News & Press

Consumer Focus welcomes Ofgem’s decision to levy a significant fine on SSE for systemic failure in its direct selling operations

Published: 3 April 2013

Adam Scorer, Director of Policy at Consumer Focus said: ‘This is not a case of one bad apple or one rogue sales team. The problems at SSE affected the whole direct selling operation and represent a fundamental failure at one of our biggest energy companies. Other companies have also broken direct selling.  This has been [...]

read more

Press Contact Details

  • For any media enquiries during office hours please call 020 7799 8004 or 020 7799 8006
  • Unfortunately due to staff changes we are unable to offer an out of hours media service currently.

Consumer Focus News

Consumer Focus welcomes Ofgem’s decision to levy a significant fine on SSE for systemic failure in its direct selling operations

Published: 3 April 2013

Adam Scorer, Director of Policy at Consumer Focus said: ‘This is not a case of one bad apple or one rogue sales team. The problems at SSE affected the whole direct selling operation and represent a fundamental failure at one of our biggest energy companies. Other companies have also broken direct selling.  This has been [...]

Topics: , , .

read more

DECC’s analysis on energy and climate change policies

Published: 27 March 2013

Responding to the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) Impact Assessment, Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus, said:  ‘All serious projections show that our energy bills are likely to keep rising. Consumers have had to weather any number of energy price storms over recent years, and although the ‘cushion’ effect set out [...]

Topics: , , , , , , .

read more

Consumer Focus response to the final report of the independent Sergeant review into simple financial products

Published: 13 March 2013

Christine Farnish, Chair at Consumer Focus, said: ‘This report on Simple Financial Products could mark a watershed moment in the evolution of retail financial services markets. ‘Simple products are long overdue. They would, at long last, provide consumers with the option of no frills, no catches products that people can understand and buy with confidence. [...]

Topics: , , .

read more

Royal Mail price announcement

Published: 1 March 2013

Responding to Royal Mail’s price announcement, Robert Hammond, Director of Postal Policy and Regulation at Consumer Focus said: ‘Posting letters and parcels is an essential service and consumers are looking much harder at value for money and quality of service, even on the price of a stamp. ‘This year’s freeze on stamp prices for letters, [...]

Topics: , , , , .

read more

February e-Newsletter

Published: 28 February 2013

Work planning, comparing comparison sites, infrastructure investment, personal data and the green doctor. Plus videos about children in cold homes and consumer vox pops on in-home displays.

Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , .

read more

Centrica Results statement

Published: 27 February 2013

Responding to Centrica’s Preliminary Results for 2012, Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus, said: ‘Perhaps we should not be surprised to see higher profits after a cold winter and with the prospect of significant investment in our energy infrastructure.  But this announcement comes after more price rises last year, record numbers in fuel [...]

Topics: , , , , , , .

read more

Ofgem statement on market reforms

Published: 21 February 2013

Responding to Ofgem’s statement on the Retail Market Review, Mike O’Connor Chief Executive of Consumer Focus said: ‘These reforms are welcome and over due.  We have allowed what should be a fair market for an essentially simple service to become a byword for complexity and confusion. ‘Energy suppliers know that consumers do not have confidence [...]

Topics: , , , .

read more

Ofgem’s warning of future energy bill rises

Published: 19 February 2013

Responding to Ofgem’s warning of future energy bill rises, Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive, Consumer Focus, said:  ‘Keeping the lights on is a real challenge which the nation has to meet.  We need to invest but we also need to think about how we protect the most vulnerable consumers who can least afford higher prices.  In [...]

Topics: , , .

read more

Transparency about energy industry costs

Published: 14 February 2013

Adam Scorer, Director of Policy and External Affairs at Consumer Focus, said: ‘We need firms who have the ability to invest in our energy infrastructure, but we also need energy firms who treat and charge consumers fairly and who are transparent about the relationship between their costs and profits.’ ‘Whether the economy grows or stagnates, whether [...]

Topics: , , , .

read more

Ofgem calls for more powers to prevent mis-selling to businesses

Published: 3 February 2013

Responding to Ofgem’s calls for more powers to prevent mis-selling to businesses, Adam Scorer, Director of Policy at Consumer Focus, said:  ‘There is a real protection gap on energy issues for small businesses. Many small businesses don’t have the resource or knowledge to tackle the confusing process and high pressure tactics often encountered from energy [...]

Topics: , , , , , , .

read more

Consultation on the first Annual Plan for a new Regulated Industries Unit published

Published: 11 January 2013

Created as part of the wider Consumer Landscape reforms,1 the provisionally named Regulated Industries Unit (RIU) takes over Consumer Focus’ responsibilities as the statutory representative for consumers in energy, postal services and for water in Scotland. It will also be a voice on many of the issues that are common to markets subject to economic [...]

Topics: , , , , , , , .

read more

OFT writing to energy efficiency firms

Published: 10 January 2013

Commenting on the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) announcement today advising energy efficiency firms on business practices, Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus said: ‘Making a home more energy efficient is important for cutting bills, but can mean considerable up-front costs with consumers buying goods which they may only purchase once in their [...]

Topics: , , , , .

read more

December e-Newsletter – copyright boost, tackling consumer vulnerability, who pays?

Published: 21 December 2012

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year  Thanks for your interest in our work this year - it’s been another busy one. Plans are already underway for our work in 2013/14 as we complete the transfer from Consumer Focus to a regulated industries unit (and an even greater focus on energy and post issues). We’ll be [...]

Topics: , , , , , , , , , , .

read more

Changing business practice is key to empowering consumers in vulnerable positions

Published: 20 December 2012

Consumer Focus, in conjunction with Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland, is today publishing a new report1 on the action needed from Government, companies and regulators to empower consumers in vulnerable positions. The watchdogs are warning that business practices must change and consumer protection improved to empower consumers at a disadvantage in the market, and [...]

Topics: , , , , .

read more

Consumer Focus Scotland News

Consumer Focus Scotland welcomes Ofgem’s decision to levy a significant fine on SSE for systemic failure in its direct selling operations

Published: 3 April 2013

Trisha McAuley, Senior Director at Consumer Focus Scotland said: “This is not a case of one bad apple or one rogue sales team. The problems at SSE affected the whole direct selling operation and represent a fundamental failure at one of our biggest energy companies. Other companies have also broken direct selling.  This has been [...]

read more

Consumer Focus Scotland reaction to Royal Mail price announcement today

Published: 1 March 2013

Consumer Focus Scotland reaction to Royal Mail price announcement today Trisha McAuley, Senior Director at Consumer Focus Scotland said: “Posting letters and parcels is an essential service and consumers are looking much harder at value for money and quality of service, even on the price of a stamp. “This year’s freeze on stamp prices for [...]

read more

Consumer Focus Scotland response to Centrica Results statement

Published: 27 February 2013

We should not be surprised if consumers regard these results, and the warning of price rises to come, with a mix of resentment and dread.

read more

‘Face-lift’ needed to boost take-up of greener home schemes

Published: 11 February 2013

Watchdog says more to be done to boost take-up of schemes that cut fuel bills. Energy efficiency schemes have a key role to play in tackling fuel poverty and reducing climate change emissions, watchdog Consumer Focus Scotland has told a Scottish Parliament Committee reviewing progress towards climate change targets. Nearly 1 in 3 Scottish households [...]

read more

Drive to make online shopping easier

Published: 6 February 2013

Parcel Summit takes place in capital to get customers a fair deal A summit is taking place today on creating 21st century parcel delivery services which work for customers and businesses. Chaired by watchdog Consumer Focus Scotland and Scottish Ministers Fergus Ewing and Richard Lochhead – Royal Mail and four other parcel delivery operators will [...]

read more

Consumer Focus Wales News

Consumer Focus launch annual plan for new Regulated Industries Unit (RIU)

Published: 11 January 2013

Plans to address rising energy bills, smart-meter roll-out, the future of the Post Office network and the provision of Welsh language services have been set out today as Consumer Focus Wales launches its consultation on the first Annual Plan for a new Regulated Industries Unit (RIU). The consumer watchdog will be replaced in March 2013 [...]

read more

OFT advises energy efficiency firms on business practices

Published: 10 January 2013

In response to the Office of Fair Trading’s report Lindsey Kearton, policy manger at Consumer Focus Wales, said: ‘We welcome OFT’s drive to raise compliance standards across the energy efficiency sector. We know from our research that Wales has some of the most energy inefficient properties in Great Britain. Improving the energy efficiency of homes is one [...]

read more

Think ahead to avoid Christmas post panic urges consumer watchdog

Published: 30 November 2012

Consumer Focus Wales is urging people to avoid possible disappointment this Christmas by posting cards and presents and ordering online shopping early. If consumers plan ahead they may be able to save money by sending all of their Christmas items Second Class. According to Royal Mail, hundreds of million cards are posted to family and [...]

read more

Unity between local authorities needed to protect park homes residents

Published: 21 November 2012

Local authorities in Wales should work together more effectively to protect the rights of park homes residents says Consumer Focus Wales. The Regulated Mobile Home Sites (Wales) Bill aims to better protect vulnerable park home residents against unscrupulous site operators. But while proposals acknowledge the benefits of local authorities working together, the Bill does not [...]

read more

Consumers need prompt access to food hygiene ratings

Published: 16 October 2012

Consumer Focus Wales has warned that timescales for appeals against food hygiene ratings and for the display and publication of ratings risk significant delays before the information is available to consumers. There are also concerns about the knock-on effect timescales for appeals and publication of ratings will have on the display of ratings on the [...]

read more

Consumer Focus Post (Northern Ireland) News

Consumer Focus Post response to Royal Mail price announcement

Published: 1 March 2013

Kellin McCloskey, Head of Postal Policy of Consumer Focus Post said: “Posting letters and parcels is an essential service and consumers are looking much harder at value for money and quality of service, even on the price of a stamp. “This year’s freeze on stamp prices for letters, following the big rise last year, is [...]

read more

Consultation on the first Annual Plan for a new Regulated Industries Unit published

Published: 14 January 2013

Created as part of the wider Consumer Landscape reforms,1 the provisionally named Regulated Industries Unit (RIU) takes over Consumer Focus’ responsibilities as the statutory representative for consumers in energy, postal services and for water in Scotland. It will also be a voice on many of the issues that are common to markets subject to economic [...]

read more

Think ahead to avoid Christmas post panic urges consumer watchdog

Published: 30 November 2012

Consumer Focus Post is urging people to avoid possible disappointment this Christmas by posting cards and presents and ordering online shopping early. New research1 by Consumer Focus Post reveals that last Christmas: almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of people did not know the last posting dates for items to arrive on time approximately 90,0002 people [...]

read more

Post Office wins the DVLA contract

Published: 13 November 2012

Responding to the news that the Post Office has won the DVLA contract, Kellin McCloskey, Head of Postal Policy of Consumer Focus Post said: ‘This is a win-win decision for consumers and the Post Office. Winning the DVLA contract will help to secure the sustainability of the Post Office’s network and maintain the service customers [...]

read more

Ofcom allows Royal Mail’s ‘delivery to neighbour’ scheme to go ahead

Published: 27 September 2012

Welcoming Ofcom’s decision to allow Royal Mail to roll-out its ‘delivery to neighbours’ initiative nationwide, Kellin McCloskey, Head of Postal Policy at Consumer Focus Post said:  ‘This is good news for consumers. Missed deliveries are an increasing inconvenience for many people and giving postmen the option to leave undeliverable post with a neighbour is one [...]

read more