The Consumer Council returns over £1 million to Northern Ireland consumers
The Consumer Council has returned over £1 million to consumers and businesses in Northern Ireland since 1 April 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic changing how consumers spend, socialise, work, live and travel, the consumer rights body has said this has led to an increased need for its free service.
Noyona Chundur, Chief Executive of The Consumer Council said: “There has never been a more important time to represent consumers in Northern Ireland. Last year brought unimaginable disruption to their health, livelihoods and finances. For consumers in Northern Ireland, dealing with this alongside EU Exit, has made life much harder because their combined impact touches us all.
“Consumers are at the heart of everything we do and I could not be more proud of our team. Over the past 12 months, they have helped over 9,000 consumers with independent advice and free dispute resolution, a 94% increase compared to the previous year. Despite this exponential rise in demand for our free services, we have maintained an extremely high level of customer satisfaction (99.7%) and a consumer advocacy score of 97 out of 100, have improved our Customer Service Excellence accreditation standards for the third year in a row, and became a 2 Star Best Companies organisation for outstanding levels of workplace engagement.”
In response to the increased demand for its services, The Consumer Council will launch the first ever Northern Ireland Consumer Week on 22 March 2021. The free online event will contain a series of informative videos for consumers and businesses. Special guests and consumer experts will be discussing how the consumer landscape in Northern Ireland has changed over the past 12 months following COVID-19 and EU Exit, and provide practical tips for consumers about their consumer rights and personal finances. Visit www.niconsumerweek.co.uk to find out more.
Economy Minister Diane Dodds said: “Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented financial difficulties for many consumers and businesses. The Consumer Council’s role in protecting people’s consumer rights has therefore never been more important and I congratulate them on the work they have done to return more than £1 million to people who are rightly owed it.
“Northern Ireland Consumer Week will help further highlight the important work of The Consumer Council and will cover a diverse range of areas, ranging from public transport matters, to how we can manage financially, and guidance on foreign travel. I urge people to visit the dedicated NI Consumer Week website to find out more and engage with the events.”
Get in touch with The Consumer Council for free independent support and advice on Freephone 0800 121 6022, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Consumer Council’s website (www.consumercouncil.org.uk) has a range of free online tools to help households manage their budget including an energy price comparison tool, home budget planner and fuel price checker.