Wolverhampton Trading Standards are speaking to stores across the city as part of a clamp down on exploiting customers by increasing prices on necessities.

Trading Standards officers have received several complaints about shops charging higher prices for products such as handwash, hand sanitiser and toilet roll.

Consumers have also complained about unfair price hikes on some products in short supply.

Traders who are raising prices in the current situation may be breaching the provision of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Paul Dosanjh, Trading Standards Service Lead at City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “Trading Standards is receiving complaints about businesses charging inflated prices on necessity products.

 “Whilst traders are generally free to set their prices for items that are not price marked except by themselves, it is a criminal offence to charge a higher price for products that are clearly marked with a visible lower price.

“Officers have been contacting stores to issue warnings about this activity and we will continue with our investigations and deal with those traders that are breaking the law. 

“Most traders are acting responsibly and providing a vital service to our community. But I am concerned that a small minority of traders may simply be taking advantage of the situation. We view profiteering as an aggressive practice and we will deal with it robustly. 

We understand retailers are going through a difficult time during the current situation, but customers need to be protected and not exploited.” 

Anyone who spots inflated or dual pricing in their local shops can report it by sending details and any evidence to trading.standards@wolverhampton.gov.uk