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20th July 2011

The A-Z Consumer Advice Handbook – all you need to know to be a savvy consumer

Whether it’s finding out how to shop safely online, return faulty goods or find information about debt advice – the Consumer Council’s A-Z Consumer Advice Handbook (the A-Z) is all you need to become a savvy consumer. This handbook, now in its second edition was launched today (20 July 2011) by the Consumer Council in partnership with Trading Standards Service.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “The A-Z Consumer Advice Handbook details many issues and problems that can arise in daily life, and explains how to deal with them simply and practically. -

“You have to know what your rights are to know how to use them and it is essential that people are empowered with the right information and skills so that they can protect their money, avoid consumer problems and know who to go to if things go wrong.  The A-Z is also a great tool for anyone working in community, voluntary and advisory jobs.”

Philippa McKeown, Consumer Affairs Officer at the Consumer Council said: “This A-Z is an easy reference guide providing consumer information, legal advice and contact references for consumers, their representatives and those involved in advocacy, advice and information work. 

“There is also a useful reference section on issues ranging from; housing rights, doorstep selling, making a small claim and dealing with junk email.  The handbook also covers topics such as; flooding, frozen water pipes, laundered fuel, cancelled and delayed flights, your rights when shopping online and using online auctions”.

The A-Z is available to download from: www.consumercouncil.org.uk/publications, Facebook: Consumer Council Northern Ireland and Twitter: ConsumerCouncil. 

You can also request a copy by telephoning 0800 121 6022 (hard copies are limited).  The A-Z will also be available at all Citizens Advice offices, independent advice centres and MLA constituency offices across Northern Ireland. 

Notes to Editors:

1.     Copies will be distributed to Citizen Advice Bureaux, independent advice centres and advice/advocacy organisations. 

2.     The online A-Z is hyperlinked to make navigation easier.  It will be updated on a regular basis to ensure it reflects developments in consumer law and current issues.

3.     The A-Z was first launched in October 2004 by the then ETI Minister Barry Gardiner. http://www.consumercouncil.org.uk/newsroom/210/consumer-council-launches-unique-guide-to-consumer-information/

4.   Consumer Council media contact: Gráinne Magennis, telephone, 028 9067 4813 or 079 2018 7308 or email, [email protected]   

5.   The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland’s consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about buses, trains, planes, ferries, natural gas, electricity, coal and water.

6.   For more information, visit our website at www.consumercouncil.org.uk