CAN News 27 September 2019

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CAN News 27 September 2019

Friday 27 September 2019

Celebrations to mark our 80th anniversary continue to garner local press coverage across the country, providing an opportunity to spread the news of the work we do, the people we help, and how people can help us by fundraising or volunteering.

National

Consumer

Mortgage rates: How millions of borrowers could save £4,500 per year – can you cut costs?

Daily Express, 26/09/2019, Jess Sheldon

Our research into the loyalty penalty as it affects the mortgage market was used by the Daily Express in a feature about how to shop around for the best deal.

The paper said people who don’t switch and end up on their lender’s Standard Variable Rate mortgage are paying the “ultimate loyalty penalty.”

It added that the Citizens Advice super complaint to the Competition and Markets Authority covered five “essential” markets, with these being mobile, broadband, home insurance, mortgages and savings.

New season, same old rip offs…

The Mail on Sunday, 22/09/2019, Sally Hamilton

In its coverage of the story The Mail on Sunday noted that it is a year since Citizens Advice launched its super complaint about the loyalty penalty to the Competition and Markets Authority.

Gillian Guy said that apart from the mobile phone industry, where Ofcom’s new voluntary arrangement has been adopted by all providers except for Three, there was little to celebrate.

Rather than champagne corks being popped, the only sound is the screech of dragging heels by watchdogs and providers.

Gillian said: “By this point we expected regulators to have already set out how they would abolish the loyalty penalty, and how they would better protect vulnerable and older people.

“Sadly, across the five important markets we focused on – mobile, broadband, home insurance, mortgages and savings – there just hasn’t been enough progress.”

Energy

Billpayers on hook as nine energy firms face collapse

The Sunday Times, 22/09/2019, p.15, Ali Hussain

The Citizens Advice energy star rating has been used as the basis of a story in The Sunday Times examining the state of the gas and electricity supply market.

The paper claims nine energy suppliers are likely to go bust in the next 12 months, leaving households with a bill totalling tens of millions of pounds. Six firms have already gone out of business this year.

When Eversmart failed it had the second-worst service levels, as measured by Citizens Advice. Solarplicity, which was in the bottom 10 out of 39 firms for service, went bust in August, said the paper.

The Sunday Times also noted that several companies with low scores on our table have taken on thousands of new customers from firms that have failed.

This month Utilita, which is ranked 37th by Citizens Advice for customer service, was appointed to take over Eversmart’s 39,000 customers.

Smart meter delays: ‘I felt pressured into getting one in order to get the best deals’

The Telegraph, 21/09/2019,Sam Meadows

Two people who came to us for help with problems with their smart meters were featured in The Telegraph as part of their coverage of the extension of the roll out deadline.

The paper said the extension was a victory for Citizens Advice which had campaigned for it as part of a ‘common sense’ approach to one of Britain’s biggest infrastructure projects amid a series of technical problems.

Heather George, from Lancashire, said her meter went dumb when she changed supplier. Valerie Harrop, from Nottinghamshire, said she felt pressured to have one installed.

“My tariff was due to come to an end and the only way I could get the best deal was to have a smart meter,” she said. “I didn’t want it.”

Regional

Housing

‘Cheapskate’ landlord paints inside of microwave to cover up rust

Metro, 22/09/2019, Joe Roberts

Our survey of English landlords which found half of them did not know or understand their legal obligations, had been used to illustrate a story about a rogue landlord in Leeds.

The Citizens Advice report published earlier this year also revealed that hundreds of thousands of tenants are living in unsafe homes, and do not know their rights.

We’ve called for a national housing body for private renting to set standards. If set up, houses could be subjected to an ‘MOT’, while landlords could face ‘fit-and-proper person’ tests.

In other news

Quarter of secondary pupils ‘get private tuition‘.

GP surgeries deny care to vulnerable people without ID documents.

More than 8 million people in England living in unsuitable housing.