Magazine article Public Finance

Vulnerable Consumers Need More Help, Says NAO

Magazine article Public Finance

Vulnerable Consumers Need More Help, Says NAO

Article excerpt

All three national consumer regulators should use their competition and protection powers to ensure that customers do not lose out in a price free-for-all, the National Audit Office has warned.

In a report, Protecting consumers? Removing retail price controls, published on March 28, the NAO says that while the removal of retail price controls had put competitive pressures on telecom, electricity, gas and postal providers, there had been problems for vulnerable customers.

It says that complex tariffs and a lack of information mean that some consumers are still unable to take full advantage of the competitive market.

It also found that suppliers that had had monopolies in the past continued to have a strong position in their original markets. …

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