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BIS Call for Evidence on Improving the consumer landscape and quicker switching

23 June 2016

Citizens Advice response to BIS Call for Evidence on Improving the consumer landscape and quicker switching [ 0.85 mb]

People do not think of themselves as energy consumers, water consumers, or postal services consumers. When they encounter a problem, they simply want to get it resolved, and their instinct is to turn to an organisation they know and trust. We know this because we provide advice and information directly to 2.5 million people a year and to 22 million unique users via our website. From this work, we see that people want a trusted and accessible first place to go, an easy to navigate process, and an end point that offers them practical support or redress.

Today, the consumer landscape for advice and information is simpler than it once was. But a number of different bodies are still responsible for offering consumers advice and information. This fragmentation, either by funding stream, sector, target audience, or channel, complicates the consumer journey and can lead to people being dropped between the cracks. This is evidenced, for example, by our research into advice and redress in the energy market, which suggests that fragmented funding streams for first tier advice can make the consumer journey confusing.