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Jersey Consumer Council

Tag: top tips

Mis-selling of Financial Products

February 22, 2017 Money Matters No Comments
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The Jersey Financial Services Commission has launched a campaign this year to raise awareness in respect of the mis-selling of financial products. Of particular concern are cases when individuals with limited resources and little or no knowledge of complex investments have been advised to invest in high-risk products that are suitable for sophisticated and experienced investors only.

 

Here are some key points to remember when taking advise about a financial investment:

 

  • You may have a good relationship with your investment adviser but remember, ultimately this is a business transaction. In a small community, the lines between business and friendship can easily blur. Are you too close to the person advising you?
  • Assess the advice on the merits. Do you properly and fully understand what the risks are: Can you clearly explain those risks to a family member or friend in just a few short sentences?
  • Most members of the public are retail customers and not sophisticated investors – is the product been put forward for your consideration intended for the retail market or is it only suitable for sophisticated and experienced investors? If you don’t know the answer to this question, ask.
  • If you are invited to sign documents, make sure you have read and understood the contents of those documents. If you need more time, you are entitled to take it. Has your investment adviser set out in writing the key risk factors relating to your product? Do you agree with the risk profile that has been ascribed to you by your adviser? If you disagree, say so.
  • If you are advised to cash in early a relatively low risk investment or a pension, be extremely careful before agreeing to do so. This is particularly so if you are at or near retirement age.
  • Take a step back and ask: does it sound too good to be true?

 

The Financial Services Ombudsman is able to adjudicate on complaints arising from the mis-selling of financial products and the obvious advantage of this system is that the investor does not incur costs by engaging the Ombudsman. However, the Ombudsman cannot consider complaints arising from events prior to 1st January 2010 and can only award a maximum of £150,000 in compensation. For those investors who have suffered losses in excess of this sum, or who acquired a financial product prior to 2010, the appropriate step is to bring a claim in the Royal Court.

 


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…


Tumble Dryer Update

November 3, 2016 Home life No Comments
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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 tradingstandards@gov.je

Holiday fraud: look before you book

April 20, 2016 Consumer Skills, Home life, Insurances, Money Matters, Scams, Top tips, Travel and Transport No Comments
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Holiday fraud: look before you book

Get Safe Online is joining forces today with ABTA (the UK’s leading travel association), Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) to warn you about the dangers posed by holiday booking fraud. Anyone booking a holiday either in the UK or abroad is at risk.

For information and advice on safe holiday and travel booking, click here

 

We all look forward to our holidays, and often they can cost a considerable amount of money, which most of us simply cannot afford to lose. Unfortunately, more and more people are being affected by holiday fraud, which means that not only do you not get your holiday … you normally end up losing your money too. The holiday, accommodation or flight they paid for doesn’t exist, or the booking hasn’t been made.

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Telco Contracts – when does ‘Fixed Mean Fixed’?

March 17, 2016 Telecommunications No Comments
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Telco Contracts – when does ‘Fixed Mean Fixed’?

When you sign up for a mobile phone, telephone or broadband contract you know you’re going to be committing to a fixed length contract, usually 12, 18 or 24 months.

You also know that the terms of that contract – including how much you pay for it – should be fixed over that period. The consumer is tied into that contract unless they pay an early termination charge (“ETC”) to leave before the end of the minimum contract period.

Remember that the Telco providers’ terms and conditions usually allow for price increases and variations to your contract during this term.

Thanks to a licensing condition called ‘fixed-means-fixed’ imposed by the regulator in April 2014, if your provider decides to increase prices part way through your fixed term contract, you should be given two calendar months’ written notice before the price rise and an option to end the contract penalty free. For example, if the amount of data included in your contract is reduced, you may end up paying more than originally agreed. As a result of change to licence conditions, you can exit the contract without penalty if the provider increases the cost of their deal.

This right only relates to changes to products within the list of services paid for by the recurring fee / subscription charge. If your deal includes a number of free services, the key point will be whether those were included in the original offer. If they were not, even if they were free originally, the operator is able to introduce a charge for them in future. It also does not apply other ‘out of bundle’ prices such roaming charges.

Please be aware that the protection afforded to you under ‘fixed-means-fixed’ only covers price increases ‘in-bundle’. In other words, your monthly allowances.

‘Out of bundle’ costs, being the amount you pay for exceeding your monthly allowances or new charges introduced for something which was originally free are likely to not be caught by this protection.

Our advice is to make sure you fully understand what is ‘in’ or ‘out of bundle’ when you sign up to a new contract and be aware that prices can change.

TelCoWatch


Holiday Car Hire: Top Tips

January 26, 2016 Top tips, Travel and Transport No Comments
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Holiday Car Hire: Top Tips

Hiring a car abroad can often be a minefield. There are numerous ways in which car rental companies can charge you for extras that you may not want or need, and it is not always easy to understand what you’re buying.

But you can find trouble-free, cheap car hire abroad if you know what to look for. We have researched some key points for you from Which and the Guardian to help you avoid the pitfalls.

Follow our checklist to make sure you’re not forking out money unnecessarily for car hire abroad.

Before you know it, you’ve paid for them all (just to be on the safe side) and the price you now have to pay bears little relation to the one you thought you’d agreed on.

And all this before you’ve even got the car keys and you may find unexpected costs when you return the car at the end of your holiday, too.

Read More

The 12 Online Frauds of Christmas

November 16, 2015 Scams No Comments
christmas-fraud-JCC

The 12 Online Frauds of Christmas

In the countdown to Christmas lots of Islanders will be going online to buy presents for friends and family, search for holidays, book tickets for a big gig or send an electronic Christmas card.

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Protecting your Personal Data

November 12, 2015 Scams No Comments
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Protecting your Personal Data

Do you really know what you’re doing?

In this fast moving and sometimes expensive world in which we live, it is no surprise that we do whatever we can to make life easier, more efficient and more cost effective for ourselves. We subscribe to online newspapers and magazines so we don’t have to take a trip down the road in the rain to buy one off the shelf. We fill our wallets with loyalty cards because ‘points make prizes’ (or savings on our weekly shop at least).

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Dentist Report 2014

November 4, 2015 Consumer Council Reports, Reports & Publications No Comments
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Dental Charges in Jersey

In 2012 the Consumer Council highlighted that Islanders are avoiding visiting a dentist based on cost.
Our 2012 Primary Health survey indicated that 27% of respondents felt Dental charges were so expensive it’s stopped them from visiting a dentist.

Which, February 2015 revealed that people who delay and cancel dental treatments because of cost can result in losing teeth, undiagnosed oral cancer and have serious health implications.

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Funerals Matter Guide

November 4, 2015 Information Leaflets, Reports & Publications No Comments
Funerals Matter

Funerals Matter

Introduction

The death of a loved one is a difficult and emotional time for every family. People are left at their most vulnerable and so trying to fathom what needs to be done to arrange the funeral, the range of choices and cost involved can be
daunting.
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