Tag Archives: Christmas

Citizens Advice Ipswich expects 31st of January to be year’s busiest day for debt advice

The last day of January is expected to be the busiest day of the year for people seeking help with their debts, according to Citizens Advice Ipswich.

Analysis of national data from the past 12 months reveals that on 31 January 2017 Citizens Advice helped 2,800 people, 30 per cent above the daily average.

This means one person sought help from Citizens Advice every 10 seconds.

30 January was the most popular day for seeking advice online, with twice as many page views as average for the rest of the year.

Locally, Citizens Advice Ipswich is expecting around 100 people to seek advice on debt throughout the first month of the year.

Citizens Advice Ipswich provided assistance to people seeking help for a wide variety of debt concerns, including gas and electricity bills, rent and council tax arrears, and credit card debt and loans.

To help people kick off 2018 on a stronger financial footing, Citizens Advice Ipswich is sharing its six top tips to help people get their finances in order for the New Year.

Nicky Willshere, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Ipswich, said:

“There is a surge in demand for our debt advice towards the second half of January.”

“Christmas in particular can take a heavy toll on people already struggling to make their money last and leave them with a debt burden in the New Year. But this needn’t become a crisis – problems can be taken care of if you seek advice early.”

“The New Year is a good time to get on top of your debts, cut your costs or budget better. Citizens Advice can help you review your situation so you can make decisions that improve your financial security.”

Citizens Advice Ipswich’s six top tips to sort out your debts:

1. Work out how much you owe – Make a list of who you owe money to and add up how much you need to pay each month. If you don’t have your most recent statements, contact your creditor to find out what you owe.

2. Prioritise your debts – Your rent or mortgage, energy and council tax are called priority debts as there can be serious consequences if you don’t pay them. These should always be paid first. Separate these and work out how much you owe.

3. Work out how much you can pay – Create a budget by adding up your essential living costs, such as food and housing, and taking away these from your income. Any money you have spare can be put towards your debts. Citizens Advice budgeting tool can help.

4. Paying urgent debts – You may have several priority debts and can’t pay them all. Contact all your creditors to find out if you can negotiate on how much you pay, or when you pay them. Always pay first priority creditors who are taking action against you.

5. Paying non-urgent debts – If you have any money left after paying priority debts, consider getting a free debt-management plan. You’ll make one monthly payment to the plan provider, who will handle paying your creditors. Or contact your creditors and offer them what you can afford to pay.

6. If you can’t pay your debts – If you’ve got little or no money spare to pay your priority debts seek advice from us straight away.

For more information and help, look at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/help-with-debt/

Press Release: Ipswich Citizens Advice gives top tips for tackling festive shopping issues

Ipswich Citizens Advice is offering advice to residents this Christmas on how to resolve shopping problems from faulty Christmas gifts to sale items that aren’t up to scratch.

Ipswich Citizens Advice helped with over 500 enquiries about consumer products and services in the last 12 months including a brand-new reclining chair that needed repair within two months of purchase, and a client who took his laptop in for a cracked screen to be replaced and got it back weeks later to find that his processor had been switched, without his knowledge, for a slower and cheaper alternative. We also helped with over 150 problems with utilities issues such as internet and mobile phone providers.

Nationally, Citizens Advice consumer service dealt with nearly 600,000 enquiries in the last year from people who wanted help resolving problems with goods or services or more information about their rights.

As Christmas presents are unwrapped and sale shopping gets underway, Ipswich Citizens Advice is offering top tips explaining your consumer rights and what you should do if you’re unhappy with your purchases.

Nicky Willshere, Chief Executive of Ipswich Citizens Advice said:

“Problem presents and faulty sale items can cause headaches over the festive period, but there’s lots you can do to resolve issues with your purchases.

“Whether an online order isn’t what you were expecting or you’ve received a gadget that doesn’t work, you can use your consumer rights to get problem items fixed, or get your money back.”

Top tips

Faulty goods? – If you’ve bought something which turns out to be faulty, poor quality or not fit for purpose, you can return it within 30 days and get an exchange, repair or a refund. It doesn’t matter if you bought it online or shopped in store, your rights remain the same.

Changed your mind about a purchase? If you shopped in-store, you’ve got no legal right to return an item because you’ve had second thoughts. However some stores have their own policy allowing you to do this, so ask in store or check their website. If you’ve bought something online, the law does allow you to return an item you’re not sure about within 14 days.

Problem with a present? The right to return a faulty product lies with the person who bought it. They’ll need proof of purchase, and should return it within 30 days. If you can’t tell the giver that there’s a problem, it’s still worth checking with the retailer if they’re able to accept your return.

Returning a gift? If you’ve been given a present which isn’t faulty but you don’t want to keep, you have no legal right to return it. However, some shops have their own policy on this and will offer you a refund, exchange or credit note.

Buying faulty items in the sales? Christmas sales can include products which are marked down because they’re faulty. If you’ve bought a faulty item, you can’t return it because of the fault that was pointed out to you. If there’s a different problem, your usual rights apply and you can return it within 30 days.

Second thoughts on sale shopping? Shops which accept goods you’ve changed your mind about can alter their policy during the sales. For example, they may reduce their return period from 28 days to 14 days, or not accept returns at all. Ask before you buy.

Can’t resolve a problem? If you’re struggling to resolve a problem with a purchase Citizens Advice can help. Go online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk, visit your local service or call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for the Welsh language line.