Biggest ever survey on how well-up traders are on the rights of their customers
The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) today launched its biggest ever survey to find out how well-briefed businesses are on the rights of their customers.
The online survey - open to thousands of businesses throughout the UK - aims to discover whether there is anything more that could be done to support traders in making sure they provide a fair deal to consumers.
Ron Gainsford, chief executive of TSI, said: 'We are very keen to make sure that UK businesses and their staff are well-equipped with the information they need about trading regulations.
'This helps traders to stay on the right side of consumer law, which not only protects the interests of their customers but also promotes good business.
'TSI supports local trading standards services, who educate and help traders in their area so that they deal confidently and fairly with consumers.
'Now we want to know how well these messages are being communicated to businesses and staff around the UK so that, if necessary, we can improve the resources available to traders.'
Businesses that respond to the questionnaire - online at http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/ncwsurvey - will be entered into a draw to win £100 worth of shopping vouchers.
The closing date for survey responses is 30 August 2009 and the results, including the name of the winner of the draw, will be announced at the launch of National Consumer Week 2009 on Monday 14 September.
To complement educational work already carried out by trading standards services around the UK, TSI runs the Fair Trading Award (FTA), a unique training programme delivering knowledge to UK businesses and staff.
It aims to ensure better compliance with trading regulations, so protecting the interests of consumers, as well as promoting good business.
Mr Gainsford said: 'The FTA helps staff and management to become more aware and confident when dealing with consumer issues, which is in everyone's interest.
'Not only do consumers feel more confident that their rights will be respected and upheld, but businesses save time and money in unnecessary civil law proceedings and compensation claims.
'The FTA is also an additional tool for trading standards professionals in local authorities to use in educating businesses about consumer issues."
The main theme for National Consumer Week 2009, starting on 14 September, will link in with the launch of the 'Know Your Rights Campaign' by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).
Notes to Editors:
For further information, or to arrange an interview please contact TSI press office on 08456089430.
National Consumer Week 14 -18 September 2009
National Consumer Week is an annual national event organised by the Trading Standards Institute. The first event was initiated in 1988 and since then it has grown from strength to strength. Local Authorities support the week with competitions, information stands and other activities, from plays in schools to events in shopping centres.
TSI promotes National Consumer Week to raise consumers' awareness oF a range of issues that impact on their daily lives.
This year's event will also spotlight the need for business to know their consumer's rights with free access to on-line training for businesses.
Trading Standards Institute
Trading Standards Institute has represented the interests of Trading Standards professionals for 120 years. We have a long and proud history of ensuring that the views of our members are well represented at the highest level of government, both nationally and internationally.
Our aim is to promote excellence and enhance the professionalism of our members in support of empowering and informing consumers, encouraging and working with honest businesses, targeting rogue traders and rogue trading practices and contributing to the health, welfare and wellbeing of citizens and communities.
TSI members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities in response to 2 million consumer and business complaints and enquiries each year. They also support the delivery of new initiatives such as Consumer Direct, providing first point of contact practical consumer advice.
They also work in the business, consumer and central government sectors in promoting and influencing the safety, prosperity and enhancement of individuals and markets with a dependency on effective and professional trading standards contributions and interventions.