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Call for evidence: private sector firm charges fees for benefits advice

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The Advice Network & Training Partnership (ANTP) is the network of advice centres across Bradford District. It offers free quality advice and is keen to get feedback about private companies charging people for the same. ANTP advice centres offer independent, not-for-profit, quality assured and free advice to people about benefits and tax credits. However there are a growing number of private sector companies that charge fees for this type of advice.

One of them is called My Benefits Checker and they're based in Keighley. ANTP would like to know if your clients/service users have used them and what kind of service they received.

Charging for benefits advice is legal, as long as people are not misled about the service they can expect or the fees charged. Customers always have a right to complain if feel they have been misled or received a poor quality service.

So... have you seen anyone who has used My Benefits Checker? They operate nationally via their website: www.mybenefitschecker.co.uk and their telephone number: 0800 084 3754.

Their website gives details of the service they provide. The link to their terms and conditions (including their fees and late payment charges) is in very small print at the bottom of their website's homepage.

Please let us know the experience of any of your clients who have used them. We have established links with West Yorkshire Trading Standards who could investigate any complaints made by their customers.

The Advice Network & Training Partnership (ANTP) is the network of advice centres across Bradford District. All our full members have the national Community Legal Service Quality Mark at the general help, casework or specialist level. For more information, please go to: www.antp.org.uk

Contact details for the ANTP

Nick Hodgkinson, Programme Manager

Tel: 01274 597743. Email: nickh@antp.org.uk

Please note: this is an administrative office - they cannot give advice to the public. Please see the ANTP website for advice agencies in Bradford District.

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