Getting consumer advice and making a complaint

General advice

For general consumer advice and to complain about problems with goods and services, energy and post, please contact Citizens Advice consumer service. Their helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm – phone 03454 04 05 06 or fill in an online form.

See the Trading Standards Institute notices for advice about trade associations, common problems, your rights, writing letters of complaint, proving your claim and suing in county court.

Legal advice services

Find your local Citizens Advice Bureau, make a small claim, and other legal services:

Scams and fraud, sales calls and junk mail

Avoid possible rogue traders by using our approved listings:

Getting help from Trading Standards

Our Trading Standards service deals with complaints against companies or businesses trading in East Sussex (excluding Brighton & Hove) and consumer complaints made by people who live in the county. We can help you with:

We are able to:

  • advise you about your legal rights when buying goods or services
  • guide you in pursuing a complaint yourself
  • identify sources of information and help
  • help you prepare for court in certain circumstances
  • mediate with a trader on your behalf, when appropriate.

We are not able to:

  • demand refunds, replacements or apologies from traders or close them down
  • take court action on your behalf
  • pursue an unjustifiable complaint
  • divulge trader information.

Contact us

You can email, phone or visit our office in Eastbourne.

Find out more about our special teams and making an appointment to visit vulnerable people at home in how to contact Trading Standards.

If you need to make a consumer complaint, please:

  • provide all the relevant details and documents
  • be prepared to provide statements about what has happened
  • if necessary, be prepared to attend court as a witness on the County Council’s behalf.

We aim to provide an initial response within five working days. Where a detailed response is needed, it will be given within 10 working days.

If you don’t live in East Sussex, search for your nearest Trading Standards office using the Trading Standards Institute postcode search.