Consumer advice policy

Our aims

  • To promote a fair, healthy and safe trading environment including advising Lancashire residents with consumer problems about goods and services, and use information gained to identify and tackle trading malpractices

Our Policy

  • All initial contacts are directed to Citizens Advice Consumer helpline we will only deal with the complaints referred to us by Citizens Advice for further advice or investigation.
  • We normally expect consumers seeking advice and assistance to take some steps themselves before we mediate or intervene, for example, following the advice given by Citizens Advice (writing to the trader involved etc)
  • Generally we do not provide advice to non-Lancashire residents and refer such requests to their own local authority
  • We will take into consideration the vulnerability of the consumer, the likely extent of the problem and the monetary value of the complaint in considering the extent of our actions in assisting consumers e.g. for complaints less than £30 we would normally limit our involvement to verbal advice to the consumer and/or trader

We will

  • Advise Lancashire residents referred by Citizens Advice about their legal rights when buying goods or services
  • Guide you in pursuing your complaint yourself
  • Identify sources of information and help
  • Where appropriate mediate on your behalf with a trader to resolve the problem
  • Assist you to pursue a justifiable complaint through the county court
  • Identify and refer potential criminal offences for investigation
  • Use information provided to identify unfair trading practices and seek improvements in the law
  • Refer non-Lancashire residents to the appropriate authority
  • Assist other authorities in enquiries about Lancashire businesses

We cannot

  • Demand refunds, replacements or apologies from traders
  • Take civil court action on your behalf.
  • Pursue a complaint which is not justifiable, would not be worthwhile for other valid reasons or if you have failed to follow our advice.
  • Divulge information about individual traders.

We ask you

  • To use Citizens Advice for your initial advice (telephone 0808 223 1133)
  • Give us all the facts
  • If we need to contact you further please listen to our advice and reasons for a recommended course of action
  • To accept that we may not always be able to help, for example, if no laws have been contravened, or it would not be worthwhile to pursue the matter further

You can

  • Ask for an explanation for our action and advice.
  • If you remain dissatisfied with our service you can raise the issue with one of our Senior Officers and/or use the county council’s complaints procedure if appropriate.