The UK Regulators’ Network has today launched an advisory leaflet to help ensure vulnerable consumers get the help they need to access essential services.
Produced through a collaborative effort between Ofgem, Ofcom, Ofwat, the ORR and the CAA, the leaflet highlights a range of free support services offered by utility, telecommunications and public transport providers.
The UKRN website gives details of how to get braille, audio and large print versions of the leaflet.
Ofgem’s consultation on proposals to improve outcomes for prepayment customers ends 25 February 2016.
The proposals are designed to:
- help PPM customers to access more competitive tariffs
- address the costs consumers can face, ensuring these do not fall disproportionately on those least able to afford them, and
- ensure that PPM customers are treated fairly by their energy providers.
On 15th April 2015 ESAN, Citizens Advice and Money Advice Trust joined forces to host a conference on practical steps towards effective implementation of vulnerability strategies. Over 70 delegates from firms, regulators and voluntary organisations across financial services, energy, water and communications attended.
The theme of the day was practical and designed to be helpful to firms rather than concentrating too much on theory and definitions. Many common themes that relate to all sectors emerged – around the multi-dimensional nature of vulnerability, how a risk-factor approach rather than categorisation can help, the importance of staff correctly picking up on triggers at the first point of contact, staff training, and maintaining excellent links with advice and voluntary sector groups were all key issues. Three firms presented case studies on their experiences of developing ways of treating customers in vulnerable circumstances better. FCA, Ofcom, Ofwat and Ofgem all outlined their developing plans in this area.
A background paper on the relevant issues can be found here:
Tackling Consumer Vulnerability Briefing Paper
Presentations can be found here:
Linda Lennard CCES ESAN Consumer Vulnerability presentation
Martin Coppack FCA ESAN Consumer Vulnerability Presentation
Garreth Cameron ICO – ESAN vulnerability presentation
Money Advice Trust ESAN vulnerability presentation
Wessex Water ESAN vulnerability presentation
Steve Crabb British Gas ESAN vulnerability presentation