New consumer protection laws have come into force aimed at making it easier for shoppers to resolve disputes with online retailers.   From today online retailers must signpost dissatisfied consumers towards an online dispute resolution (ODR) service.The measures bring online retailers in line with the high street which has been offering alternative dispute resolution since last October. CTSI is one of seven government-appointed approval bodies for ADR services and has rubber stamped 24 individual schemes so far.In addition, CTSI operates the European...
15 Feb 2016
CTSI response (PDF - 158KB). CTSI supports this proposed new guidance , first and foremost because it highlights that trustees are ultimately resopnsible for the activity of fundraising - LEGALLY responsible. It is likely that some become trustees because they want to help, but they may not realise that they will have a substantial legal burden to discharge. 
11 Feb 2016
The manufacture of counterfeit jewellery, watches, handbags and luggage costs EU businesses €3.5 billion each year. Two new reports from the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), the EU’s largest intellectual property agency, reveal that 13.5% of sales of jewellery and watches and 12.7% of sales of handbags and luggage in the EU are lost due to counterfeiting.Those lost sales translate into 27,000 jobs directly lost across the two sectors, as legitimate manufacturers employ fewer people than they would...
11 Feb 2016
CTSI response (PDF - 192KB). CTSI believes that these proposals would cause an unacceptable reduction in UK consumers' rights and would also be detrimental to businesses. Furthermore consumers could develop a perception that they have fewer rights online - this would be bad for e-commerce, bad for consumer choice, and bad for business growth,   
10 Feb 2016
Over 15,000 teeth whitening products, some containing extremely high levels of hydrogen peroxide (bleach) have been seized by Warwickshire County Council’s trading standards service.Warwickshire trading standards officers are working at the Coventry Parcelforce International Postal Hub alongside the UK Border Force, targeting imports of dangerous products.Between May 2015 and February 2016, the service seized 15,398 teeth whitening products bound for UK shops, salons and individual’s homes with a total value of over £100,000.Trading standards officers are targeting D.I.Y teeth whitening...
10 Feb 2016
Kingston Council trading standards and the police are reminding borough residents to be wary of traders who turn up unexpectedly on their doorstep offering to do gardening and building work.The advice follows another leaflet drop in Kingston offering tree, lawn and other gardening services discounted for senior citizens. Similar-looking leaflets have been reported to trading standards officers all over the south of England. In particular, residents need to be wary of traders who turn up asking for cash upfront because...
5 Feb 2016
British Hallmarking Council (BHC) is calling for entries to its 2016 Touchstone Award, underlining the importance of education and enforcement in hallmarking in the UK’s jewellery and precious metals industries.Awarded every year since its launch in 2012, the Touchstone Award is funded by the UK’s four Assay Offices – the Goldsmiths’ Company in London, Assay Office Birmingham, Sheffield Assay Office and Edinburgh Assay Office. The Touchstone Award was established to encourage the enforcement of hallmarking and to reward the best enforcement...
4 Feb 2016
CTSI response (PDF - 246KB). CTSI supports the Law Commission argument for regulation to control the phrasing of event fees in residential leases in like manner to the existing controls on consumer contracts thus making terms and conditions readily available before a bargain is struck, regulating unfair contract terms, and proscribing misleading practices. 
29 Jan 2016
CTSI response (PDF - 199KB). CTSI identifies (and provides case studies for) three areas in which consumers are most at risk of detriment - complex financial products (such as pensions), mass marketing fraud, and doorstep crime.    
29 Jan 2016
CTSI response (PDF - 185KB). CTSI is particularly concerned about the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector, where there seem to be particular problems due to a number of factors. CTSI identifies some reasons for the failure of the Green Deal, including too many certification bodies. CTSI supports codes of practice as a means of attaining best practice - indeed it operates the Consumer Codes Approval Board.
22 Jan 2016