Our reports on consumers in each of the devolved nations of the UK are now available to download. Here’s what we found.
Most of the work that Which? does will matter to consumers throughout the UK. Fake reviews could waste your money whether you live in Farnborough or Falkirk, while dangerous products put lives at risk in Belfast and Barry.
Sometimes location does make a difference. Some consumer problems, especially those about accessing services, might be worse in certain areas, while people in some communities might feel particularly strongly about other issues.
For this reason, we think it is important to get insight from around the UK and as part of that we’ve conducted research focusing on the experiences of consumers in the devolved nations; Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The research found different issues coming to the fore in each one.
What did we find?
In Scotland, our starkest findings are around consumer trust in businesses. Scottish consumers tend to have less trust across most industries, but the impact of the pandemic on trust has been particularly strong in Scotland.
For example, trust in the travel sector has fallen everywhere because of the difficulties obtaining refunds for cancelled holidays, but more people in Scotland said they had lost trust in airlines and holiday companies the past year than in the rest of the UK.
Wales has less access to high-quality broadband than the other nations of the UK, with only 34% of connected households in Wales able to access ultrafast broadband. With consumers relying more than ever on the internet over the last year, improving connectivity could play an important role in driving recovery.
In Northern Ireland, access to cash seems to be especially important. Although all the nations have lost a similar proportion of free ATMs in recent years, more consumers in Northern Ireland continue to use cash at least once a week and so the loss might be felt more acutely there.
Using our findings
We’re now sharing what we’ve learnt with policymakers and businesses in each of the nations and we’ll be using the findings to continue to stand up for consumers right across the UK.
If you think there are consumer issues that are particularly important where you live then please tell us about them in the chat below.