Archive for the ‘Consumer matters’ Category


Would you like to chair the Essential Services Access Network?

December 12th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The Essential Services Access Network (ESAN) is a grouping of consumer and voluntary organisations working on a cross-sectoral basis with regulators and Ombudsman services. ESAN strives to ensure that services which are essential to life, health and well-being (currently energy, water, financial services and communications) meet the needs of consumers, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances. After three […]

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This could be my last conference speech

November 7th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I’ve been speaking in public for around 55 years, but this week I might just have made my last conference speech. The occasion was a London event organised by the consultancy Independ and the publication “The Water Report”. The title of the event was “Defining the social contract: essential public services, private business and better […]

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Citizens Advice super-complaint to CMA on the injustice of loyalty payments

September 28th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

A super-complaint has been lodged today by Citizens Advice with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) calling for the regulator to investigate the loyalty penalty in a number of essential markets: mobile handsets, broadband, mortgages, home insurance and savings. Research by Citizens Advice has found that consumers lose over £4 billion a year to the loyalty penalty, with 8 […]

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Why we need a new consumer advocate for telecommunications consumers

July 4th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This is the Executive Summary of my submission to BEIS on the Consumer Green Paper “Modernising Consumer Markets”: This submission only addresses one question in the Green Paper: Q5: Is there a need to change the consumer advocacy arrangements in the telecommunications sector? If so, what arrangements would be most effective in delivering consumer benefits, […]

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Liberal Democrat leader calls for tech giants to be broken up

April 24th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has called for Google, Amazon and Facebook to be broken up, comparing them to US oil monopolies that exploited their market power more than a century ago. In an under-reported speech, Cable said recent scandals including the Facebook Cambridge Analytica revelations meant the tech giants had “progressed from heroes to […]

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The government’s recognised markets aren’t working — now it’s time to fix them

April 12th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This is the headline of a blog posting by Citizens Advice about the Government’s Consumer Green Paper published this week. Citizens Advice highlights four issues especially: Consulting on creating an independent consumer advocate for telecoms. Telecoms is increasingly critical to our lives and our economy and yet — unlike all other essential markets — there’s no statutory independent advocate. […]

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How consumers can obtain a voice in the regulatory system

March 21st, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This week, I gave a presentation to a course on “Economic Regulation Of Utilities” for regulators from five countries: Bulgaria, Botswana, Malaysia, Singapore and Afghanistan. My presentation was entitled “How consumers can obtain a voice in the regulatory system“. After discussing the purpose of regulation, I looked at different models for an institutional consumer voice […]

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It’s World Consumer Rights Day

March 15th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

For the last 16 years, I’ve worked part-time with an portfolio of appointments to various consumer bodies operating in regulated sectors like communications, water, energy and financial services. So I’d like to highlight that today is World Consumer Rights Day, an event promoted by Consumers International. Each year has a theme and this year it […]

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What would really help consumers of essential services?

March 13th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This week, I chaired a day-long conference at the iconic BT Tower in central London on behalf of the Essential Services Access Network (ESAN). The theme of the event was “What would really help consumer of essential services?” and we focused particularly on the water, energy, communications and financial services sectors. We had 10 excellent speakers […]

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What would really help consumers of essential services?

January 11th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This is the title of a conference which I am putting together and which I will chair in my capacity as Chair of the Essential Services Access Network (ESAN). At its heart and as its name implies, ESAN is a unique network bringing together regulators and ombudsmen on the one hand and consumer and voluntary […]

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