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Much of the CharityBags website focuses on a single issue - misleading and bogus charity clothing collections (see Our aims page). However, to understand the problem (and to find solutions), it helps to see the issues in context - in other words, look at the broader picture.
So, on the website we've included a number of pages on related, but more-general topics - such as law,
re-use and recycling,
charity shops :
- There are links to these pages in the 'General & background' section of the drop-down menus.
- Most of these pages have a Useful links section (at the bottom of each page).
There are many organisations which mention the problems of charity clothing collections on their websites - such as Citizens Advice consumer service , the Charity Commission and local councils. However, all these organisations have a broad remit. They don't look at collection issues in detail. CharityBags is the only organisation dedicated to the issue.
Bogus clothing collections are often featured in the media (broadcast and print). These are valuable in publicising the issues - but alas they're usually one-off efforts, without any co-ordination.
A crucial general topic is scams. Misleading and bogus charity clothing collections are a type of scam. We readily accept that the issue is small compared to many scams, but it's still a matter for concern. We've added a page to the website on Scams, cons etc - this deals with scams in general.
Most websites on scams have a section on 'charity' clothing collections - for example Citizens Advice consumer service and www.SafeFromScams.co.uk
Scams in turn are one of many 'consumer issues'. We've produced an annotated list of links to useful sources of information on consumer issues - this forms the Useful links section at the bottom of this page.
The list of links below includes :
- organisations - such as the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), Citizens Advice consumer service, Which?
- broadcast programmes - such as 'Watchdog' (BBC1) and 'You and Yours' (BBC Radio 4)
- some interesting (but less well-known) sources of information - such as the Plain English Campaign and 'Rip-Off Britain'.
Note: There are no red double-arrow symbols next to the external links below.
Consumer advice and information :
a) Consumer Direct. This service provided advice up to 31 March 2012.
b) Citizens Advice consumer service
This took over from Consumer Direct on 1 April 2012 :
Help and advice for British consumers.
- website www.adviceguide.org.uk
- 'Citizens Advice consumer helpline' - tel: 08454 04 05 06
Their remit includes scams. The service is funded by government (BIS)
Launched 1 October 2008.
Formed from the merger of the National Consumer Council (NCC), energywatch and Postwatch
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
In June 2007, DTI became: Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR)
In June 2009, BERR became: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
National Consumer Council (NCC)
Independent public body. Most of its funding came from the DTI.
Now part of Consumer Focus (Oct 2008+)
Office of Fair Trading (OFT) [part of BIS]
Trading standards departments (local councils) (TSDs)
- see the Government - local section
Government A-Z above
Non-Government A-Z below
BBC - Watchdog
BBC1 TV weekly consumer programme
Watchdog - BBC1 TV - Feature on bogus charity collections
BBC - You and Yours
BBC Radio 4 consumer programme (weekdays 12:04-12:57pm).
Money Saving Expert (MSE)
By Martin Lewis (journalist/broadcaster/financial advisor)
Independent website and free email newsletter. High quality, website updated daily.
Martin also presents "It pays to watch" on Channel 5
Plain English Campaign (PEC)
Plain Language Commission (PLC)
Trading Standards Central
"A one-stop shop for consumer protection information in the UK. The site is supported and maintained by TSI, the Trading Standards Institute."
The website includes a good 'useful links' page
Trading Standards Institute (TSI)
Professional body for trading standards officers
Which? (formerly called the Consumers' Association until 2004)
A charity. Researches, campaigns etc on consumer matters, including scams.
Publishes Which? magazine monthly (available in larger public libraries).
Also publishes other magazines and a wide range of books.