Get advice on consumer issues

We, along with every Trading Standards service in the country, work in partnership with the Citizens Advice Consumer Service. They deliver a comprehensive consumer advice service on our behalf.

You can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service about any issue you are having with a business or trader, or with the products or services they have provided to you.

Specialist advisers will provide you with free, confidential and independent advice on your rights and how to resolve the matter.

The Citizens Advice Consumer Service will also log the details of your complaint on the national Trading Standards database. This helps us to identify larger issues with a particular trader or business. In the case of criminal allegations, they will also refer the details to the local Trading Standards where any potential offence would have taken place for assessment and consideration.

If a Trading Standards team feels that an investigation should commence based on the information provided, they will contact the consumer for further details.

In 2020/21, the Citizens Advice Consumer Service helped consumers save £124 million.

For issues with non-UK businesses, contact the UK International Consumer Centre.

Contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service

Visit the Citizens Advice Consumer Service website for contact methods, including telephone, webform and online chat.

How the Citizens Advice Consumer Service can help you

  • Advisers trained in consumer law can provide comprehensive advice on your legal rights and how to get a resolution
  • Advisers can provide you with materials such as letter templates and self-help guides
  • They refer complaints to Trading Standards for further investigation where appropriate

Further information

Why the service exists

The Government established the Citizens Advice Consumer Service in 2012.

Trading Standards across the UK previously provided consumer advice to their local residents. Advice provision varied between Trading Standards authorities due to differing funding and priorities. The Citizens Advice Consumer Service was set up to ensure that UK residents received comprehensive advice and support, no matter where they lived in the country.

This change allows Trading Standards to focus on business compliance advice, inspection, detection and enforcement work.

The Citizens Advice Consumer Service is separate to the local Citizens Advice Bureau. The same organisation runs both the Consumer Service and the bureaux, but this is the only link.

Working in partnership

Trading Standards and the Citizens Advice Consumer Service have a strong partnership and work closely together. There are referral mechanisms in place for criminal allegations and product safety matters.

As the service is national, we have a national complaints database. The Consumer Service enters details of every complaint into the national database. It enables Trading Standards across the country to identify larger issues with a particular trader or business.

During 2020-2021, the Citizens Advice Consumer Service:

  • Answered 889,835 contacts across all channels - telephone, email and webchat
  • 6.9 million visits to the Citizens Advice consumer webpages
  • Helped consumers save a total of £124 million

Consumer satisfaction:

  • 8 in 10 consumers surveyed satisfied or very satisfied with the service
  • 9 out of 10 consumers surveyed said they would use the service again