Newsletter

Jersey Consumer Council

Author: Consumer Council

Christmas Planner

November 29, 2016 Top tips No Comments
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Christmas Time

Do you feel under pressure and tempted to spend money that you cannot afford at Christmas? To help you stay within your budget, the Consumer Council has put together a food and present planner.

If you use this or any planner, you are less likely to exceed your budget, and your money should go further.

Can’t print it? We can pop a copy in the post to you. Please call on 611161 or email us at jcc@jerseyconsumercouncil.org.je

Read more…


DEC 2016 EDTN 81

November 24, 2016 Newsletters No Comments
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Yuletide Puddings & PriceWatch

we taste tested 4 budget and 4 slightly more luxurious Christmas Puddings from our local supermarkets – Now it is your turn to see if you agree with our testers!

Heading out for a festive meal? Can a Service Charge be added to your drinks bill? Equip yourself with the knowledge to fully understand service charges.

We have joined forces with Trading Standards to list out Ten Tips to help survive Christmas

The Channel Island Financial Ombudsman has been in operation for a year now and the latest results show just what you have been complaining about and whether they can help or not.

Fancy joining us for one of our #free lunchtime seminars? The next topics include Financial Mis-Selling, Long Term Care, Curatorships, Consumer Protection, SCAMS and more….

Read More…


Scary but Safe

October 21, 2016 Consumer Skills, Health Matters, Home life No Comments
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In the build up to Halloween, the Fire and Rescue Service and Trading Standards are reminding parents to


check Halloween costumes for the CE mark,

• always follow instructions and safety information,

• avoid naked flames by replacing candles with LED equivalents, and

• make parents and children aware of what to do if any costume or clothing catches fire – ‘stop, drop and roll’

Background

The safety of children’s costumes, in particular Halloween costumes, came to the attention of the public and gained prominence in 2014 when television presenter Claudia Winkleman’s 8 year old daughter was severely burned after her witch costume caught fire, having been in contact allegedly with or close proximity to a lit candle inside of a pumpkin.

In September 2015 a nationwide investigation into the safety of children’s fancy dress costumes was commissioned.
These costumes currently have to comply with toys safety standards. The standards do not require costumes to be non-flammable, but the rate at which they burn has to be within an acceptable range, and where applicable relevant warnings are present, to minimise the risk.

Results of the 2015 investigation

A program of sampling was co-ordinated and of the 309 samples submitted for testing, 80% passed.
Of those that failed, 14 costumes were too close to the prescribed limit so they were recorded and neither pass nor fail.

47 costumes failed.
10 of these were technical failures due to the absence of warnings.
37 were due to the rate of spread and therefore unacceptable failures.

Trading Standards up and down the UK have been working with suppliers to improve the compliance rate.

An interesting fact to come out of the investigation was that the cost of the outfit had no real bearing on compliance. Therefore cheaper costumes did not result in more failures.

There was also little difference in the failure rate when sampling costumes purchased through UK local or national retailers.

A number of national retailers now voluntarily ensure their costumes meet higher standards contained within the Children’s Nightwear standard.

Advice to parents


In the run up to Halloween, the advice is to avoid naked flames, replace candles with LED equivalents and to make parents and children aware of just what they should do in the event of a costume, or any article of clothing for that matter, catching alight through the Fire and Rescue Service’s advice of ‘stop, drop and roll’.


SEP 2016 EDTN 80

September 26, 2016 Newsletters No Comments
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Islands Pricewatch, Insurance Tax and 16 lunchtime talks to choose from…

Islands Pricewatch

We collected 103 prices across 9 items. Jersey was the most expensive for 8 out of the 9 items; and also cheapest for 5 out of the 9 items (notably three of these were at Rosedale Stores Gorey; whilst limited stocks last).

Insurance Tax

Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) is a UK tax applied to general insurance premiums. There are two rates. Standard at 9.5% and a higher rate of 20% for travel insurance, mechanical / electrical appliances insurance and some vehicle insurance.

16 lunchtime talks to choose from…

We are pleased to offer the following ‘free’ lunchtime talks. The talks all run between 13:10 – 13:50. These sessions will be informative yet informal – you are welcome to bring your lunch.

Read more…


Seeing your Doctor?

September 7, 2016 Health Matters, Home life No Comments
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Seeing your Doctor?

Here are a few tips…to make the most of your time with your Doctor

Be Prepared…lists will always help and read them out at the start of your appointment. This helps the doctor to see the whole picture and to avoid leaving the embarrassing ailment until you are about to leave.

Try to pre-empt your doctor’s routine questions, prepare answers for: ‘how long has it been going on? Have you had it before and has anyone in the family had the same thing? And be specific and upfront about your history.

A symptom diary can help; these are helpful for tracking times when symptoms hit.

Your doctor may ask you to return to discuss one of your problems – it maybe that he or she feels that it deserves more time and a more detailed evaluation. A repeat visit will almost certainly incur a further charge.


Are you paying unnecessary IPT?

September 7, 2016 Insurances No Comments
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Are you paying unnecessary IPT?

Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) is a UK tax applied to general insurance premiums. There are two rates. 
Standard at 9.5% and a higher rate of 20% for travel insurance, mechanical / electrical appliances insurance and some vehicle insurance.

Premiums for risks located outside the UK are usually exempt. Therefore if you are taking out an insurance policy with a UK supplier, ask about exempting IPT before you enter into the contract or renewal.

Some suppliers may ask you to fill out an IPT exemption declaration form confirming your residential status as being permanently outside of the UK for the period of insurance. It is likely that you will have to return this before the supplier deducts the IPT. Ask what the arrangements are before you sign up or renew. In most cases they will not refund retrospective overpayments.

3 Recent Case Studies
Mick and Pam have private medical insurance. They are automatically charge IPT even though the supplier knows they are non-UK residents. In the past, they used to send Mick an IPT exemption form to fill out with their annual renewal. When it was returned they would send out a revised renewal with the IPT removed. They have stopped this practice and it is now down to Mick to request and send in this form on renewal and he will not receive a reminder. Remembering to follow these steps on renewal has reduced their premiums by £60 per month, although the provider will not entertain a retrospective refund for the couple of years Mick did not realise he was being charged IPT.

Vicky and her friends required travel insurance for a European holiday. As they booked through one particular operator, they opted for their travel insurance which was available online (through a third party provider). After obtaining a quotation, Vicky resisted the temptation to pay there and then. Instead, she called the provider giving her quotation reference and asked for the IPT to be deducted. After a little convincing and reference to their own website to prove the policy extends to Jersey, the provider was happy to take payment over the phone for the insurance cover less the IPT and the insurance policy was then emailed to Vicky.


Finally, Rob had experienced a few problems with hire cars. On one occasion he refuelled his hire car with the wrong type of fuel which turned out to be a costly mistake! He was also concerned that he would have a high insurance excess but felt the additional insurance available on the hire car desk seemed to him to be excessive (often referred to as Excess Waiver Insurance, Super CDW). As he was likely to hire other vehicles in the coming year he decided to look into an annual car hire excess insurance policy. He found one online that included £6,000 towards the hire car excess, £1000 towards misfuelling and other key benefits. Whilst ‘checking out’ he couldn’t see how IPT could be deducted. He sent the provider an email enquiry and they came back to him advising that if he took out the policy and sent them the policy number and the last 4 digits of the payment card used to pay for the policy, they would be happy to refund the IPT within 5 working days. Rob is now driving his hire car safe in the knowledge that he has comprehensive annual European car hire excess cover but also paid a reasonable price less the IPT!

Check out your insurance policies and let us know if you are paying unnecessary UK IPT. How much can you save?


4G Data Usage…How MUCH?

September 7, 2016 Telecommunications No Comments
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4G Data Usage…How MUCH?

Peter Zunino, Head of Marketing, Airtel-Vodafone.

The introduction of 4G data services has totally changed the way mobile data is being consumed, as well as the amount of data. For example, one of our sites now takes more data traffic than the whole of our network did before the launch of 4G!

The quicker 4G experience means you can do much more online in the same amount of time. This uses more data, and can lead to unexpected charges if users are not aware of this. We have done a lot of work to help educate customers around data usage and here are some of the key things smartphone users should be aware of.

  • Consider the activities and Apps that use lots of data, ie video streaming and downloading – think about doing them over a Wifi connection. Netflix for example can use 1GB of data per hour
  • Most smartphones have built-in systems which track your data for you. These are not 100% accurate but will give you a fair idea of how much data you use
  • Apps are constantly adding functionality. Facebook for example will auto play data hungry videos if this setting is not turned off
  • Be wary of using your mobile device as a hot spot so your friends can connect to it, and watch videos for example – this uses a huge amount of data
  • Contact your provider and ask them to review your plan – you may not have a high enough data allowance for the newer, faster 4G experience. You can bolt on extra data if need be

For a comprehensive guide to managing data, including step by step instructions on different smartphone operating systems, please visit our site


July 2016 edtn 79 JCC Newsletter

July 10, 2016 Newsletters No Comments
JCC Newsletter

Read our latest newsletter

Travelling away in the next few weeks …

we suggest you take a closer look at the bar codes on your boarding passes. Do you know what type of information is embedded in therein?

Aggrieved? What are your options? Perhaps there’s one you haven’t yet considered? Mediation

Special Offers; BOGOF’S, two for the price of three and so on…We all love a bargain and being able to buy our groceries to include deals and offers. We are inviting islanders to send in receipts and examples of till naughties to us

If you had to name the top consumer complaint received by the Channel Island Financial Ombudsman in Q1 2016 what would you say?

Fancy joining us for one of our #free lunchtime talks? The next series of talks are due to start in early October ..what would you like to know more about? Please tell us

Plus Community Savings BIG Extras Savings Challenge.

Read more…


May 2016 edtn 78 JCC Newsletter

May 12, 2016 Newsletters No Comments
JCC Newsletter

Read our latest newsletter

Registering For a Manufacturer’s Free Warranty or Guarantee

You are in a rush to get your new gadget or kitchen appliance out of the packaging. You may have seen a warranty or guarantee card fall out of the box. What exactly is it for and should you fill it in? Trading Standards has provided answers to these
questions.

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Holidays and Travelling

May 5, 2016 Reports & Publications, Travel and Transport No Comments
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Holidays and Travelling

Each year thousands of us travel by ferry and aeroplane for summer getaways, weekend breaks, gap year adventures and to visit friends and family.

Although most of us have trouble-free journeys some do experience unexpected disruption to their travel plans and holiday arrangements.

The following articles visit some of the challenges and issues which help us to reduce the likelihood of the unexpected during our journey and to navigate our way should things no go quite to plan …

Read more….