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Posted 01/12/17

Up and down the country, trading standards services are busy promoting National Consumer Week (NCW). From street stalls to wide-spread social media campaigns, consumer protection experts are on hand to ensure UK consumers don’t fall foul of subscription issues in the lead up to Christmas.

Beginning on Cyber Monday, this year’s campaign is focussed on subscriptions and subscription traps. Coordinated by Citizens Advice, with resources and materials provided by all members of the Consumer Protection Partnership (CPP), NCW aims to inform consumers of their rights, and how to avoid falling into traps and scams. It’s not always easy to tell when you’re agreeing to a subscription, and with the holidays and the January sales just around the corner, there’s no better time to be savvy when shopping online, so think #BeforeYouSign.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), in collaboration with Business Companion, released two advice animations for NCW. The first addresses businesses who offer subscriptions, ensuring they’re aware of their rights, and links back to Business Companion’s extensive, free online guides for business.

The second CTSI animation advises banks and financial institutions of their responsibilities to consumers, including cancellation of continued payment authorities, which can often trap unaware consumers. Both CTSI videos can be found here.

CTSI Chief Executive, Leon Livermore, said: “This year’s National Consumer Week has had an amazing response so far. It’s brilliant to see so many local authorities actively engaging with consumers on such a massive issue, and we look forward to seeing what the rest of the week brings.”

Our partners at the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) have also released a 60-second video about subscription traps with top tips on how to stay safe online. Laura Johnston, the UK ECC consumer advisor featured in the clip, said: “Very few, if any companies, will offer you a trial of anything unless it is going to lead on to further purchases and this is often done by an automatic renewal system… In most of these cases the customer doesn't realise what is happening until they notice continued payments disappearing from their bank accounts.”

Follow all the National Consumer Week updates on Twitter using the hashtags #BeforeYouSign and #NCW17.

 

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Notes for Editors

For media enquiries or further information, contact CTSI Press Office – 01268 582240 or pressoffice@tsi.org.uk

 Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)

CTSI is a training and membership group that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally.  We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities. 

CTSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses. Visit www.tradingstandards.uk.

Business Companion

Business Companion is a free to use, government backed service, produced by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. Visit www.businesscompanion.info.

Consumer Protection Partnership (CPP)

The CPP was formed in April 2012 as part of a suite of changes to the consumer landscape. The current members of the CPP are: Citizens Advice, Citizens Advice Scotland, CMA, Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment Northern Ireland, Financial Conduct Authority, National Trading Standards Board and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. The CPP’s objective is to bring together these key consumer partners within the reformed consumer landscape to better identify, prioritise and coordinate collective action to tackle the issues causing greatest harm to consumers. In essence, the CPP’s role is to ensure that CPP partners work together to tackle detriment more effectively than they could through working in isolation.  



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