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Scots name second-hand cars as worst purchase

Scottish consumers have named second-hand cars as the purchase that causes the most headaches.

Consumer Direct Scotland, a national customer helpline, has produced a top 10 of consumer bugbears, including products and services ranging from upholstered furniture to double-glazing and PCs to general building work. Buying new cars also features in the Top 10 purchasing headaches.

The helpline, the first in the UK, offers consumers practical advice on their rights from specialist advisers. Set up in July, it recorded its 30,000th caller last week.

Julia Clarke, of the Consumers' Association Scotland, said she was not surprised the items caused so many people difficulty.

"I think one of the main reasons (this list is made up of these items) is that the small claims system in Scotland is so poor – the limit is only £750 worth of goods.

"We have second-rate consumer law in Scotland, so people cannot get redress cheaply through the small claims system if they have a problem. It really is scandalous. The (small claims) system would mop up a lot of complaints like these.

"Another reason consumers have problems is that people do not know their rights and are often fobbed off by retailers."

Scots' worst buys
1 Second-hand cars
2 Upholstered furniture
3 Mobile phones
4 Double-glazing
5 General building work
6 Fitted kitchens
7 Personal computers
8 New cars
9 Televisions
10 Women's clothing

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