This report provides a snapshot of the issues that are affecting consumers in Scotland, examining both national and local trends. This is based on data provided by citizens advice bureaux in Scotland and data from the Citizens Advice consumer service.
Between them, Scotland’s 61 local CABs and the service’s special consumer helpline saw a total of 289,000 consumer issues in 2013/14. This is in addition to hundreds of thousands of enquiries seen by the Scottish CAB service as a whole, but shows how much of the work of the service is now devoted to consumer advice.
The report identifies the top 5 consumer issues as:
- Unsecured credit - 34,600
- Credit card debts - 32,627
- Bank accounts – 19,133
- Energy – 17,176
- Private rented housing - 15,976
The report also shows the issues that have increased compared to the previous year. The 5 biggest increases were:
- Domestic fuel +79%
- Tobacco +59%
- Parking issues +52%
- Private sales & internet auctions +49%
- Toiletries +39%
The report also shows regional trends within Scotland. e.g. Moray was the area which saw the highest number of consumer issues overall (per head), while Shetland saw the most calls on computing services, while West Lothian saw the highest number on Used Cars and North Lanarkshire on furniture.