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CAB - Dramatic increase in people getting online help with consumer issues

Citizens Advice highlights how almost three times as many people got online help with consumer problems in 2013 compared to 2012. Today the Ombudsman Services reveals while more people than ever are likely to take action, 40 million people didn’t do anything about consumer problems they had in the last year as they felt that complaining wouldn’t be worthwhile.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of national charity Citizens Advice, said:

“People are wasting time and losing money when products they buy or services they take out aren’t up to scratch. When a purchase goes wrong, people should be able to rely on businesses to act quickly and fix the problem.

“It is good that people are more likely than ever to take a stand, but we want anyone who has been left out of pocket by shoddy goods or services to feel confident that they can complain about the problem and get things sorted out.

“Citizens Advice helps with one million consumer problems a year and there has also been a dramatic increase in the number of people getting online help about consumer problems. Last year almost three times as many people got consumer advice online through Adviceguide.org.uk, compared to 2012.

“But too often consumers are left struggling to get problems resolved. The Consumer Bill of Rights, which entered Parliament last week, should help to simplify consumer law, making it clear what consumers can expect and stopping unscrupulous companies from shirking their responsibilities.”

Anyone who has a consumer problem and needs advice can contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 or 08454 04 05 05 for Welsh language line.

Citizens Advice

Notes to editors

  1. This year the Citizens Advice service celebrates its 75th anniversary. We’ve planned a year of activity running from January to December 2014.  Contact the press office to find out more.
  2. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  3. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  4. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at www.adviceguide.org.uk
  5. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 or 08454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  6. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.6 million problems from April 2012 to March 2013. For full 2012/2013 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  7. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 22,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.

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