About NCF

About Us

What we do

The National Consumer Federation (NCF) represents the voice of UK consumers. We are an independent, not-for-profit charity, with 50 years’ experience of tackling issues that affect large numbers of consumers, and campaigning for positive change. We work to influence Government, regulators and businesses to ensure that the consumer voice is at the heart of decision-making.

We provide a platform for everyone interested in consumer protection – from individuals, to local groups and national consumer organisations – bringing them together to share their knowledge, skills and experience. We provide a safe environment for people with common interests to be heard, and feel supported, by others.

Our expertise adds value to the collective consumer voice, making it a more powerful force for change.

We consider issues that affect large numbers of consumers and we aim to make things better!

We are known for our:

Voice

The NCF is the umbrella organisation for independent consumers. It acts as a collective consumer voice, with a particular focus on issues that are not well addresses elsewhere. The NCF provides independent, evidence-based views in its consumer representation

Thinking

The NCF is a home for concerned consumers and their colleagues where they can develop a better analysis of consumer issues and statements of ‘what good looks like’ to the consumer

Expertise

NCF has been providing expert knowledge and capability for many years, working with key industrial and commercial partners to help to drive important consumer protection initiatives

Our vision, mission and values

Our mission is to protect the interests, safety and welfare of all consumers. We do this by working with key organisations to strengthen the consumer voice and demonstrate ‘what good looks like’. Our vision is for the value of the consumer voice to be recognised, and given fair and equal weight to that of other stakeholders.

Through our work we aim to influence Government, regulators and businesses to ensure that the consumer voice is at the heart of decision-making.

Our key values are to be:

Independent

To represent consumers honestly and fairly, free from any commercial or political constraints

Trustworthy

We ensure all our proposals are evidence-based and firmly grounded in sound robust research and analysis

Fair

We recognise that there is balance necessary between consumer and business interests

Real

When we speak up for consumers, we are fully aware of their problems and are practical about the complexities and difficulties they may face

Our objectives

  1. Protecting consumers in meeting the climate change targets for zero carbon homes
  2. Protecting consumers in the increasingly digital home
  3. Protecting consumers through effective monitoring and enforcement of safety-related legislation, regulation, and standards

How we work

The NCF is an association of individual consumers, representatives from consumer groups, and experts, who work together to make things better for consumers.

We work at policy level, and do not have the resources to deal with individual complaints. Organisations such as Citizens’ Advice and Trading Standards exist to offer help and advice on specific cases.

As consumer representatives we need to ensure that consumer interests are not confused with those of business or other influences. We aim to bridge what is sometimes seen as a divide between providers and consumers, pointing out what works well for consumers, what could be improved, offering potential solutions and advice on how best to protect consumers.

Creating Fairer Regulation

Regulators such as Ofcom (for communications such as mobile phone services) and Ofgem (for energy, such as gas and electricity) exist to protect consumers in imperfect markets. But the understanding and interpretation of consumer issues across the recognised regulators is unclear and inconsistent. Evidence suggests that businesses focus so much attention on the regulators’ requirements, that this limits their ability to provide flexible services that meet genuine consumer needs. This can lead to failure in fully addressing consumer disadvantage, discrimination and detriment.

The NCF supports the aims of ‘better regulation’, provided there is an effective legislative framework within which business and consumer needs are properly recognised and balanced.

Through Consumer Congress we have worked with other key members of the consumer movement to establish a Consumer Charter for Regulators. This is gradually being recognised, both nationally and internationally.

BlogKey Story

The Complexities of Product Safety in the 21st Century

In preparing a detailed response to the BEIS, Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) consultation: UK Product safety Review : Call for evidence the National

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NCF Responds to DEFRA consultation
Blog

NCF responds to DEFRA consultation about Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging

We welcome a new move by DEFRA designed to increase recycling by making the producer responsible for covering the costs of either recycling materials that can

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Resources

Where to go for help

Contact Information Website links and Telephone numbers Click Here

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@NCFvoice