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Consumer codes review - post consultation report and planned codes

20 July 2015

Report cover for Citizens Advice Consumer Codes ReportThe consumer landscape is changing. Both the goods and services bought and sold and the methods by which consumers purchase them has changed dramatically over the past ten years and continues to evolve.

The consumer service takes a million calls a year. Consumers’ issues, problems and complaints are coded in order to run reports and analyse consumer trends and detriment, share with stakeholders, develop policy, challenge bad practice and enforce regulation.

The consumer codes have remained largely unchanged for the past decade. They are falling out of date with the current consumer landscape and are proving to be less useful to stakeholders, regulators and Trading Standards services. BIS have asked and funded Citizens Advice and to review the consumer codes, so that they better reflect the consumer landscape.

Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland have undertaken a comprehensive review of the codes, held a consultation and, as a result plan to make a number of changes.

When these  changes are implemented, we anticipate that they will give better intelligence to the Citizens Advice family and their partners, on emerging issues and consumer detriment. This will facilitate the better targeting of resources for policy, enforcement, education and campaign work.

We have created a report [ 490 kb], which summarises the changes and a technical document [ 0.66 mb] that details the changes being made to each code. For a full understanding of the changes it is important to read both documents.