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New help for car buyers

16 July 2004

A new advice service for consumers has been launched in Scotland, and will roll out across the UK over the next two years.

Advice will be available via e-mail or on the internet

A new advice service for consumers has been launched in Scotland, and will roll out across the UK over the next two years.

Consumer Direct offers advice over the phone, via its website and by e-mail, and is part of a Government effort to make buyers more aware of their rights.

Trained advisors are on hand to inform people about legal issues, how to go about complaining and how to resolve disputes.

Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt said: ‘Any consumer who thinks they have been treated unfairly or needs to know what their rights are will have access to prompt practical advice from a single source.’

Research by the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) found that 85% of buyers do not pursue complaints because they don’t know who to turn to for help, while two-thirds lack the confidence to complain.

The DTI is proposing a range of other measures to give consumers more power. It is looking at extending the ‘cooling-off’ period during which buyers can change their mind about a deal, and introducing new laws to clamp down on dodgy dealers.

If you have bought a car in Scotland and need advice, you can call Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 or visit www.consumerdirect.gov.uk.

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