Consumer Tips
Living Costs
Shopping
24 November 2022

Did you know you can apply for help to cover the cost of GST on food?

Jersey's government has received almost 4,000 submissions for the Community Cost Bonus this year. The annual payment is available to help Islanders who are struggling with increasing food costs. It used to be called the Food Cost Bonus and supports families who are just above the Income Support level, by covering the cost of GST on food. To date, 3,850 applications have been made for the 2022 payment, which has doubled this year from £258.25 to £516.50. The payment is available to households in which at least one person has lived in Jersey for the past five years, where no one is receiving income support, and if the household has a combined tax liability of less than £2,735.00 for 2021. On Thursday (24 November) a proposal to remove GST on food altogether was rejected by the States Assembly, by 27 votes to 17. You can apply for the bonus by visiting the gov.je/CCB website or by calling Customer and Local Services on 444444.
Shopping
16 November 2022

Jersey Post’s reduced-price Christmas stamps won’t be available in December

Jersey Post has defended its decision to not make this year’s reduced-price Christmas stamps available to use during the month of December for the first time. A number of Islanders have contacted us about the fact that the deadline to take advantage of the reduced seasonal postage is Friday, 25 November – including for Christmas mail to Jersey and the UK. Jersey Post has offered reduced-priced stamps in the lead-up to Christmas for a number of years. When the scheme first launched, it was available into the second week of December, though last year the deadline was brought forward to 2 December. However, consumers have told us that they ‘don’t think it’s fair’ that this year the deadline is another full week earlier. One consumer said: “As we’re currently in a cost-of-living crisis, it would have been nice for the reduced Christmas postage for 2022 to have been available for even longer than last year, so that more Islanders could benefit from it, or at the very least until the same date as last year, rather than yet another week earlier.” And another Islander told us “If you post your local and UK Christmas cards by 25 November, they’ll probably arrive up to a few days later, which would still be a few days before even the start of December, when people traditionally even think about starting to celebrate Christmas. “I can’t understand why the reduced-price stamps are even going to be Christmas-themed, as the mail will arrive in the last week of November.” One consumer added: “I appreciate that offering reduced-price Christmas postage is a community-spirited thing for Jersey Post to do each year. I also appreciate that it’s important to post earlier than ever to ensure that Christmas mail arrives in Europe or further afield in time for Christmas. However, having the local and UK deadlines so early means that consumers have the choice between paying full price for stamps, or being embarrassed that friends and family will think we’re mad for sending our cards so early.” However, defending the move, Niall McClure, Jersey Post’s Managing Director, Postal and Logistics, said that they’d brought the deadline forward this year ‘following feedback from customers who said they wanted this’. “Despite the complaints you have received, over the last two years we have received feedback at our post office counters that customers are in favour of the promotion being earlier," he said. “As an organisation, we promote posting as early as possible. Given that the last posting dates have become earlier (we try to align with Royal Mail to avoid confusion), we have ensured that our reduced posting rates allow for items to reach European and rest of the world destinations in plenty of time. “Retail and counter managers throughout our network were consulted about these dates and were all in favour based on the customer feedback they had previously received.” Mr McClure added that, because of the feedback Jersey Post had received, their Philatelic department had timetabled the Christmas-themed stamp issue to be earlier this year, meaning they ‘can’t be flexible about when they run their discounted postage rates, as the promotion needs to go live and align with the stamp issue date’. He added: “From an operational point of view, having the reduced posting rates earlier helps ease the pressure in our sorting office as volumes can be managed more efficiently and we can minimise any disruptions to customers. This has been highlighted by the recent disruption to the ferries, meaning lots of mail and parcels were backlogged in the UK and we are having to cope with much increased volumes in an effort to catch up. “Those customers wishing to send to the UK after the promotion ends can still benefit from a 1% discount by buying their postage online.” You can see all of Jersey’s Posts information for Christmas 2022 at https://www.jerseypost.com/christmas/2022/, or on the Christmas Guide that was sent to all homes in the Island.
Scams
Travel
10 November 2022

Beware of a British Airways scam doing the rounds

As the weather gets colder and the nights get longer, the idea of a New Year holiday in the sun becomes more and more appealing. But if the idea of a free holiday sounds appealing, please be aware that any invitations to a British Airways giveaway that are currently doing the rounds are not legitimate. The ‘British Airways Black Friday giveaway’, which Islanders have been sharing on social media and in local WhatsApp groups, is in fact a scam. British Airways have commented: “We are aware of a fraudulent promotion that is being shared via WhatsApp and social media, which has been reported. This message is not from British Airways and we advise anyone who receives it not to click any links and to report it as spam or delete it.” The Online Threat Alerts website reports that the ‘British Airways Black Friday giveaway’ promotion in fact contains a link that goes to a phishing website called shortlinks.su. They explain: “The website uses the ".su" top-level domain, which was designated for the Soviet Union (USSR). “The shortlinks.su website will attempt to trick visitors into completing surveys that steals personal information and may go to other phishing websites thats steals financial information. Therefore, if you were tricked into disclosing your financial information by the British Airways scam, please contact your bank for help.”
Money
Scams
22 September 2022

Revolut Hacked!

During the weekend of 11 September, the Revolut card system was hacked putting over 50,000 account holders' data at risk. Although affected account holders will be/have been advised, there is still a risk to other Revolut users. It is extremely important to keep vigilant as it’s likely cybercriminals will increase phishing attempts in the wake of this attack. Be alert for texts and emails that may contain malicious links. Scammers may pose as Revolut fraud staff to trick customers into divulging security details.   We're sharing Which? UK's article for you to read the full details.  
At Home
Money
Shopping
05 September 2022

Survey - Credit Card Availability

Would you mind taking 2 minutes to complete our credit card availability survey? Recent History Credit card availability to Islanders, or the increasing lack of it, has been on our radar for 2-3 years. We have held multiple meetings with local financial institutions, Jersey Finance, Jersey Banking Association, as well as representatives of the previous government representatives.   Recently, the Council contacted several other providers including AMEX, MBNA, M&S Bank, Virgin Money and Tesco, and received replies from all. We have since become aware that John Lewis is also following the same pattern.   Reasons Their reasons for either pulling out of the Channel Islands altogether; no longer accepting new applications; or only offering existing customers a replacement card; are two-fold:   1). Jersey is not part of the United Kingdom. 2). Providing the service is no longer commercially viable.   Locally, we are only aware that HSBC offers new applications to non-account holders if the applicant meets the appropriate requirements.   Having received more enquiries from islanders during the last year, and many in the last month, it appears the situation is worsening so we're trying to find out how many applications or renewal requests have been refused.   Survey Link The closing date is Wednesday 14 September. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/creditcardavailability Thank you    
Phone
19 August 2022

Resolved - Office Telephone Issues

Just a short note to let you know that we have been made aware that our office telephone 611161 is currently unable to receive calls as it is giving a constant engaged tone. We are able to make outgoing calls so did not know there was a problem and are now investigating. In the meantime, you can contact us by using the ENQUIRY button on our website or emailing contact@consumercouncil.je. Thanks for your patience and apologies for any incovenience.