may be running a scam. These include cowboy builders, doorstep traders, counterfeit product sellers, loan sharks, bogus homeworking schemes and bogus competitions.

Financial scams

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) issues the latest news about scams and swindles as well as alerts about the most important issues facing consumers in the world of financial services.

Product recalls

The Trading Standards site lists recent product recall and product safety notices issued by manufacturers when they discover faults or problems with their goods.

Report illegal street trading

The following link will let you enter details of where you live and then take you to your local authority website where you can find out more.

Financial services

Financial products

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) publishes consumer information on financial planning, financial advertising, insurances, pensions, mortgages, investments and savings.

Their website also has a Budget calculator, a mortgage payment calculator and comparative tables of commercial financial products such as savings accounts, ISAs, endowments, pension annuities and many others.

Claims management

Since April 2007 it's been an offence for those offering claims management services in areas such as personal injury and endowment mis-selling to work without authorisation or an exemption - check the 'Claiming compensation' link below to see if providers are authorised and to report complaints about those working inappropriately. The Ministry of Justice has produced a guide to the regulations called 'Claims Management Regulation: what you need to know'.

Credit and debt

The FSA explains issues such as credit scoring and repair and answers general questions and borrowing and debt.

Food safety

The Food Standards Agency publishes advice on food safety, food labelling and health eating on its websites.

Water and sewerage

The Consumer Council for Water website has details of your rights and responsibilities regarding water and sewerage services.

Additional links

Don't get bitten

Have you been approached by a loan shark? You can report unlicensed lenders

Agency workers' rights

Do you know what you're entitled to? Does your agency follow the rules?

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