Consumer complaints

Complaints from members of the public are, in the first instance, referred to The Citizens Advice consumer service.  They provide free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues.  Visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06

For matters other than consumer advice, our email address is trading.standards@rbkc.gov.uk and telephone  020 7361 3002. Please note that consumers will be referred to Citizens Advice consumer service in the first instance.

If the Citizens Advice consumer service identify a criminal breach of trading standards or need specialist help, they may refer the complaint to the trading standards team.

Consider the location of the offence

Please note that we can only deal with problems that occur in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, or if you are a resident of the borough. If you have any doubt over which local authority can deal with your complaint contact Trading Standards Central, a one stop shop for consumer protection information in the UK run by the Trading Standards Institute.

For many of our offences, the locus of an offence occurs where a consumer decides to do something.  This has become more prevalent over recent years due to changes in consumer habits – i.e online shopping.  The offence occurs in the location where a consumer decides to buy, not the location where the business is based.

Visiting us

If you would like to visit us, we are based at  the Council Offices, 37 Pembroke Road, W8 6PW.  As we are a small team and our role takes us out of the office we recommend contacting us beforehand so that someone is available to speak with you.  

What Trading Standards can't do

  • we cannot close businesses down
  • we cannot force a trader to give you a refund or to replace or repair your goods
  • we cannot tell you which businesses to avoid
  • we cannot intervene in contractual disputes between traders

Which complaints do we investigate?

Every year we receive hundreds of complaints and enquiries. Unfortunately, we can't investigate every complaint so we prioritise the most serious cases and use the others to help us to plan our prevention work.

We look at a number of issues to help us to decide which cases we investigate.  We can only investigate breaches of English Criminal Law, we have no power in civil law disputes. This means we need to be sure that we can get enough evidence available to establish a criminal offence and that the investigation would be in the public interest.

What happens if we investigate?

Not all investigations lead to a prosecution or court case. Sometimes other steps, such as issuing advice or a statutory notice, are more appropriate. We will keep you up to date with our progress and let you know what steps we are taking.

What happens if we don’t investigate?

Unfortunately we can't investigate every complaint but the information from all the complaints we receive is reviewed regularly and this helps us to decide the priorities for our prevention work.  Regardless of any action we take, you will have civil law rights that you can pursue yourself to resolve your dispute.

 

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