This report examines trends in the kinds of issues on which consumers in Scotland sought advice from the Citizens Advice Service in the first quarter of 2013/14.
Between 1st April and 30th June 2013 the Citizens Advice Service helped consumers in Scotland with 50,149 consumer issues. That’s 808 consumer issues for every working day.
Over a quarter of these were addressed by the Citizens Advice consumer service, handling 13,868 issues, including 1110 about energy or post. Scottish citizens advice bureaux helped consumers with 36,281 consumer issues, covering topics as diverse as payday loans and car maintenance. Consumer issues account for almost a third of all the issues handled in bureaux.
Compared with the same time period in 2012, there was a 6.4% increase in the number of Scottish consumer issues handled by the whole Citizens Advice Service – an extra 49 issues per working day.
The biggest increases between 2012 and 2013 were; Calls about central heating issues grew by 61% and energy issues grew by 33%. The number of calls about mobile phone contracts also grew by 39%. In the bureaux, there was an 87% increase in the number of enquiries about support with energy bills. Enquiries about switching energy supplier grew by 41% and issues around parking charges were up 42%.
The largest decreases over the year were; In bureaux, issues around payment protection fell by 31%, whilst problems with furniture and flooring fell by 28%. Calls to the consumer service on leather furniture and beds and mattresses fell by 27% and 25% respectively and calls about landlines fell by 24% over the year.
For more information on the report please contact Sarah Beattie-Smith.