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 email@example.com
Having found our Mince Pie tasting in 2015 so revealing we decided to put Christmas Puddings to the taste and price test this year. Taste testers helped us from Citizens Advice Jersey, Trading Standards, the Channel Island Competition and Regulatory Authorities and 4insight, a local Market Reserach Company. Our 5 testers (we had two testers from Trading Standards as one was an entrant to the Great British Bake off 2015) each tester could award a maximum of 25 points per pudding; the clear winner was the most expensive of our pudding purchases.
The testers noted that the complexity of microwave cooking such as microwave for 2 minutes, rest for a minute, cook for 40 seconds and then rest again seemed to have benefits when it comes to the final texture. Detailed below are the scores from the ‘blind’ tasting. Now it is your turn to see if you agree with our testers!
Puddings Tested…full results will be published week commencing 28th November in our all island newsletter.
|Brand of Christmas Pudding|
|Irresistible Rich & Fruity|
|Marks & Spencer|
|Classic Recipe Pudding|
|The Collection Intensely Fruity|
|Tesco Finest Pudding|
|Tesco Christmas Pudding|
|Essential Cider & Sherry|
|6 Month Matured|
Settle down with a warm drink and peruse our Christmas survival tips…ranging from call out charges to buying on line and the risks of fake products.
- Buying Online
In most cases if you shop online with a Jersey, UK or EU trader you have a right to cancel and receive a full refund, even if you just don’t like the goods or have simply changed your mind.
This is in addition to your normal statutory rights. There are some exceptions and time limits apply. Check it out before you buy. Extra tips here… http://www.jerseyconsumercouncil.org.je/consumer-skills/shopping-online/
- Product Safety
Be safe this Christmas. Follow the instructions and appropriate warnings. Make sure toys are CE marked and follow the intended age warnings.
- Know who you are buying from
If you are shopping online make sure you know who and where the trader is based. For example don’t assume you are buying from Amazon when you may be buying from an Amazon seller outside the EU.
Your goods may not comply with European safety standards, they may take a long time to arrive and the cost of returning them may be uneconomical.
Don’t be tempted to buy really cheap branded goods online. Electrical goods may be a fire or electrical shock hazard and perfumes and cosmetics may contain harmful substances.
- Additional Protection
You get additional protection when you buy goods or services over £100 if you paid using your credit card. If something goes wrong and the trader won’t help, the credit card company may have to step in.
- Christmas Loans
If you have to borrow money, make sure they are a reputable lender. Do you understand exactly what you are signing up to and what will happen if your financial situation gets worse? Is the lender a subscriber to the Jersey Code of Consumer Lending? See www.gov.je/tradingstandards/consumerlending
- Call out Charges
If you have to call out a tradesman for an emergency repair during this festive season make sure you know what the ‘call out’ or ‘minimum charge’ will be before you agree. Make sure you both understand what work will be carried out, what it will cost (or how it will be calculated) and when and how the trader expects payment.
- Faulty Goods
You have statutory rights if goods are faulty or not fit for purpose. Try to keep gift receipts as it will help if things go wrong and don’t delay in complaining.
- Unwanted Gifts
Your statutory rights do not apply if you simply changed your mind. Check out the store’s returns policy before you buy. Remember if you bought online, you may have additional rights.
- Recall and Safety Notices
Trading Standards publish product recalls and safety warnings. To sign up for notifications, visit www.mygov.je
You can select the category of goods you are interested in, for example food, toys, electrical goods and nursery products.
Finally, do you know where to get help? Trading Standards offer a free and confidential Consumer Advice Service. The drop in service is located under the clock in the Central Market. You don’t need an appointment. Alternatively you can call on 448160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In August this year a blaze ripped through an 18 storey high rise in London. It took 120 firefighters to put it out. The cause was believed to be an Indesit tumble dryer which was subject to a safety notice issued by Whirlpool.
Alison de Bourcier, Director of Trading Standards in Jersey is in contact with Whirlpool UK and receiving local updates. She estimates as many as 5,000 units were supplied in Jersey between April 2004 and September 2015, however many of these will have come to the end of their natural life.
Whirlpool appointed two local service agents who are carrying out modifications. At the end of July, 1,249 Jersey consumers had registered with Whirlpool customer services for the free of charge modification. The safety notice only affects a number of models of Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline tumble dryers. Retailers in Jersey were quick to respond to the Whirlpool safety notice in checking that any new stock being supplied had been modified. Whilst the agents are working through the list of registered customers, Alison de Bourcier would once again advise consumers to check if there model requires modification by visiting https://safety.hotpoint.eu or alternatively call a dedicated helpline (0800 151 0905). She is also encouraging Islanders to register for notification of other product recalls and safety notices published on MyGov (www.mygov.je).
“It is increasingly difficult for consumers and businesses to keep up to speed with product recalls and safety notices. Safety is our primary concern.
It is really important that you are informed of any potential safety issues and know what to do if you think you have an affected product.”
Whilst there are mounting pressures in the UK for Whirlpool to do more, Trading Standards are reminding consumers who may be awaiting a modification to;
- make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions on using and maintaining your electrical appliances, including checking and cleaning the filter after every cycle and ensure proper dryer venting
- don’t put appliances such as washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwasher on when you are going to bed or going out
- turn off electrical appliances when they are not in use
- fit smoke and or heat detectors to your home. You should have at least one smoke detector on each level of your home and they should be tested weekly
- never tackle a fire yourself; get out, stay out and call 999 If you need help in identifying if your tumble dryer has been affected please contact Trading Standards on 448160 or email email@example.com
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.
Will you be taking our ‘Jersey Price Perception Survey 2016?
In a bid to get a fair deal for Island consumers, we are taking up a challenge to look into the transparency of our high street retailers’ pricing mechanisms.
Always keen for a challenge, we picked up the gauntlet, thrown down by a JEP reader, to unravel the pricing policies of some of the Island’s high street retailers, to ensure that consumers are getting the fairest deal.
The Consumer Council were challenged to look into our high street prices including UK retailers and franchises trading locally, who are sometimes perceived to be charging customers the same prices for goods in Jersey as they do in the UK – suggesting that they are not always removing VAT.
In the first instance, we have decided to ask local consumers to tell us what they think and, to this end, we have set up a survey on our Facebook page to help us to assess the real perceptions around local high street pricing policies.
We obviously want to hear from as many people as possible and we are urging consumers to click onto our Facebook page or via this link Price Perceptions Survey and spend five minutes completing our simple questionnaire.
This important feedback will enable us to go to our local retailers, armed with meaningful findings about the public perception of their pricing structures.
We want to give retailers the opportunity to address these perceptions and perhaps look at the transparency of their pricing mechanisms or tackle any misconceptions that exist among consumers. We feel that it’s important that we understand how sellers compile the prices that they charge – for example, how much of what we pay is down to the retailers’ overheads.
We all live and operate within a small Island community and the reality is that neither retailers nor consumers could survive without one another here in Jersey.
We hope that this initiative will help to improve understanding of the challenges faced by all parties and ensure that Island consumers are getting the fairest deal possible
We’ve done something awesome for one autistic young man, and he did something even better for us …. Our new treasure trove of consumer information and at £0 cost to us!
We’ve done something awesome for one autistic young man,
and he did something even better for us ….
Our new treasure trove of consumer information and at £0 cost to us!
An extensive, new on-line resource, containing invaluable consumer information is available, with the unveiling of Jersey Consumer Council’s new website www.jerseyconsumercouncil.org.je Developed together with young entrepreneur, Jonathan Channing and supported by the Jersey Employment Trust and the Community Jobs Fund, the new site promises to equip Island consumers with a wealth of useful material, to assist them in making informed purchasing decisions.
Chairman of the Jersey Consumer Council explains: “The guidance and lobbying materials the Jersey Consumer Council has been producing for over two decades, has been driven by what Island consumers would like to see. The representation and guidance we provide is based on extensive research – undertaken by ourselves or other agencies. Over time, we have compiled a huge amount of useful data; articles; tips; newsletters and advice and we decided that it would make sense to provide as much of this information as possible in one, accessible, regularly updated ‘library’.
“The easiest way to do this was to make our treasure trove of consumer information available on-line, but this required us to upgrade our website facility – something we lacked the relevant skills to do in-house.
“The Jersey Consumer Council is an independent body, with limited funding and so we applied to The States of Jersey Community Jobs Fund (CJF) and Jersey Employment Trust (JET) for funding and support, in which we were successful.
“Through a joint initiative with both the CJF and the JET, we were put in touch with Jonathan Channing, a freelance coder, who was looking to broaden his work experience. Jonathan greatly impressed at interview, with both his skills base and the extensive preparation he had undertaken, on his own initiative, in advance of meeting us. This included expanding his coding knowledge to incorporate Word Press and producing a mock-up of how he saw our website looking!
“Jonathan has recently been diagnosed with Autism, which he sees (as do we!) as a distinct advantage in his chosen career. What he describes as his ‘unconventional thought processes’ are definitely an asset when it comes to the world of coding.
“We are delighted that Jonathan has been able to join our team to establish the Consumer Council’s new website, of which we are very proud. We think that Island consumers will find it an amazingly useful source of important information, when it comes to making purchasing decisions.
“We are welcoming feedback from Islanders regarding the usability of our new site and the information it contains. We’d also like to hear about any other specific areas of advice and research that consumers would like to see featured within the resources available at www.jerseyconsumercouncil.org.je. Islanders can contact us by phone; email or through the social media links on the new site.
“In the meantime, we would like to thank Jonathan and congratulate him on the successful establishment and development of the Consumer Council’s new website. We wish him all the very best in his future entrepreneurial endeavours.”
Not Playing Fair?
We can all buy something and suddenly find when we look at the small print, that there are a lot of terms and conditions that seem to make it very difficult to do anything when the goods or services are not quite what they
Not all the small print is necessarily fair or reasonable and that is whyit is important to know that from 27 January, 2010, the Supply of Goods and Services (Jersey) Regulations 2010 may mean that
the person supplying the goods or services cannot actually rely on such an unfair term.
Telecommunications –Buying the Right Mix of Services
What are bundles?
Bundles include a mix of mobile; fixed line and broadband services. Having a bundle will in most cases require you to sign a contract for at least a year; or perhaps longer. Breaking a contract if you subsequently find that the service is not suitable or does not really give you what you wanted, may be expensive. In this article we consider only bundles associated with contracts and not Pay As You Go offers, which will be considered separately.
The main bundle types include:
What in the World is going on with Oil Prices?
This week, the price of Brent crude oil fell to its lowest level in six years with the price of a barrel of Bent crude decreasing by 55% from $105 in June 2014 to $47 now.
So why has the price of oil fallen? There are principally 3 main reasons;
Firstly, America has become the world’s largest oil producer through ‘fracking’, the process of fracking is the practice of injecting water, sand and chemicals deep underground at high pressure to extract crude oil and natural gas from dense rock formations. Though the USA does not export crude oil, it now imports much less, creating a lot of spare supply.