Can traders display "No Refunds" notices and rely on these to refuse a refund for faulty goods?

No. It is a criminal offence for traders to display such notices and they cannot take away your rights by displaying these notices.

If a customer changes there mind in the 'cooling-off' period, can I charege for the work carried out?

Where a contract has been signed away from business premises e.g. at the clients home, the client may have a cooling-off period during which they can change their mind. In the case of a credit agreement signed away from business premises, it is usual to have a five day period to cancel. A contract made at their home following an unsolicited visit from the trader usually has a seven day window to cancel. However, if you have provided a service during the cooling-off period, you may be able to ask for payment for the work carried out.

Do I have to give my clients a written guarantee?


Does my client have any rights if they buy second hand goods from me?

Yes. The legislation applies to second hand goods, though customers should not normally expect second hand goods to be in perfect condition or to last as long as new ones.

Who will carry out a Trading Standards inspection?

Trading Standards inspections will be carried out by Trading Standards Officers of your local council. They may be accompanied by officers of other council services, Police Officers or any other individual necessary to conduct the inspection, such as experts in particular types of goods.

Why is the inspection taking place?

The inspection is to establish whether Trading Standards legislation, applicable to your business premises, is being complied with. It may be a part of the Trading Standards routine inspection programme or because a complaint has been received about the business or because the officer suspects that an offence may have been committed. The officers will inform you of the reason for their visit.

What powers do Trading Standards officers have?

Trading Standards officers have the right at all reasonable times, to enter any premises other than premises used solely as a private dwelling. The officer is not obliged to give advance notice of their visit,. If you refuse entry to an officer you will be committing an offence and the officer will be able to obtain an entry warrant.

You will be told the purpose of the visit, an explanation of the findings and will be notified of the results of any tests carried out. If appropriate you will also be provided with information about the appeals procedure against local authority decisions.

What will happen after the inspection?

If the officer finds a breach of Trading Standards legislation, they will decide what course of action to take, depending upon the nature of the breach. If the officer finds nothing wrong, or any minor contraventions, they will advise you the action you must take to ensure compliance. If appropriate the officer may put this advice in writing in a Traders Notice and will make it clear what is legally required and what is advice on best practice.

If the officer finds a contravention of safety legislation they may issue a suspension notice prohibiting the movement of specified goods for a period of six months.

If the officer finds more serious contraventions they may decide that legal proceedings should be considered. Under such circumstances a representative of the business may be interviewed and a full investigation carried out before a decision on the most appropriate course of action is made.