Citizens Advice Scotland has responded to the publication of a report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee which highlights deficiencies in consumer regulations.
Responding to the report, CAS Chief Executive Derek Mitchell said,
“This very welcome report tells us what we have known for some time: namely that consumer regulators need to do more to put the consumer at the very heart of their work.
“Scotland’s Citizens Advice network sees hundreds of thousands of cases every year, many of which are about consumers who feel they have been treated badly by a service or trader they should be able to rely on. We stand as the voice of consumers across all sectors.
“In particular, we see many cases where people who are vulnerable and on low incomes find it hard to access essential services as well as difficulties accessing the best deals, and confusing or often incomprehensible bills. That has to change.
“Citizens Advice Scotland have long campaigned on seven basic consumer principles that should be mainstreamed into all organisations which offer services to the public, and we believe all regulators should accept these as well. We want regulators to see this report as a wake-up call that spurs them into working together to provide the best possible outcomes for consumers.”
Citizens Advice Scotland’s 7 Consumer Principles
Access - can people get the goods and services they want or need?
Choice - is there any?
Safety - are the goods or services dangerous to health or welfare?
Information - is it available, accurate and useful?
Fairness - are some or all consumers unfairly discriminated against?
Representation - do consumers have a say in how goods or services are provided?
Redress - if things go wrong, is there a system for putting them right?
Notes to editors:
The PAC report can be read at https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmpubacc/1752/1752.pdf
(NB Though its front page says it was printed on 1 July, it has in fact been published today, 12 July).