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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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.

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‘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 [...]

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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 [...]

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Households slash food budgets to keep warm this winter

Published: 17 December 2012

Households in Scotland reveal the real cost of high fuel bills Over 1 in 10 (12%) households in Scotland say they are cutting back on food shopping due to high fuel bills. In a major survey of over 1000 households across Scotland, watchdog Consumer Focus Scotland has found over 1 in 3 (35%) also worry [...]

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Better help needed to face up to legal problems: Watchdog calls for wider support to help people deal with legal issues

Published: 13 December 2012

People in Scotland need better help to face up to legal problems including disputes with neighbours, employers and retailers. New evidence from watchdog Consumer Focus Scotland published today suggests that when faced with problems with legal implications people often become so worried that they try to get away from the problem, for example moving house [...]

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Consumer Focus Scotland response to E.ON price rise

Published: 10 December 2012

Consumer Focus Scotland response to E.ON price rise Responding to E.ON’s price rise of 7.7% for electricity, 9.4% for gas and 8.7% for dual fuel announced today: Trisha McAuley, Deputy Director at watchdog Consumer Focus Scotland, said:  “E.ON is the last major energy supplier to announce winter price rises. While this announcement may not be [...]

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Drive to make online Christmas shopping easier – Parcel Summit takes place in Inverness to get customers a fair deal

Published: 23 November 2012

A summit is taking place today on creating parcel delivery services for the 21st century which work for customers and businesses. Chaired by Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing, it will bring some of Scotland’s biggest parcel deliver operators and retailers such as TESCO, Royal Mail and Parcel Force around the table for the first time to [...]

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Watchdog response to energy tariff reforms

Published: 20 November 2012

Responding to the Government’s proposed energy tariff reforms, Trisha McAuley, Deputy Director at watchdog Consumer Focus Scotland, said: “A decade of competition in energy supply has struggled to deliver a market that serves the interests of most energy consumers. “What really matters is that consumers in Scotland have access to energy at an affordable price [...]

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Lack of confidence on energy costs, pricing and profits is deepening customer distrust

Published: 14 November 2012

Responding to SSE’s half-year profits announced today, Trisha McAuley, Deputy Director of Consumer Focus Scotland, said: ‘The furore over wholesale costs, energy pricing and company profits has deepened consumer distrust in the energy industry. ‘Energy companies need to make profit so they can invest in our energy infrastructure. But if confidence is to be rebuilt [...]

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Consumer Focus Scotland response to Post Office DVLA contract win

Published: 13 November 2012

For immediate release Tuesday 13 November 2012 Responding to the news that the Post Office has won the DVLA contract, Trisha McAuley, Deputy Director of Consumer Focus Scotland, 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 [...]

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Consumer Focus Scotland response to allegations of gas price-fixing in the wholesale energy market

Published: 13 November 2012

Responding to allegations of gas price-fixing in the wholesale energy market, Trisha McAuley, Deputy Director of Consumer Focus Scotland, said: ‘Reports that traders have routinely manipulated the wholesale gas market must be immediately and vigorously investigated. ‘That investigation must establish whether such manipulation has taken place, whether it was a single incident, whether, as reported, [...]

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Double-digit price rise from EDF Energy adds to consumer energy concerns

Published: 26 October 2012

Responding to EDF Energy’s price rise of 10.8 per cent on gas and electricity announced today, Trisha McAuley, Deputy Director at Consumer Focus Scotland, said: ‘The latest energy price rise will leave even more customers worried about their energy bills. EDF Energy’s tariffs will still be slightly cheaper on average than other suppliers who have [...]

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Consumers should feel the benefit from Ofgem market reforms

Published: 19 October 2012

Responding to Ofgem’s final Retail Market Reform proposals published today, Trisha McAuley, Deputy Director at Consumer Focus Scotland, said: ‘This is a positive package of measures which should help to make the energy market clearer and simpler for people in Scotland. Particularly welcome are proposals which could cut  the number of available tariffs by half. Ofgem [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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. [...]

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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, [...]

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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.

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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