Trading Standards crack down on big packages

16 June 2009

I'm not in the habit of taking pictures of boxes but this one perfectly illustrates the following story:

It arrived the other day from the Early Learning Centre housing a flat packet of 10 crayons and a box of small bath stickers the size of a packet of noodles. Didn't they actually have anything smaller? I got quite excited when I saw it, thinking I'd been sent something else by mistake.

To stop the stuff rattling around inside, someone had helpfully stuffed another four feet of brown wrapping paper on top. First of all, I'm paying for this massive box (do they think the larger the carton is, the more value for money I'm getting for my P&P fee?) and second, it's completely unnecessary.

That said, it doesn't drive me to despair, although I imagine it was taking delivery of this sort of thing that incensed a Trading Standards officer in Leicester so much, that a computer firm was eventually prosecuted for "using excess packaging". An investigation was launched after the officer purchased a piece of software which arrived in a large box stuffed with padding.

I couldn't believe this story when I saw it. We've ranted before on BW about this very topic. I mean sometimes when something you've bought online arrives, it might make you wonder "Is it really necessary to send me a box the size of a fridge-freezer for a couple of CDs?" but this company ended up having to pay costs of nearly three-thousand quid. Yes it's annoying, but given some of the shysters we hear about on these pages who actually could do with being dragged through the courts, it's baffling that Trading Standards has nobody better to prosecute.

TOPICS:   Advertising


  • Joff
    Is sending stuff in a large box really a crime?
  • Sasha
    It certainly is a crime - Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2003. Aimed at traders to ensure that they consider the packaging of products that they not only put on the shelves, but also send out through the post! It's basically an Environmental Directive from the EU. Trading Standards prosecute a whole range of traders on a daily basis, under over 200 pieces of legislation, some make the news, like this one, many don't!
  • Sid V.
    My God - first you rant on and complain about too less packaging now your bloody complaining about too much packaging. i dont belieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeve it
  • Francis R.
    The company will just pass the cost of prosecuction from the TS wadding in to the fucking customer! well done TS, you bunch of fuckin muppets.
  • Anonymous
    I once ordered a greetings card online from a retailer (and this was not just any retailer), and ended up with it arriving box of equal size to the aforementioned Early Learning Centre box with enough bubble wrap inside to keep me entertained for a month!
  • me
    read the article careful Sid.....
  • shadow
    Wow who cares? As long as it gets to you in one piece you have no right to complain. Its like someone selling you £5 for £3 - how can you complain?
  • Gus
    You should have seen the size of the box that Amazon sent my Eneloop battery adapter to size "c".
  • acecatcher3
    just wanted to let u know that ur wooden flooring wasnt put together very well, the gaps shouldnt be that big...forget ur crayons and get into contact with rogue traders.
  • Goatse
    As much as I hate acecatcher, and his bloody awful txt speak, he's got a point.
  • pauski
    Had the same myself (ELC) - External box was 800x650x600mm, product box 400x300x300 - filled with brown roll 40 fucking meters of it. Can't say I am annoyed - as the kids love the box (to climb into), and the wife has shit loads of wrapping paper for fleebay. Happy days
  • Joff
    Wow, you learn something new every day. And yesterday's was Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2003. What a proverbial crock that is.
  • veedubjai
    @Joff, "Is sending stuff in a large box really a crime?" No, of course not. To you that is, if you like to spend extra money on postage & packing. (You must be loaded then? Can you spare a couple of thousand for my mortgage payments?) but to the retailer who send hundreds & thousands a day of packets. That's a lot of pennies & wastage adding up, don't you think? Or why not save a few trees & the retailer could pass on the savings on what you buy. As regards to the 2x small items packed into quite fairly a big box deserves some attention to the retailer's management on excessive packing & Trading Standards.
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