Store cards face new critic

28 May 2004
The General Consumer Council has welcomed the launch of a new campaign aimed at raising awareness about store cards.

The Office of Fair Trading aims to encourage consumers to think long and hard about the costs of store cards versus the actual benefits they provide.

The idea is that if awareness is raised then a more informed decision can be made by the consumers.

The chief executive of the Consumer Council, Eleanor Gill, said: "Consumers are bombarded with financial information and it can be difficult to know what's really on offer."

She continued with the advice: "We're asking consumers to stop, do their homework and know what they're getting into with store cards. Taking on a card might seem like a quick fix, but it can end up costing you dear - there is no such thing as buying on the never-never."

The Council is concerned that consumer ignorance may be leading to later money troubles, and as such feels that information about store cards should be more clearly presented to help consumers to compare similar products or other credit facilities.

The campaign comes at a time that has seen a recent rise in interest rates, and there appears to be the prospect of further rises to come. With more and more people getting into personal debt, it is hoped the campaign will curb the trend of buying on credit.