Warrington Borough Council is warning householders to be wary of a door-to-door fish salesman who has been misleading customers over the quantity and quality of the fish they are buying.
Now council trading standards officers have issued an appeal to householders who may have bought fish from the doorstep seller operating in Cheshire in the past month to get in touch.
Councillor Judith Guthrie, executive board member for environment and public protection said:
“This slippery salesman has been misleading people over the quantity of fish they believed they were buying and in some instances were persuaded to spend as much as £300 on fish which officers say was incorrectly labelled.
“One couple thought they were buying £24 worth of fish but later found they’d been tricked into paying £204 for around 30 packs of fish.”
Other problems that have been reported include issues with mis-described fish, such as staithe being sold as sea bass, or underweight sales, with a 400g pack of fish described as 1.5lb.
Consumers are also advised that the fish is often not refrigerated and may have travelled a long way.
Trading Standards advice is to buy from local market traders, fishmongers and pre-arranged traders, who have regular customers in the area and are easy to contact if things go wrong.
Cllr Guthrie added: “These are unsolicited doorstep calls. The trader will not be known to householders. We have concerns over this operator’s techniques and the labelling of the fish he was selling. Basically if it sounds fishy don’t buy it!”
Cheshire police have arrested a 47-year-old man from Kimblesworth near Durham on suspicion of fraud by false representation. He has been bailed pending further enquiries.
Anyone who may have bought the fish is asked to contact trading standards via 03454 040506.