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Citizens Advice Consumer Annual Report 2018-19

28 June 2019

Citizens Advice Consumer Annual Report 2018-19 [ 4.3 mb]

As a consumer advocate, Citizens Advice is an independent voice for people in essential markets - people who otherwise struggle to be heard.

We play a unique role in advice – helping millions of people find a way forward each year. This helps us understand the problems people experience, so we can use that insight to shape debates and change decisions in favour of consumers.

The last year shows the impact we can have.

  • An extra 11 million people have had their energy prices capped, saving consumers a further £1bn
  • Our loyalty penalty research revealed that 8 in 10 bill payers are being charged higher prices for remaining with their existing supplier. This led to action from the competition watchdog and government
  • In post we’ve improved accessibility, most notably over the last year for disabled and homeless people

Beyond the headlines, we fight for consumers behind the scenes. These processes are technical and change is often incremental. While companies fight for their interests we fight for no-one but the consumer, with an unparalleled level of expertise.

Many of these debates rage on, and previous achievements must be maintained and protections extended. Markets are changing fast, driven by new capabilities like big data. As the regulatory framework adapts, we are adapting the way we work as an advocate too, drawing increasingly on digital innovations as a way to solve problems.

Finally, while looking to the future, I am proud that the government has recognised the vital role of a consumer advocate by announcing a new champion for the telecoms sector - something we have long called for to further strengthen the voice of consumers.

James Plunkett

Executive Director of Advice & Advocacy

Citizens Advice