The law provides an amount of consumer protection and rights when you buy goods and services. This help guide explains who to contact to get the best customer protection advice.
CONSUMER RIGHTS: There are steps you can take if things go wrong or you get treated 'unfairly' in relation to:
As a client or a purchaser, you can get expert help from Citizens Advice on your rights. Their staff can help you to make a complaint or deal with Trading Standards.
The Citizens Advice Bureaux can refer a complaint to the local Trading Standards officers. In most cases, they will then investigate the problem or issue on your behalf.
Telephone: 0345 404 0506
Welsh language: 0345 404 0505
Information on about call charges.
Which? is a company famed for reviewing products and services in the United Kingdom. They also help consumers make the best purchase decisions for their particular needs.
The information and advice from the 'Which? Consumers' Association' helps you make complaints, and get refunds or repairs.
Note: Companies take more notice of legal phrases when you complain. Their legal experts have created letter templates for complaints and compensation to help you get a successful result.
The Ombudsman Association is a body that promotes independent complaint resolution. So, an ombudsman can investigate complaints about different organisations for free.
As a rule, they will try to help you resolve a complaint without having to go to court. Even so, there are many different ombudsmen who adjudicate for different industries.
Note: Contact the 'Ombudsman Association' to find the most appropriate ombudsman for your type of complaint.
You can get expert advice about scams and your consumer rights from Consumerline in Northern Ireland. You can also make a complaint about a trader or report a fraud.
The UK European Consumer Centre can help with problems if you buy from another EU country. They also offer free consumer advice that can help you stay out of trouble when traveling in Europe.
UK European Consumer Centre
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone Number: +44(0)1268 886 690
Lines open: 9am - 5pm
As a rule, you should always follow the complaints procedure of the company - in the first instance. If you fail to get a satisfactory response you can usually take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
It is best to get a copy of the company complaints procedure. As a rule, it will inform you how to complain and how the company will deal with a complaint.
They should respond to you within eight (8) weeks. If not, or you are unhappy with their response, you can then complain to an independent complaints service. In most cases, it will be the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The Financial Ombudsman Service
London E14 9SR
Telephone: 0300 123 9 123
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday: 9am to 1pm
Cost of making phone calls.
Note: The Money Advice Service offers free, independent help about anything to do with money (e.g. managing a debt). They also give advice on making complaints and the time limits for complaining to the ombudsman.
In general you should follow the complaints procedure of your legal adviser. An alternative would be to contact the Legal Ombudsman.
It is best to get a copy of the legal adviser's complaints procedure. As a rule, it will inform you how to complain and how they will deal with a complaint.
They should respond to you within eight (8) weeks. If not, or you are unhappy with their response, you can then complain to the Legal Ombudsman.
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Note: The rules to complain about a solicitor or advocate in Scotland are different to those in England and Wales.
Consumer Protection and Rights in the United Kingdom