We will sniff out counterfeit tobacco

sniffer dog

Snifffer dogs are a well known part of law enforcement. However, their ability to smell illicit tobacco is maye less well known. Solihull Trading Standards recently used the well tuned noses of our best friends to hunt out any counterfeit tobacco products across the borough. We visited numerous tobacconists in Solihull to see whether illegal cigarettes were on the premises, either overtly or concealed. We did not find any tobacconist selling what they shouldn’t.

You may think you are getting a good deal if you buy cheap, counterfeit cigarettes. If you knew some of the horrible things they put into them you may change your mind..

If you know of anyone selling counterfeit tobacco products please contact us immediately via Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06



Always read the small print!!

terms and conditions

Let’s be honest, we’ve all done it – agreed to deals without reading through the full terms and conditions. However, there can be costly consequences to not spending the time getting to know EXACTLY what you are signing up to.

Solihull Trading Standards continue to receive numerous complaints from people who have entered into ‘free trials’ for products such as the new ‘wonder’ diet pill or face cream. People provide their bank details to pay for the postage and packaging costs of delivery and receive their goods. However, when they peruse subsequent bank statements they find large sums of money have been taken by the company. Several consumers have only realised there is an issue after more than £300 has been taken from their accounts.

Looking back through the terms and conditions previously agreed to they find a clear term stating that they would be charged sums of around £80 per month for subsequent deliveries of goods if they have not cancelled the ‘free trial’ within a prescribed period of time. It can prove very difficult to recover the money as YOU have agreed to this term by continuing with the contract!!

Please spend those few more minutes scrutinising EXACTLY what you are agreeing to. It may be tedious but it could save more problems in the long run….

Do you know your rights when it comes to unwanted Christmas pressies?


We hope you have had a nice break. With all those presents you’ve got there is bound to be some that you are not too keen on. What does the law say about returning them? Have a look at this handy guide:




Are you aware of Courier Fraud?

Layout 1

Con artists continue to target elderly, vulnerable residents,scaring them into handing over bank cards and PIN numbers after claiming to be police officers and bank staff reporting fraudulent activity on their accounts. If you receive a phone call which you are suspicious about call Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06. NEVER give your PIN number out to anyone!


How safe is your doll?

A recent West Midlands Trading Standards initiative has warned about the potential dangers caused by some cheap plastic dolls.

20% of the dolls test purchased by officers were found to contain unacceptable levels of chemicals dangerous to children called phthalates. Phthalates are used to soften plastics and if a child chews a toy containing them it can absorb them though its mouth. There is evidence that these chemicals can lead to damage of the reproductive system and an increased risk of cancer and asthma.

For a full report of the findings please read the enclosed article:

Phthaltes in Dolls Press Release 181214 (4) BTHA


Only a few more days to go! Know your rights!


With only a short time left to the big day it is vital to know your consumer rights when shopping.

For instance, did you know that you have 14 days from the date you receive goods ordered via distance means (e.g over the internet, by telephone) to cancel the contract and receive a FULL refund for whatever reason you like? This does NOT apply when you buy from a shop!! You also have 14 days to cancel a contract made in your home (even longer if you are never given cancellation rights).

Also, if you buy a faulty item worth over £100 and use your credit card you are legally protected if the seller goes out of business or disappears. This applies if even you pay £1 by credit card on an item worth over £100!!!

Please contact the Citizens Advice National Helpline on 03444 111 444 with any further queries.

Stay safe and enjoy your Christmas!!

Have you ever used No Rogue Traders Here?


Solihull MBC Trading Standards service work alongside No Rogue Traders Here (NRTH) to provide Solihull residents with a bit more piece of mind when they have work carried out in their homes. All traders on the lists maintained by NRTH have to undergo rigorous trading checks before inclusion and if anything goes wrong with the work you can expect a high level of involvement from NRTH and Trading Standards in putting things right.

No Rogue Traders Here can be contacted on 0800 233 5000 or by visiting their website at http://www.noroguetradershere.com.

How well do you know your business law?

business contract

Do you know how many days in which a consumer has the right to cancel a contract if they order on the internet? Did you know it is a criminal offence if you do not issue cancellation rights when agreeing to a contract in somoneone’s home? Have you heard of the new Consumer Rights Bill going through Parliament? To ensure you know your rights and responsibilities under the law we would recommend that every trader (and consumer) visit http://www.businesscompanion.info/ for comprehensive information

Beware of counterfeit alcohol this Christmas

Counterfeit alcohol

Solihull Trading Standards would like to emphasise the dangers of consuming counterfeit alcohol. Derbyshire Trading Standards have recently raided an industrial unit and found approximately 20,000 empty bottles incorrectly marked with the Smirnoff brand ready for filling. Please see the full article below which also explains what to look out for to avoid purchasing counterfeit alcohol:


Private seller or trader?


Solihull Trading Standards have recently been visiting second hand car sellers operating from home to ensure they do not mislead potential buyers.

Your consumer rights when buying goods change depending on whether you buy from a private individual or someone in the course of a trade. The Sale of Goods Act 1979 says that if you buy anything from a trader then the goods must be of a satisfactory quality, fit for their purpose and as described. However, if you buy from a private seller the legal principle of buyer beware applies and the goods only have to match their description. Therefore, if no description is applied or if the description is not untrue you have no rights against the seller if the goods turn out to be faulty.

Some unscrupulous sellers are fully aware of this distinction in the law and claim to be private sellers when in fact the volume and regularity of their sales would qualify them as a trader. In this way they can claim no responsibility for the quality of the goods sold and they will not do anything for their customer if the goods turn out to be faulty.

This deception is all too often carried out in used car sales. This is why we have been visiting regular sellers of used cars to ensure that traders in Solihull are not attempting to escape from their legal obligations to their customers. If you have experienced problems when buying a used car please contact 03444 111 444.