Trading standards officers in Bristol say they have received a high number of calls over businesses inflating prices during the coronavirus crisis – but admit it doesn’t breach regulations.
The team at Bristol City Council is urging companies to ‘behave responsibly’ on selling items such as hand sanitisers.
The city has already seen prices rise considerably for a number of highly sought-after items recently, including for toilet paper and flour at a long-established shop in Stapleton Road.
Sarah Davey, team leader for trading standards, has urged businesses not to exploit the evolving Covid-19 situation.
She said: “We urge businesses and retailers to behave responsibly throughout the coronavirus crisis and not overcharge or mislead customers.
“Inflated pricing doesn’t currently breach any trading standard regulations, but the Competition and Markets Authority are keen to receive reports to ensure no one exploits the current situation.
“If someone is trying to charge you a higher price than what is being advertised, this is not allowed, as the law prohibits it. The advertised price is the price you should be charged.
“We’d also recommend that people purchase hand sanitiser from legitimate suppliers, and to always read the label, as we’re aware that a number of unauthorised products have recently entered the market.”
If you come across a business or retailer who is overcharging, or are concerned about the safety of a hand sanitiser product, you can report it to Trading Standards by calling: 0808 223 1133 or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.