Renfrewshire Council

Consumer advice

What Trading Standards can and can't do, phone, internet, TV & radio and postal complaints, bank, insurance or finance complaints, Purchases outside the UK.

Complaints are only referred to your local Trading Standards Service in cases where criminal breaches may be suspected. Investigation of criminal breaches cannot be used to effect a resolution to a consumer dispute. 

What Trading Standards can do

  • ensure a fair trading environment.
  • investigate criminal breaches on behalf of consumers as a whole, if the criminal laws we enforce have been contravened.
  • take enforcement action where appropriate.

What Trading Standards cannot do

  • obtain a refund for you, or take court action for you;
  • recommend particular businesses or tell you which particular businesses to avoid (please use our Trusted Trader Scheme to find customer rated local businesses)
  • investigate complaints about food hygiene or food standards. This is dealt with by Environmental Health.
  • provide details about specific companies' trading practices, or investigations.

Phone, internet, TV & radio and postal complaints

If you have a complaint or enquiry regarding the above subjects, please contact Ofcom.  They have a dedicated website which has lots of advice on guidance on the subjects

If you want to write to Ofcom, their head office is: Ofcom Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HA

If you want advice or to complain to Ofcom please call 0300 123 3333 or 020 7981 3040, Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Bank, insurance or finance complaints

The Financial Ombudsman Service (

  • was set up by parliament to sort out individual complaints that consumers and financial businesses aren't able to resolve themselves.
  • is free to consumers.
  • depending how complicated a case is, can sort out some complaints in just a few months. But some cases - for example, complaints about mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) - can take much longer.

They can look at complaints about most financial problems involving:

  • PPI (payment protection insurance)
  • banking
  • insurance
  • mortgages
  • credit cards and store cards
  • loans and credit
  • payday lending and debt collecting
  • pensions
  • savings and investments
  • hire purchase and pawnbroking
  • money transfer
  • financial advice
  • stocks, shares, unit trusts and bonds.

Purchases outside the UK

For advice  on purchases made outwith the UK, go to the UK European Consumer Centre website.