Advocate Rose Colley, who is expected to take up the post next week, has highlighted these issues as the major priorities for the Jersey Consumer Council.
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She was nominated last month to succeed Senator Alan Breckon, who had been chairman of the Jersey Consumer Council since it was formed in 1995. Provided no last-minute challengers step forward, her appointment should be approved by the States on Tuesday.
Mrs Colley, who plans to fight on behalf of consumers in a number of areas, said that many shoppers felt they were not getting value for money. Using the example of an M&S promotion advertised in Jersey and the UK for the same price but excluding a bottle of wine here, she said that Islanders were paying more than they should be paying.
Mrs Colley said that chain restaurants which refused to offer the same deals in their Jersey outlets as in the UK would also be in the firing line. ‘I think there is also a general feeling that the cost of travelling from the Island has increased a lot, and that’s where the issues like baggage charges and all the extra charges become important to people.’
Her comments come on the back of a statement that debit and credit card charges imposed by airlines should be reviewed. Flybe charges up to £5.50 per person per journey in card fees, while Easyjet customers can expect to pay at least £8 per booking depending on the card they are using. The UK government plans to ban excessive card fees this year.
Mrs Colley said that hidden airline charges, including the cost of baggage, had also become a big issue for people booking flights.
And with Connex’s contract to run the Island’s bus service coming up for renewal, Mrs Colley – a regular bus user – said that that was another area which deserved to be examined. ‘The frequency of the bus service to outer areas, particularly in the winter months, is a big issue and on busy routes overcrowding can also be a problem, even with the introduction of the double-decker bus,’ she said.