MSE News: Consumer Focus axe could cost consumers millions

in Consumer Rights
12 replies 2.1K views
This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"The public could be left millions of pounds a year poorer if the Consumer Focus watchdog is scrapped, it is feared ..."
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Replies

  • cepheuscepheus
    20.1K Posts
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    This is very worrying, although if resources were increased to compensate CAB for the greater work perhaps there is an advantage having a central source for complaints and advice.

    Why can't consumer groups be financed from the fines imposed on corrupt Businesses?
  • Eric_PischEric_Pisch Forumite
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    you dont save money by cutting all the heads of your egg laying chickens ...
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
    8.3K Posts
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    cepheus wrote: »
    This is very worrying, although if resources were increased to compensate CAB for the greater work perhaps there is an advantage having a central source for complaints and advice.

    Why can't consumer groups be financed from the fines imposed on corrupt Businesses?

    Actually you could fund this with a tiny levy on all utilities companies (far less than the FSAs costs)
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
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  • fullstopfullstop Forumite
    545 Posts
    If there is one useless body that should be axed it is OFGEM not Consumer Focus, they botched the Npower issue with over billing , leaving CF to clean up their non action.
    "When the Government borrows, the citizen has to save".

    Machiavellii
  • poppy10_2poppy10_2 Forumite
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    The chief exec of Consumer Focus earns £115k per year. Even their Finance Director earns 80k. Other than the nPower issue it's hard to see what they've achieved over the two years they have been in operation. There's far too many of these quangos, and in these economic times we can't afford the luxury of paying people fortunes just to come up with pointless press releases every few weeks.
    poppy10
  • FATBALLZFATBALLZ Forumite
    5.1K Posts
    There's far too many of these 'consumer protection' quangos, and every time I've called on one they've been completely ineffective, either being unable to understand the problem or saying that while what's happened is wrong theres one reason or another why they aren't going to take any action.

    Happy to see another few quid of my taxes saved.
  • whatmichaelsayswhatmichaelsays Forumite
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    FATBALLZ wrote: »
    There's far too many of these 'consumer protection' quangos,

    I think this is the key point for me.

    There are currently three quangos that have "consumer protection" within their remit; Consumer Focus, Consumer Direct and the Office of Fair Trading. That is on top of the various local Trading Standards offices and CAB.

    Whilst each of those three quangos had a slightly different remit, there was not reason to have three separate bodies, three separate HQ's, three separate boards of directors. It is only right that the three are merged and that we make better use of the resources that we have.

    Not for the first time, MSE comes up with a sensationalist headline.
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  • In response to the person who said there were three quangos Consumer Focus, Consumer Direct and The Office of Fair Trading, that not correct. Consmer Direct is simly a call centre run by OFT and the contract is simply being given to a charity. OFT is a Regulator and has to look out for the interests of business. Only Consumer Focus looks out for consumers. Oddly, Government is keeping a quango to look out for rail passengers, Passenger Focus, one for air passengers, the Air Transport Users Council, and for water, the Consumer Council for Water. We now have the ridiculous situation where pasengers and water users have someone to stand up for them but the body which represent users in the rest of the economy being abolished. Explain that!
    Government should have knocked them all into one, saved money and created a stronger organisation. As to what in addition to the £70m nPower refund was achived by Consumer Focus inh its two year life, what about the £15m gain for savers three months ago as a result of the changes in ISA transfers after it complained about banks being slow in moving accounts. Set this against the £5m a year Consumer Focus costs the taxpayer! Consumer Focus is good value for money and we will miss it. Lets hope the Citizens Advice Bureau can save us as much money.
  • MothballsWalletMothballsWallet Forumite
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    MSE_Martin wrote: »
    Actually you could fund this with a tiny levy on all utilities companies (far less than the FSAs costs)
    Okay, but you do know they'd recover that by increasing our leccy, gas and water bills, right?
  • rodo_2rodo_2 Forumite
    10 Posts
    This smells of the big banks putting their oar into government/consumer business.
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