Consumer Champions work with Suffolk Trading Standards to:
- protect and empower your local community
- build resilience against rogue traders and scams
- make Suffolk a safer place to live
Watch the video below to hear from Consumer Champions across Suffolk. Find out why they Joined the Fight and why they think you should too!
What is the Consumer Champion Network?
The work of the network is about making sure that people in Suffolk have the information and knowledge to be able to identify a scam, and have the confidence to say no.
The Consumer Champion Network was set up by Suffolk Trading Standards in 2001, to act as a bridge between Trading Standards and the local community.
It aims to make it easier for people to access information about consumer rights, protecting themselves and their community in the process.
It is simply not possible for Trading Standards to reach each and every resident directly, but the network has the power to do this.
As of January 2019, there are over 600 Consumer Champions across Suffolk. They educate and empower people around them about their rights.
The network offers people the opportunity to:
- stop rogue trading
- expose scams
- raise awareness of product recall
Your role as a Consumer Champion
Consumer Champions are expected to:
- learn about what's happening in Suffolk
- share information with their community
- report details of concerns back to us
You will have the opportunity to learn about basic trading standards laws, including how to spot a scam and enforce your consumer rights.
You will receive regular updates on investigations and prosecutions across the county, as well as up-to-date reports on doorstep callers operating in Suffolk.
You are responsible for raising awareness of issues that may affect your family, friends and neighbours.
You can then direct them to the relevant advice and support, and work with Suffolk Trading Standards to address any concerns they may have.
Volunteers are spread across a wide geographical area. Therefore the department informs champions of scams/rogue traders in their area using a number of different channels, including:
Whilst Trading Standards provides the overall leadership of the network it is the volunteers that develop it to suit the needs of their local area. For example previous Consumer Champions have:
- run a monthly drop in session for consumer issues at the local library
- have created a newsletter for the residents on their road, as well as contributing to Parish newsletter
Gordon Hall, Consumer Champion from Newmarket
Gordon was able to assist a family member when a doorstep incident was occurring. He recognised that the family member had been approached by a rogue trader, and was able to offer them the support that they needed to be able to stop the work from continuing on their property.
With Gordon’s support, Trading Standards was able to obtain details of the traders, their names, telephone numbers and even a photo of the main culprits.
Louise Chadwick, Consumer Champion from Aldringham
Louise regularly uses important links from the Suffolk Trading Standards blog and adds them onto the Aldringham cum Thorpe website.
Nick Mayo, Leiston Citizens Advice Bureau
Nick passes updates to advisers in the Bureau to alert clients, friends, and family as appropriate.
"An article alerted a client to a potential scam - she contacted us to thank us for saving her from this, as she remembered the article when the scammers struck."