All our advice is free, confidential, impartial and independent. You will never be charged for our advice; we will not discuss your circumstances with anyone outside the Citizens Advice unless you say we can; we do not ‘take sides’ in disputes (although we do act for the interests of the people who come to us); and we are not part of local or central government.
Once we have details of your query, we use our comprehensive information system to provide you with all the options available. We can also help you weigh up the pros and cons of taking any particular course of action. It is then up to you to decide which option is best for you, including whether you want to do things yourself, or you want us to act for you.
There is no limit to the number of times you can use our service, whether on the same issue, or a number of different ones. You do not have to leave your name and address, if you prefer to remain anonymous. However, if you do leave your details, the adviser will write notes about what has been said both by you and by us, as well as the information source on which we based our advice. This can help you if you need to check the information we gave you, and you won’t have to repeat the whole story if you find you need further advice from us. Our advice notes are confidential to us and to you. We would never let anyone else see them without your permission, but you have the right to see them at any point.
When you contact us we ask specifically for your permission to record your case. This is a requirement under the Data Protection Act. Some case notes may be audited by Citizens Advice or by the Legal Services Commission on a random basis, to ensure quality of advice, but auditors are subject to the same rules on confidentiality as our advisers.
Our service is for anyone who needs it. We advise traders, landlords, and employers, not just consumers, tenants, and employees. We cannot, however, act for both people in a dispute with each other, for example a landlord and a tenant, because we could not act in the best interests of both. If we found we were already advising someone on the same issue with whom you were in dispute, we would tell you about alternative sources of advice and information.