The Consumers' Association announced yesterday that it has been granted formal super-complaint status by the Department of Trade and Industry.
Super-complainant powers will allow the Consumers' Association to make formal complaints to a number of government regulators including the Office of Fair Trading about markets failing to work for consumers and where consumer detriment has been identified.
In the past two years the Consumers' Association has made two super-complaints in an informal capacity. The first, in January 2002, focused on issues of access to dentist services and resulted in a formal investigation by the OFT; the second was about the care homes market, in December 2003.
Nick Stace, director of campaigns at the Consumers' Association, says: “This grant recognises the crucial role this organisation must play in the highlighting where markets are failing to operate in the consumer interest. We will now step-up our commitment to this activity and expect to refer a number of cases to the OFT each year.”