I’d like to respond to some of the letters published by the organisations I reviewed in The Consumer Protection Report, which I was commissioned to write by DGCOS.
As stated in the report, I am keen to include updates and am happy to amend genuine inaccuracies in the next edition of the report, as long as these are supported with documentary evidence – and I look forward to receiving this.
The aim of the report is to improve the standard of consumer protection, starting with the general ignorance of that protection - both the public’s and the media’s. One aspect is the apparent secrecy of that protection – why is it so hard for a consumer to find out what is offered, if it isn’t in their marketing materials?
I researched these organisations as a consumer, and looked at the leaflets, brochures etc and websites of each organisation, and this is where many of the ‘inaccuracies’ detailed can be found – and indeed not found, where there are omissions. A couple of the organisations have asked why I did not contact them before the report was issued, but would it really be reasonable to expect a consumer to double-check such details provided in marketing materials and websites? And given their reception of the report, is it likely that I would have received full and genuine co-operation from all those reviewed?
So far, of the 22 organisations reviewed only 5 have complained directly to me. Another two have complained in the trade press without detailing what they believe is incorrect, while a further one has merely asked for his organisation to be included in the report.
I have asked each to provide the relevant material to support their statements and where consumers can find this information. I will then amend and reissue the report to reflect any changes.
It should be noted that both DGCOS and I have also received positive feedback on the report.