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Published 04 May 2017

Trading Standards

The West Dunbartonshire Trading Standards team is asking for the public’s help to identify grocery shops which may not be correctly displaying the prices of goods.

For most goods, pricing information must be clearly legible and displayed either on the goods or near to the goods. And while Trading Standards staff are confident most local businesses comply, they want to be sure the law is being adhered to across the whole area.

Trading Standards Service Co-ordinator Tony Cairns said: “We were a bit concerned about pricing compliance for local grocery shopping and for that reason we undertook a series of inspections. If customers do not know the price before they buy they can be put at a real disadvantage and may be charged over the odds. Failure to display the prices is not only inconvenient for the consumer it can also be a criminal offence.”

During their inspections, Trading Standards found that a significant number of shops visited were not doing what they should. In many cases, basic everyday items - the prices of which can vary considerably between shops - such as bread, milk and fresh produce, were not priced.

Mr Cairns added: “Customers must be able to see the price of the items they wish to purchase. This allows them to make proper comparisons based on cost and saves embarrassment if the price is too high. We hope we are wrong, but previous experience is that some shops will fall back into bad practices. By acting as our eyes and ears, local shoppers can help us protect them and ensure they get a fair deal. Shops who ignore our advice risk being reported to the Procurator Fiscal.”

Trading Standards also report that compliance has become more urgent as some residents who run a “tab” with stores could end up in a dispute when the bill is due to be settled and if prices are not displayed at the point of purchase.

Trading Standards can be contacted about this or any other issue by calling advice partner the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506 or online at www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/consumer-advice