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Trading Standards - Highland Council

Consumer Direct
Tel 08454 04 05 06
UK government advice centre online or by phone for unbiased advice on consumer rights.  If they cannot help they will refer you to another agency.  Help for you to achieve a satisfactory result with complaints   the advice is FREE and you can call as often as you like.  So don't lose money on faulty goods or poor workmanship.  Get the help you need.

Trading Standards - Inverness Tel 0845 6004222

Trading Standards In Scotland

Scottish Consumer Council

Consumer Complaints

Trading Standards

See Also
Consumer Advice
Consumer Groups

Telephone Directories Of The World

28 January 06
Phone bill price war means talk is cheap -
Guardian
interesting but no mention of Skype that millions are now using

Stop Receiving Unwanted Telephone Calls
Register with this FREE government service.  May not stop calls from abroad.

Stop Receiving Unwanted Faxes
Register with the Fax Preference Service a FREE government service.  May not stop calls from abroad.

Example Of Telephone Scam in Norfolk
On Norfolk Police web site.  Confirming again not to give information out to someone on the phone you have never met no matter how plausible it sounds.

Caithness.org Advice
Never buy anything from anyone who cold calls on the telephone to your house or from an unsolicited email.  You have not had time to check the person or the company out.  You may not not have wanted the product or service and you certainly have not had time to compare prices and check the reputation of the caller. Never give any personal details to people you do not know and do not assume they are who they say they are on the phone or in an email.  always hang up the phone and check their number in the telephone directory.  Report anyone suspicious to the authorities.  Remember you lose nothing by saying NO. 

Telesales and Telemarketing - Good and Bad Practice in Telephone Sales

Using my mobile abroad: am I paying too much?
4 October 05
Commenting on the European Commission's launch today of a new website to help people get a better deal when using their mobile phones abroad, Alison Hopkins, from the National Consumer Council, says:
'This is great news. For too long consumers have been left in the dark about the charges they incur for making and receiving calls when travelling in Europe.
'Most of us only realise the true cost of our mobile phone charges when the hefty bill drops on the doormat on our return from our travels.
'This new website will not only help people make better choices, but will also help increase competition amongst mobile phone companies.'

Say No To 0870
Did you know that some companies are making money out of 0870 numbers that you call for information about products and services.  check the SayNoTo0870 web site for more details and how to get the other less expensive numbers for the companies

ICSTIS
Premium Rate Phone Numbers can be complained about via this government body. Tel 0800 500212

Rogue Dialler Programmes
See the BBC Breakfast item on this problem

To protect your computer from Rogue diallers and unwanted programmes
Firefox web browser  - an alternative browser blocking pop-ups and more.
Microsoft Windows updates use regularly to update your browser
Spybot Surf and Destroy Finds spyware for you to delete.
Lava Soft  - Ad-aware - Easy to use and seeks unwanted programmes on your PC

Unwanted Junk Mail
You can have a say about the direct mail that comes through your letter box. The Mailing Preference Service supports your right to choose.   You can register with the Mailing Preference Service if you choose not to receive direct mail.

Unwanted Telephone Sales Calls
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) helps you to make sure your telephone number is no longer available to organisations who may telephone you with offers and information you do not wish to receive.  You can do this by contacting companies directly and asking them not to phone you or you can register with the Telephone Preference Service.
Mobile phones can also be registered online or call
0845 0700707.

Grumbletext
Check here for firms abusing your text message system and ripping off customers by sending rogue texts with extortionate charges on your phone bill.

Unwanted Sales Faxes
The Fax Preference Service (FPS) gives an individual (which includes consumers) the opportunity to register fax numbers on which they do not wish to receive direct marketing messages.
To do this register with the Fax Preference Service.

5 August 2003
Warning  -  Phone Calls - They Are Selling Kitchens
People in Caithness are being contacted by people introducing themselves as "Are You the Home Owner" and that they have 60,000 for the area.  But they are basically selling fitted kitchens.  Be very careful what you are signing up for if you do at all.  As we always say on this web site If you did not want something why buy it from the first person who turns up offering gifts.  Check with your local trading standards office before going any further.  Remember if it seems too good to be true it usually is not worth the problems you may get into by taking up the offer.  This is high pressure sales techniques so be very wary of accepting anything for FREE - it often is not what it seems.  Do not invite anyone to your home, do not give any information about yourself or your house on the phone, Ask Yourself.  Do I know these people?  Trading Standards warn that some companies do not finish the work in these telephone led schemes.  If you need a new kitchen get some local quotes and check out companies yourself - you will save money and not be scammed.   Please Tell All Your Friends, Relatives, Neighbours and any vulnerable people around you to be be very careful about who they give information about themselves.   Caithness is being targeted right now but other parts of Highland and elsewhere may be in the firing line.  You may be able to think this one through but others may not so please discuss it with them to save everyone money or ending up with an expensive item they did not want or need.  The opening question is "Are you the homeowner?  Do Not Tell them.  If you ask for details about the company they will hang up Hardly a reputable company.  We have had two calls already at the web site.   And see Cons Scams and Unethical Selling Techniques 

Think Carefully
When contacted by phone or at the doorstep.
If they ask at the start are you the Home owner - STOP and think why are they asking that.  they want to sell you something and council house owners or those in rented places cannot usually sign credit and loan agreements that they want to see as they have not got enough security.  REMEMBER you could lose your home if you get into debt with these companies contacting you out of the blue.  The agreements you sign may be legally enforceable.
You have seven days to get out of anything you sign but can you find a number to contact them on before the time runs out.

Simple Rules & Thoughts
Never invite anyone to your home who contacts you by phone, fax or email.

Before you do invite a company check them out.  Get their address and phone number.  Ask a friend or colleague about the company before you ask them to offer you goods or services.  If in doubt contact your local trading standards office and tell them your fears about the contact you have had.

Watch out for slick sales techniques selling items sometimes covers up a potential pyramid selling deal where you can make money allegedly by getting more people to sign up to buy something and you are promised commission on all future sales.  This can come under many guises - Cash For Life or some other phrase.

Talk to elderly relatives and get it into their heads not to deal with doorstep salesmen - ALWAYS say NO.  You cannot possibly be sure about anyone who just turns up.  Do not invite them in.  Give them no personal information.

Shred all personal documents you may be throwing away.  Crooks are now known to be raiding dustbins for bank statements and credit card details and anything else where  they can get a hold of your money.

Think Think Think
If you wanted something you would make enquires yourself of companies and businesses you already know about. 

It always pays to get two or three quotes for work from a range of companies you know well to get price comparisons.

Never Never Sign Up On the Spot
Reputable companies will not insist on you signing anything
NEVER pay up front deposits to people you do not know.  You may never see them or your money again.
The scams are many and varied.  If in doubt contact the consumer protection or in some cases the police if you are pestered.  You may help someone else.