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Publications

  1. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland provided evidence to HM Treasury's pre-paid funeral plans: call for evidence. We focused on the importance of ensuring consumers were both fully informed and protected from harm.

  2. Kristin Hartman
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland conducted research into the use of postal services by Scottish SMEs - looking specifically at whether they have access to a meaningful choice of postal products, services and providers. We also wanted to find out if the current postal market is meeting the needs of Scottish SMEs or if any changes are required to improve the products and services available to these consumers.  

  3. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland responded to Financial Conduct Authority's Discussion Paper on Rent to Own, answering questions about 'What alternative solutions could there be to address harm from high prices?' and 'What issues should the Financial Conduct Authority should take into account in carrying out further work on a price‑cap'

    Spotlight:
  4. Modernising Consumer Markets
    Gail Walker
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    CAS welcomes the Consumer Green Paper and a stronger push by the UK government for greater simplicity, transparency and fairness for those that purchase and use goods and services.

  5. Nina Ballantyne
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    We all use energy, post and water services and Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is the independent advocate for consumers’ interests in these sectors. We work with governments, regulators and business to put consumers first, designing policy and practice around their needs and aspirations.

  6. Publication date:
    June 2018

    This report contains the findings from research on Consumer Confidence and Understanding, conducted by Ipsos MORI, on behalf of Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

    The research comprised a survey of 1,004 consumers in Scotland (aged 16 and over), carried out between 7 and 20 March 2016. The specific issues covered were: experience of consumer problems and complaints; awareness and expectations of consumer organisations; awareness and perceptions of CAS; and experiences of using CAS services.

    Spotlight:
  7. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland welcomed the opportunity to respond to this consultation concerning competition and transparency in the provision of funerals and crematoria market power. 

  8. Craig Salter
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Today the Consumer Futures Unit (CFU) at Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is publishing its insight report 'Speaking up: Understanding Fuel Poverty Support Needs' alongside a briefing sheet.

    The insight report is based on research carried out in 2017 by Ipsos Mori and Bill Sheldrick. The CFU commissioned the research to explore the characteristics of fuel poor households that may be in the greatest need of support, and the types of support that would benefit them most.  The research included secondary analysis of Scottish Household Survey data as well as qualitative interviews with fuel poor households.

  9. Nina Ballantyne
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Scotland’s independent consumer advocate has pledged to put consumers first in the regulated industries of energy, water and post. The Consumer Futures Unit of Citizens Advice Scotland has outlined its priorities in its work plan for 2018-19.

  10. Publication date:
    June 2018

    An important aspect of access to justice for consumers is to be able to access redress when something goes wrong, and that this redress should be easy to access, free and independent.

    Spotlight:
  11. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    May 2018

    This report raises issues around the extent of consumers who would be unable to afford household goods, as well as a lack of awareness of consumers of different affordable options that are available to them. This research therefore expanded to look at the wider issues of the affordability of household goods and the different options in accessing them, as well as focusing on the rent-to-own sector.

    This research also explore the consumers experience of the rent-to-own sector as CAB research and evidence had suggested that this was a growing area of consumer concern. The research found positive and negative aspects of the sector and makes recommendations for future change.

     

     

    Spotlight:
  12. What consumers in rural and remote areas want from Post Office Outreach services
    Nina Ballantyne
    Publication date:
    May 2018

    The Consumer Futures Unit at Citizens Advice Scotland carried out innovative deliberative research into what aspects of the Post Office Ltd Outreach network were most important to consumers in remote and rural areas, and why.

  13. Jana Eyssel
    Publication date:
    March 2018

    The Consumer Futures Unit has provided feedback on the proposed Revision of the European Commission's Drinking Water Directive (Recast 2017).

  14. Findings from the Citizens Advice Scotland bus users survey
    Publication date:
    March 2018

    CAS has explored the experience of bus passengers over the past few years. In 2016, we undertook our first first bus users' survey which looked at transport issues in rural areas, and led to our Round the Bend report. 

    Following this, we wanted to explore what bus passengers want which led us to undertake a public survey, asking consumers what aspects of their bus services they are satisfied with and what they are unsatisfied with. CAS also asked what issues were most important to consumers in relation to buses.  This report analyses this 'Your Bus, Your Say' survey which was completed in 2017.

    Responses

    > 4,677 survey responses in total
    > Received the highest number of responses from Glasgow City
    > Over a quarter of respondents travelled by bus at least 5 times or more per week

    Satisfaction

    > 68% of respondents were generally satisfied with the cleanliness/condition of their local bus
    > 76% of respondents were generally satisfied with feeling safe on their local bus service
    > 71% of respondents were generally satisfied with driver behaviour on their local bus service

    Dissatisfaction

    > 64% of respondents were generally dissatisfied with the service frequency of their local bus
    > 72% of respondents were generally dissatisfied with providing feedback to their local bus service
    > 67% of respondents were generally dissatisfied with getting help from their local bus service

    Top three most important issues to bus users

    > Service frequency - 72%
    > Punctuality - 59%
    > Value for money -39%

    Travel

    > 16% of respondents could not reach their GP surgery or hospital by bus
    > 13% of respondents could not reach their workplace by bus
    > Only 5% of respondents never travel by bus
    > Whereas 46% travelled 3 or more times per week

    Spotlight:
  15. Jana Eyssel
    Publication date:
    February 2018

    The Consumer Futures Unit has responded to the European Commission’s consultation on how risks arising from pharmaceuticals in the environment should be addressed.

  16. Marcus Wilson
    Publication date:
    February 2018

    It is an appropriate time for the Scottish Government to be considering and consulting on Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies and the regulation of district heating. Both Scottish and UK Governments expect growth in the number of district heating schemes and for the technology to play a significant part in the decarbonisation process.

    Overall, there is a growing body of evidence of consumer detriment when district heating protections are not consistent, and strengthening protections now should forestall wider negative experiences as the sector grows.

    Recent CFU research highlighted the pressing need for, and possibility of, consumer protection in a Scottish context, which is set out in the response below. 

  17. Gail Walker
    Publication date:
    February 2018

    The Consumer Futures Unit launches a new water report today. Deliberative research was used to get a deeper understanding of consumers’ views on two important aspects of water policy: service standards across urban and rural areas, and how consumers relate to water and the environment.

    Findings from the research supported stronger engagement between Scotland’s water industry and those that use its services, and that involving consumers in the design and delivery of water and sewerage services is more likely to result in mutual benefits for both the industry and those that use its services.

    The report found that consumers are strong supporters of water and environmental protection and conservation, however they need more help to understand how their behaviour in terms of appropriate disposal of household waste can and will protect both Scottish Water’s assets, and the environment. Moving consumers from being largely disengaged users of water services, to willing and informed partners, will require insight and creativity. The challenge for the water industry and government is to bring this about.

  18. Consumer Futures Unit
    Publication date:
    February 2018

    The Consumer Futures Unit (CFU)'s report Leading By Example sets out the mechanisms that are used by 40 regulators and service providers within the regulated industries of energy, water and post to develop consumer-focused policy and practice. 

    The CFU uses seven consumer principles to evaluate policy and practice from a consumer perspective, and encourages other organisations to use them as a tool to support the design of regulation, policy and practice.  The principles seek to move organisations from thinking about consumers, to thinking like consumers.

  19. Consumer Futures Unit Response
    Craig Salter
    Publication date:
    February 2018
  20. Stephen Dunlop
    Publication date:
    January 2018

    Following a non-domestic water industry event in 2015, during which stakeholders recognised the need for an industry Code of Practice, the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) established an industry-led Working Group which was tasked with developing a Code for the licensed providers in the Scottish market. The CFU consider that the Code of Practice has the potential to deliver improved outcomes for non-domestic consumers – businesses, charities and public sector bodies in Scotland – in terms of service delivery and to act as a driver for greater protections for non-domestic consumers against poor practice.

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