Wiser Buyer

Consumer advice centre

Part of the Health and Environmental services department of Belfast city council, you must live in Belfast or be a visitor to use this service.

You can get advice in person, phone, e-mail, letter or online. Only council to offer advice on products bought in that area.

  • provides free specialist advice to consumers and traders in Belfast on consumer issues eg faulty goods
  • resolves issues through negociations
  • treated fairly
  • advises consumer of their legal rights under civil law
  • gives adviceon how to write letters of complaint
  • writes follow up letters to organisations eg trading standards
  • small claims court
  • acts as a mediator to achieve a fair solutiom to all
  • contributes to a quarterly magazin- city matters
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The consumer council for NI

Statutory organisation set up by government in 1985 and funded by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment. 

Its main role is to promote the interests of all consumers in NI

  • Provides info on a wide range of consumer issues
  • Researches
  • Publications
  • Handles compalints about public transport and utilities
  • Campagins on consumers behalf to impprove standards of service and protection
  • website CONSUMER LINE
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Consumer focus

Statutory organisation set up in 2008 campaigning for a fair deal for consumers across the UK.

Consumer advocacy organisaion rather than advice. 

  • campaigns about a range of consumer issues on their behalf eg older adults
  • one single organisation speaking with a powerful voice
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Citizens Advice Bureau

Registered charity which helps people resolve problems with;

  • debt
  • benefits
  • housing
  • the law
  • discrimination
  • employent 
  • immigration
  • They offer free, confidential and impartial advice about a range of issues 
  • Interviews 
  • negociates with companies 
  • writes letters and phones companies
  • helps fill in forms
  • represents consumers in court
  • gives advice on website
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Independent advice centres/Advice NI

They are a membership organisation which exsists to promote,support,and develop the independent advice sector in NI.

Does not assist directly but offers training and support to organisations that do.

  • Provides training for NVQs in advice and guidance
  • offers workshops through its website
  • uses e-consultaions for socially excluded groups to express concern
  • offers advice through website
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The Northern Ireland Trading Standards Service

Promote and maintain fair trading,to protect consumers and enable businesses to thrive in NI.

  • Ensure businesses comply with consumer protection laws
  • protect consumers and honest traders from unfair trading
  • advises consumers avout the law
  • ensures goods sold by weight etc are accurately measured
  • ensures goods are as described attends court and gives evidence
  • ensures estate agents treat buyers and sellers honestly
  • handle complaints on illegal trading 
  • complaints about holiday companies
  • enforce trademarks act 1994 which prevents the use of trademarks on counterfeit goods
  • only classified films for sale and children not allowed adult classifaction films
  • ensure traders hold a valid licenc
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Largest consumer body in the UK with over 1 million members

registered charity and is completely independent. its aims are to promote and inform consumer choice, raise awareness of consumer rights and be an advocate for consumers.

  • monthly magazine
  • website
  • surveys
  • books
  • awards
  • super-complaints
  • podcasts
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