Merton launch consumer advice pack

Merton Council, in conjunction with the six neighbouring authorities, has launched a major initiative to improve people’s awareness of their consumer rights, to reflect new government improvements in legislation to enhance consumer rights.

Merton has produced new information leaflets and a Consumer Advice guide for community leaders to be able to provide a signposting service, plus a resource pack for use by the Trading Standards Department when giving talks to local groups.

Funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), this awareness campaign follows a successful bid by the South West London Chief Trading Standards Officer Group.

Councillor Amanda Ramsay, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Social Inclusion, said:

“Consumer protection is vital for all of us, to tackle rogue traders and to know our rights if the goods we purchase turn out to be faulty.

“New research shows that some residents are less likely than others to come to the Civic Centre for advice and assistance about consumer rights, preferring to be able to approach community leaders for help instead.

“In response to this Merton’s Trading Standards staff have launched a comprehensive awareness campaign to empower Merton’s residents.”

Research shows that local residents want basic consumer advice, by way of information leaflets, informative talks to community groups, and via their community leaders.

In praising this project Consumer Affairs Minister Melanie Johnson MP said:

“The Government’s Modernisation Fund aims to raise the level of consumer protection at a local level by supporting projects that deliver real benefits to consumers. This toolkit is a product of one such project by the South West London Chief Trading Standards Officers Group and is based on the value of shared information.

“All consumers need skills, knowledge and information to exercise their consumer rights. It is only by being aware of their rights that consumers know how to get a fair deal, and how to complain if they don’t. This toolkit has been produced which can be used by community groups to help tackle the problems which are of particular concern to vulnerable consumers, who often turn to the local community for vital help and advice whether on home working or how to change gas or electricity suppliers.”

For an information pack or for advice contact Jan Davey on 020 8545 3026 or by email trading.standards@merton.gov.uk

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