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Citizens Advice chief executive warns simplifying consumer rights is only a "first step" in getting a fair deal for consumers

8 May 2013

Ministers must legislate quickly to protect consumers

Chief Executive of national charity Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy, has today warned that simplifying consumer rights is only a "first step" in getting a fair deal for consumers:

“It is good news for customers that the Government has pledged to simplify consumers’ rights, and ministers must now work to get this Draft Bill onto the statute book quickly.

“Not only do customers find current regulations confusing and hard to use but, on a day when ministers are talking up growth, it’s important to note that bad consumer law acts as a dragweight on economic growth.

“In the past year, more than 10,000 people visited our advice website each month to get information about faulty goods, which clearly shows that consumers need a helping hand.  

“As well as simplifying existing rules, regulators should be able to crack down on dodgy practices by compelling businesses to give customers adequate compensation. Consumers should be given a clear 30 day window to get a full refund on any faulty product, and this information should be clearly displayed at the shop till.  

“The new legislation has to deliver clear, standardised rights for business and consumer alike, alongside full access to compensation for customers who are mistreated. If the legislation falls short on either of these tests then consumers will remain vulnerable to unscrupulous businesses”.

Notes to editors:

  1. 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.
  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.
  3. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit You can also get advice online at
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  5. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014  service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.