Consumer organisations may carry out on or more functions, e.g.: Advisory: those that give advice to customers, for example Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). Regulatory: ensuring that organisations operate according to specific regulations, for example rail regulatory which oversees train operating companies such as Virgin. Promotional: those involved in promoting and advertising consumer rights, such as the Office of Fair Trading. Investigator: those that investigate reports of breaches of regulations, e.g. the Trading Standards officers.
Lobbying: those processing the government for changes in the law to further protect consumers, e.g. the Consumers’ Associating. Representation: those that represent consumer interest on committees or in consumer groups, e.g. the National Consumer Council or the Consumers’ Associating, or represent consumers in court, e.g. Citizens Advice Bureau advisers. Consumer organisations The Office Of Fair Trading (OFT)
The role of OFT is to: Identify trading practises, which are against consumer interests. Put these rights, wherever possible. Regulate the provision of consumer credit. Investigate and remedy activities by industry and commerce, which are against the interests of consumer (such as fixing prices or limiting the supply of an item.) The OFT produce a consumer magazine. In the magazine you as a consumer may find useful information. There are addresses and phone numbers stated for help or enquiry.
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) The Citizens Advice Bureau Service offers free, confidential, impartial and independent advice. The CAB helps solve problems, which are central to people’s lives, including debt and consumer issues, benefits, housing, legal matters, employment, and immigration. Advisers can help fill out forms, write letters, negotiate with creditors and represent clients at court or tribunal. National Consumer Council (NCC) This independent body was established in 1975.
Its aims are to: Promote action, which improves and safeguards consumer interests. Represent consumers when major decisions are being made which will affect them Ensure that the interests of all consumers are taken into account The NCC publishes several research papers and reports each year. Trading standards The Trading Standards Institute: Provides services and support, including education and further development, for its professional Members. Plays a key role with UK Central Government, the European Commission, and Parliament in debates and dialogues on legislation relating to consumers, fair-trading and market control.
Operates ‘leading-edge’ information services to its own professional members and, selectively, in wider markets. Co-operates with a range of other bodies whose interests include consumer protection, and meets regularly with BSI and the CBI. Enjoys a continuing dialogue with the Office of Fair Trading, and with equivalent bodies in other EU states. Is active in Consumer Education and Advice, including through the Young Consumers of the Year event.
Promotes a range of TSI events which feature prominently in consumer affairs, including the TSI Conference & Exhibition, publishes TS Today and Runs a National Consumer Week in the Autumn of each year. Offers a high quality range of TSI Training services both in professional issues and in consumer affairs. Commissions research in appropriate fields of study. You as a consumer can find Trading Standards office in Yellow Pages or in the website. Regulators The Office of Telecommunications (Oftel) is the regulator for the UK telecommunications industry.
Oftel was set up under the Telecommunications Act 1984. Their goal is to make sure the consumer receive the best quality, choice and value for money for all the telephone services. Under the Telecommunications Act 1984, the Director General has a number of duties, which include the following: Promoting the interests of consumers. Maintaining and promoting effective competition.