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Jersey Consumer Council

Tag: shopping

Bag of Basics

April 6, 2020 Comments Off on Bag of Basics

Alliance Supermarket and taxi drivers sign up to deliver Bag of Basics

6 April, 2020 Press Release

Alliance Supermarket has become the first food retailer in the Island to sign up to a special Jersey Consumer Council scheme offering to deliver ‘Bag of Basics’ for a set fee.

Teaming up with the Island’s taxi drivers, the Council put the call out for food retailers and suppliers to help provide those Islanders struggling to get to a supermarket or food shop to have a simple bag of supplies delivered to their door.

Alliance Supermarket, which has four outlets across the Island, has agreed to help kick-start the initiative, which will launch tomorrow (TUESDAY 7/4/20).

The JCC has used the information and data it has been collecting on food prices since the autumn to determine the content and cost of the Bag of Basics. Costing £20 – which includes delivery – the bag is a standard and set group of items that, on average, every household will use. There is no limit on the number of orders, no age or health restrictions and, importantly, no swapping of items.

Consumer Council Chairman Carl Walker said: ‘We are delighted to be able to get this scheme launched with the support of such a big retailer in Jersey and thank Alliance for helping us.

‘We understand that all food retailers are trying their best to meet the demands of the consumer and food delivery is becoming more important as each day passes. This approach allows the consumer to know exactly what they will get, keeps it simple for the retailers and easy for the deliverers. We are aware that this will not be the long-term solution, but it is at least a step in the right direction.

‘In order for this to work for everyone, it has to be kept as simple as possible. Therefore, it is important that we do not discriminate. There are perfectly healthy or young people who,

through no fault of their own but due to their own personal circumstances, simply cannot get to a food shop routinely enough to keep the house running. This Bag of Basics is simple and enough to see them through until they – or someone else – can do a fuller and bigger shop.

‘Food delivery is going to become hugely important this year, but it will take time for Jersey to adapt. In the meantime, we have taxi drivers out of work – who know the Island’s roads like no one else – and food retailers are looking for more ways to get their items delivered. It therefore makes perfect sense to put the two together. And doing so means the food retailers can keep things simple, reach the people they need to, while allowing the drivers to earn a small amount also.’

Mick Tostevin, Jersey Taxi Drivers’ Association Secretary, said: ‘We are pleased to be helping the local community by supporting the Jersey Consumer Council with their initiative to work with Alliance in order to offer Islanders the opportunity to purchase essential goods delivered to their homes for a set fee.’

Nicky De Veulle, Finance Director for Alliance commented: “We are really pleased to be able to launch this initiative together with the JCC. ‘Bag of Basics’ not only provides a service to those people who are struggling to do their shopping but also allows us to support taxi drivers who are currently out of work. We look forward to working together with the JCC and the islands taxi drivers and hope that the service provides customers with an easier way of accessing these essential items during this difficult period.”

To order a Bag of Basics, which costs £20, Islanders should email askjersey@alliance.gg, giving their name, address and telephone number, or call 01534 786746 between the hours of 9.00am and 12.00pm noon, Monday to Friday, beginning from tomorrow, Tuesday 7 April. Payment will be taken over the telephone so that no cash is exchanged. The driver will leave the shopping on the doorstep, knock on the door and return to their vehicle. All necessary health and hygiene precautions will be taken.

The contents of the bag will be:
2 x 1 litre of blue milk, loaf of medium white sliced bread, Tesco salted butter, six free eggs, 500g Fusilli pasta, 4-pack toilet roll, tin chopped tomatoes, tin of Heinz Baked Beans, white potatoes (2kg-2.5kg) and a selection of fruit.



Home Deliveries

April 1, 2020 Comments Off on Home Deliveries

In these unusual times, local businesses are adapting to ensure their customers can still access their products and services. From food stores and restaurants to beauty salons and office supplies, you can now arrange deliveries to your door.
The Consumer Council has created the below list of known delivery options and other businesses can be found on sites, such as Digital.je, Fetch.je and Shopjersey.je.

Here is our most current list:

Food and Drinks
Cimandis
Classic Herd
CoOp – essential food for vulnerable only
Corkscrew, Central Market
Dorset Street Stores
Douet Farm
Dunell’s Wine
Fungi Delecti
Get Fresh
Gorey Wine Cellar (min £50)
Harper’s Catering
Holme Grown
Homefields
La Collette Cold Stores
Love Wine
Lucas Brothers Farm shop
Randalls Jersey
Rondel’s Farm shop
Samares Stores
Scoop The Sustainable Co-Op
St John’s Village Stores
The Kitchen Cupboard
Stinky Bay Brewing Company
The Little Jersey Biltong Company
The Organic Shop
Valley Foods
Victor HugoWoodside Farm shop

Cafes and Restaurants
Baranne’s Health Stores
Beresford Street Kitchen
Feast
Meat and Eat
Nude Food
Off the Rails
Pink Panda
Fresh
Salty Dog
Seymour Hotels:
– Greenhills (afternoon tea and Sunday lunch)
Watersplash

Pharmacies
Le Quesne’s Pharmacies
LV Pharmacy

Pet Supplies
Animal Kingdom
Bank Nouveau
Classic Pets (human food available too)
K9 Wellness
Raw N More
The Pet Cabin

Sundries
Decorare Jersey
Eastern Garden Machinery
Fortuna Euronics
JEC Powerhouse
Jersey Oak
JFTU, Sion
Mercury laundry & cleaning
Office Plus
Onogo.je
Pebble Home & Boutique
Ransoms Garden Centre
Star Laundry

#stayhome #staysafe


#shopsensibly

March 18, 2020 Comments Off on #shopsensibly

Following a meeting with four major island supermarkets and a subsequent interview with the Bailiwick Express about the supply of food and goods and how to manage people bulk-buying items, the Consumer Council Chairman, Carl Walker, has advised that all supermarkets are working together to maintain a continual supply and filling shelves as quickly as possible.

In order to reassure customers, he advised “that there is no need for you to buy more than you need, and we ask you to shop sensibly and consider others. Buying more than you need is creating difficulty for those on limited incomes and pensions, and places extra strain on our hard-working employees to keep our stores stocked.

Under normal circumstances… I would have been on the other side of the table, representing the consumer and perhaps sometimes taking retailers to task for various things. This time, I’m sitting on the same side of the table, asking consumers, the very people we’re supposed to represent, to just please be considerate of others. Hopefully that demonstrates to the community how importantly we’re taking this and how seriously they need to take it. We’re not doing this because the government have asked us, we’re not doing this because supermarkets have asked us, we’re doing this because the consumer council is being contacted by consumers who can’t buy the food that they need to survive and to give their family. That’s the reason we’re doing it.

I’ve had people in tears on the phone saying, ‘How am I going to feed my children, when I go to the supermarket and all that’s there is the luxury, organic, super-specialist items when I’m on a low income? How can I possibly fill a shopping basket?’ The island’s not going to run out, it’s high up on the distribution list of these retailers and the shelves are being restocked all the time.”

Regarding stockpiling of goods, the Chairman advised we should be mindful that the person could be purchasing for others in self-isolation.

The suggestion of specific opening hours for elderly or vulnerable shoppers was raised to which the Chairman replied: “There was a bit of reluctance on behalf of the supermarkets because they were unsure without having proper advice whether it’s sensible to get all the vulnerable people all in the same place all at the same time. If you get over 90-year-olds all in one supermarket and one person has it, you hit them all in one go. There was that kind of reluctance until there’s a bit more advice on it, they don’t want to jump at that opportunity. We’ve opened discussions about how we bring the community together and how we can look at making sure that those who are perhaps limited on where they can go and when they can go and other restrictions in place, how we make sure that food and those goods and the things that they need are being delivered. So that’s something we’re going to meet about again hopefully next week. 

The island has a great community spirit and people want to help each other and the best way they can do that at the moment is just put a lid on this panic buying.”


Complaining or Complimenting?

March 6, 2018 Consumer Skills, Home life No Comments

We all enjoy a spot of praise now and again, and remember to praise where praise is due. Express your thanks when something goes well. BUT if you find yourself in a position of being dissatisfied with a product or service, follow our simple guide to making an effective complaint.

  1. In the first instance, give the business an opportunity to put things right. We all make mistakes, and a good business can be judged on successful complaints handling.
  2. Find out if the business has a complaints procedure and promptly follow it. If they don’t, ask. If the business is a member of a trade association or signed up to a code of conduct, that body may have a separate complaint handling procedure.
  3. It may be helpful to make it clear that you are making a formal complaint and then go on to:

* Identify yourself, quoting your customer number or any other references.

* Tell them briefly why you are unhappy/dissatisfied and what the problem is in   chronological order.

*Include supporting evidence: photographs, surveys, independent test reports, invoices, screen shots. Copies will do. Keep the originals.

*Set out what the impact of the problem on you has been e.g. any financial loss, inconvenience or distress.

*Say how the issue made you feel and what you want done to either put matters right or compensate you for their failings.

*If you are suggesting a monetary figure, you may want to explain how you came by that figure.

*If you are filling in an online complaints form and you have to categorise your submission, make sure you select complaint rather than comment. Complaints should be taken seriously and require action; comments can be ignored!

*Keep good records. Don’t assume you will be sent a copy of your online submission via e-mail when you press send or submit. Be prepared to take a screen shot and note down any reference numbers.

Monitor the businesses actions against those in their complaints handling procedures, remembering to keep copies of all documentation, emails, key actions, notes of conversations, and dates.

If the business fails to resolve the complaint to your satisfaction, there may be other sources of help or avenues for progressing the complaint. For example, the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman is an independent body that resolves complaints about financial services provided from Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark. It has powers to investigate complaints and can compel financial services providers to pay compensation if it upholds a complaint.

progress your complaint and advise on your rights and all complaints relating to consumer goods and services.

The Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman is a free alternative
to taking a dispute with a financial products and services to court. They are independent, informal and confidential.

The Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman,

PO Box 114,

JE4 9QG

 

Tel: 01534 748610

Email: enquiries@ci-fo.org

https://www.ci-fo.org

 

Additional information:

https://www.jerseyfsc.org/pdf/The-Ombudsman-and-how-to-make-Consumer-Complaints-Nov-2015.pdf

For all other complaints relating to consumer goods or services contact Trading Standards.

Trading Standards,

9-13 Central Market,

St Helier,

JE2 4WL

 

Tel: 01534 448160

Email: tradingstandards@gov.je

www.gov.je/tradingstandards

 


What is Franchising?

February 15, 2018 Consumer Skills No Comments

Franchising, broadly speaking, is a means of running a commercial operation using some or all aspects of another business, including its name, brand and products.

How franchises work

Companies use franchising to widen the reach of their brands, usually into geographical areas that they don’t wish to trade themselves. As the franchisee pays all of the capital costs of setting up the shop and is responsible for the lease and employing the staff, it’s also a very effective and low-cost way for brands to widen their consumer offer at minimal cost to themselves.

The company who grants the licence is called a franchisor. The person who gets the licence to run a business is called the franchisee. The agreement means that the franchisee gets all the elements of the successful franchised business necessary to succeed. This includes everything from branding, products, supplies, designs and even marketing and advertising support.

The support runs for the length of the franchise agreement, which is included in the initial agreement.

The franchisee agrees to pay the franchisor for this privilege. This is usually in one of either two forms. As well as assuming all the set up the costs, the franchisee also pays, either a weekly commission to the franchisor on its sales or alternatively the cost of goods supplied are marked up to provide a higher profit margin for the franchisor (a cost-plus model). The agreements also contain very strict guidelines relating to the operation of the brand which must be adhered to. Failure to achieve brand standards (usually monitored by regular mystery shopper visits), can mean that the franchise is withdrawn.

Pros and cons – a general outline

The most attractive aspect of franchising is that the risk is limited. The business is not a new one but a tried and tested venture that has succeeded elsewhere. This means you do not have to spend a lot of time telling people what the business does because they already know.

The downside is that the franchisor will want to protect his brand and therefore places very strict guidelines on how the brand must to be operated to ensure it conforms to their brand standards.  Obviously, franchisors carry out a very detailed vetting process on any potential new franchise partner. It is also a relatively expensive way of starting in business because you are buying into a proven concept.

If you fancy being your own boss and taking a lot of decisions about how to manage things, you might find you have less freedom than you anticipate because the legal agreement spells out what you can and can’t do.

For the relative safety and protection of a trusted brand, there are certain sacrifices that you have to make.

Franchising is now a flourishing industry boasts nearly 1,000 brands in a multitude of different sectors. Nowadays it is an eclectic mix of businesses encompassing everything from hairdressing to photography, pet care to children’s sports coaching.

In Jersey, we have several franchises in operation offering us well known UK high street brands; the model of franchising gives Jersey business & consumers the opportunity to access brands and products which may not otherwise be available in Jersey.


Your rights in a Sale!

December 18, 2017 Consumer Skills, Money Matters No Comments
One of the biggest myths is that you can’t return faulty goods in a sale. This is simply untrue. Your statutory rights still apply so if your sale goods are faulty or not as described, you are entitled to your money back. There is an exception to this rule. If goods are ‘shop soiled’ and the damage is clearly visible or brought to your attention, you don’t then have a right to return them for that particular fault.
If you want to return sale goods because you have changed your mind, if you bought them on the high street you have no statutory rights therefore have to rely on the shop policy. This may mean they won’t accept sale returns or they may restrict you to exchanges or credit notes.
The situation is different if you purchased sale goods online. In most cases you have cancellation rights, but you will have to be quick as time limits apply. You usually have to pay the postage and packaging for   return. There are some exceptions including perishable or personalised goods. If you are unsure, give Trading Standards a call on 448160.
Finally, sales should be genuine. Traders should not make false claims about savings, have permanent sales or make comparisons to prices that weren’t the last price the goods were on offer at. Whilst there are currently no regulations in Jersey to investigate these sorts of unfair practices, this situation is likely to change. Our advice is follow Martin Lewis’s mantra. Do I need it, can I afford it, will I use it, is it worth it?

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.


Trading Standards credit card warning: online payments where you lose protection

August 30, 2017 Banking, Home life, Money Matters No Comments

A little-known flaw in the Consumer Credit Act may put Jersey shoppers at risk of losing their money if things go wrong.

 

Under Section 75 of the UK Consumer Credit Act, shoppers who make payments between £100 and £30,000 on a credit card can get their money back if the goods turn out to be faulty, not as described or don’t arrive. The UK law makes the retailer and credit card company jointly liable. Jersey consumers usually benefit from this protection due to terms and conditions reflecting the UK Consumer Credit Act.

 

However, a little-known loophole revealed by a MoneySavingExpert means that consumers will only be reimbursed if there is a direct link between the customer, their credit card provider and the supplier. If the payment is processed by a third-party company then the protection under Section 75 does not apply.

 

So, if you bought a concert ticket through an agent on a credit card, you may not be able to get your money back using Section 75 if it doesn’t arrive.

The same may apply if you booked a holiday through a travel agent. However, the travel industry may very well have their own financial protection schemes in place.

 

You may also not be covered for credit card transactions made through online payment platforms, such as PayPal, because it breaks the chain between customer and supplier.  However, if the firm you’re buying from has a “Commercial Entity Agreement” you’ll be able to make a claim under Section 75 even if you use PayPal. PayPal has its own Buyer Protection scheme. This covers online purchases made on eBay and other websites if the item does not arrive or match the seller’s description. Property, vehicles, custom-made items and industrial machinery are among some items that are not guaranteed.

 

Amazon is another firm where Section 75 may not apply. Shoppers who buy items on a credit card from third-party suppliers on the online marketplace will not be covered. If you buy directly from Amazon then you could make a claim.

 

Confused, it is not surprising! Trading Standards offers the following advice:

  • Know who you are buying from and who will take your payment
  • Wherever possible put payments on your credit card
  • If you are entitled to protection, you are still covered even if a small proportion, part payment or deposit was paid using your card
  • When things go wrong, don’t delay. If you don’t have Section 75 protection you may alternative protection through platform buyer protection schemes, but these are often time limited.

 

Free confidential consumer advice is available from Trading Standards on 448162 or email tradingstandards@gov.je. You can also drop in, they are in the Central Market under the clock.

 


Occasionally when we buy goods or services we’re asked to pay a deposit… but what are our rights?

August 30, 2017 Consumer Skills, Home life, Money Matters No Comments

When we pay a deposit, we are committing to a binding contract with the outstanding payment to be paid at a later date. The natural position of the Law is that the deposit will not be refunded should you decide you do not want the goods or services. You should be aware that the trader may be in a position to pursue you for the outstanding money.

 

For example, when ordering a wedding dress or prom dress, we are usually required to pay something upfront. It is always recommended that you ask whether the amount it is refundable or not, and if it is, ask the person to indicate the term on the receipt or by email.

 

For further advice on this matter or any other consumer issues, please contact Trading Standards on 01534 44160.

 


GST and the De-Minimis Waiver

May 19, 2017 Money Matters No Comments

Customs Explain that the De Minimis Waiver is intended to benefit an individual making a single purchase worth under £240 and shipping it to Jersey

All goods are liable to GST on import regardless of value. The de-Minimis waiver under which GST is not charged is not a right but an administrative concession designed to manage the overwhelming numbers of consignments and letter packets that would otherwise have to be charged up. The cost of handling such high volumes of low value goods outweighs the amount that would actually be collected. The de-minimis waiver ministerial decision can be found by clicking https://www.gov.je/government/planningperformance/pages/ministerialdecisions.aspx?docid=0995E584-AA0F-4CA0-96A9-A5BDF532FB64

 

The de-Minimis waiver was intended to benefit an individual making a single purchase worth under £240 and shipping it to Jersey. It was not intended to allow individuals, or indeed businesses, to make several purchases all under £240 from the same supplier on the same day hoping they will arrive separately. The Customs & Immigration Service web page on gov.je https://www.gov.je/TaxesMoney/GST/GSTCustomers/Pages/DeclaringPaying.aspx#anchor-1 clearly states that “If you order multiple items (consignments) that arrive as one shipment, we will treat this as a single delivery.”