Putting brakes on dodgy deals

PUBLISHED: 14:01 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:30 15 June 2010

FOR another consecutive year, secondhand cars bought from independent dealers topped the list of complaints received by Government advice service Consumer Direct South West. In total, Consumer Direct South West answered more than 170,000 calls and emails

FOR another consecutive year, secondhand cars bought from independent dealers topped the list of complaints received by Government advice service Consumer Direct South West.In total, Consumer Direct South West answered more than 170,000 calls and emails from the region's consumers and registered 87,000 complaints on its database - up 22 per cent on 2006.The service received 5,553 complaints about secondhand cars bought from independent traders in 2007, up 17 per cent on the previous year, whilst complaints about mobile phone service agreements came second, up 46 per cent.Clive Kenyon, centre manager for Consumer Direct South West, said: "The rise in complaints in 2007 reflects, in part, a growing awareness of the service among the general public as well as an increasing willingness among consumers to complain when they buy unsatisfactory goods or receive poor service. "Consumers are finding that, by arming themselves with information about their rights, they stand a better chance of resolving problems with shops and traders." A recent customer survey showed that over half the callers to Consumer Direct who successfully resolved their complaint saved more than £100 per person. Of the 878 callers surveyed, who had successfully resolved their complaint after calling Consumer Direct, 52 per cent had managed to save over £100 through refunds, repairs and replacements and nine per cent had saved more than £1000. The survey also showed that callers had benefited significantly from reduced worry and stress. Information and advice on consumer issues is available by calling 08454 040506 or by visiting www.consumerdirect.gov.uk

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