PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release – 12th December 2016

Contact: Christine Sinclair 0300 303 4321

‘SWITCHED ON’ TO YOUR RIGHTS THIS CHRISTMAS

Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service is raising awareness of the public’s consumer rights in the build up to Christmas.

Electronic products are the main focus. In particular mobile phones are a massive consumer issue around this time of year, says Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service

The CAB launched their campaign during National Consumer Week (28 Nov – 2 Dec) to help stop people falling prey to bad sellers and common mistakes.

Issues around parents being guarantor’s for their children and racking up huge debt as well as seller’s wrongly referring people onto the manufacturer have been major issues in previous years.

Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service is inviting Dumfries & Galloway locals to contact the consumer helpline at 0345 404 0506 or their local Citizens Advice Bureau if you have a problem with an electronic good or phone.

Christine Sinclair, Operations Manager of Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service said:

“Many people are unaware of their rights when doing their Christmas shopping.

“There was in a change in the law in 2015 that gave us all much stronger consumer rights, and we need to make people aware of that.

“With so many new mobile phones being released this year, we know that the so called ‘must have’ gifts this Christmas mean that people need to know how to deal with retailers and sellers.”

Case Studies

A South of Scotland consumer phoned the consumer helpline regarding a fault which had occurred with the screen of her new phone. She returned the phone to the high street retailer where she purchased it who sent it away for a repair. When she got it back the fault had not been fully fixed so she returned to the shop again. They informed her she could not have a refund but they would have to send it away for a repair again and it would take over a month.

What the Consumer Rights Act 2016 says:

The consumer has a right to a refund after one attempt to repair or replace. If this has failed the consumer is entitled to a full refund or keep the faulty phone and get a partial refund if the consumer prefers, not the retailer.

A South of Scotland CAB reports a client who ordered a new phone at a major high street phone retailer. The client returned two weeks later to the shop to change it as he noticed a number of faults with the handset that he was unhappy about. He was told to return the next day so the manager could return it to the manufacturer for repair. When the client did so was told he would have to return it to the manufacturer himself as it wasn’t the shop’s “problem” there was a fault.

What the Consumer Rights Act 2016 says:

The contract is between the consumer and the shop not the manufacturer. Therefore it is the job of the retailer to either replace the goods or give a refund.

Christine Sinclair said:

If you have a consumer problem get advice and report it to Trading Standards through your local Citizens Advice Bureau or through the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0345 404 0506.

–       Ends –

For more information contact:

Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service

0300 303 4321

Notes to editors:

1          D&G CAS has four permanent CAB offices – one each in Annan, Dumfries, Castle Douglas and Stranraer. But it also has regular advice clinics in other towns, including Sanquhar, Langholm, Dalbeattie, Wigtown, Newton Stewart, Kelloholm and DGRI. In addition the service has specialist teams on housing, money advice, benefits including a specialist service called Support4Life for people affected by long term health conditions, in court advice and representation and the Patient Advice Support Service.

2          D&G CAS is an independent registered charity with the charity number SC027107. It first opened in 1997. It currently employs 49 staff, and has 59 volunteers.  Its turnover last year was £1.5 million. Each office is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and to 7pm each Thursday in Dumfries.  

  • D&G CAS is part of the network of CABs across Scotland.  Like all CABs, the advice it gives is free, confidential and impartial. The CAB service has been in existence since 1939 and is one of the most popular and well recognised charities in the UK.
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Logo and Graphic for Big Energy Saving Week

Press Release – Living Wage Week – 31 October 2016

For immediate release

Media Contact:  0300 303 4321

Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service hosting Big Energy Saving events to help people cut their energy bills

Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service (D&G CAS) is helping local people get ready for winter by hosting five special events on how to get the best value for money from their gas and electricity.

The events are part of Big Energy Saving Week (31 October – 6 November), a national campaign run by Citizens Advice Scotland, Home Energy Scotland and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The campaign aims to help people to cut their energy costs by following a three-step rule – check, switch and save.

People are encouraged to check their current tariff and compare it with other suppliers before switching to a cheaper deal if available. They are also given tips on making sure they’re saving energy in their home.

D&G CAS is hosting free energy saving events daily between 31 October and 4 November at the Citizens Advice Bureaux at:

19a Bank Street, Annan

3 St Andrew Street, Castle Douglas

81 – 85 Irish Street, Dumfries

23 Lewis Street, Stranraer

On 1 November we will also host an event at Wilko on Cotton Street in Castle Douglas.

Using the Citizens Advice online energy price comparison tool advisers can show people how to check they’re on the best tariff for their needs or if there’s a cheaper deal with a different supplier.

People can learn about making their home more energy efficient, for example by getting cavity wall insulation, draught excluders or double glazing. Advisers will be suggesting how to avoid using extra energy by not leaving the TV on standby or leaving lights on.

Advisers can also check whether energy customers are eligible for a discount from their supplier, for example if they are claiming certain benefits.

Those who can’t make the event can still follow Big Energy Saving Week’s three-step rule of check, switch, save at home. They can use the Citizens Advice online price comparison tool to work out if they can find a cheaper energy deal elsewhere, or contact their local Citizens Advice Bureau for help.

Sue Irving, Chief Executive of D&G CAS, said:

“Checking your energy tariff and switching to a cheaper deal is one of the quickest and easiest ways to cut your bills.

“Big Energy Saving Week is a great opportunity to get expert advice on how you can make savings before winter starts, from changing energy supplier to insulating your home.

“We would urge everyone to come down to the event, use our price comparison tool or contact our service for advice so they can start making savings.”

For a full list of Big Energy Saving Week events in your area, visit D&G CAS’ website or the Citizens Advice website.

If you want to help make a difference to the lives of local people in Dumfries & Galloway then volunteer with Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Centre contact us on 0300 303 4321 or email volunteering@dagcas.org.

For more information or to arrange interviews please contact Sue Irving, Chief Executive of D&G CAS, on 0300 303 4321

ENDS

Notes to Editors

 About Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service

  • Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service holds the award of Social Enterprise/Charity of the Year 2012 from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce in recognition of our work and impact on the economy of the region.
  1. In 2014 – 15 our volunteers contributed over 18,000 hours to improve the lives of people in our region and we estimate this has a labour value of over £241,000. In total throughout the year D&G CAS provided advice and assistance with nearly 40,000 issues raised by over 14,000 enquiries, and dealing with this level of demand would have been impossible without our volunteers.
  • We asked some of our clients why they chose D&GCAS and this is what they had to say:

“Good reputation, free service, experienced advisers.”

“CAB were honest, helpful and care.  They follow-up and were polite”

“The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is a trusted presence all over Scotland for people who need help.”

  • The organisation has four permanent CAB offices – one each in Annan, Dumfries, Castle Douglas and Stranraer. But it also has regular advice clinics in other towns, including Sanquhar, Langholm, Dalbeattie, Wigtown, Newton Stewart, Kelloholm and DGRI. In addition the service has specialist teams on housing, money advice, benefits including a specialist service called Support4Life for people affected by long term health conditions, in court advice and representation and the Patient Advice Support Service.
  • D&G CAS is an independent registered charity with the charity number SC027107. It first opened in 1997. It currently employs 53 staff, and has over 60 volunteers. Its turnover last year was £1.5 million. The opening hours of each office are available on the organisation’s website dagcas.org.  Our telephone helpline on 0300 303 4321 operates from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
  • D&G CAS is part of the network of CABs across Scotland. Like all CABs, the advice it gives is free, confidential and impartial. The CAB service has been in existence since 1939 and is one of the most popular and well-recognised charities in the UK.

 About Citizens Advice Scotland

The Citizens Advice service in Scotland comprises a network of 61 local Citizens Advice bureaux, all of which are independent charities, and our Citizens Advice consumer service. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing free, confidential information and advice, and by using our evidence base to influence public policy in the interests of our clients.

About Home Energy Scotland

Home Energy Scotland is a network of local advice centres covering all of Scotland. Their expert advisors offer free, impartial advice on energy saving, renewable energy, sustainable transport, waste prevention and more.  http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland

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Press Release

PRESS RELEASE

19 July 2016

Media Contact: 0300 303 4321

Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service fights scams and fraudsters

Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service (D&G CAS) is urging local people to join the fight against scams and fraudsters and is supporting people to be aware of the risks and seek advice.

Cold calls, high-pressure sales tactics and automated voicemails asking for people’s details are just some of the tricks scammers are using to rob people of their hard earned money, and we want to stop people falling prey to scams by following a simple rule – get advice, report it, and tell others about it.

Fraud victims pay a heavy price losing billions of pounds every year. Scams targeting people by phone or post alone cost people in the UK an estimated UK £5 billion each year.

Informing the authorities and warning others is the only sure fire way of stopping scams, but people can be hesitant to even tell their friends and family.

Our Bureaux in Annan, Dumfries, Castle Douglas and Stranraer offer advice on speaking up about a scam which is key to getting them closed down, and on how to go about reporting suspected fraud to the authorities.

Sue Irving, Chief Executive of D&G CAS said:

“Scams come in a variety of guises and we see new ones emerging all the time. However, there are common hallmarks to every scam and we’re keen to show local people what to look out for so they don’t fall prey to a fraudster.

“There is even a CAB scam where local people have received phone calls allegedly from a CAB wanting their financial information to offer debt advice. CABs never cold call so we urge people not to fall for this trick.

“Reporting suspicious offers and incidents of fraud is vital to getting scams closed down. If you think you’ve been contacted by a con artist or have been the victim of scam, seek advice and report it to the authorities.

Page | 2

“Scams are more common than most people realise and we regularly hear from people who have lost money this way. Some scams are one-offs that persuade you to part with a lump sum, while others go after your personal details so they can access your money or copy your identity.

“We’re asking people to help us tackle scams by getting to know the common signs, warning others, and reporting incidents to Trading Standards so they can investigate.”

FOUR SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO ABOUT A SCAM

1. GET ADVICE. Contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06 or
Citizens Advice Consumer Service

2. CHECK. Unexpected calls, letters, and online contacts with someone you trust.

3. REPORT IT. For both scams and suspected scams, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

4. TELL a friend, neighbour or relative about any scams you become aware of.

OTHER KEY MESSAGES

Ways to spot signs of a scam

• The call, letter, e-mail or text has come out of the blue.

• You’ve never heard of the lottery or competition they are talking about.

• You didn’t buy a ticket (you can’t win a competition you didn’t enter!)

• They are asking you to send money in advance.

• They are saying you have to respond quickly.

• They are telling you to keep it a secret.

• They seem to be offering you something for nothing.

• If it seems too good to be true it probably is!

How to protect yourself better against scams

• Never give out contact details like your name, phone number or address to strangers or to people who should have this information already.

• Never give financial information or details of your identity, bank accounts or credit card to strangers or to the businesses that should already hold your details.

• Shred anything with your personal or bank details on – don’t just throw it away.

• If in doubt, don’t reply. Bin it, delete it or hang up.

• Persuasive sales patter? Just say: “No thank you.”

• Resist pressure to make a decision straight away.

• Never send money to someone you don’t know.

• Walk away from job adverts that ask for money in advance.

• Ask friends, neighbours or family about whether an offer is likely to be a scam.

Page | 3

For more information or to arrange interviews please contact Sue Irving, Chief Executive of D&G CAS, on 0300 303

ENDS

Notes to editors

1 Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service holds the award of Social Enterprise/Charity of the Year 2012 from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce in recognition of our work and impact on the economy of the region.

2. In 2014 – 15 our volunteers contributed 18,484 hours to improve the lives of people in our region and we estimate this has a labour value of over £240,678. In total throughout the year D&G CAS provided advice and assistance with nearly 40,000 issues raised by over 14,000 enquiries, and dealing with this level of demand would have been impossible without our volunteers.

3 We asked some of our clients why they chose D&GCAS and this is what they had to say:

“Good reputation, free service, experienced advisers.”

“CAB were honest, helpful and care. They follow-up and were polite”

“The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is a trusted presence all over Scotland for people who need help.”

4 The organisation has four permanent CAB offices – one each in Annan, Dumfries, Castle Douglas and Stranraer. But it also has regular advice clinics in other towns, including Sanquhar, Langholm, Dalbeattie, Wigtown, Newton Stewart, Kelloholm and DGRI. In addition the service has specialist teams on housing, money advice, benefits including a specialist service called Support4Life for people affected by long term health conditions, in court advice and representation and the Patient Advice Support Service.

5 D&G CAS is an independent registered charity with the charity number SC027107. It first opened in 1997. It currently employs 53 staff, and has over 60 volunteers. Its turnover last year was £1.5 million. The opening hours of each office are available on the organisation’s website www.dagcas.org. Our telephone helpline on 0300 303 4321 operates from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

6 D&G CAS is part of the network of CABs across Scotland. Like all CABs, the advice it gives is free, confidential and impartial. The CAB service has been in existence since 1939 and is one of the most popular and well-recognised

 

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8 June 2016

Media Contact:  0300 303 4321

Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service Celebrates Volunteers Week (and the birth of kid goats……..)

Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service (D&G CAS) is holding events across the region to celebrate volunteering in our four Bureaux to thank our amazing volunteers for their life-changing contributions.

Our staff and volunteers in Annan, Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Stranraer have been celebrating in a range of imaginative and creative ways including,

  • Tree planting at the Samye Ling Tibetan Centre in Eskdalemuir
  • A naming ceremony for kid goats belonging to our Annan Bureau Manager! Photos available on request!
  • A Bake Off and fun Quiz Events

These are all great events to bring volunteers together to celebrate and allow us to say a proper thank you for their hard work and commitment.

Sue Irving, Chief Executive of D&G CAS, said,

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service and Volunteers’ Week is a great opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate our volunteers and the incredible contribution they make to our organisation and our communities.  Volunteers are an integral part of our region and without their dedication, energy and commitment, many of the services we take for granted would simply grind to a halt. At D&G CAS we could not function without our volunteers.

And what is really important is that volunteering is a two-way relationship.  As well as the contribution volunteers make to D&G CAS we provide great training which enhances people’s skills, improves self-confidence and very often sees volunteers taking up new opportunities and returning to work.

We have an outstanding team of volunteers who have helped generate an income of over £8 million for the local economy in Dumfries & Galloway.  This is money that goes directly into the pockets of people who desperately need it and has a big impact on tackling poverty in the region.  The work of our volunteers therefore has a very direct and positive impact on the local economy.

And of course we took the opportunity to celebrate the new kid goat arrivals Mark and Ian who are now part of the D&G CAS family!”  

National Volunteers’ Week is a chance to be part of the UK’s biggest celebration of volunteering recognising the contribution of 23 million people who volunteer in their communities across the UK.  It is a long-standing, popular event in the third sector which was established in 1984.  It is supported and celebrated by small grassroots organisations as well as larger, household-name charities that together run hundreds of events across the UK. These events showcase and celebrate volunteers and the contribution volunteering makes in our communities.

If you want to help make a difference to the lives of local people in Dumfries & Galloway then volunteer with Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Centre contact us on 0300 303 4321 or email volunteering@dagcas.org.

For more information or to arrange interviews please contact Sue Irving, Chief Executive of D&G CAS, on 0300 303 4321.

ENDS

Notes to editors

  • Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service holds the award of Social Enterprise/Charity of the Year 2012 from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce in recognition of our work and impact on the economy of the region.
  1. In 2014 – 15 our volunteers contributed 18,484 hours to improve the lives of people in our region and we estimate this has a labour value of over £240,678. In total throughout the year D&G CAS provided advice and assistance with nearly 40,000 issues raised by over 14,000 enquiries, and dealing with this level of demand would have been impossible without our volunteers.
  • We asked some of our clients why they chose D&GCAS and this is what they had to say:

“Good reputation, free service, experienced advisers.”

“CAB were honest, helpful and care.  They follow-up and were polite”

“The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is a trusted presence all over Scotland for people who need help.”

  • The organisation has four permanent CAB offices – one each in Annan, Dumfries, Castle Douglas and Stranraer. But it also has regular advice clinics in other towns, including Sanquhar, Langholm, Dalbeattie, Wigtown, Newton Stewart, Kelloholm and DGRI. In addition the service has specialist teams on housing, money advice, benefits including a specialist service called Support4Life for people affected by long term health conditions, in court advice and representation and the Patient Advice Support Service.
  • D&G CAS is an independent registered charity with the charity number SC027107. It first opened in 1997. It currently employs 53 staff, and has over 60 volunteers. Its turnover last year was £1.5 million. The opening hours of each office are available on the organisation’s website dagcas.org.  Our telephone helpline on 0300 303 4321 operates from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
  • D&G CAS is part of the network of CABs across Scotland. Like all CABs, the advice it gives is free, confidential and impartial. The CAB service has been in existence since 1939 and is one of the most popular and well-recognised charities in the UK.

 

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Energy Advice Project

 

ENERGY ADVICE PROJECT

We are pleased to advise that we are undertaking an Energy Advice Project based in Dumfries.  We have recently appointed to the position a part time Adviser available Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday between the hours of 9: am and 4:30 pm by appointment.

This is a free service and targeted those who may suffer from fuel poverty such as:

  • High fuel prices
  • Low household income
  • Energy efficiency within the home

In order to assist clients in this regard we provide advice and practical assistance aiming to:

  • Reduce the amount of money spent on utility bills
  • Increase the household income
  • Improve the overall energy efficiency within the home

For appointments:

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Welfare Benefits – Guide for GPs and Other Health Care Professionals

Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service and NHS Dumfries and Galloway gratefully acknowledge the input from NHS Lanarkshire in the preparation of this document.

This document is intended for Health Care professionals preparing letters of support for medical tribunals.

Welfare_Benefits_Guide_for_GPs (PDF Version)

Welfare_Benefits_Guide_for_GPs (Word Version)

 

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