2 October 2015

Students Suffer £335m Charges, 5p Plastic Bag Fee, iPhone 6s Out…

30 day refund for faulty products

defective cat

The Consumer Rights Act has been updated, allowing customers 30 days to get a refund for a faulty product.

Previously, customers could only receive a refund for a ‘reasonable time’, but now the law has given a real time frame for consumers to be refunded. The Consumer Rights Act now also includes digital protection – if you buy a film, ebook etc that doesn’t work you are entitled to a replacement but not a refund.

Our take: You buy something and it doesn’t work – you would naturally expect a replacement or a refund as you aren’t getting what you paid for. The updated Act will hopefully help protect more customers from dodgy products.

Students losing £240 a year from unfair charges


The Ombudsman Service surveyed 1500 students and found that 78% had lost money due to unfair charges from landlords or utility services.

The survey found that students collectively lose £335m a year because of these charges – and are usually too scared to complain, or simply don’t know their rights. The most common charges were for damages caused by a housemate or being overcharged for utilities.

Our take: It is absolutely essential that you know your rights, so brush up on them here. If you know your rights, it will be harder for you to be fobbed off. Complaining doesn’t have to be painful either, we have some great tips in our guide to help you complain effectively.

Firm hides uni from recruiters

job interview

Accountancy firm Deloitte is now hiding where an applicant went to school or uni from their recruiters, hoping that it will prevent “unconscious bias”.

They will also take in to account disadvantages such as coming from a deprived area. Deloitte said that they could consider an applicant “exceptional” if a student averaged at a D grade at school, then went on to get 3 B grades at college.

Our take: Not all educational providers are equal – and that’s the sad fact. Too many schools, colleges and even unis are seriously letting down their students. A student shouldn’t be punished for attending a poor performing school, so we hope that more firms follow in Deloitte’s footsteps.

5p plastic bag charge from 5th October

plastic bag

Don’t forget that from Monday 5th October, a lot of shops will be charging a minimum of 5p per plastic bag. This includes supermarkets and clothes shops.

If you get your groceries delivered, all supermarkets will be charging a flat rate of around 40p to cover this cost (unless you request your shopping to be delivered without bags).

Our take: The Government hopes that this will significantly decrease the amount of plastic bags that are wasted. Think they need to have a word with the home grocery pickers – not every item needs its own bag!!

iPhone 6s released… and it’s not cheap


Apple released the latest iPhone last week, and we know plenty of students have already upgraded to the new ‘must have’.

With the launch coinciding with the dishing out of student loans, it could be a dangerous clash. So before you part with upwards of £600, click here to read what Ruth has found that money could buy you instead.

Our take: We’ve nothing against the new iPhone, it’s an amazing bit of kit. But before you get tempted by the marketing hype, it’s well worth putting the money you’d spend in context. You’ll be much better off opting for an iPhone 5s or 6, which honestly aren’t that far behind and are coming down in price. Compare deals here.

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