Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook

A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

Includes energy companies, mobile phone providers, retailers, banks, insurance companies,debt collection agencies, reclaim companies, secondhand car sellers, cowboy garages, cowboy builders and all the rest who put their own profits before you.


Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide

An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)

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  1. #1
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    Default Survey of good / bad advice by Legal Action Group have this survey on their front page:
    Online Surveys | Zoomerang
    Their axe to grind is about law-centre funding and access to justice.

    Mine is that large trades unions are often just claims management agencies for no-win no-fee lawyers, worse than useless in complex cases and getting-away with business practices which are probably illegal but which members are too tired and skint to sue them for after being let-down. I hope one or two other ripped-off union members fill-in the survey.

    (if you google "" you'll see why some people are cross with unions - I don't mean to start a thread with this and repeat what's been said in others, just to publicise someone's survey)

    Replies on paper are welcome at
    Legal Action Group, FREEPOST LON 6469, London, N1 9BR

    Survey on availability of advice
    Legal Action Group and the Access to Justice Alliance have designed this survey to find out how easy it is for members of the public to get advice. We do not give legal advice. We are interested in knowing about the experiences you have had in the last year. We are conducting this survey so that we can better influence Government policy on providing funding for advice services. This questionnaire is short and it is likely that only one or two sections will apply to you. In using the information you give us, we will not use your name or any details that might identify you to a third party.

    Filling in the questionnaire
    Please answer all questions in Sections A and B as fully as you can. Section C (Contact details) is optional and you do not have to complete this if you do not want to do so. You can complete the survey online

    Thank you for completing the survey
    Please now return it to: Legal Action Group, FREEPOST LON 6469, London N1 9BR

    Section A – Your experiences
    1. If you had a problem in the past year about your rights, please tell us what it was about. If you had more than one problem, please tell us about the most recent problem.

    • Consumer
    • Neighbours
    • Money/debt
    • Employment
    • Personal injury
    • Housing
    • Welfare benefits
    • Relationship breakdown
    • divorceicon
    • Children
    • Clinical negligence
    • Domestic violence
    • Discrimination
    • Unfair treatment by police
    • Homelessness
    • Mental health
    • Immigration
    • Community care
    • Other (please specify)

    2. Did you try to get advice on your rights about this problem? Yes No (please go to Question 19)

    3. Did you try to get this advice:
    Over the telephone In person In another way (please specify)

    4. If you tried to get advice, were you successful? Yes No
    If no, why was this?

    5. If you did get advice, did it help you to deal with the problem? Yes No

    6. When did you last try to get advice about this problem?

    Within the last month
    One to two months ago
    Two to three months ago
    More than three months ago
    If it was more than three months ago, when was it?

    7. How many organisations did you approach when trying to get advice?
    One Two Three or more

    8. Which was the last organisation you approached?

    A Citizens Advice Bureau
    Another advice agency
    A Law Centre
    A firm of solicitors
    Other (please specify)

    9. Did you get to see somebody? Yes No

    10. Was the person you saw:

    An adviser
    A solicitor
    A trainee solicitor
    A barrister
    A receptionist, secretary or adminicon worker
    Don’t know

    11. Did they give you some advice about your rights? Yes No

    12. Did they help you further – by writing letters on your behalf, taking on your case, or representing you?
    Yes No

    13. Did they do everything you wanted them to do?
    Yes No Please explain

    14. Did they help you to resolve the problem to your satisfaction? Yes No

    15. If not, why do you think the adviser was unable to resolve the problem to your satisfaction?

    16. How, if at all, did you pay for the legal advice you received?

    • I went to an advice agency that gives free advice
    • I paid for all the advice myself
    • The advice was covered in full by the legal aid scheme
    • I paid for part of the advice – the rest was covered by legal aid
    • The advice was provided through a trade union or insurance company scheme
    • I had a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement
    • Other (please specify)

    17. Would you recommend the organisation to a friend who had a similar problem?
    Yes No If not, why not?

    18. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your case and how it was dealt with?

    Section B – Background
    19. Which of these age groups do you belong to?

    • Under 17
    • 17-24
    • 25-34
    • 35-49
    • 50-64
    • 65 or over

    20. What is your gender? Male Female

    21. Do you have any long-term illness, health problem or disability that limits your daily activities or the work you can do?
    Yes No If yes, you have the option to provide details.

    22. What is your ethnic group?

    • White
    • Indian
    • Pakistani/ Bangladeshi
    • Chinese
    • Black Caribbean
    • Black African
    • Mixed
    • Other ethnic group, please specify

    23. What is your employment status?

    Employed full time (30 hours or more per week)
    Employed part time (8 – 29 hours per week)
    Not working (less than 8 hours per week)

    24. Can we quote your comments in this survey to support our campaign, provided that we do not use your name or any details that might identify you to a third party?
    Yes No

    25. Would you be happy for us to contact you to discuss your answers further?
    Yes No

    Section C - Contact details (optional)
    26. Please provide your contact details below. Please note we will not pass on your details to anyone outside of Legal Action Group or the Access to Justice Alliance or use these for any purpose other than those specified without your permission.
    Telephone Email
    Legal Action Group (LAG) is a national charity committed to improving access to justice, particularly for the vulnerable and socially excluded. We believe that equal access to justice is a fundamental democratic right. We believe that access to proper legal advice is essential to enable people to obtain access to justice.

    The Access to Justice Alliance (AJA) is supported by community groups, national charities, lawyers, advisers and others who feel strongly that justice should remain accessible to all. We believe that the funding crisis facing legal aid cannot be ignored any longer.

    Similar Threads:

  2. #2

    Default Re: Survey of good / bad advice by Legal Action Group

    Quote Originally Posted by mortlake View Post
    Mine is that large trades unions are often just claims management agencies for no-win no-fee lawyers, worse than useless in complex cases and getting-away with business practices which are probably illegal but which members are too tired and skint to sue them for after being let-down. I hope one or two other ripped-off union members fill-in the survey.
    I know you didn't want to start a thread with this, but a few years ago, I spent 3 years working for a solicitors firm that dealt almost exclusivley with employers liability claims (accidents at work) for one of the largest TU's (which i shall not name) in the country.

    I think in all, the TU's have more good points than bad, and agree that in an EL claim a union funded claimant is in a better position than one on a conditional fee agreement, however the unions have become incresingly aware of the value of their unique access to claimants and now view this as an increasingly valuable income stream i.e. by selling the claims to solicitors.

    No problem with this per se, but the union members i always dealt with had no idea this was happening. If it does happen it should be transparent to all what is going on. I don't work there anymore, and cannot be certain if anything has changed, but the transparency which helps keep everything objective and honest certainly did not exist with this Union, then.

    That said, to anyone at work with problems - Join a Union - together we're stronger!

    ......................... ......................... ....................
    Please post on a thread before sending a PM. My opinion's are not expressed as agent or representative of The Consumer Action Group. Always seek professional advice from a qualified legal adviser before acting. If I have helped you please feel free to click on the black star.

    I am sorry that work means I don't get into the Employment Forum as often as I would like these days, but nonetheless I'll try to pop in when I can.


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