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Found 13 results

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/03/britain-world-beater-ripping-off-citizens-rail-fares-water-energy-bills British Gas increases its electricity prices will rise by 12.5%, starting next month. Just as the cold nights start drawing in despite the competition watchdog judged last year that British Gas and other energy giants were taking well over a billion pounds a year through “excessive prices” Thames Water divvied up £1.6bn in dividends to its small circle of shareholders Hinkley Point, at an estimated cost to British households of £30bn taxpayers still pay £12,000 a day for shut down pfi schools Tories currently trying to stealth sell off to the private sector for just 50 Million quid part of the NHS that SAVES the NHS 70 million pounds a year "These are all examples of the public losing control – over our bills, over our taxes, over our water and trains and schools. Will freeing ourselves of the shackles of the European court of justice or EU state aid rules or any other Brexiteer hobbyhorse allow us to “take back control”? On the basics that govern our lives we have lost sovereignty. Brussels didn’t sell us down the river: Thatcher, Blair and Cameron did."
  2. Bought a car: - made in 2010 - 89,000 miles - Ad said: "car is mechanically excellent" - Paid GBP 2900 with debit card - Trade seller After 200 miles, car broke down (engine noisy, smoking and not going anywhere). Seller said I was driving the car with a problem, hence it's my fault. Called citizen's advice, got deferred to consumer helpline. They called today, saying: 1. The burden of proof is on ME 2. I need to take the car back and get an independent export report 3. I need to prove it is a "manufacturer's defect" All these 3 are totally contrary to what I have found via google. What in the name of Elvis is a "manufacturer's defect"? this is a 7 year old car! What to do? Bought car: 20 Jan 2017 Car broke down: 27 Jan 2017 Dealer picked up car for inspection: 2 Feb 2017
  3. My son bought a music book as a gift from a Music Store that is a small chain of shops operating in the midlands and north-west. It was a gift but the recipient unfortunately already had that item. He returned the product within five days unopened with a receipt in the original packaging and asked for a full refund, as the item was clearly re-saleable. To his astonishment and despair, the manager of the shop made him feel like a criminal by suggesting that he could have simply bought the book to photocopy the music and return it. No refund was offered, no exchange, no credit note, nothing. Citizens Advice suggested to him that he should try to sell the book on EBay!! They also stated that the shop had every right not to refund and that they could set whatever terms and conditions they wished. Trading Standards, who are extremely difficult to get hold of nowadays, eventually suggested that the shop was also within its rights and should my son require any direct help, he should contact ...... Citizens Advice Bureau!! Once upon a time, Citizens Advice Bureau were quite useful and of service - they used to employ people who were qualified to offer legal advice. Nowadays, unfortunately, they are mostly run by 11,000 volunteers who do little more than look on-line for advice. But don't be put off. Stand up for your Statutory Rights. Who ever heard of such nonsense coming from a shop? This shop also failed to adequately display its Refund Policy, dubious as it was stating that all refunds/exchanges can only be offered at the manager's discretion if returned within 7 days. Trading Standards interested in visiting this errant shop? Absolutely not. I don't suppose this had anything to do with it being in the Intu Centre and part of a chain? No doubt Trading Standards find it easier to tackle the Corner Shop or independent restaurant etc. Martin's Money Tips helped. My son took this shop to the Small Claims Court and quoted the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (which has recently been superceded by the Consumer Rights Act 2015). The shop has been ordered to refund my son in full and pay his expenses in taking this action. Bailiffs next if they don't pay up. How ridiculous refunding or exchanging an item retailing at only £10.95 has come to this. The local newspaper are aware of this story but have so far not put it in print. No doubt keeping an eye on their reliance for advertising from the Intu Centre. That is the way the world works, isn't it?
  4. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/if-people-voted-for-policies-the-green-party-would-win-the-next-election-9887199.html I didn't want to talk politics before the election... But today I have been wondering why more people (even most people) didn't vote for the green party? This article in The Independent states a survey of half a million people was taken and if people were voting on policies, then the green party comes first instead of fifth! I think scrapping all benefits and replacing it with Universal Automatic Citizens Income is nothing short of genius. I was dreaming of a world like this and it was good ha ha. Scrapping tuition fees, free pensions for all at current levels or better, free public transport, safe cycle lanes, policies on having clean, healthy air to breathe etc. etc. just seem practical and responsible to me?
  5. Letting agents’ fees should be banned to protect tenants in the private rental sector, a new Citizens Advice report has urged. New evidence uncovered by the charity reveals tenants are frequently ripped-off by fees often hidden by letting agents – to the tune of £337 on average. These charges come on top of advertised rent prices and deposits and in some cases can force people into debt, the charity says. The Still Let Down report says letting agents have refused to adopt measures that were supposed to bring transparency and competition to the market. Most agents charge for checking references, but costs range from as little as £6 to £300, according to the study. Renters can also be hit by charges ranging from between £15 to £300 for simply renewing their tenancies. Some agents charged £300 for credit checks that are widely available for £25. Even when moving out of a property, almost half of the 353 agencies polled by Citizens Advice said they charge an average ‘check out’ fee of £76. http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/pressoffice/press_index/press_20150327.htm Citizens Advice wants to gather evidence of bad letting agent's adverts such as the advert didn't include details of the fees, how much fees would be or being asked to pay fees not listed in the advert. You can report it here: https://citizensadvice1.wufoo.eu/forms/bad-letting-agent-ad-report-it/
  6. Action needed on the shady lenders who can take your car Aggressive behaviour, sexual harassment and death threats are just some of the brutish tactics logbook lenders used to intimidate customers, reveals new evidence from Citizens Advice. The charity exposes the murky world of logbook loans as it finds borrowers face high interest rates, ridiculous charging structures and bamboozling language. Citizens Advice analysed 261 client cases about logbook loans which were reported between February 2011 and January 2014. New voluntary practices for the industry were introduced in 2011 but Citizens Advice evidence suggests this code of conduct is being flouted. One in five people had had their car repossessed despite not being the original borrower. As it stands, cars sold with a logbook loan against them can be repossessed by the lender even though the new owner did not take out the loan. The car had been sold with the loan still attached to it and the new owner was completely unaware as the loans don’t have to be registered. Citizens Advice wants this practice to be reversed and is calling on the Financial Conduct Authority and Government to require lenders to get a court order before they can take away someone’s car and to stop repossessions of cars that have been sold on with loans. Logbook loans, or ‘bills of sale’ as they are known officially, are often taken out by people who find it difficult to get credit elsewhere as they’re able to secure the loan against their car. If the borrower struggles to keep up with repayments the car is taken away without any official process. http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/press_20140217
  7. New evidence from Citizens Advice finds 7 in 10 put under pressure to extend loan. Citizens Advice is urging the OFT to take tough and immediate action against payday lenders as new evidence reveals lenders are pressurising struggling borrowers to extend loans, lending to people under 18 and harassing people in debt. The new findings, from the Citizens Advice’s payday loan tracker and evidence from across the service, are revealed today, Tuesday 28 May, 12 weeks since the OFT launched its investigation into the payday lending industry. Citizens Advice found that 12 in 14 promises to treat customers fairly were broken. It also found 3 out of 4 people struggled to repay the loan (1,539 cases) with 84% saying lenders did not offer to freeze interest rates or charges, despite vowing to do so. Citizens Advice wants the OFT to use its powers to immediately ban payday lenders its investigation finds are causing harm to borrowers. An in depth analysis of 780 cases reported to the Citizens Advice consumer service between 26 November and 13 May revealed evidence of: Irresponsible lending: lending to under 18s, people with mental health issues and people who were drunk at the time. Inadequate checks on borrowers: chasing people for debts when the loan had actually be taken out by someone else using their identity. Taking more than owed: lenders taking more than they are owed then refusing to refund it. Draining bank accounts: misuse of Continuous Payment Authorities by persistently raiding bank accounts without any warning leaving no money to live on. Harassment: pestering people who are in debt and also hounding others at the same address in a bid to shame the borrower. Refusal to agree to repayment plans: not helping people who are struggling to repay by agreeing a reasonable repayment plan. During the same six month period 24,575 people sought online advice about payday loans from Citizens Advice. The Citizens Advice payday loan tracker studied customer feedback on 2,000 payday loans, from 113 different payday lenders, from 26 November 2012 to 17 May 2013. The tracker monitors whether lenders are abiding by their own customer charter. The study did find that lenders are being much clearer about how much loans will cost in total (79%). But major failings unveiled by the study include: 87% didn’t ask the borrower to provide documents to prove they can afford to repay the loan. 58% did not warn that a payday loan should not be used for long-term borrowing or to deal with money troubles. 84% of people who had repayment problems were not offered the chance to freeze interest and charges when they were struggling to pay it back. 7 in 10 (72%) actually put pressure on people struggling to repay to extend their loan. 83% did not highlight the risks of extending the loan to those already in difficulties with their payday loan. 95% did not check that borrowers with repayment problems could afford to pay back the loan if it was extended. Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said: “The payday loan industry is out of control and is acting as a law unto itself. It has showed a complete disregard for its customers. Many have been driven into debt by irresponsible lending and their debts ballooned as lenders put pressure on them to extend the loans. ”The OFT has an opportunity to wipe out the distress caused by this industry and make sure it is transformed into a responsible short-term credit market. It is vital that, following the investigation, the OFT takes swift action to protect consumers from the harm caused by these unscrupulous lenders.” Last month Citizens Advice called on high-street banks to offer personal micro-loans as a responsible alternative to a payday loan..... Read more from today Report: Citizens Advice exposes payday lenders’ failings as OFT closes in on unscrupulous lenders
  8. Read the full story http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22868820
  9. The Citizens Advice Bureau is calling on the Office for Fair Trading to immediately ban the payday lenders it says it has evidence of causing harm to borrowers. A six month investigation by Citizens Advice found evidence of a number of “unscrupulous” payday lender firms engaging in irresponsible lending, inadequate checks, harassment and refusals to agree on repayment plans. An analysis of 780 cases reported to Citizens Advice between November and May uncovered evidence of lending to people with mental health issues, people who were drunk at the time and borrowers under 18.CAB chief executive Gillian Guy says: “The payday loan industry is out of control and is acting as a law unto itself. It has showed a complete disregard for its customers. Many have been driven into debt by irresponsible lending and their debts ballooned as lenders put pressure on them to extend the loans.” The Citizens Advice payday loan tracker studied customer feedback on 2,000 payday loans, from 113 different payday lenders, from 26 November 2012 to 17 May 2013. The tracker monitors whether lenders are abiding by their own customer charter. The customer charter was introduced in July 2012, representing over 100 lenders and around 90 per cent of the total market. The aim was to improve background checks on applicants as well as improve their understanding of the potential borrowing terms. Seven in 10 borrowers, or 72 per cent, were found to have come under pressure to extend their loans while the investigation found evidence of lenders misusing Continuous Payment Authorities in order to extract money from bank account. The study found 95 per cent of lenders did not check that borrowers with repayment problems could afford to pay back the loan if it was extended. It uncovered evidence that 87 per cent of lenders did not ask the borrower to provide documents to prove they could afford to repay the loan, 95 per cent did not check borrowers with repayment problems could afford to pay back the loan if it was extended, and 54 per cent did not warn that a payday loan should not be used for long-term borrowing or to deal with money troubles. Additionally, 84 per cent of borrowers with repayment problems were not offered the chance to freeze interest and charges when they encountered repayment difficulties. During the same six month period 24,575 people sought online advice about payday loans from Citizens Advice Guy says: “The OFT has an opportunity to wipe out the distress caused by this industry and make sure it is transformed into a responsible short-term credit market. It is vital that, following the investigation, the OFT takes swift action to protect consumers from the harm caused by these unscrupulous lenders.” Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/citizens-advice-urges-action-on-out-of-control-payday-loan-industry/1071841.article
  10. Following the introduction of the Government Welfare Reforms last month Citizens Advice are seeing evidence of a huge increase in online enquiries from families struggling with council tax debts: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/05/24/bailiffs-council-tax-citizens-advice_n_3329872.html?utm_hp_ref=uk
  11. The Citizens Advice Bureau has slammed the payday loan industry after it found lenders had failed to conduct any financial checks in almost two-thirds of cases. The CAB has also accused the industry of failing to stick to its customer charter, which was published in November. The charter, which is voluntary, states payday lenders that sign up must offer clear information about loans, carry out sound affordability assessments and notify customers three days in advance of recovering payments. In a survey of 1,270 loans, the CAB found that no financial checks were made in 65 per cent of cases, leading to seven in 10 being unable to repay the loan. The loans were taken out between 26 November 2012 and 31 March. Of those borrowers who experienced repayment problems, 85 per cent say they were not given the option of freezing interest and charges when the borrower agreed repayments, 71 per cent of lenders did not explain how much it will cost to extend the loan and 84 per cent of borrowers did not feel they were treated sympathetically. During the same four-month period to the end of March, over 11,000 people sought online help from CAB about payday loans. CAB chief executive Gillian Guy says: “Payday lenders are not standing by their word to treat people fairly by checking they can actually afford the loans on offer. The knock-on affect of their irresponsible lending is devastating for families as they become consumed with debt. Many find they have no money to put food on the table, pay the bills or get to work as lenders drain their bank account in a bid to claw back the debt. “Payday lenders need to prove their charter is not just an empty gesture by making sure they check the loan is affordable and help those who struggle to pay back the loan.” Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/citizens-advice-slams-payday-lenders-for-failing-to-check-customers-can-afford-loans/1070709.article
  12. The Citizens Advice Bureau has called on the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to use its new powers to immediately suspend the licences of four payday lenders. From Tuesday of next week, the watchdog will have power to immediately suspend the consumer credit licence of companies to protect consumers.Evidence from across the Citizens Advice service shows that four payday lenders have been acting unfairly, exacerbating debt problems and causing distress. Problems uncovered include: firms levying inflated fees and charges; continuing to take money when debts have been paid off; obstructing customers from making repayments online or over the phone then charging late fees; harassment by repeated telephone calls, text messages and emails; chasing people for debts on loans when they didn’t apply for a loan in the first place; aggressive and abusive staff. Citizens Advice chief executive, Gillian Guy, comments: “Our evidence shows these lenders are behaving as a law unto themselves … people are worried sick as companies bombard them with texts, emails and phone calls often overstating their debt collection powers.” More: http://www.bankingtimes.co.uk/2013/02/16/citizens-advice-closes-in-on-payday-lenders/
  13. Payday loan company Wonga has teamed up with a local Citizens Advice Bureau to launch a financial education initiative. Wonga has teamed up with Medway Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to launch a personal finance research project. The project aims to encourage a better understanding of personal finance for the 250,00 people of the Medway area, with a focus on personal loan and credit card debt. According to the release announcing the initiative launch, the average unsecured personal debt level of a Medway inhabitant is £43,000, and Medway CAB recently dealt with a case where the client had 68 credit cards. The initiative will be made up of face to face and online surveys reviewing loan products including debit and credit cards, store cards and payday loans. Industry experts have questioned the partnership between Wonga and the CAB. The payday loan company has not always received positive press, recently come under fire for their high interest rate loans, and for targeting students. At the time, the Helena Kennedy Foundation, an education charity that provides financial support to poorer students, accused Wonga of exploiting hard-up students to promote its high-interest loans. The local Conservative MP, Tracey Crouch, who is chairing the inquiry, said: “Working in the insurance industry before my election to Parliament, I saw individual companies often partner Citizens Advice in research to increase understanding of an issue and work together to improve outcomes for customers. Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/9279369/Wonga-and-Citizens-Advice-launch-inquiry-into-loans.html
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