Newsletter

Jersey Consumer Council

Author: Consumer Council

Jun 2018 Edtn 87 JCC Newsletter

June 11, 2018 Newsletters No Comments

Highlights

Better Protection for your Personal Information

Advertised Broad Band Speeds Travel Insurance

Chairman’s message Tips to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

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Mar 2018 Edtn 86 JCC Newsletter

March 11, 2018 Newsletters No Comments

Research Guru

Be prepared to research pricing and product specifications.

Communicator

Talk & ask questions; 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.

Pricing Expedition

If time allows, visit several retail shops to experience the customer service quality and pricing strategy. If you’ve purchased the item or service before, check how it differs now.

Enquire

Ask about the returns and exchange policy to make sure you make an #InformedDecision

Read more…


Dec 2017 Edtn 85 JCC Newsletter

December 4, 2017 Newsletters No Comments

Newsletter Out Monday 4th December

As the Festive season begins to gather momentum we pause for a moment to consider Preventing Financial Pressure at Christmas.

It’s easy to get carried away spending at Christmas, however we are suggesting that in the flurry of preparations and parties we all stop, reflect and consider a few pointers to clarify our Christmas shopping to help prevent financial pressure. Our newsletter shares 6 simple pause buttons.

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.

Our December newsletter launches:

“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.

Our festive issue showcases the simple toolkit to support you in your purchasing routine.

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.

lovely rich spice and alcohol aroma’

‘almond taste throughout’

‘a little dry and crumbly’

‘tasty’

‘high fruit comment’

’loved the cherries’

‘not much marzipan’

Will you agree with our blind taste testing?

This edition also questions Meal Deals and what’s in the deal?

Meal deals are designed to offer a quick way to grab a full lunch with a main, a snack and a drink. However, there must be an art to understanding the offerings. Are you a meal deal expert or are the deals baffling to you too?

We have an exciting range of lunchtime talks on offer – from staying injury free on the ski slopes to wills, inheritance, scams, pensions & the new Lasting Powers of Attorney and Advance Decision Making Law …

View talks

Read more…


Overbooking & Air Travel

December 1, 2017 Travel and Transport No Comments

Overbooking

We have all seen startling footage this summer on national TV of a passenger being forcibly removed from an American flight because of overbooking. Naturally the impact of overbooking is not usually this physical. But this does make you wonder if and why airlines over book?

Our research has revealed that most airlines overbook certain flights. We asked several of our carriers why they overbook and easyJet explained that around three million easyJet customers each year don’t show up for their flights and if these seats were left empty, it would force up prices for everyone else. BUT the passengers have already paid for their seats so why does it matter? Upon investigation this is because in the first instance revenue is reduced as the empty seat doesn’t buy on board refreshments. Airlines sell a proportion of certain seats on certain routes and flights at certain times more than once to ensure that revenue is earned in order to sustain the lower ticket prices many of us enjoy today.

easyJet said that ‘they get it right in around 97% of cases, meaning that many tens of thousands of customers who want to fly, get to do so. In only a very small proportion of cases – a tiny fraction of less than 1% – will a customer be denied boarding’ as a result of over booking. easyJet highlighted that very few passengers who do not intend to travel with them actually cancel their flights.

Some passengers may be denied boarding as there may also be occasions where, due to unforeseen circumstances such as disruption on an earlier flight operated, technical problems, etc., that the airline needs to make a change to the aircraft type which is operating a specific route. This might mean that a smaller aircraft is substituted than originally planned, which may lead to a shortage of seats.

How do airlines decide which routes and journey’s to overbook?
When overbooking a flight airlines target those flights with a consistent history of no-shows and then overbook them by a small number where they they can confidently predict everyone who wants to fly should be able to do so.

Flybe explained that they ‘carry 8-million passengers a year flying and on average operates some 520 flights a day. Like all other airlines, Flybe carefully manages each flight by employing in-depth statistical analysis to ensure that each departure is as commercially viable as possible. This is to ensure the lowest possible fares are always available to its customers whilst at the same time being confident there is only ever a very small risk that a passenger would be denied boarding. This is primarily employed on multi-frequency routes where historically it is shown there is a consistent percentage of no-shows’

What simple measures can the passenger take to reduce the risk of being denied boarding as a direct result of overbooking?

  • In the first instance check in on line at the earliest opportunity; this confirms to the airline that you intend to travel as booked, so that airlines can more accurately understand whether they still have seats which are available for other customers who may not yet have made their reservations.
  • If you are denied boarding as a result of overbooking – negotiate, without being greedy. Establish accommodation needs if appropriate, refreshment allowance. Also ask when the next available flight to your destination is due to depart by any airline not just by the one who has denied you boarding and request if you can be allocated a seat on this flight.
  • Remain calm and reasonable


Read the full report here

What does the EU Directive have to say on the matter?

In the rare cases where a passenger may be offloaded, airlines should take their responsibilities very seriously, fully understanding how frustrating and inconvenient the situation is.

Compensation must be paid in line with EU261 – typically within 5 working days – as well as dealing with their immediate requirements at the airport. The Consumer Council have published a Plane Facts guide to help navigate you through your rights when flying

The booklet details the ‘Denied boarding’ process;
When an airline has overbooked a flight they must first ask for volunteers to give up their seats before passengers are denied boarding.

If you volunteer to give up your seat:
  1. You must be provided with compensation, either cash or airline vouchers. The level of compensation must be agreed with you.
  2. If you decide to continue your journey, the airline must also book you onto an alternative flight. If the airline cannot fly you to your intended airport, it is allowed to fly you to another airport within the same region. The airline must then transfer you to either your intended airport or a close by location agreed with you.
  3. If you decide not to continue your journey the airline must refund your ticket and give you a flight back to the original point of departure if relevant. Refunds should be provided by the airline within seven days. If an insufficient number of passengers volunteer to give up their seats, the airline will deny boarding to a number of passengers
If the airline denies you boarding:
  1. You are entitled to immediate compensation. (Please see table 2 on page 20 for compensation rates in Plane Facts).
  2. You are also entitled to the same option of a refund or alternative travel arrangements offered to passengers who volunteer to give up their seats.
  3. If the airline cannot fly you to your intended airport, it is allowed to fly you to another airport within the same region. The airline must then transfer you to either your intended airport or a close by location, agreed with you.

Compensation and assistance will not be provided to passengers who are denied boarding because they are deemed unfit to travel by the airline, for example if you are intoxicated, or abusive etc.

Airlines regularly review their overbooking methodology to make it more accurate and do everything we can to minimise the number of people who are affected, whilst optimising the yield from the fare levels at which they sell.


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. 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.


‘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’


Sep 2017 Edtn 84 JCC Newsletter

September 18, 2017 Newsletters No Comments

Thinking about Life Insurance… but not sure which policy is right for you?

Most people have two or three main protection needs that can be covered by Life Insurance (often known as Life Assurance):

Paying off large debts such as your mortgage in the event of your death.
• Family protection, where you leave behind money for your family to live on after you’ve died.
• Funeral expenses
Different types of insurance policies are good for different protection needs:

Read more…


Transport Survey 2013/2014

July 14, 2017 Reports & Publications No Comments
Transport Survey 2013/2014

Transport Survey 2013/2014

PUBLIC BUS SERVICE

Facilities

The majority of those interviewed are happy with facilities at the Bus station with 82% falling into the “Good” or “Fair” brackets. However, certain aspects could be improved:

“Need more seats for waiting at bus station for the elderly.”

“Liberation Station is too cold in the winter.”Complaints and compliments

The main complaints are that the buses are too wide for the Island roads and they do not run to
time. The excessive width causes a considerable amount of stopping and starting to allow
oncoming vehicles to pass, resulting in a reduction in passenger comfort.

It should be remembered that the survey was carried out in the early days of Liberty Bus’ new contract and that the general feeling now is that the timings have improved considerably as
less complaints are being received by the bus company.

Read More…


June 2017 Edtn 83 JCC Newsletter

June 5, 2017 Newsletters No Comments

Local charity launches ‘Healthy Eating Week’ and encourages islanders to eat well and eat together

The first ever Caring Cooks of Jersey Healthy Eating Week takes place from Monday 12th June through to Saturday 17th June. The local charity which aims make nutritious and tasty food part of daily life is encouraging us all to think about how we can eat well and eat together, even when short on time and on a tight budget.

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