Both Jersey Consumer Council and Citizens Advice Jersey have received numerous telephone calls and emails from concerned landline only JT customers in relation to the costs being introduced for paper bills and payment choices, other than direct debits.
Your heartfelt comments, frustrations and anger have all been shared with managers from JT. It has to be recognised that we cannot stop the tide of change but we can help consumers to move with the tide as much as possible.
Over the last few days we have been talking to JT on a daily basis to sort out some steps to help the vulnerable and land line only customers who are overwhelmed and frightened by the proposed changes.
The JT team are sympathetic and have listened to all of your questions, comments and criticisms. The following options are being offered to help;
- JT Prime talk customers with no other products on a monthly Bill can switch to a quarterly bill to reduce bill charges
- JT customers with multiple bills can arrange to have all their products on one bill to avoid duplicate charges
- JT will contact selected Prime Talk customers with more information on Direct Debit payment options
- You don’t have to print your bills – if you have an iPad for example but no printer you can still opt to pay using traditional methods i.e. cheque or cash (albeit at a charge) you will need to write down the Account number
JT have assured us that they ‘always abide by the direct debit guarantee and distribute bills at least 5 working days prior to a direct debit taken out.’
We are still talking to JT, as consumers continue to contact us with ideas and initiatives to help our community.
Dominic Vye, JT’s Head of Commercial Development, said: “The new billing structure aligns JT with the vast majority of our customers, who receive their bills online and pay by Direct Debit. As their numbers have grown so has the cost of paper billing and administering non-Direct Debit payments.
“But we were always conscious that some customers would be affected, which is why we are working closely with groups such as the JCC to make this transition as smooth as possible”.
If you still have concerns please telephone the Jersey Consumer Council on 611161 or leave a message.
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 email@example.com
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.
Energy matters to all of us and this Newsletter aims to help Island consumers gain a greater understanding of their energy consumption levels and suggests how we can all use our energy more efficiently – whether it be gas, electricity, oil or coal.
Read on to find out about how best to save on your energy and water bills; the journey our energy products make in order to reach our homes and how Jersey energy prices compare with other Islands.Read More
Manufacturers Instructions have Advantage
If the manufacturers’ instructions are not followed the consequences can be costly.
The expression “If all else fails, read the instructions,” can be used for projects such as assembling a bookcase or learning a new smart phone. But this expression is too little, too late for items which are of a high value, and are complex by nature and are installed in a kitchen for example.
The Council recommends that the manufacturers’ instructions for installation are followed at all times– even if a friend or an expert installs the item for you, for example, as part of an expensive kitchen redesign with lovely new equipment the instructions must be followed.Read More
Top Tips for Employing a … Builder or Tradesman
Having building, general maintenance or home improvement work done can be difficult and stressful. But there are certain things you can do before you employ a builder or any tradesmen to try and make sure the job goes as smoothly as possible. It is important that you develop a positive and honest relationship with those undertaking work for you; the tips listed below will help you achieve that. Do not be afraid to ask lots of questions, do your research and know exactly what work has been agreed to be done and for what price.
If you are undertaking minor maintenance or repair work requiring the services of a plumber or electrician, for example, some of the points below are still of benefit to follow before making your decision.Read More
Top Energy Saving Tips
- Turn your thermostat down by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10 percent and typically saves around £65 per year. If you have a programmer, set your heating and hot water to come on only when required rather than all the time.
- Is your water too hot? Your cylinder thermostat should be set at 60°C/140°F.
- Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and check for draughts around windows and doors.
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Use energy saving light bulb last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs, and can save you around £50 over the bulb’s lifetime.
Renting your Home Condition Report
Will Condition Reports help solve rental deposit disputes?
Disputes over the partial or non-return of rental deposits have consistently been amongst the most common issues of concern brought to the Citizens Advice Bureau.
It is therefore in order to ensure fairness between landlord and tenant that the introduction of the compulsory use of Condition Reports for landlords and agents who let accommodation under a residential tenancy agreement (‘tenancy agreement’) is so welcomed. But what do both parties need to do?
Details are available on the www.gov.je site at http://www.gov.je/Home/RentingBuying/HousingLaws/Pages/ConditionReports.aspxRead More