How often are you persuaded to think about the changes to your house you’ve always dreamed about after seeing an TV advert?
Worcestershire Trading Standards is warning consumers to be wary when booking tradesmen, based on trade body and other logos displayed in their advertisements, following a recent survey carried out by the Service.
Trading Standards Officers carried out checks on the validity of trade body and other logo’s found in advertisements, on websites and on vehicles belonging to local tradesmen.
Officers found numerous examples of logos being used without the appropriate authorisation. All the businesses found to be falsely using a logo have been contacted and a number of criminal investigations are underway.
Councillor Lucy Hodgson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Communities said: “The use of a trade body logo by a business gives potential customers the impression that there is a benefit to them. The unauthorised use of a trade body logo is a criminal offence; our Trading Standards Officers actively investigate traders who look to mislead consumers in this way.”
The unauthorised use of a trade body logo can often mislead customers into choosing a tradesman because they expect to get one or more of the following:
- approval of a standard of service
training or qualification of company personnel
- compliance with a code of conduct
- availability of a recognised complaints / arbitration procedure
- a commitment to be a 'fair trader' or
- approval by well-known organisations.
The misuse of trade body logos by rogue traders misleads the public into believing they can trust the trader and also gives an unfair advantage over good businesses.
Consumers can check whether a business’ accreditation is genuine using the organisations website, or they can phone to confirm membership.
If you think that a business may be misusing a trade body logo you can report it to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.