Trading team’s consumer advice

CONSUMERS are being offered tips on how to avoid losing money when companies go bust.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Trading Standards team are advising people on steps that can be taken to protect their cash.

Famous names like Comet, Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster are among the increasing number of companies which have recently gone into administration.

Customers can be left out of pocket because, when a company goes into administration, its legal status changes and so does its legal and contractual obligations.

People who have bought goods which have not been delivered; discovered goods they have recently purchased are faulty, or who have gift vouchers, may find themselves losing out.

The Trading Standards team are advising people of some steps that can be taken to protect their purchases covering items such credit and debit cards, and gift vouchers.

Principal Trading Standards Officer, Kevin Potter, said: “As we have seen over recent weeks, it’s impossible to predict which companies will go into administration, so I would urge consumers to do all they can to protect their spending.

“Regarding the situation with music chain HMV, the administrators are honouring gift cards but there is no guarantee this will continue and customers are advised to spend any gift cards while they have the opportunity.”

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor Peter Argyle, said: “These are difficult financial times for businesses and consumers alike.

“With increasing numbers of companies, from big name brands to smaller businesses, going into administration at a moment’s notice, I would urge people to think about the best ways to protect themselves and their money.”

Free advice on this, or any other consumer-related matter, is available from the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.

For more Trading Standards information, go to