The regulatory bodies listed below are public offices that may be able to provide you with further assistance and support if you are involved in a dispute with a support publishing firm(s).
TAPA encourages visitors of our website to report complaints they have made to us regarding support publishing firms to these public offices also where they feel appropriate. We have provided a summary of the roles and responsibilities of these offices in order to help visitors of our website, determine which of these offices may be of assistance to them.
Citizens Advice is a registered charity that provides free information and confidential legal advice to help people with legal, money and other problems they may be encountering. Citizens Advice is operated by volunteers and funded by donors and is available to everybody in the community. Citizens Advice sets standards for advice and equal opportunities and also coordinates social policy, media, publicity and parliamentary work. Citizens Advice provides advice on all issues regarding topics ranging from employment issues, family, tax, debt, health, travel, education, immigration and housing issues to civil rights, communications, consumer affairs and the legal system.
There are over 3,200 Citizens Advice bureau locations across the UK (excluding Scotland) where advice is regularly provided by over 20,000 trained volunteers from urban and rural bureaux to people’s homes, over the telephone and outreach sessions at community venues. Each Citizens Advice Bureau is an independent charity reliant on trained volunteers to run the service and is the largest free advice-giving network in the UK. Advice is also provided in hospitals, courts, GP surgeries, colleges and prisons.
If you would like to receive free legal advice regarding any issues or concerns you may have regarding support publishing firms that you feel are attempting to defraud money from you for advertising you do not require or require any other free legal advice regarding any other advertising problems you may be encountering you can contact Citizens Advice online using the link we have provided above.
To find your nearest local Citizens Advice Bureau in England and Wales, please log on to the Citizens Advice website or you can use the Bureau search engine online by typing in your postcode, using the link at the beginning of this topic. Citizens Advice officers and Bureaux are available at different times across the UK depending on which location you wish to seek advice from. Opening times are provided on the online search engine when you search for your nearest Bureau as well as the contact telephone, fax and email details of your nearest Bureau.
The Citizens Advice consumer helpline can be contacted Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm on:
T: 03454 04 05 06
To contact a Welsh-speaking adviser:
T: 03454 04 05 05
For Citizens Advice information and nearest Bureaux in Northern Ireland, please go to:
If you have concerns regarding a particular charity that is being promoted by a support publishing firm that has made a request to your business for a donation, offered services to you regarding publications in relation to or on behalf of a particular charity and you are concerned that the approach that has been made to you does not fall in accordance with their legal obligations or you are concerned that the charity may be fictitious or being ripped off by the publisher who has approached you and would like to verify information or details regarding the charity you have received literature about, then you can contact the Charity Commission to find out more details about registered charities and can check their status with them.
The Charity Commission is the independent regulator and registrar of charities in England and Wales. The main objective of the Charity Commission is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of charities, as well as the public confidence and trust in them. Most charities in England and Wales have to register with the Charity Commission. The Charity Commission is responsible for maintaining the Register of Charities. There are currently over 24,000 charities contained on the register.
The Charity Commission works closely with charities to ensure they are accountable, operating properly and operating in line with their legal obligations. The work of the Charity Commission helps charities to maximise their potential and enhances their accountability to donors. If you would like to make an official complaint regarding a charity you feel is of concern to you then you can contact the Charity Commission on the telephone number provided above or by using the link we have provided below.
The Charity Commission will consider any complaints made to them and will consider the most appropriate course of action to take if necessary. They will be able to provide you with the information you require regarding a charity’s particulars and contact details. Complaints will be assessed to determine how serious the level of complaint is and the level of risk it poses to the charity in question, it’s assets and reputation. The Charity Commission provides advice and guidance to resolve disputes and difficulties. Any matters that are of serious concern will be intervened by the Charity Commission using legal powers to protect the charity in question where necessary.
If your complaint or concerns are not best placed with the Charity Commission they will advise you which department or regulator is the most appropriate to take your concerns up with. The Charity Commission will acknowledge your complaint in writing and will inform you of the outcome once your complaint has been investigated. Complaints will not be considered unless accompanied by evidence that substantiate the allegations. Complaints made to the Charity Commission that are classed as of a serious nature will be dealt with by an official investigation under section 8 of the Charities Act 1993.
Please note that charities operating in Scotland and Northern Ireland and not monitored or accountable to the Charity Commission. The Charity Commission will advise you on the correct department to speak to regarding any concerns you may have regarding charities in these geographical areas. When contacting the Charity Commission please ensure you have as much information as possible regarding your enquiry. If you are unsure regarding various details please contact a TAPA representative and we will do our utmost to assist you. A TAPA representative will assist the Charity Commission on your behalf if you or they feel further details are required from TAPA regarding our role as a practice and our role as your representative.
If you would like to speak to a representative at the Charity Commission, they are available Monday to Friday from 9:00am – Midday on:
T: 0300 066 9197
You can put any enquiries in writing to the Charity Commission at:
PO Box 211
Company Investigations is part of the regulatory arm of the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) and is a department within the Insolvency Service. Company Investigations has the power to investigate companies under the Companies Acts. Their powers are limited to investigating limited companies only and therefore do not consider investigations regarding non-limited businesses. Priority is given to complaints against companies that are considered as higher risks to the public over other complaints being given consideration that are viewed as a lower risk to the public.
When Company Investigations receives information regarding companies, they assess the information to decide whether it is appropriate or not to attend the company in question to inspect it’s accounting and trading practices. If they are satisfied that there is good reason in the interest of public safety to conduct an investigation they will do so. Investigations are completely confidential. Company Investigations will not inform complainants whether they have followed up their complaints or if they have subsequently investigated a company as a result of their complaint. This confidentiality extends to not informing company directors when investigating the company(s) they are responsible for, the reasons why they are investigating their company or who the complainant(s) was.
Information is usually received from other investigative departments such as Trading Standards and the OFT. Complaints that are made by the public direct to Company Investigations are usually received through their Vetting Section or through filling an online complaint form at the above website. When they investigate any particular company, their investigations are not limited to investigating the facts of the original complaint. They will investigate the company and take a view of the company as a whole. The details of the original complaint(s) that lead to an investigation may subsequently prove to bear no relevance as to the conclusion of any investigation or action taken against a company.
If you wish to make a complaint about a limited support publishing publishing company that you feel may be trading improperly or any other company that you feel may be operating outside of the law, you can contact Company Investigations at the insolvency Service on:
T: 0300 678 0017
Alternatively, you can forward any complaints in writing to:
Investigations & Enforcement Services
The Insolvency Service
18 Priory Queensway
or email your complaints to:
Please note that when TAPA receives sufficient complaints regarding limited companies that we achieve concerns about in the interest of public safety, TAPA presents dossiers of complaints to Company Investigations. Complaints TAPA receives from its clients regarding particular companies will eventually be forwarded to Company Investigations providing TAPA receives sufficient numbers that achieve levels of concern regarding particular companies. However, TAPA requests that all complaints regarding limited companies that are reported to our practice are also reported to Company Investigations to ensure that the complaint is definitely received by this department.
Financial Ombudsman Service
If you have had money debited from your debit or credit card under false pretences by a support publishing firm and have attempted to process a chargeback with your card issuing bank and have had your request denied and feel your bank has been intentionally unhelpful, deliberately mislead you or not practicing in accordance with their legal obligations, then you can take the matter further with the public body that is responsible for the compliance of financial institutions. Over recent years, TAPA has learnt that in a large number of instances, financial institutions including the biggest banks on the high street, have deliberately misinformed, mislead and blatantly lied to their customers informing them that they cannot recover money that has been debited from them fraudulently by support publishing firms when in actual fact they have the legal right to have this money returned to them.
This type of practice is usually undertaken due to financial institutions not wanting the headache of reimbursing money to their customers that they then have the administrative headache to recover through institutions such as Visa and MasterCard etc, which can be very time consuming and costly for financial institutions. Quite often, banks deliberately do not provide staff with sufficient knowledge and training regarding the chargeback rules so that even they do not understand consumer’s rights. This usually results in customers being passed from pillar to post over many weeks until they eventually give up.
No matter how much consumer’s contest and highlight the banking rules and legislation in these situations, they are still met with flat denials with no factual explanation. Many consumers refuse to believe that banks with household names would behave in such a manner and refuse to believe their banking providers would mislead them. Consumers are left bewildered to find out after conducting online research that many big-name high street banks have been reprimanded and fined for this type of malpractice.
The Financial Ombudsman Service is the statutory dispute-resolution scheme set up by parliament under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 that has powers under the Consumer Credit Act 2006. The service is appointed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The chairman is appointed by the FSA with the approval of HM Treasury. The FOS is the official independent expert in settling complaints between consumers and businesses providing financial services.
The FOS acts as a mediator and will liaise with financial institutions on behalf of consumers and will ensure they are forced to act within their legal obligations if they are not already doing so. When the FOS decides a complaint, they look carefully at both sides of the story and weigh up all of the facts. If the FOS decides a financial services provider has acted wrongly, the FOS can order the business to put things right. The FOS can look at complaints about a wide range of financial matters from insurance and mortgages to investments and credit. Each year, the FOS receives over one million enquiries and settles over 150,000 disputes. Consumers that find themselves in these distressing situations can get free, impartial advice and assistance from the FOS as an alternative to the civil Courts.
You can contact the FOS from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm on:
0800 023 4567
The Financial Ombudsman Service can also be contacted in writing at:
The Financial Ombudsman Service
or email your complaints to:
Telephone Preference Service (TPS)
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is responsible for administering the UK’s official central opt out register where consumers and businesses can register their telephone numbers to not receive unsolicited sales and marketing calls from organisations. Organisations are not lawfully permitted to make unsolicited sales calls to any numbers that are registered on to the Telephone Preference Service central opt out register. This includes charities and political parties. Organisations that have an existing client relationship with individuals are also not entitled to make sales calls to these clients. TPS registration only prevents unsolicited sales marketing calls. Organisations are still able to call individuals for the purposes of genuine market research.
Unsolicited sales calls do not include silent calls or recorded messages. Silent calls occur when automated telephone diallers call multiple telephone numbers but have no human interaction available to speak with the recipient. A call is not deemed as unsolicited if the organisation that contacted the recipient had their prior consent to do so or if the caller is phoning on behalf of a company that the recipient has an established business relationship (EBR) with. This also includes any organisation that the recipient has purchased goods or services from within the last 18 months or any organisations that the recipient may have made an enquiry with.
A call is not classed as unsolicited if an organisation that obtained the recipients’ telephone number did so by purchasing it from a company that the recipient authorised to sell their information. Individuals may not recall giving a company permission to sell their contact details but may have failed to read all of the terms and conditions on a form they filled in at an earlier time. Lots of companies do have affiliates and any of these affiliates that are related to the original product or service that was purchased by the recipient are allowed to contact those recipients as well. If individuals are happy to receive telemarketing calls from some companies but not others they should refrain from registering their telephone number(s) on to the Telephone Preference Service central opt out register and only contact the companies that they do not wish to receive marketing calls from to request that they add their details to their ‘do-not-call lists’.
The original legislation was introduced in May 1999. The regulations were updated to the Privacy and Electronic (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. Although the Telephone Preference Service administers the central opt out register, the regulations are enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO will instigate enforcement action against any organisation that breaches the regulations by issuing enforcement notices. An enforcement notice is a legally binding document that sets out what an organisation must do or stop doing in order to comply with the legislation if they do not want further action being taken against their organisation.
The Telephone Preference Service is a free service. There is no cost involved for consumers or businesses to enter their telephone numbers on to the central opt out register. Once a telephone number has been registered, it will become effective 28 days later. This will be when the ban on calling that number will take effect. If consumers or businesses wish to enter their details on to the Telephone Preference Service central opt out register, they can do online using the link we have provided.
Please note that TAPA will register your details on to the central opt out register when you instruct us to represent you. If your telephone number is already registered on the TPS central opt out register and you wish to report a support publishing firm to the TPS that has contacted you unlawfully, you can contact the Telephone Preference Service on the number below.
You can also register your telephone number(s) on the same line by calling:
T: 0345 070 0707
The TPS can also be contacted in writing at:
Telephone Preference Service (TPS)
70 Margaret Street
Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK regulator of the content of advertisements, sales promotions and direct marketing. By applying the advertising standards codes, the ASA makes sure the standards of advertising are kept to a high level. The principal of the codes are that advertisements should not mislead people, cause harm or offend members of the public.
The ASA ensure sales promotions are run fairly and will stop offensive, misleading or harmful advertising. The ASA also helps reduce unwanted commercial mail sent through the post, email and text messaging and resolves mail order purchase disputes. The ASA relies on the backing of the Office of Fair Trading and OFCOM to report offenders breaking the rules.
All complaints that are made to the ASA regarding advertisements, sales promotions and direct marketing are investigated and the results of these investigations are published online every Wednesday on their official website stated above.
It is the responsibility of the advertising industry for writing the codes and enforcing ASA rulings through the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP). The CAP represents the main industry bodies representing media owners, advertisers and agencies. The advertising standards codes are broken up in to different categories for different advertising sources such as television advertising, radio advertising and teletext advertising as well as many other categories. There are different rules relating to different products and marketing styles. The codes can be viewed online at the ASA official website stated above.
If you wish to make a complaint against a support publishing firm regarding the standards or contents of their products and advertisements they are producing, would like to make a complaint regarding a mail order dispute (telephone purchase), want to prevent direct mail coming through the post from advertising firms, are having difficulties receiving goods from support publishing firms purchased by mail order or are having difficulty receiving a refund for items purchased by mail order then you can fill in a complaint form online using the link above.
The contact number for the ASA is:
T: 0207 492 2222
Alternatively, you can contact the ASA with any questions or complaints you may have in writing to:
Advertising Standards Authority Limited
Mid City Place
71 High Holborn
Please note that although TAPA has provided links to various government regulatory bodies, TAPA is not a regulatory body and is not affiliated to any of these departments or working in partnership with any of these departments. TAPA has provided the above details for information purposes only that we believe may be useful to browsers of this website.