A new advisory service has been launched with the aim of providing useful help and practical support to consumers across Scotland.
The online and phone-based service is designed to give sound advice on issues including how to get a better deal on your mobile phone package or from your internet provider.
A charity called Advice Direct Scotland is to run the service, which has been enabled in part by £600,000 worth of funding from the Scottish government.
The freephone number for the service is 0808 164 6000 and its website can be found at Consumeradvice.scot.
As well as providing general information about the service and its intentions, the website also incorporates a web chat element so that individuals can go online and ask specific questions to relevant experts.
Other issues with which the new organisation should be able to help include problems relating to holiday bookings that have gone wrong or concerns about responsibilities in the context of used car purchases or trader transactions.
“The new consumer advice service will give the people of Scotland access to advice that matters to them,” said business minister Jamie Hepburn, as he visited Advice Direct Scotland’s contact centre in Glasgow.
“We are using Scotland’s devolved consumer powers to provide a flexible service which protects and empowers the people of Scotland while supporting businesses which are innovative, efficient and fair,” he said.
Pamela Stewart, deputy chief executive of Advice Direct Scotland, emphasised that the service her organisation provides will be offered to all Scots free of charge.
“We want to provide all citizens of Scotland with practical consumer advice and information which makes a difference and remains completely free to use,” she said.
Ms Stewart also noted that people can interact with Advice Direct Scotland’s services via social media platforms, including Facebook.
“If people would prefer to send us a quick message on Facebook or they fancy a web chat with one of our friendly advisors, we have a range of options to get in touch,” she said.
Anyone living in Scotland and in need of advice on dealing with their debts can contact Scotland Debt Solutions and arrange an initial consultation completely free of charge.
Unusually high rates of inflation are threatening to sweep many more Scots into problem debt situations and serious financial difficulties.
People with debt problems in Scotland are being urged not to struggle with their issues alone and to reach out for help and support if they need it.
Our Scottish based team can help advise you on your debt problems.