The role of the Trading Standards Service is to promote and maintain a fair and safe trading environment for consumers and businesses. We enforce and advise on a wide range of consumer laws relating to the sale and supply of goods and services.
We are supported by a range of other agencies in delivering these services.
Consumer advice for Wrexham residents is provided by our partners Citizens Advice through their national service, Citizens Advice Consumer Service.
If you'd like advice about a consumer problem please call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline (external link) - you can also chat online or fill in an online query form at this link.
Advice on individual disputes with customers
If your enquiry is about a specific issue with a customer and goods or services that you have supplied, or have agreed to supply, you can visit the Business Companion website. Business Companion is a government-backed website, which provides detailed guidance on consumer law.
Limited advice for businesses may also be available from the Citizens Advice consumer helpline (external link).
Advice on compliance with Trading Standards laws
Our Trading Standards team provides advice to businesses based in Wrexham, about Trading Standards law. You may be able to find the information you are looking for on the Business Companion website (external link).
If you need further advice or support you can email our Trading Standards team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure you provide the following information in your email:
- Your name
- Name of business
- Business address
- Telephone number
- Email address
We will respond to your enquiry within five working days of receiving this information.
If your business is based outside Wrexham you will need to direct your enquiry to your own local Trading Standards Service.
Animal health and welfare
As a local authority we have a duty to:
- protect the welfare of animals at farms, in transit and at markets/gatherings
- prevent, control and eradicate animal diseases
- ensure that animal movements can be traced to safeguard human and animal health from transmitted disease
Our Animal Health and Welfare Inspectors make regular visits to farms, abattoirs and markets/gatherings. They work to ensure compliance with the law, as well as to educate and advise the local agricultural community.
Always be careful when answering your door to someone you don't know.
Sometimes people can come to your door wanting to get inside your home, or to pressure you into paying for house/garden work. They may tell you that:
- your roof needs to be repaired
- they can tarmac your driveway
- trees need cutting
- they are from the council or water company and need to check something inside your property
These bogus callers can be male, female, old or young, and may be on their own or in a group. Doorstep crime can affect anyone but older and more vulnerable people are often targeted.
What to do about suspected doorstep crime
Call 999 in an emergency if someone refuses to leave or becomes aggressive.
If you think you have been a victim of a bogus caller, or if you want to report suspicious activity, call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline (external link).
You can also call North Wales Police on 101 (non-emergency number) or use the textphone service on 18001 101 to report suspected doorstep crime.
Please help to look after your friends, family and neighbours, and report any suspicious activity.
At Wrexham Council Trading Standards, along with North Wales Police, we are supporting Op REPEAT.
The main aim of Operation REPEAT is to regularly reinforce key messages about doorstep crime and scam prevention with older or vulnerable adults, through health and social care staff.
The Op REPEAT website provides guidance on avoiding doorstep crime and scam offences, also helping prevent re-victimisation for anyone who has already fallen prey to such ruthless criminals.
A scam is a scheme designed to con you out of your cash. Scammers will make contact by email, text message, telephone, post and through social media.
Signs to look out for to avoid scams
Scammers are becoming more sophisticated but you can learn to recognise the signs to avoid becoming a victim.
The following examples are common signs that someone may be trying to scam you:
- An offer that seems too good to be true – for example, a holiday that’s much cheaper than you’d expect
- Someone you don’t know contacting you unexpectedly
- Being asked to give away personal information such as passwords, PINs or bank account details
- Being asked to allow your computer to be accessed remotely
- Being told you are at risk of losing money if you don’t follow instructions instantly
- Being asked to transfer money quickly
- Being asked to pay in an unusual way – for example, by iTunes vouchers or through a transfer service like MoneyGram or Western Union
- If you are using dating apps or websites lookout for “romance fraud” where scammers pose as prospective dating partners
If you discover a scam warn your friends and family. If you have been the victim of a scam please call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline (external link).
Loan sharks (illegal money lending)
Loan sharks are people who lend money but do not have a license. They target vulnerable and desperate people in the community, charge extortionate rates of interest and provide no written agreements. They often further increase charges for those who don’t pay them back on time, along with threatening people using intimidation and violence.
The Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit (WIMLU):
- investigates criminals who lend money illegally
- supports victims of illegal money lenders
If you are a loan shark victim, or think there may be a loan shark operating in your area, you should contact WIMLU (find contact details on the following Shared Regulatory Services webpage).
If you are struggling with debt or money problems you can get advice by calling the Citizens Advice national phone service, Advicelink.
You can also find debt and money guidance on their website.
If you think you need to borrow money you could consider talking to your local Credit Union.
Illegal tobacco means cigarettes and rolling tobacco that is available to purchase at about half the normal cost of tobacco. It is typically sold online and through social media, from private houses in the community as well as under the counter at some convenience stores and in the workplace.
Smoking is highly addictive which means it is far harder to stop than it is to start. Smoking is the biggest single cause of premature death in Wales and the UK. One in two long term smokers will die early of a smoking related disease. 5,500 smokers die prematurely in Wales every year because of their smoking habit.
The low price and easy availability of illegal tobacco makes it much easier for children to get cigarettes and begin a lifelong addiction. Around 10,000 children become addicted to smoking every year in Wales.
Age restricted sales
Many products may only be sold to people who the law says are old enough.
These are some of the most common age restricted products (but there are lots of others):
- Cigarettes and other tobacco products
- Knives and similar offensive weapons
It is illegal to sell any of these products to people under the age of 18. The age limit is different for some other age restricted products.
Trading Standards works to make sure that goods like these are not sold to people who are not old enough to buy them. We provide advice to retailers to help them comply with the law and we visit retailers to check they are taking precautions.
We also carry out test purchasing operations to check that retailers are not selling to under age customers.
Guidance for businesses
Fake (also known as counterfeit) goods are made to look like the real item by using protected brand logos and trade marks from high profile brands. They are usually cheaper than the genuine item, but the quality is poor, they may be unsafe, and in some cases very dangerous.
Making and selling fake goods is illegal. Fake goods can harm consumers, but they also damage legitimate businesses and threaten the jobs of their employees.
Consider the following questions when you are deciding whether to buy a product:
- Product – is this a highly desirable premium product?
- Price – is this the usual price you would expect to pay for the product – or is it much cheaper?
- Place – would you expect to be able to buy this brand in this way?
Fake goods are typically sold online, through social media, at street markets, boot sales and in the workplace.
If you know someone who is selling fake goods you should report them - you can do this through Citizens Advice.
Examples of commonly counterfeited items
- Clothing and shoes
- Handbags and sunglasses
- Watches and jewellery
- Perfume and cosmetics
- Razors and toothpaste
- Hair straighteners
- Children’s toys
- Alcohol such as vodka, gin and whisky
- Medicines and condoms