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Government should extend collective consumer action powers

29 January 2013

Citizens Advice welcomes the Government's plans for collective legal action and calls for it to be extended to other areas of poor business practice.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

"This is a step in the right direction to put power in the hands of consumers and help fair and honest businesses thrive but it could go further to tackle the range of consumer problems. We’d like the Government to extend these plans so more consumers can benefit.

"As it stands, consumers could collectively get compensation if the broadband industry was found to have fixed prices but anyone who had been mis-sold internet deals would have to challenge the companies individually.

"Collective action for other rip offs like unnecessary or excessive fines from private car parks, gym offers that don’t add up or voucher websites with dodgy terms and conditions would give greater strength to consumers and support fair business."

Citizens Advice

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we helppeople resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more information in England and Wales see www.citizensadvice.org.uk
  2. 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. For online advice and information see www.adviceguide.org.uk  
  3. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.9 million problems from April 2011 to March 2012.
  4. Out of 22 national charities, the Citizens Advice service is ranked by the general public as being the most helpful, approachable, professional, informative, effective / cost effective, reputable and accountable (nfpSynergy’s Brand Attributes survey, May 2010).
  5. Most Citizens Advice service staff are trained volunteers, working at around 3,500 service outlets across England and Wales.