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Consumers are warned about rogue traders
USED cars topped the list of complaints to trading standards in Dorset last year.
Vehicles sold by garages were the most common source of lament, followed by car servicing by garages.
Also in the top ten 'most complained about' were home insulation, beds, upholstered furniture, TVs, mobile phones and phone service contracts, personal computers and laptops, and general building work.
But this year Dorset County Council trading standards officers want people to be on guard and are issuing advice to keep consumers safe.
Ivan Hancock, trading standards service manager at Dorset County Council, said: “You don't need a crystal ball to predict what the main areas of concern will be for consumers in 2013.
“We can all help ourselves by being alert to the most common unfair trading tactics and most complained about purchases, and help avoid disappointment, worry or worse. By raising awareness I hope more Dorset residents will be able to deal with consumer problems more confidently, even if it is just knowing who to call or where to look for consumer advice.
“Anyone with a complaint about unfair or unsafe trading needs to call the Citizens Advice consumer service.” He added: “This is our 'front door' and will provide immediate advice.
“Complaints about problem businesses or rogue traders requiring investigation are referred to the trading standards service.
“We can then focus our proactive enforcement work on areas or traders causing the most difficulties.”
The trading standards team says it has a good idea about the issue likely to affect people in 2013.
They include telephone calls from people trying to pursue a claim for you for payment protection insurance (PPI).
Officers warn people just to hang up.
Officers said that people may also be contacted on email by a scammer trying to find out bank details or wanting money sent. They said just delete the email and don't worry as it is likely to have been sent to thousands of addresses.