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New report shows increase in consumer complaints

10 Feb 2014

Citizens Advice Scotland have welcomed news that that more people are complaining about poor customer services. e.g. in areas like energy, retail, internet and transport. 

The British Ombudsman Service has published figures today (Monday 10th February) showing that 38million consumers across Britain last year made a complaint about a service or product. This amounts to a complaint every 1.2 seconds.

The Ombudsman Services’ press release is appended in full below.   

Responding, CAS Chief Executive Margaret Lynch says people should assert their rights as consumers and that the CAB service is here to help them. She says, 

“This report has got to be disappointing for companies in the energy, retail and internet sectors. Over a third of British consumers think that big business is only interested in profit and cares little for customer satisfaction. This is a damning indictment. It is no wonder public confidence is so low when prices are rising substantially, even when profits are soaring for some of the companies involved. 

“These sectors have a real job to do to improve their practices in customer service and satisfaction before their reputation is damaged beyond repair. 

“The positive side of this research is that it seems people are becoming more willing to stand up and assert their rights as consumers. This is encouraging, and although the report also finds some people are still reluctant to complain about poor service, we would urge them to join the trend of those who do, because this is the only sure way to secure change. 

“Consumers have power. And our experience in the CAB service is that when people do fight for their rights, they’re not only helping to get justice for themselves but are also forcing the offending companies or services to change their ways and offer a better deal to others as well.

 “So the Scottish CAB service is always keen to help consumers make a complaint. If you have been ripped off or scammed in any way, don’t just shrug your shoulders or seethe in private. Come and talk to us. Our trained expert advisers will give you free, impartial and confidential advice on what your rights are and how to go about getting re-dress. We also have a special consumer adviceline now as well: call 03454 04 05 06.” 

The CAB service has always helped people with consumer complaints, but in the last few years we have taken on a number of new responsibilities and we are becoming one of the leading consumer agencies in the country.

The Ombudsman Service’s press release is appended in full below.


Note on Transfer of Consumer Responsibilities

In April 2014 the UK Government will transfer responsibility for speaking out for consumers across post, energy and, in Scotland, water to Citizens Advice Scotland and Citizens Advice (England and Wales). Citizens Advice Scotland will also take on a Great Britain-wide helpline for complex energy or post complaints. Both of these are currently the responsibility of an organisation called Consumer Futures, which will be absorbed into the Citizens Advice service. This is the last in a series of Government reforms to make it easier for consumers to know where to turn for help, and ensure they have an effective champion. We've already beefed up our role in representing consumers across other issues like payday loans, and now provide an advice service for people with consumer problems which can be accessed via 03454 04 05 06 or 

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