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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Guy
    • By MSE Guy 14th Oct 10, 3:26 PM
    • 1,628Posts
    • 1,255Thanks
    MSE Guy
    MSE News: Consumer Focus axe could cost consumers millions
    • #1
    • 14th Oct 10, 3:26 PM
    MSE News: Consumer Focus axe could cost consumers millions 14th Oct 10 at 3:26 PM
    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 ..."

Page 1
    • cepheus
    • By cepheus 14th Oct 10, 3:44 PM
    • 19,216 Posts
    • 20,338 Thanks
    cepheus
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 10, 3:44 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 10, 3:44 PM
    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 Pisch
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 10, 4:01 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 10, 4:01 PM
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    This stuff will make you a god damned sexual Tyrannosaurus, just like me.
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 14th Oct 10, 4:45 PM
    • 8,115 Posts
    • 42,285 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 10, 4:45 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 10, 4:45 PM
    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?
    Originally posted by cepheus
    Actually you could fund this with a tiny levy on all utilities companies (far less than the FSAs costs)
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • fullstop
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 10, 4:47 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 10, 4:47 PM
    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
    • By poppy10 14th Oct 10, 7:26 PM
    • 6,164 Posts
    • 7,463 Thanks
    poppy10
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 10, 7:26 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 10, 7:26 PM
    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.
  • FATBALLZ
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 10, 12:11 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 10, 12:11 PM
    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.
    • whatmichaelsays
    • By whatmichaelsays 16th Oct 10, 12:30 PM
    • 2,836 Posts
    • 5,255 Thanks
    whatmichaelsays
    • #8
    • 16th Oct 10, 12:30 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Oct 10, 12:30 PM
    There's far too many of these 'consumer protection' quangos,
    Originally posted by FATBALLZ
    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.
  • newuser21
    • #9
    • 16th Oct 10, 5:04 PM
    a few facts
    • #9
    • 16th Oct 10, 5:04 PM
    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.
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 16th Oct 10, 5:08 PM
    • 13,493 Posts
    • 18,723 Thanks
    MothballsWallet
    Actually you could fund this with a tiny levy on all utilities companies (far less than the FSAs costs)
    Originally posted by MSE Martin
    Okay, but you do know they'd recover that by increasing our leccy, gas and water bills, right?
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?

    I live in the UK City of Culture 2021
  • rodo
    Business interference?
    This smells of the big banks putting their oar into government/consumer business.
  • Bobjob
    Martin is absolutely right to criticise this Government stupidity. Consumer Focus may be horribly bureaucratic as an organisation, but it includes some of the brightest people NOT working in industry. With this concentration of talent it's less likely large companies will be able to get away with devious methods of confusing and fleecing customers (that's you and me) such as creating hundreds of separate tariffs for energy supply, or dragging their feet over ISA transfers. No underfunded amateurs at the CAB or (often non-existent) Trading Standards Officers at individual councils are likely to be able to take on companies like E.ON, HSBC, Royal Mail etc. The really crazy thing is that it saves so little money. Very short sighted move, and indicative of the base ignorance behind Tory policy.
  • Googlewhacker
    Martin is absolutely right to criticise this Government stupidity. Consumer Focus may be horribly bureaucratic as an organisation, but it includes some of the brightest people NOT working in industry. With this concentration of talent it's less likely large companies will be able to get away with devious methods of confusing and fleecing customers (that's you and me) such as creating hundreds of separate tariffs for energy supply, or dragging their feet over ISA transfers. No underfunded amateurs at the CAB or (often non-existent) Trading Standards Officers at individual councils are likely to be able to take on companies like E.ON, HSBC, Royal Mail etc. The really crazy thing is that it saves so little money. Very short sighted move, and indicative of the base ignorance behind Tory policy.
    Originally posted by Bobjob
    Did you point out that the customer was you and me in case it was to confusing
    The Googlewhacker referance is to Dave Gorman and not to my opinion of the search engine!

    If I give you advice it is only a view and always always take professional advice before acting!!!

    4 people on the ignore list....Bliss!
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