Consumer Advice

Citizens Advice is now the primary source of information and advice on these new laws for consumers through its Consumer Service.

You are entitled to complain about any goods that are damaged, faulty or unsafe. You may also complain if you feel that the goods are not appropriate for the purpose for which you bought them, or that they do not fit the description given. 

When you buy something, you and the seller make a contract. This contract is between you and the seller, not between you and the manufacturer.

If you have a valid complaint, you have a right to have the problem sorted out. It may take some effort on your part, but keep trying. In some cases it may be necessary to go to court to get the matter settled.

This is not as difficult as it sounds and just taking some action could be enough to resolve matters.

If you are unsure about your consumer rights, you can call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service Helpline
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Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline: 03454 04 05 06
Textphone: 18001 03454 04 05 06
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

To contact a Welsh-speaking adviser: 03454 04 05 05
Textphone to contact a Welsh-speaking adviser: 18001 03454 04 05 05

Closed on bank holidays

Calls to the helpline cost up to 9p per minute from a landline. If you're calling from a mobile, it'll cost between 3p and 55p per minute - if you have inclusive minutes, it's the same as calling a landline. Find out more about call charges on GOV.UK.

An adviser will answer your call as soon as possible, usually within a few minutes. Once you're speaking to an adviser your call should take an average of 8 to 10 minutes.

How the consumer helpline can help you

The helpline adviser can:

  • give you practical and impartial advice on how to resolve your consumer problem
  • tell you the law which applies to your situation
  • pass information about complaints on to Trading Standards (you can’t do this yourself)

However, the adviser can't:

  • make a complaint for you
  • take legal action on your behalf

Before you contact the helpline

Before you contact the helpline, you should have a pen and paper ready.

To help the adviser give you the most relevant advice, you should be ready to give them as much of the following information as you can:

  • brief details of your problem, e.g. when you paid for the item or the service, how much you paid, how you paid for it, whether you did so in a shop or online
  • the seller or trader’s name and address
  • what you’ve done so far to try to solve the issue
  • your reference number (if you’ve already contacted the helpline about the same problem)

For self help in dealing with problems with goods and services, visit the consumer section via www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/

What customers say

“I was very low when I came to the CAB, with debts and problems everywhere. I am now a lot happier, as I pay one sum of money each month and get left alone by creditors”.