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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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: 22 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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Protect mobile home owners from rogue site operators

Published: 16 October 2012

Consumer Focus Wales has uncovered stories of unscrupulous and intimidating behaviour by some park home site operators which has led to residents being left thousands of pounds out of pocket. In its report Park Life the watchdog spoke to hundreds of mobile home residents, consulted with industry, and surveyed every local authority in Wales to [...]

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Calls for consumers to cut costs of winter heating oil

Published: 26 September 2012

Consumer Focus Wales is urging people who use domestic heating oil to keep their bills under control to save money and buy now before prices increase during the winter. Fuel poverty affects one in every three homes in Wales and over two-fifths of people living in off-gas properties. Lindsey Kearton, policy manager at Consumer Focus [...]

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10 things you didn’t know you’re entitled to from your energy firm

Published: 10 September 2012

Consumer Focus Wales and Energy UK are urging consumers to find out what extras they may be entitled to from their energy firm, and look into how they might be able to get a better deal and save money off their bills. The call comes as new research from Consumer Focus Wales shows that when [...]

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Latest fuel debt research shows Welsh struggling to pay energy bills

Published: 22 August 2012

More than 70 per cent of consumers in Wales are worried about future energy price rises as more people admit they are struggling to pay their bills.  Latest research into fuel debt by Consumer Focus Wales showed that a third of people said energy bills are more of a worry than a few years ago. [...]

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Private rented sector needs to be more house-proud

Published: 16 August 2012

Poor quality housing, unclear letting agent fees and little information about landlords are some of the problems facing people who live in privately rented homes, research by Consumer Focus Wales shows.  A significant number of tenants who took part in the research on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Their House, Your Home, complained about the [...]

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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 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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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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