Solihull won’t stop persuing sellers to underage young people


As part of our on-going commitment to stop young people in Solihull being exposed to age restricted products such as alcohol or cigarettes Solihull Trading Standards carried out test purchases at four premises across the Borough last night. Two volunteers under the age of 18 helped us by trying to buy cigarettes and alcohol from these shops. 2 premises sold cigarettes or alcohol to young people without verifying their age.

We will continue to reinforce the message that it is totally unacceptable to allow young people to buy certain products. We will do this by education and, if necessary, enforcement action where traders completely ignore the law.

If you think age restricted products are being sold to young people in Solihull please let us know on 03454 04 05 06.


On patrol with West Midlands Police

trading standards

Solihull Trading Standards were out on patrol with West Midlands Police yesterday. Our working relationship with the police force is becoming closer and closer and our joint patrols around the borough will be a regular sight in the months to come.

A van was seized for having no insurance and valuable intelligence gathered during the patrol.

Enfocement bodies are pooling their resources in this climate of austerity and combining their skills to target criminals operating in Solihull. If you have any information for us that could lead to illegal trading activity being stopped please call us on 03454 04 05 06.


Fake and dangerous Maleficent dolls seized in Warwickshire


Over 60 fake and dangerous ‘Maleficent’ dolls have been seized by Warwickshire Trading Standards before they reached the shop shelves in time for Christmas.

Tests on the products revealed they contained Phthalates. Phthalates are used to soften plastics. Children chewing toys containing phthalates can lead to them to ingest the chemical, exposure to which has been linked to damage to the reproductive system and an increased risk of cancer and asthma.

See an article about the seizure here:

Solihull Council gets targeted by scam e-mailers


NOBODY is safe from scam e-mails. Solihull MBC have been receiving fake e-mails from someone today claiming to be from our Human Resources department asking the receiver to open an attachment or make a payment.

Scammers will target any organisation. Let us all be wise to their crimes and not give them ANYTHING.

Check a vehicle’s MOT free online


You can now see if an MOT certificate is genuine by checking its details against the official online version using a link  provided on the Government’s website.

The link can be accessed using and  all you will need to enter is  the vehicle registration number and the make of vehicle and takes seconds to complete.

Not only does it tell you when your Mot is due, it also shows the mileage and the last 5 year’s worth of MOT’s including any failure’s and the reason it failed.

This site can be very useful if like me you can not remember when your MOT is due but it can also be used  if you are purchasing a vehicle to check if details provided by the seller regarding the mileage is  true as you do not to be the owner of the vehicle and can check any car. (There may be no details for some private plates so please  check the website for details)

I get the impression this site will get a lot of use and potentially save someone from buying a dud and give unscrupulous car dealers another hurdle to jump over!

Hover boards grounded!!!


Solihull Trading Standards were notified by the National Trading Standards Safety at Ports Team to investigate a consignment of Hover boards imported from China this week.

The consignment of 40 boards were found to not comply with safety standards and were all subsequently destroyed.

These type of boards look like they will be on lots of children’s wish lists this year but please make sure that any you buy comply with EU Safety Standards:

  • Look for a CE mark on the board
  • Ensure the board carries safety and usage instructions
  • See that the manufacturer’s contact details are given
  • Plus … read the instruction leaflet, if the English is poor, this is not a good sign

If you are concerned about any of the above, our recommendation is not to buy.  In terms of electrical items like these, some products are cheap for a reason.

What to do with unsuitable Christmas Gifts you receive?


Imagine the scene.       It’s a snowy Christmas morning , the turkey is in the oven and you are eagerly opening your Christmas presents and you are faced with…………a pair of slippers 4 sizes too big, a jumper that’s 3 sizes too small and a bottle of perfume that you hate. What can you do? What are your rights? Can you return them to the shops?

It may come as a surprise that shops do not have to accept returns unless the item is faulty, not as described or unfit for purpose but most High Street shops now offer a goodwill returns policy offering an exchange, refund or credit note if the goods are not suitable or you have changed your mind.

Goods which cannot be returned

These are items that are perishable such as food and flowers, items made to order or bespoke (unless faulty) and DVD, music and software if the seal has been broken.

Returning a gift may to some extent depend on the retailers returns policy but all

Illegal skin lightening cream detained by Solihull Trading Standards


In conjunction with Border Force at Birmingham Airport Solihull Trading Standards have prevented illegal skin lightening cream from entering the UK.

The cream in question was a face cream which contained Hydroquinone . This is generally used as a skin lightener and has been banned by many countries around the world including Britain and other EU States as these products have been proven to be harmful to health and cause permament skin damage.

Used on the skin the product can result in a darker, patchy appearance in the skin so you actually end up with darker skin than you atarted with.  The cream can also increase the risk of damage from UV radiation . The dangers connected to the use of hydroquinone are so high that it is a criminal offence to sell products containing it.

If you are aware of any products been sold in Solihull that contain Hydropquinone then please contact us.


First ‘FAKE SHOP’ to show you what NOT to buy!!!!!!!!!!!


The UK’s first ‘Fake Shop’ has been opened in Yeovil, Somerset to reveal the danger of purchasing counterfeit goods.

Whether it is toys, clothing, alcohol or tobacco, the shop showcases what to AVOID.

How well do you know your shopping rights this Christmas?


January is historically the busiest time for the national consumer helpline run by Citizens Advice as people complain about goods purchased over the Christmas period.

How well do you know your rights when something goes wrong? The Consumer Rights Act has recently been introduced to consolidate all your rights in one piece of legislation. Did you know, for instance, that you have 14 days to change you mind for whatever reason when you buy something by distance means i.e over the phone or on the internet and get a FULL refund? You also have a 14 day cancellation window if you agree to a contract away from buisness premises e.g in your home. This does not apply when you buy something in a shop. Many shops offer voluntary return policies but unless the goods are faulty or misdescribed you have NO legal right to change your mind and get your money back.

Section 75 of The Consumer Credit Act 1974 always offers you extra protection if you buy an item or service costing over £100 on your credit card. The credit card company become equally responsible with the seller for problems with the goods. This can prove particularly useful when buying something over the internet. If the trader goes out of business or goes missing you can gain redress from your credit card company. As long as the item or service costs over £100 you could pay £1 on your credit card and be covered for the whole lot!! We never recommend getting into debt on credit cards but they can be a useful insurance policy when buying more expensive items.

So, what were the most complained about items in January 2015? Take a look:

  • Tablets, notebooks and laptops hit the number one spot. Last January saw 850 complaints, one third higher than the rest of the year.
  • Women’s clothing – complaints rose by a fifth.
  • Televisions – the helpline saw 29 per cent more enquiries.
  •  Toys – toys had the biggest increase in complaints, which were more than double than any other time of the year
  • Jewellery –  complaints increased by 40%

See the full article here:

It is vital that you know your rights and responsibilities. Solihull Trading Standards can provide advice to vulnerable residents and businesses on civil law. We can be contacted via 03454 04 05 06