In association with East Lothian Council
East Lothian
Trusted Trader

Frequently asked questions and help



We want consumers and local residents to make full use of their local Trusted Trader scheme, as well as traders to take full advantage of their Trusted Trader membership.

So we have included some general help and answers to frequently asked questions, but if you can't find the answer below then please contact us.

FAQ Contents

Consumers and residents
1. How do I leave or read reviews?
2. Why are there no negative reviews?
3. What is your review moderation process?
4. What checks do Trading Standards do on traders?
5. Do traders have to abide by a code of conduct?
6. What if don't hear back from a trader?
7. What should I do if I have a complaint against a trader?
8. How do I contact customer support?
9. Is 0333 a premium rate number?

Traders and business owners
1. How do I edit my business details?
2. What is a trader control panel?
3. I can’t access my trader control panel
4. How do my customers leave reviews?
5. What should I do if I receive a customer complaint?
6. What should I do if I am unhappy with a customer's review comments or rating?

Consumers and residents

1. How do I leave or read reviews?

To leave a review, simply select the review a trader link. To search for reviews for a particular business or trade, select the search for a trader option. When you have some results, select the trader you want and this will open into their business page. There should be a large button called view reviews or you can also scroll down the trader's business page and this will also take you to their reviews.

2. Why are there no negative reviews?

There are plenty of negative reviews on the website. Anybody who has been in business for a while will have a bad day, a misunderstanding, incorrect expectations, leading to an unhappy customer. The important thing is a business tries everything they can to resolve any problems or rectify the situation. The customer is completely entitled to leave a negative review outlining their experience, and the trader has the right to leave a professional reply. It is then up to the website visitor or potential customer to make their own mind up.

What you won't find is a Trusted Trader that has a lot of negative feedback. Every negative review is investigated to see if lessons can be learnt of if there are any customer service issues that need addressing by Trading Standards. A trader that is receiving continually bad feedback is someone who is not following the Trading Standards Code of Practice, so they will be removed from the scheme and lose their Trusted Trader status.

3. What is your review moderation process?


All reviews will begin the moderation process within three business days of submission of an electronic review, or receipt of a hardcopy review.

    Five and four star reviews

  1. As long as the review passes the schemes security checks, it will normally be approved and published by a human moderator the same day. If there is any cause to doubt the authenticity of a review, then the review will be marked for further investigation, which should take no more than ten business days, before a decision to publish or delete is decided.
  2. Once any four or five star review is published, the system will randomly select a minimum of 25% of reviews for secondary verification. The admin team will contact the reviewer with the details given, and confirm the review was genuine, the reviewer wasn’t co-coerced or offered an incentive to leave a review. If there is any doubt, then the review may be flagged for further investigation or deleted.
  3. This is a Council policy and ensures the integrity of the review system.

    Three, two and one star reviews

  1. These are deemed to be negative reviews or to convey consumer dissatisfaction. As a Trading Standards scheme, all negative feedback is taken very seriously. Members that generate continual negative feedback are not acting in the high standards expected of the scheme, so may find themselves being removed. While all businesses will have a bad day or difference of opinion with customers at some point, it is important to see if any lessons can be learnt, or further action is required.
  2. To be fair to the members, and the serious implications a negative review can impact on a Trusted Trader, all negative reviews are thoroughly investigated.
  3. Negative feedback that contains abusive language or slander will be deleted.
  4. Once the moderation process begins, the aim is to have the negative feedback either published or deleted with ten business days.
  5. If the review comments are deemed to be fair, then the member will have the right to reply, with their own comments added after the review. This may be a simple apology, or a justification for the issue. A right to reply can be added at any point after a review has been published.
  6. If the member disputes the review, then the administration team may contact the reviewer asking for proof of work done, such as an invoice.
  7. The moderation team will also investigate to see if there is any scope for dispute resolution and resolving any perceived issues. The customer will keep the right to have their comments displayed even if the dispute is resolved. But a closing report from a moderator will outline any resolution or remedial work done by the member to try and resolve the issue if applicable.
  8. Negative reviews will not be removed simply because a business asks us to. If it is deemed to be a fair review by the moderation team, then the comments will stand.
  9. If a member demands that their listing is removed in order to remove any negative reviews, then their membership will be terminated, which will mean forfeiture of the Trusted Trader scheme and any benefits. The member may be subject to an exclusion from re-joining this or other Council operated Trusted Trader schemes.
  10. All members have the right to reply to any reviews written in order to give their side of the story. This will be added by a scheme moderator, but only using text approved by the member.
  11. TDS reserve the right to remove any reviews they believe that the content or dialogue between the parties is inappropriate or risks bringing the scheme into disrepute. Under these circumstances, it may more appropriate to refer the parties to the complaint and dispute resolution process.
  12. If you have submitted a review and it has not been published, then it is probably in the process of being investigated. If it has been longer than ten business days (two weeks), then feel free to contact us and ask for an update.

4. What checks do Trading Standards do on traders?

All applications to a Trading Standards Trusted Trader scheme are fully vetted by local Trading Standards officers, including an interview. You can see what is involved by selecting the vetting process.

5. Do traders have to abide by a code of conduct?

Yes. All traders that join the scheme agree to abide by the Trusted Trader Code of Practice. This code outlines the expectations and general requirements for all members to commit to fair and honest trading.

6. What if don't hear back from a trader?

If you contact one of our members for a work request or quotation, they should respond to you within 5 business days. If you haven't heard from a trader within 5 business days, feel free to let us know. Customer service is taken very seriously and any members that are repeatedly not getting in touch with customers will risk losing their membership and have their Trusted Trader status revoked. But we are also dealing with busy small businesses, so sometimes emails or work requests can get missed, or even end up accidently in spam boxes. A lot of traders are out on customer premises during the day and catching up with email in the evening. If you have had no response after sending an email, then try phoning them. But please bring any concerns to our attention.

7. What should I do if I have a complaint against a trader?

In the first instance you must always communicate directly with the trader, this is always the best way to resolve a dispute. A lot of issues tend to be related to a miscommunication or misunderstanding between trader and customer. If you are unsatisfied with the trader's response and wish to raise a complaint, then you need to ask for the trader's complaints process who should send this within three business days. This complaints process will outline the steps the trader will try to take to resolve the problem, and will start with the customer outlining the exact issue. Customers or Traders can ask the scheme complaints team to intervene at any time if communication breaks down, and if required the issue will be escalated to Trading Standards or the Alternate Dispute Resolution team for legally binding adjudication. Follow the links to see full details of our customer complaint and dispute resolution process.

8. How do I contact customer support?

You can call us on 0333 444 7015 between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm Monday to Friday or fill in our contact form.

9. Is 0333 a premium rate number?

No. 0333 calls cost the same as calls to national numbers (01 or 02) and form part of any inclusive minutes. Calls from landlines and mobiles are included in free call packages.


Traders and business owners

1. How do I edit my business details?

If you look at the top right-hand side of any page of this website, you will see a trader log-in option. Selecting this will allow you to access your trader control panel and give you access to your business listing.

2. What is a trader control panel?

Your trader control panel provides access to your Trusted Trader business listing. From here you can view and edit any of your listing details.

Once you have logged into the control panel, you can easily:
  • view your business page
  • edit your business details
  • change, amend or add search categories that are related to your business
  • change the text on your page, you can add up to one thousand words
  • upload photos, up to 12 images can be displayed to showcase your work to prospective clients
  • edit any social media links
  • view and download your Trusted Trader invoices
  • download review forms
  • get access to your review widget
  • request Trusted Trader vehicle or window stickers
  • display any approved trade body memberships that you are a member of
  • change your password.

3. I can’t access my trader control panel

Your log-in is the e-mail address you provided when you signed up to be a member of the Trusted Trader scheme. If you can't remember your password, then select the following link: please reset my password.

If you can't remember the e-mail address you signed up with or are having problems accessing your listing, please call us on 0333 444 7015 or fill in our contact form.

4. How do my customers leave reviews?

On your Trusted Trader business listing, there is a blue leave a review button your customers can select. Or they can simply visit the Trusted Trader home page and select the review a trader button. Alternatively, you can request customer review forms and Freepost envelopes which will be provided to you as part of your scheme membership. You can order these from your Trader Control Panel, or contact us.

5. What should I do if I receive a customer complaint?

You need to deal with the complaint using your own complaints procedure. If the customer is still not happy then please refer them to our customer complaints process.

6. What should I do if I am unhappy with a customer's review comments or rating?

All reviews are fully moderated and any negative comments will be checked to ensure they are genuine. We will not remove negative comments just because a trader doesn't like them, but we are happy to liaise between reviewer and trader if there is any opportunity to resolve an outstanding issue or dispute.

If you have any concerns, then contact our customer services team on 0333 444 7015.