Trading Standards &

  spuds 22:06 19 Sep 2003

I visited the local Trading Standards department yesterday. Whilst there I picked up a small selection of advisory leaflets, and checking on one of the leaflets, I was a little surprised.

The leaflet was titled- 'Shopping on the Internet-Better Safe than Sorry'. It then as an endorsement.'Produced by the Trading Standards Institute (ITSA) with the support of'.

The leaflet then goes on, and explains certain safeguards, in a very English sort of way. Finally it refers you to click here or click here

Is it my imagination, or doe's QM4 appears to be an American site. Just thought that this was a strange thing, for the Trading Standards to do. What do you think?.

  Forum Editor 09:45 20 Sep 2003

of thinking that The Trading Standards Institute is a government body.

It's actually a Limited company, originally set up in 1881 as a professional association, to represent the interests of its members. In its own words, the Institute exists " support, assist, inform and educate those who work in the Trading Standards Service or are professionally involved in Trading Standards legislation and enforcement....". It's not primarily an organisation that exists to help consumers directly, although it does a lot of very good work in that area.

The Trading Standards Institute does work very closely with the DTI on consumer issues, and is also actively supported in a financial sense, so it's hardly surprising that many consumers see The TSI as just another government department. It's not, however, and has to take care of its own finances - hence the sponsorship.

The fact that the Institute is inviting sponsorship for leaflet production is not at all surprising - many commercial organisations do the same thing.

  spuds 12:17 20 Sep 2003

FE,I agree about sponsership,but having to go all the way to America, for a British consumer 'product'!.

The publication as a full page about [and I quote] - Quotes Online - Save Money & Time.

QuoteMe4 - QM4 for short - is proud to be chosen as the sole sponsor of National Consumer Week 2000.

Our mission as a company is to empower the consumer, by putting you in control of the Internet buying process and protecting you against many of the pitfalls of buying online.

The QM4 website - click here - gives you a direct link to the providers of a product or service. A choice of companies that will happily give you a competetive quote free of charge - and without you having to release any personal details until a decision is made.

Simply log on to click here and select the service you require, detail any specific requirements [as prompted]then put your feet up and wait for a choice of quotes.

The service is free and confidential. There is no obligation to buy, no hidden charges and whether you follow up any of the quotes supplied is entirely up to you. Above all, the whole process is much simpler, quicker and less hassle than 'shopping around'.[end of quote]

If you open the QM4 website, and check the taskbar, you will notice:-- Welcome to Your Pay Per Click Search Engine.

Question. Why state free, yet suggest you pay per click.Doe's this sponsor's service have any use to the British Buying Internet public!.Seems a little confusing when the British Trading Standards are involved in a none British consumer product.

Should also mention, that the leaflet goe's on to state, that there is a 12 page booklet available [while stocks last]by calling 0845 130 8080.

  Forum Editor 12:43 20 Sep 2003

The Institute is a limited company - the fact that it's based in the UK and 'British' doesn't really have any bearing on who it signs up as a sponsor does it?

You've got the wrong end of the stick about the 'pay per click' system by the way - you don't pay, you use the site free of charge. It's the advertiser who pays each time someone clicks on the link to their site. Companies select a click rate for their link - the more they decide to pay, the hight in the listing their site will come. It's all perfectly harmless as far as you, the consumer is concerned. The Trading Standards Institute would not be involved with any organisation unless they had carefully checked it out first - so please relax, and forget all about it.

  spuds 13:28 20 Sep 2003

"so please relax,and forget all about it"

Thought this article would have been some possible interest to the users of this forum-perhaps I am wrong again!.

  Stuartli 18:27 20 Sep 2003

Your information was, in fact, very interesting.

Many professions have similar bodies that those who work in them can join, often receiving considerable benefits such as training, the opportunity to go on training courses etc.

As for the QM4 website, its operation is matched by dozens of similar websites such as Kelloo, PriceWatch, Unbeatable etc which no doubt forum members have used extensively themselves, so your advice to "relax and forget all about it" was perfectly sound.

  Forum Editor 22:55 20 Sep 2003

Don't get all upset - I wasn't in any way criticising your decision to post the information, or to ask the question you did.

Perhaps I was wrong, but I thought I detected a note of concern in your post - and also irritation - so I tried to put your mimd at rest, and made my "so please relax,and forget all about it" remark.

That's all.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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