Selected stories from national Citizens Advice and us.
Blog post from Citizens Advice: When we first started running the Witness Service in 2015 the number of defence witnesses we supported was very low and many of the defence community I spoke to either didn’t know about our service or thought that we were a prosecution only service. Now, 2 years later, we’re supporting almost 400 a month and have increased the numbers of defence witnesses who are referred to us for pre-trial support.
A gentleman has called in to say he was cold called by a woman saying she was from Citizens Advice, and that she had been given all his debt details, and would be able to manage his debts for him. The woman spoke very poor English, and was unable to clarify anything about Citizens Advice.
It sounded like a busy foreign call centre. The number generating the call was a mobile. We called this number to test it, and it does not exist. It would appear this person is pretending to be Citizens Advice to get people to take their services for Debt work.
Citizens Advice will not cold call you.
Blog from Citizens Advice: Theresa May has proposed that company boards should include consumers (and workers). While there has been a lot of discussion in recent days about how this might be enacted in reality, the Prime Minister reaffirmed her commitment to the concept of accountability at PMQs on 23rd November.
There are a number of things we need to consider if we want this proposal to actually happen. This includes looking at other ways we can strengthen consumer voices at companies.
Blog from Citizens Advice: The Winter Resilience project was set up by Citizens Advice in response to guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on tackling winter mortality and ill health due to cold homes.
This recommends that local Health and Wellbeing Boards commission 'single point of contact' housing and health referral services.
We think local Citizens Advice are well placed to deliver these referral services and over the last couple of months 8 local Citizens Advice have taken part in an innovation programme to design and test services tailored for their local areas. Pilots have just gone live and Kate Ashman from Citizens Advice Manchester talks about their experience so far:
Blog from Citizens Advice: Have you ever had a problem with a faulty product, mobile bill shock or holidays abroad?
You are not alone; each year 1.4 million people come to Citizens Advice with consumer problems, ranging from complaints about poor standards or faulty products, disputes over billing, problems with returns, misleading claims, unfair contract terms, cancellation rights and so on.
Luckily, we can help many to resolve their problems thanks to the existence of consumer rights which make sure that people are treated fairly and protected when things go wrong.
Blog from Citizens Advice: This week is International Week of the Deaf (IWD) - a perfect opportunity to talk about the benefits of vlogging when it comes to connecting with British Sign Language (BSL) users.
Not familiar with the term vlog? Just as the word 'blog' is short for 'web log', vlog is short for video log, and the similarities between the two don't end there. In terms of content, vlogging is a lot like blogging, only instead of posting a blog in a written language, you post a video and talk, sing, perform, or rant away. What's less known is how valuable a Vlog can be in communicating with the Deaf community.
Blog post from Citizens Advice: Online shopping has become more popular over the past few years. In April 2016 alone, UK consumers spent £12.6 billion online using credit and debit cards. Although very convenient it it not without risks - online fraud in the UK totalled £261.5 million in 2015.
Earlier this year Citizens Advice published "Locked in" on one kind of online scam, subscription traps. In this article I will explain what a subscription trap is, how you can protect yourself and what to do if you become a victim.