Concern over mobile phone contracts sold to vulnerable

CAB concerns SUS-160903-102145001
CAB concerns SUS-160903-102145001

St Leonards councillor Mike Howard says he shares concerns raised by Citizens Advice over mobile contracts sold to vulnerable people and those with mental health problems.

Cllr Howard spoke out after paying a visit to the Citizens Advice and Community Hub, in London Road.

Project Supervisor Andrea Brown said: “We have seen a number of cases where vulnerable clients, those suffering from mental health problems or with learning difficulties, have been sold mobile phone contracts without any apparent due care for the client and their circumstances.

“Clients have built up large mobile phone contract debts that have further aggravated existing mental health conditions.”

Cllr Howard said: “Organisations selling mobile phone contracts can undertake some very simple checks that could put a stop to some vulnerable clients ending up in these difficult and very stressful situations.

“A check to see if someone has an existing mobile phone contract would have an immediate effect on the number of cases Citizens Advice are seeing.”

Partnership working between Hastings Borough Council and Citizens Advice was also discussed.

Tracy commented: “We work very closely with Hastings Borough Council on a number of initiatives, including delivery of our services, collaboration on research and developing new funding opportunities.

“Mike flagged the council’s ongoing work on digital inclusion. We will be meeting officers soon to see how we might support their work.”

Citizens Advice 1066, together with BHT and HARC, work out of The Advice and Community Hub at Renaissance House, London Road, St. Leonards.

The Advice and Community Hub is an integrated advice centre providing free, confidential and quality assured advice on a full range of topics, including debt, welfare benefits, housing, employment, immigration and relationships.

The Hub is open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9am and 4:30pm, and on Tuesday and Thursday between 9am and 12:30pm.

You can contact them on 01424 721458. More information on the full range of services can be found at adviceandcommunityhub.org.uk, or you can follow them on Facebook (facebook.com/adviceandcommunityhub) and Twitter (twitter.com/AdviceCommHub and twitter.com/Hastings1066CAB).

Cllr Howard said: “Citizens Advice 1066 provide vital advice services to all Hastings residents and it was very interesting to hear about the full range of advice services available, including consumer advice.”

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