A new online and telephone consumer advice service has been launched as a result of £600,000 Scottish Government funding. Consumeradvice.scot provides advice to people on a range of issues, including buying products both online and in shops, changing mobile phone and internet providers, and purchasing travel insurance. To make the service more accessible, support can be accessed online through web chat, email or social media, as well as by calling a freephone number 0808 164 6000. The Service is being run by the Advice Direct Scotland charity, and Business Minister Jamie Hepburn visited the charity’s contact centre in Glasgow to launch the service.
Jamie Hepburn said: “The new consumer advice service will give the people of Scotland access to advice that matters to them. Whether they’re experiencing issues with a used car they’ve purchased, a holiday booking they’ve faced problems with, or a trader who has been working on their properties the new service is there to help. “We are using Scotland’s devolved consumer powers to provide a flexible service which protects and empowers the people of Scotland while supporting businesses which are innovative, efficient and fair.”
Pamela Stewart, deputy CEO of Advice Direct Scotland, said: “We want to provide all citizens of Scotland with practical consumer advice and information which makes a difference and remains completely free to use. “Accessing advice that people need shouldn’t cost them a penny. We operate Freephone number 0808 164 6000 to ensure nobody is left out of pocket, whether they are phoning from a landline or a mobile. “But if people would prefer to send us a quick message on Facebook or they fancy a web chat with one of our friendly advisors, we have a range of other options to get in touch.”
Faye Wilson, from the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS), said: “It’s vital that the public have access to advice and information when they are faced with consumer problems. It is also important that local authority trading standards services work with Advice Direct Scotland to ensure that the intelligence gleaned from the experiences of consumers can be used to protect the public and legitimate businesses from unfair trading and unsafe products. The Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland looks forward to working with the new service.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Photos from the launch can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/news/new-consumer-advice-service-launched/
Consumers can seek help in a number of different ways.
Freephone: 0808 164 6000
Web chat: www.consumeradvice.scot
Social media: Facebook (m.me/advice.scot2)
The new service funded by Scottish Government began taking calls in April and is currently handling around 250 enquiries every day, with the most common queries relating to used cars, furniture sales, building work, package holidays and insurance.
Consumeradvice.scot is operated by the charity Advice Direct Scotland and it works in close partnership with Trading Standards staff in local authorities to combat illegal traders and improve the services that consumers receive.
Consumer advisors can:
• Provide practical and impartial advice on how to resolve your consumer problem
• Inform you of the consumer laws which may apply to your situation
• Provide template letters which consumers can use to contact the trader or service provider they are having issues with
• Pass relevant information onto Trading Standards for further investigation
• Make a complaint on an individual’s behalf
• Carry out any legal action on an individual’s behalf
Contact: Flavia Paterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07825 335 732
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