Investigations Team

As part of the changes to the consumer landscape, Consumer Focus Investigations has been closed and this section will no longer be updated.

This team undertakes investigations into a broad range of consumer complaints across Great Britain. The team was established to exercise the general powers of investigation given to Consumer Focus. The complaints should raise an important or novel issue which is likely to affect a number of consumers. We are here to make a real difference to the lives of consumers. We do this in a number of ways. For example Consumer Focus Investigations will negotiate solutions on behalf of groups of consumers with businesses. We publish reports on the findings of investigations with recommendations. We initiate and co-ordinate litigation on behalf of consumers and can refer super-complaints to the Office of Fair Trading or other regulators about the structure of a market which is failing consumers.

Our statutory powers provide an effective tool kit for Consumer Focus Investigations to do this. We can require businesses to provide information to us which ultimately forms the basis of our public reports, findings and recommendations. We also regularly meet with businesses across a wide range of sectors to bring about quick and effective results for consumers.

Consumer Focus Investigations concentrates on complaints which raise systemic issues. This means that the team will consider complaints where it is suspected that similar problems are being experienced by a number of consumers. The rationale behind this is to have maximum impact with a practical result which will benefit a number of consumers. Ultimately Consumer Focus Investigations aims to ensure that businesses put consumers at the heart of everything they do.

Latest News

  • Living the Dream? – new Consumer Focus report looks at lives of people living in park homes in England

    15 October 2012

    In a new report ‘Living the Dream?’ Consumer Focus investigates the experiences of people living in park homes in England. The report highlights serious issues faced by some residents including sales processes, maintenance, security and safety problems; difficulties with energy and water supplies and unacceptable behaviour by park home site operators. Consumer Focus is calling [...]

  • Consumer watchdog wants to hear from park homes residents

    22 February 2012

    Consumer Focus is asking people who live in park homes to tell them of any issues they face. The consumer watchdog is interviewing individual park homes residents about their experiences for a major report, which it will launch in autumn 2012, and want more residents to get in touch to discuss their experiences – both good [...]

  • OFT investigation on unfair online charges for government services

    14 July 2011

    In response to the OFT opening investigations into websites that charge people for government services that are available at no cost or for a lower fee, Gemma Bowen, Head of Consumer Focus Investigations, said: ‘This is a welcome move by the OFT following our research. Consumer Focus’ work in this area has found many examples [...]

more news on: CFI

Latest Publications

  • Living the dream? – An investigation into life on park home sites in England

    Living the dream (cover)

    15 October 2012

    Park homes are seen by many as an affordable, housing option often located within attractive rural locations. For some residents, the dream is a reality and we heard from people who are very happy on their site. However, behind the idyllic picture lie other stories of intimidation, poorly maintained sites and a lack of consumer [...]

more publications on: CFI