Store card alert

PUBLISHED: 07:28 04 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:13 24 May 2010

SHOPPERS have been warned not to be pressured into signing up for store cards which often have high rates of interest. North Somerset Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) released its Storing up Debts report after sending out four female 'secret shoppers' aged be

SHOPPERS have been warned not to be pressured into signing up for store cards which often have high rates of interest.North Somerset Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) released its Storing up Debts report after sending out four female 'secret shoppers' aged between 30 and 60 into Weston and Bristol.The shoppers discovered:* Discounts were offered on purchases for signing up on the spot.* Clients were not told about the interest rates and were not encouraged to read the terms and conditions before signing up.* Shop assistants were reluctant to hand out leaflets with the details on and four out of 10 shops refused to let an application form be taken off the premises.* One secret shopper was told the shop assistant would fill out the form and all she had to do was sign it to get £150 of instant credit.CAB manger Anne Richards said: "We have seen a large increase in debt clients over the past 12 months and nearly 40 per cent of all new debt clients have problems with credit card and store card credit."We advise people to think carefully before signing up to store cards and not to be tempted or pressurised by discounts offered by signing up on the spot. There are cheaper ways of borrowing money.

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