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Jersey Consumer Council

Monthly Archives: November 2017

Toasting The Festive Season

November 30, 2017 Christmas Top Tips, Consumer Skills No Comments

Picture the Scene ..the Christmas Jingles playing in the background, puddings set a blaze, friends exchanging small gifts and toasting the festive season and then the restaurant bill arrives.

Now you have additional food for thought, where did the service charge on the alcoholic drinks appear from? Is this allowed?

Much to my relief one of my friends works for the Jersey Consumer Council and came to my rescue – apparently this is ok if the restaurant or hotel or bar clearly advertises outside of the premises that they will add a service charge to drinks.

My dining friend explained that under the Licensing (Jersey) Law 1974 Restaurants are obliged to display a list of the prices charged for intoxicating liquor and for meals and refreshments other than intoxicating liquor. It is an offence to charge a higher price than the price displayed.

She explained to me that if a 10% service charge is applied and this is consistent with the displayed pricelists inside and outside of the premises (and any menus) this would be acceptable. However, if this additional charge was not displayed and the premises still added 10% at the end of the meal, they would likely be committing an offence.

BUT she strongly recommended that in the first instance if you feel that a service charge has been incorrectly added to your bill or that you receive and can show the poor service – ask the staff at the time for clarification. If the additional charges are not advertised as above you are NOT required to pay them.

Jersey Consumer Council – helping you make informed choices


Consumer Action is a Powerful Force

November 30, 2017 Consumer Skills No Comments

Consumer Action is a Powerful Force

It’s time to recognise that the Jersey consumer is a powerful force that is coming to the fore, have you joined this wave of change?

Interestingly the vast majority of online consumers are more than happy to vote with a click of their finger if dissatisfied. It would seem that Jersey consumers are now prepared to vote with their feet when in retail shops and gaining a similar experience on price or service.

By flexing your demands and voting with your feet (not just your finger), you too can impact the future strategies of a local business. Remember that if you’re not completely satisfied, you can always find other retail outlets for procure your products or services.

Where to start

We have created a simple toolkit to support you in your purchasing routine:

1 Research:
Many of you will have a vague idea of the likely costs of an item/service, if not, check online so you’re prepared. You make have questions you’d like to ask about a specific product.

2 Price check:
a.If time allows, visit several retail shops to experience the customer service quality and pricing strategy, and/or

b. If you’ve purchased the item or service before – check how it differs now.

3 Customer Service

were you acknowledged by staff and was help offered?

4 Communicate:

Those working in customer service are typically only too willing to help. If you believe that an item/service is positioned above market value ask why. There will be an explanation to balance your opinion. At certain times of the year there maybe sales / promotional offers / added-value offerings, ask when this might be.

5 Inform:

Keep the Jersey Consumer Council informed. We’re marking now until 31st January, ‘The Consumer – Your Vote’ campaign. Share your experiences with us, your successes in discussing prices, service, changing minds, policies and practices.

We look forward to learning more about your experiences and sharing more successes on:www.jerseyconsumercouncil.org.je – see what we’re up to and join in.


Preventing financial pressure at Christmas

November 30, 2017 Christmas Top Tips, Money Matters No Comments

Preventing financial pressure at Christmas

It’s easy to get carried away spending at Christmas. Here are a few things to consider when Christmas shopping.

Buying out of habit

Always bought for a particular person but don’t even see them much nowadays. Be brave, suggest you both stop. They will probably be relieved.

Buying because they bought you a present

If someone chooses to buy you a present, that’s their decision. Thank them. But it doesn’t mean you have to buy in return.

Buying because you feel obliged to

Your siblings are having children and the family is expanding. You can opt out. Remember those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

Buying out of guilt

Are you trying to make up for something you did or didn’t do? Buying stuff doesn’t help you or the other person. You need to let go of guilt and if you want to make amends, do so in other ways.

You want to be liked or feel the need to tell others how much you have spent on presents. This doesn’t work. You need to uncover why your self-esteem is low & transform it.

Pressure

You feel the need to ‘protect’ your children by buying the same things as their friends. Have honest money conversations. Can you part-contribute & they come up with ideas to make up the difference?

Once you have your list set your budget for each person and stick to it. Get creative and your ‘genius’ ideas flowing.

Christmas is a time of celebration, you don’t want it to be a time when you set yourself up with money headaches for next year.

Michele Ivory

Rapid Transformational Therapist

www.micheleivory.com


‘Fruit’ Festive Cake Tasting

November 29, 2017 Christmas Top Tips, Money Matters No Comments

A Real Mixed ‘Fruit’ Festive Cake Tasting

Mince Pies in 2015, Christmas Puddings 2016 and for 2017 we put the ‘Iced Fruit Bar’ to the blind tasting test. An Iced fruit bar is a big slice of Christmas cake topped with icing. We recruited taste testers from Citizens Advice Jersey, Trading Standards, the Channel Island Competition and Regulatory Authorities and 4insight. It should be noted that our tester from Trading Standards was an entrant to the Great British Bake off 2015 – he knows his fruit cakes. Our 5 testers each tester could award a maximum of 25 points per cake, covering aroma, fruit content, texture, appearance and richness; our testers scored the M&S’s Classic Recipe Top Iced Bar Christmas Cake as their favourite but a very close challenger was Tesco’s Iced Rich Fruit Cake

Detailed below are the scores from the ‘blind’ tasting. Now it is your turn to see if you agree with our testers!

Please note that we had to carry out our taste testing late November to meet our publication schedule; we are mindful that the full selection of Christmas cakes may not have been available at this time.

A few of our tasters’ comments; ‘lovely rich spice and alcohol aroma’ ‘almond taste throughout’ ‘a little dry and crumbly’ ‘tasty’ ‘high fruit comment’ ’loved the cherries’ ‘not much marzipan’