Adrian was referred to Click Start in September by his Job Centre Work Coach in Wolverhampton. Adrian had recently lost his job due to ill health and was having difficulty searching for work and managing his Universal Credit account online, with his recent job loss having a detrimental impact on his confidence and wellbeing.
Adrian engaged well
with Digital Coach Jan and proved himself to be a quick learner. He was quickly
able to use his smart phone to set up accounts on job sites, Jan coached Adrian
on how to make changes to his CV and considering his transferrable skills and
tailored his CV to specific vacancies.
Jan quickly saw a
noticeable change in the demeanour of Adrian, who appeared more upbeat about
his prospects of finding work, and got his car back on the road in anticipation
The efforts of both Adrian and our Digital Coach Jan quickly paid off, and Adrian had to cancel a Click Start session so he could attend a job interview. Adrian then got in touch to tell us that he had started work after finding a job in carpentry, and had the following to say about his journey with Click Start.
“It’s amazing how many jobs I was offered once I had sent in a cv rather than a blank email. Thanks for all your help, and patience.”
Published: 11 October 2019
Cancelled Flights and lost luggage drove almost 700,000 views of Citizens Advice guidance last year.
Citizens Advice is offering travellers some guidance and advice when your holiday plans meet a problem.
There are also some top tips to help your holidays run more smoothly.
Lots of useful information on :
Airline goes under
Follow the link below for more details and stories and those important Top Tips.
Mobile Phone Users can now SWITCH providers with one simple text
Previously customers had to phone their mobile phone provider when they wanted to switch to a new firm.
They were then given a porting authorisation code ( PAC ) code to give to the new provider if they wanted to keep the same phone number
But watchdog Ofcom says the need to SPEAK to a provider was one of the main factors stopping people from switching and customers often find themselves dealing with unwanted attempts by companies trying to persuade them to stay.
How to Switch by Text
1. Customers who want to SWITCH and keep their existing phone number text “PAC “ to 65075 to begin the process.
2. Their existing provider will respond by text within a minute.
3. They will be sent their switching code (PAC), which will be valid for 30 days.
4. The provider’s reply must also include important information about early termination charges or pay-as-you-go credit balances.
5. The customer then gives the code to their new provider and this company must arrange for the SWITCH to be complete within one working day.
6. While most people want to keep their mobile phone number, about one in six do not. These customers can text “STAC” to 75075 to request a “service termination authorisation code.
Published: 1 October 2019
What is persistent debt?
Persistent debt applies to your credit card balance. If you’ve paid more in interest, charges and fees than you have repaid on your credit card balance over an 18-month period, you’ll be classified as being in persistent debt. Then your credit card provider has to get in touch with you to let you know and offer you help.
They also have to:
ask you to consider whether you can afford to repay more quickly
make you aware of the potential implications of continuing with low repayments which can include the possibility that your card could be suspended, and possible impacts on your credit file
let you know that if you cannot afford to repay more quickly, you can get in touch with them to discuss your circumstances so that they can help or, if necessary, you can get free debt advice.
I’m making minimum repayments, isn’t that enough?
Minimum repayments are set by credit card companies subject to minimum legal requirements. It’s the smallest amount the credit card company is happy to let you pay back per month. Paying only the minimum repayment over the short term can help you spread the cost of more expensive items. But minimum repayments long term become an expensive way to repay your debt.
Here’s the example in a table compared to paying back £150, £175 and £200 every month. These are worked out assuming you don’t spend any more using the credit card.
Interest paid in total
Total paid back
How long it takes to repay the £5,000 loan
Minimum payment – First month £132.92, reducing every month after
18 years 10 months
£150 every month, fixed
4 years 1 month
£175 every month, fixed
3 years 4 months
£200 every month, fixed
2 years 9 months
The easiest way to deal with being contacted by your bank or credit card company is to increase your repayment to a level that’s still affordable for you. Making small changes can save you hundreds or thousands of pounds.
Don’t think of it as a demand for money.
New rules mean credit card companies have to let you know when you could save money by changing how you’re paying back your credit card bill. It’s also a chance to look at your credit card balance and see if it’s costing you more than you want.
However, if you don’t do anything or haven’t sufficiently increased your repayments on your credit card after a further 18-month period, your credit card provider has to help you by offering ways of repaying more quickly, such as proposing a repayment plan.
If you don’t get in touch with them, can’t afford to repay your credit card debt faster or decline a repayment plan, you could have your credit card suspended.
Always Good to Talk speak to your bank about the best option for you
Compare Domestic Energy Suppliers Customer Service
HOW GOOD IS YOUR ENERGY SUPPLIER? Citizens Advice launches new energy tool which ranks firms based on customer service
Price isn’t the only thing to think about when choosing an energy supplier. It might be worth choosing a supplier that gets the fewest complaints, or one that’s easy to contact – even if they’re a bit more expensive.
To help you make that choice, we’ve compared suppliers across 5 different categories and ranked them according to how good their customer service is.
We’ve given them an overall rating out of 5 – 1 being poor and 5 being excellent..We have measured Complaints, Ease of Contact, Bill clarity, Ease of switching and Switch guarantee to give an overall score.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “We hope the tool will encourage suppliers to improve their level of customer service with customers now able to scrutinise their performance across a range of different service factors – from complaints to ease of switching “ Follow our link below
BT Basic is a low-cost service for people on low incomes who may otherwise find it difficult to afford a home phone line.
BT Basic (line rental and calls) costs £5.10 a month including a call allowance of £1.50.
BT Basic + Broadband: line rental and broadband cost £9.95 a month including a call allowance of £1.50.
Monthly price cap. BT Basic customers can now make as many calls as they like to local and national numbers (starting with 01, 02 and 03), UK mobile numbers (starting with 07) or 08 numbers and pay a maximum of £10 a month. This means that customers will not pay any more than £15.10 a month for line rental and calls (subject to fair use and keeping within the eligible call types for the call allowance and price cap). The £10 price cap is automatically given to all BT Basic customers.
Option of monthly billing to help with budgeting.
To get BT Basic, applicants must be getting one of these means-tested benefits:
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
Pensions Credit (Guaranteed Credit)
Employment and Support Allowance (Income related)
Universal Credit (and on zero earnings).
Different benefits with similar names exist, so please check carefully.
To apply for BT Basic, customers just need to fill out a one-page form. BT checks directly with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to confirm eligibility.
For more details on BT Basic, to understand the call types included within the call allowance, the price cap or the application process, go to bt.com/btbasicdeal where you can also download a booklet on the scheme.
Eligible customers can get a BT Basic application form by calling 0800 085 7478.
Our Help to Claim service can support you in the early stages of your Universal Credit claim, from an application, through to your first payment.
Help to Claim is a dedicated service from Citizens Advice. It’s free, independent and confidential. Our trained advisers can help with things like how to gather evidence for your application or how to prepare for your work coach appointment.
Call us for free: 0800 144 8 444
You can get help at the following locations:
West Bromwich Jobcentre Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri 9am – 1pm and Wed 10am – 1pm
Oldbury Jobcentre Mon, Tues and Thurs 9am – 1pm and Weds 10am – 1pm
Smethwick Jobcentre Mon, Tues and Thurs 9am – 1pm and Weds 10am – 1pm
Tipton Jobcentre Mon, Thurs and Fri 9am – 1pm and Weds 10am – 1pm
We may also be able to see claimants at the Citizens Advice office in West Bromwich during the opening times. Help and support is based on when advisers are available. Just drop-in and speak to reception.
If you’re a local organisation working with people who need to help to apply for Universal Credit you can get in touch with the Help to Claim Supervisor – Rachael Walker (email@example.com) to find out how you can signpost or refer people to our service. You can also use this email address to book appointments at our Cradley Heath Citizens Advice office.
Private renters in England who formally complain about issues such as damp and mould in their home have an almost one-in-two (46%) chance of being issued an eviction notice within 6 months, according to a new report – Touch and go – released today by Citizens Advice.
The charity estimates this has affected about 141,000 tenants since laws attempting to ban revenge evictions were introduced in 2015.
It comes as the government’s consultation on introducing minimum three-year tenancies in the private rented sector closes this Sunday.
The research found complaining dramatically increases a renter’s chance of getting an eviction notice when compared to people who do not complain.
Tenants who had received a section 21 “no-fault eviction” notice were:
Twice as likely to have complained to their landlord
Five times more likely to have gone to their local authority
Eight times more likely to have complained to a redress scheme
The charity argues the figures prove 2015 laws designed to prevent families and other tenants in the private rented sector from being evicted after raising a complaint have not worked.
The research includes a unique survey of council Environmental Health Officers (EHO) that found 3 in every 4 EHOs saw tenants receive a no-fault eviction after complaining last year. Of the officers who had been in their role before the 2015 Act was passed, 90% said they have not seen a drop in revenge evictions.
With the private rented sector being the second most common tenure in England with 4.7 million households – including 1.7 million families with dependent children – Citizens Advice is calling for laws around tenant security to be significantly strengthened.
Advisers from the charity helped one mum who moved into a house with her husband and two children and went to her council because a leak in the home was causing her partner’s health to deteriorate. One day before an Environmental Health inspection was due to take place, she was issued a section 21 eviction notice.
The charity backs the government’s proposals for minimum 3-year tenancies, but is concerned that potential loopholes may undermine protections that longer tenancies provide.
Citizens Advice is calling for 3-year tenancies to be written into law, and for these tenancies to include limits on rent rises to prevent landlords from effectively evicting tenants through pricing them out, no break clause at six months, and allowing tenants to leave contracts early if the landlord doesn’t uphold legal responsibilities.
The charity also believes if 3-year tenancies are agreed, the government should then review grounds for section 8 evictions – normally used when tenants are antisocial or fail to pay rent – to allow landlords to recover the property if they choose to sell up.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“The chance of a family being evicted from their home for complaining about a problem shouldn’t carry the same odds as the toss of a coin.
“Those living in substandard properties must have greater protection against eviction when they complain.
“Our report shows that well-intentioned laws created to put an end to revenge evictions have not worked, and a new fix is needed.
“There are serious question marks over the existence of a power that allows landlords to unilaterally evict tenants without reason – known as section 21.
“While Government plans for minimum 3-year tenancies is a step in the right direction, these changes must be strong enough to genuinely prevent revenge evictions once and for all.”
The government has now triggered Article 50. This means that the process of leaving the EU has started.
Some laws will change in the future – but not immediately.
Everything will stay the same until new laws are made.
If you’re an EU citizen living in the UK, your rights to live, work or get benefits won’t change unless the government passes new laws.
If you’re a UK citizen living in the EU or travelling to the EU, your rights won’t change yet either.
You don’t need to take any action now. Changes to the law will be announced before they happen, so you’ll have time to prepare if you’re affected.
If you think you’ve been discriminated against since the referendum, for example if you’ve been unfairly refused work or housing, or told your rights have changed, you can contact us on 03444111444 or call into one of our offices. – See opening times