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Caithness News Bulletins March 2003

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Why Pay for Directories When Caithness.org ones Are definitely FREE
www.caithness-business.co.uk  www.sutherland-business.co.uk

The Highland Council Trading Standards are warning local businesses to be wary of firms contacting them regarding entries into directories.  Under the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971, you cannot be charged for a directory entry unless you have signed an order form.

However, The Highland Councils Trading Standards Manager Nigel Mackenzie warns: Unscrupulous business are always trying to get round the law. One variation to look out for is, that during an unsolicited telephone call, the company claim to be updating directory entries and at the same time try and sell a copy of the directory itself rather than charge for the entry.  In these circumstances, a verbal confirmation over the 'phone may constitute a legally binding contract to buy the directory.

Businesses should also be on their guard for invoices/order forms from companies outwith the UK as these companies are not bound by the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act. By filling these in, or even just by signing to confirm details, you may be entering into a legally binding contract.  Mr Mackenzie advises all Highland businesses: Be cautious if contacted by telephone to update any directory entry and look out for these types of invoices. If you receive an unsolicited invoice for a directory entry, do not reply and just dispose of it.

If you are concerned about any unsolicited invoice you have received you can contact The Highland Council Trading Standards Consumer Advice line on 0845 600 4222 or e-mail consumer.advice@highland.gov.uk

Nigel Mackenzie Tel: 01463 228705

Under Scottish law a contract can be made verbally.
The Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971 states that an order for an entry in a directory must be made by means of an order form or other stationery belonging to the purchaser and include his name and address. The amount charged must be stated immediately above the place for signature.  The legislation also requires the order to contain certain information. It must identify the directory or proposed directory and state: the proposed date of publication of the directory or issue in which the entry is to be included and the name and address of the person producing it and; the price of the directory or that issue and the minimum number of copies which are to be available for sale.  It must give a reasonable information regarding the entry for which the charge is made.