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Publications

  1. Issues brought to the Citizens Advice Network in Scotland 2016-17
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    The Energy Advice in Detail report provides an annual assessment of the energy issues clients of the Citizens Advice network in Scotland sought assistance with, and places those within a wider policy context.

  2. David Moyes & Kate Morrison
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    Mains gas is both the cheapest means to heat homes and the most common heating fuel in Scotland, England and Wales. However many people, particularly in certain areas and demographics, do not have access to, or do not make use of, mains gas for heating their home.

  3. Consumers and Scottish climate change policy
    Dr Jamie Stewart
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    The report is based on research carried out by Changeworks and Hilliam Research on behalf of CAS. CAS commissioned the research understand the implications for consumers of energy and climate change policy in Scotland, and provides analysis of the Scottish Government’s new Climate Change Plan and Energy Strategy. In particular, we sought to understand the type of behaviour changes that could be expected of consumers as a result of these policies, and the steps being taken by the Scottish Government and others to facilitate these changes. 

  4. Energy networks in Scotland and their changing role with consumers
    Jamie Stewart
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    Today Citizens Advice Scotland is publishing our latest report ‘Pylons, Pipes and People: Energy networks in Scotland and their changing role with consumers’.

    In late 2017 we commissioned the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and Changeworks to undertake a research study into the energy distribution network companies operating in Scotland. This study’s particular focus was to explore how these companies currently support consumers and how their role in Scotland can and should change to ensure that consumers, and particularly vulnerable consumers, are most effectively supported as our energy system transforms.

  5. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland provided evidence to HM Treasury's pre-paid funeral plans: call for evidence. We focused on the importance of ensuring consumers were both fully informed and protected from harm.

  6. Kristin Hartman
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland conducted research into the use of postal services by Scottish SMEs - looking specifically at whether they have access to a meaningful choice of postal products, services and providers. We also wanted to find out if the current postal market is meeting the needs of Scottish SMEs or if any changes are required to improve the products and services available to these consumers.  

  7. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland responded to Financial Conduct Authority's Discussion Paper on Rent to Own, answering questions about 'What alternative solutions could there be to address harm from high prices?' and 'What issues should the Financial Conduct Authority should take into account in carrying out further work on a price‑cap'

    Spotlight:
  8. Modernising Consumer Markets
    Gail Walker
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    CAS welcomes the Consumer Green Paper and a stronger push by the UK government for greater simplicity, transparency and fairness for those that purchase and use goods and services.

  9. Nina Ballantyne
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    We all use energy, post and water services and Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is the independent advocate for consumers’ interests in these sectors. We work with governments, regulators and business to put consumers first, designing policy and practice around their needs and aspirations.

  10. Publication date:
    June 2018

    This report contains the findings from research on Consumer Confidence and Understanding, conducted by Ipsos MORI, on behalf of Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

    The research comprised a survey of 1,004 consumers in Scotland (aged 16 and over), carried out between 7 and 20 March 2016. The specific issues covered were: experience of consumer problems and complaints; awareness and expectations of consumer organisations; awareness and perceptions of CAS; and experiences of using CAS services.

    Spotlight:
  11. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland welcomed the opportunity to respond to this consultation concerning competition and transparency in the provision of funerals and crematoria market power. 

  12. Nina Ballantyne
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Scotland’s independent consumer advocate has pledged to put consumers first in the regulated industries of energy, water and post. The Consumer Futures Unit of Citizens Advice Scotland has outlined its priorities in its work plan for 2018-19.

  13. Craig Salter
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Today the Consumer Futures Unit (CFU) at Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is publishing its insight report 'Speaking up: Understanding Fuel Poverty Support Needs' alongside a briefing sheet.

    The insight report is based on research carried out in 2017 by Ipsos Mori and Bill Sheldrick. The CFU commissioned the research to explore the characteristics of fuel poor households that may be in the greatest need of support, and the types of support that would benefit them most.  The research included secondary analysis of Scottish Household Survey data as well as qualitative interviews with fuel poor households.

  14. Publication date:
    June 2018

    An important aspect of access to justice for consumers is to be able to access redress when something goes wrong, and that this redress should be easy to access, free and independent.

    Spotlight:
  15. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    May 2018

    This report raises issues around the extent of consumers who would be unable to afford household goods, as well as a lack of awareness of consumers of different affordable options that are available to them. This research therefore expanded to look at the wider issues of the affordability of household goods and the different options in accessing them, as well as focusing on the rent-to-own sector.

    This research also explore the consumers experience of the rent-to-own sector as CAB research and evidence had suggested that this was a growing area of consumer concern. The research found positive and negative aspects of the sector and makes recommendations for future change.

     

     

    Spotlight:
  16. What consumers in rural and remote areas want from Post Office Outreach services
    Nina Ballantyne
    Publication date:
    May 2018

    The Consumer Futures Unit at Citizens Advice Scotland carried out innovative deliberative research into what aspects of the Post Office Ltd Outreach network were most important to consumers in remote and rural areas, and why.

  17. Jana Eyssel
    Publication date:
    March 2018

    The Consumer Futures Unit has provided feedback on the proposed Revision of the European Commission's Drinking Water Directive (Recast 2017).

  18. Findings from the Citizens Advice Scotland bus users survey
    Publication date:
    March 2018

    CAS has explored the experience of bus passengers over the past few years. In 2016, we undertook our first first bus users' survey which looked at transport issues in rural areas, and led to our Round the Bend report. 

    Following this, we wanted to explore what bus passengers want which led us to undertake a public survey, asking consumers what aspects of their bus services they are satisfied with and what they are unsatisfied with. CAS also asked what issues were most important to consumers in relation to buses.  This report analyses this 'Your Bus, Your Say' survey which was completed in 2017.

    Responses

    > 4,677 survey responses in total
    > Received the highest number of responses from Glasgow City
    > Over a quarter of respondents travelled by bus at least 5 times or more per week

    Satisfaction

    > 68% of respondents were generally satisfied with the cleanliness/condition of their local bus
    > 76% of respondents were generally satisfied with feeling safe on their local bus service
    > 71% of respondents were generally satisfied with driver behaviour on their local bus service

    Dissatisfaction

    > 64% of respondents were generally dissatisfied with the service frequency of their local bus
    > 72% of respondents were generally dissatisfied with providing feedback to their local bus service
    > 67% of respondents were generally dissatisfied with getting help from their local bus service

    Top three most important issues to bus users

    > Service frequency - 72%
    > Punctuality - 59%
    > Value for money -39%

    Travel

    > 16% of respondents could not reach their GP surgery or hospital by bus
    > 13% of respondents could not reach their workplace by bus
    > Only 5% of respondents never travel by bus
    > Whereas 46% travelled 3 or more times per week

    Spotlight:
  19. Jana Eyssel
    Publication date:
    February 2018

    The Consumer Futures Unit has responded to the European Commission’s consultation on how risks arising from pharmaceuticals in the environment should be addressed.

  20. Marcus Wilson
    Publication date:
    February 2018

    It is an appropriate time for the Scottish Government to be considering and consulting on Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies and the regulation of district heating. Both Scottish and UK Governments expect growth in the number of district heating schemes and for the technology to play a significant part in the decarbonisation process.

    Overall, there is a growing body of evidence of consumer detriment when district heating protections are not consistent, and strengthening protections now should forestall wider negative experiences as the sector grows.

    Recent CFU research highlighted the pressing need for, and possibility of, consumer protection in a Scottish context, which is set out in the response below. 

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