“ Consumer Direct is the government-funded telephone and online service offering information and advice on consumer issues. Consumer Direct is funded by the Office of Fair Trading and delivered in partnership with Local Authority Trading Standards Services. „
Consumerdirect.gov.uk is a great website that educates and informs consumers about their rights and helps them if they have a complaint against a retailer. The website is a garish orange in colour but apart from the poor choice of colour it is easy to navigate, written in plain English and full of common sense advice. Consumer direct is funded by the office of fair trading and they work in partnership with trading standards departments to empower the consumer both before and after they hand over their cash.
The website covers many mainstream consumer issues from guarantees, returning goods, what you can expect when a company goes bust and credit regulations. The advice is all reputable but some of it seems a bit simplistic and I would have liked more details. As well as advice on various topics there are form letters you can use to make a complaint to a company and a free helpline to phone for further advice.
I bought a washing machine from Curry's (see my review entitled "Their Aftercare Is A Joke") and when the washing machine was just 10 months old it broke down. Getting the machine which was still under warranty repaired should have been an easy enough matter but Curry's gave me a right run around, the engineer came out and broke the machine further and the so called customer care department of Curry's told me it was my responsibility to arrange the repairs myself. I knew that Curry's were in the wrong and a quick search of the consumer direct website confirmed this. I then phoned the helpline on 08454 04 05 06 where a nice woman took all the details and opened up a case for me. She directed me to the form letters on the website and told me which one to use and customise and send recorded delivery and told me if I did not get a result within seven days to phone back and they would take action for me. I decided to give Curry's helpline one more try, this time telling them what the woman on the helpline had told me. Amazing, the mere mention of consumer direct got the company moving and I got my washing machine finally fixed.
I'm really happy that I discovered this website and I was able to get phone advice from the comfort of my living room. I certainly won't be buying from Curry's again but will happily use consumer direct again should the need arise.