Consumer policy research
We are now all consumers acting in a number of different markets, but too often the way these markets are set up does not encourage us make good purchasing decisions. This means we often spend more than we should on products and services, accept shoddy goods and don’t even get redress when we do complain.
While the costs of these problems amount to tens of billions of pounds every single year, they are not given close to the same prominence in debate as taxes, benefits or wages. Our research highlights the importance of consumer policy and looks at the root causes of why consumers so often struggle to get a good deal.
A big problem is that too many consumer policies are predicated on unrealistic assumptions about how people really behave. This could be the idea that more information will lead to better decisions, or the idea that people have the time to make complex calculations about which products are best for them. We see firms exploit this in order to encourage people to make poor decisions. Rather than just expecting consumers to change, we need to use insights from behavioural economics to design markets that work for real people.
Find out more about what our Consumer and Public Services policy team is working on.
We are consulting on our annual consumer work plan for 2021/22. Please provide any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 12 February 2021.
Our initial submission to the CMA for the Ofwat Price Determinations Appeal.
- Broadband must be made affordable for everyone
- Consultation: The Citizens Advice Draft Consumer Work Plan 2021/22
- Getting support to those who need it: How to improve consumer support in essential services
- The loyalty penalty in essential markets - two years since the super-complaint
- Review of supply side remedies - the role of supply side remedies in improving consumer outcomes
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- Fair treatment and easier switching for broadband and mobile customers - Citizens Advice response
- Protecting vulnerable consumers in the telecoms sector: Citizens Advice response to Ofcom’s proposed guide for treating vulnerable consumers fairly
- Trialling consumer remedies
- General insurance pricing practices - Citizens Advice response to the FCA’s interim report
- Helping consumers to get better deals in communications markets: mobile handsets
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This work plan describes the activities Citizens Advice will carry out to represent consumers in 2020/21.